The president ran into sharp criticism from a fellow Republican last Thursday.

Last week, President George W. Bush invoked executive privilege to block a congressional subpoena exploring alleged abuses in the Boston FBI office.

The president & #039;s action, among other things, blocks a House panel & #039;s attempt to seek information on deals FBI officials reportedly struck with suspected murderers Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi and James "Whitey" Bulger.

President Bush & #039;s claim of executive privilege was strongly criticized by Indiana GOP Congressman Dan Burton, the chairman of the U.S. House Government Reform Committee.

Representative Burton told a Justice Department official that he should "tell the president there & #039;s going to a war between the president and this committee."

To quote the lawmaker: "His dad was at a 90 percent approval rating and he lost, and the same thing can happen to him. ... We & #039;ve got a dictatorial president and the Justice Department that does not want to get Congress involved. ... Your guy & #039;s acting like he & #039;s king."

We usually support the president on most issues. We know Dan Burton & #039;s words are very strong, indeed. But the president & #039;s advisers can & #039;t dismiss the words as the political rhetoric of a liberal Democrat. We hope somebody in the White House will convince President Bush that open government is the best policy after all.

In the long run, you can & #039;t maintain public confidence in an administration by appearing to hide behind closed doors.


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