Mandatory Ethics Classes

White House counsel Harriet Miers walks into the White House, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005, in Washington. Miers withdrew her nomination to be a Supreme Court justice Thursday in the face of stiff opposition and mounting criticism about her qualifications. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
So you're working at the White House and in your mail box up pops an important message from Harriet Miers. It says it's time for all White House staffers to attend mandatory —that's mandatory — refresher classes on ethics and the safe keeping of classified information.

Wow. Mandatory, as in even if you're being deposed, or meeting with your attorneys, you still have to go. There will be no exceptions says the memo. It's a little like telling your kids not to play with matches after the house has burned down.

Harriet Miers is going to personally supervise the courses and I'm thinking for extra credit maybe she'll do a tutorial on what its like to get slammed around by members of your own party — a course titled "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished," or perhaps even a graduate seminar on loyalty and faith, called "The Supreme Court or The Supreme Insult.

If the classes were open to the public, I know I'd sign up.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith