Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Jailbait, Rall and Rove
Patrick Fitzgerald ain't playin' when he says he wants Cooper and Miller to spill their guts. The prosecutor is demanding that Cooper testify before the grand jury, Time handover or no Time handover, and he went further, opposing home detention instead of jail for the two stubborn reporters, saying:
Allowing the reporters home confinement would make it easier for them to
continue to defy a court order to testify, he said. Special treatment for journalists may "negate the coercive effect contemplated by federal law," Fitzgerald wrote in filings with the court."Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality --no one in America is."
Why the hard line? TalkLeft's legal minds say the answer is "perjury," and that at this stage, that's what the federal investigation is all about...

Meanwhile, Ted Rall -- on Independence Day no less -- went medieval on Rove, writing Bush's brain, if he is the CIA name leaker, is worse than Osama bin Laden:
In war collaborators are more dangerous than enemy forces, for they betray with intimate knowledge in painful detail and demoralize by their cynical example. This explains why, at the end of occupations, the newly liberated exact vengeance upon their treasonous countrymen even they allow foreign troops to conduct an orderly withdrawal.
...and that's just the first paragraph. Leaving aside the accusations that the leaker collaborated with the enemy, or Rall's comparing himself favorably with Michael Moore (fine, sounds right) and Ward Churchill (Wha!!!?? Why would you want to be in the same paragraph with that guy?); I hate to agree with the Bush cult, whose minimization of the Plame outing remains a permament stain on their reason if not their character, but I think Rall may be hitting the sugar a little bit too hard on this one. Comparing Colonel Karl to a terrorist mastermind, or saying he -- if he is the leaker -- "made common cause with Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan or any other officially designated 'terrorist' group" ... or that he may have "worked to undermine the CIA," gives the man far too much credit for motive. The leaker -- whoever he or she turns out to be -- was working to undermine critics of Bush's foreign policy, not the CIA, and he either committed a crime (either a knowing leak, or as said above, perjury), used classified information for naked political gain, and displayed a brazen disregard for the implications to American national security. I'm with Bush Sr. in calling such actions damn near traitorous, and they were certainly stupid, but I don't think they amount to "making common cause" with al-Qaida.

If Rove is the leaker, he should either resign, or as Ambassador Wilson said, be "frog marched out of the white house" in handcuffs. I'd certainly enjoy watching the latter. But even if he's not the leaker, Rove is still a Nixonian jerk who'd do anything short of killing his mother's dog to help Bush look like he knows what he's doing. Either way, he's no Bin Laden. It may feel good to turn the rhetorical tide on the man who called liberals a bunch of 9/11 weenies, but there's got to be some other nice, plump, juicy target who peddled American national security for his own gain that you can compare this guy too, right? How about Robert Hanssen, the convicted secrets-for-cash spy who leaked information to a dark-hearted reporter named Novak, who used the info to trash a government official (in that case, Janet Reno) and then outed his source in the end (though in that case, to everybody, not just a grand jury...?)

Update: Not everybody thinks there's a case against Colonel Karl. MarkInMexico breaks down his reasons for seeing no "there" there. Either way, Rove isn't talking to reporters, though some lawmakers would like to see him clear the air.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had called on Rove to clear the air on Sunday. "We've heard it from his lawyer, but it would be nice to hear it directly from Mr. Rove that he didn't leak the identity of Valerie Plame, and that he didn't direct anyone else to do such a dastardly thing," said Schumer.


...Rove's lawyer has asserted that while he was interviewed by Cooper he was not the key source who revealed Plame's identity as a CIA agent. Rove's critics, however, suggest that he could be charged with perjury if he did not tell the truth about this to a grand jury.


...Meanwhile, Lawrence O'Donnell, the MSNBC analyst who first broke the Rove/Cooper link on Friday, wrote on the Huffington Post blog today, that Rove's
lawyer had "launched what sounds like an I-did-not-inhale defense. He told Newsweek that his client 'never knowingly disclosed classified information.' Knowingly. "Not coincidentally, the word 'knowing' is the most important word in the controlling statute ( U.S. Code: Title 50: Section 421). To violate the law, Rove had to tell Cooper about a covert agent 'knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States.'"
Of course, that doesn't matter if, as TalkLeft says, the perjury's the thing.

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posted by JReid @ 5:22 PM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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