Last week a document obtained by The Washington Post showed that, contrary to their testimony, representatives from several big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force to craft energy policy. When questioned by Sen. Lautenberg (D-NJ) about whether they or their representatives participated in these meetings, just about all of the oil executives had flat out denied it. Of course, they were lying.
Well, according to the GOP, it all depends on the definition of "participation". Huh?
Yesterday, Marnie Funk, a spokeswoman for the GOP staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, one of the two panels that convened the hearing, said its lawyers had reached a preliminary conclusion: Based on a court decision in which two groups unsuccessfully challenged the secrecy of the Cheney task force, Funk said the executives appeared to be telling the truth.
"What we simply determined was that the definition of 'participation' was something litigated, and what the court concluded was that attending meetings, and even making presentations, did not rise to the level of fully participating," Funk said.
If being at an energy task force meeting, giving presentations and speaking candidly with those who make the decisions is not considered "participation" I don't know what is.