Thursday :: Aug 4, 2005

This Dog Hunts

by pessimist

Just when one despairs that there is anyone who remembers that there is a reason a country has laws, and that for them to be effective they must be enforced no matter who the perp-traitor is, one has to remember that straight-arrow Republican federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is still alive and well, and working hard to live up to the oath he swore to uphold the law when he took the job he now holds:

Fitzgerald Still Questioning Witnesses, Zeros In On Rove

The right-wing argues that the outing of Valerie Plame’s identity of as a CIA operative isn’t significant. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, by all accounts a no-nonsense guy, disagrees. He continues to actively pursue the case and appears to be increasingly focused on Karl Rove.

From ABC’s The Note this morning:

Based on ABC News sources (and our own video camera) it appears that at least two witnesses testified before the grand jury last Friday, both close associates of Karl Rove. ABC News has learned that one was Susan Ralston, Rove’s long-time right hand. The other, per ABC News’ Jake Tapper, was Israel “Izzy” Hernandez, Rove’s former left hand (and now a top Commerce Department official). It isn’t clear if either had been asked to testify before last week.

Looks like Fitzgerald doesn’t believe Rove has been “exonerated.“

And he isn't about to be dissuaded from pursuing his investigation.

Just as Whitewater Special Prosecutor and political pornographer Kenneth Starr was, Patrick Fitzgerald is, in Kos' opinion, determined:

"He's like the Terminator, and the target is clearly Rove."

While Fitzgerald is actively investigating the notorious Daley Machine in Chicago, this Chicago Tribune reporter - whose GOP leanings are obvious when reading the entire article - is willing to let Fitzgerald continue with the Rove investigation as the price one pays for bringing down political rivals - especially if they are Democrats:

Let Fitzgerald keep the heat on the combine

I don't know Fitzgerald well. But I can see he is uncomfortable with being cast as some knight on a white horse. He's no such thing. He's much more dangerous. He's a federal prosecutor who does not want to run for governor or a big job in a top law firm. He's not whispering that he'd like to be made a federal judge. He doesn't want to be somebody's rainmaker.
There's nothing more frightening to the combine than someone without an appetite they can feed.
Lately, there's been speculation that the president would lean on Fitzgerald and remove him because Fitzgerald is a presidential irritant, acting as special counsel in Washington. He's investigating Bush administration officials for reportedly leaking the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame.

"I've always assumed that I serve until someone tells me they'd like someone else to do the job," he said. "You always serve at the pleasure and the will of the president from the day you're appointed. You're not guaranteed four years. You're very lucky to get the job, you do your job and if someone tells you it no longer serves the pleasure of the president, then you pack your bags and move on."

He was asked: Do you sense any political pressure to move you out?

"I'm just doing my job, and if the phone doesn't ring, and someone tells me to leave, then I just keep doing my job."

The man wants to do his job.

Presidential political adviser Karl Rove and others in Rove's sphere have been questioned in the investigation. It is assumed Rove will seek revenge. U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) wants to hold Senate hearings to question Fitzgerald about his investigation. These hearings are seen as an extension of Rove's long hand.

Bush should make sure [Fitzgerald]'s allowed to do his work.

If Dumbya were to heed this advice from a conservative reporter, then he would be stifling this very familiar political-spin activity:

Top GOP Fictions on the White House Leak Case Refuted

The Right-Wing Attack Machine is running at full speed to defend Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and other Bush Administration insiders implicated in the leaking of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity. It should come as no surprise that Karl Rove's defense is being scripted from his own playbook: distort, distract and divide. The attacks confuse fact with fiction.

And this following excerpt is a perfect example of one such attack:

John Tierney: Where's the newt?

We are in the midst of a remarkable Washington scandal, and we still don't have a name for it. Leakgate, Rovegate, Wilsongate – none of the suggestions have stuck because none capture what's so special about the current frenzy to lock up reporters and public officials.

So what exactly is this scandal about? Well, there's always the chance that the prosecutor will turn up evidence of perjury or obstruction of justice during the investigation, which would just prove once again that the easiest way to uncover corruption in Washington is to create it yourself by investigating nonexistent crimes.

Wasn't that the complaint that Democrats levelled at the Republicans during Filegate, Travelgate and Whitewater? Or is it that, as I will point out in another post coming soon to a Left Coaster-connected PC right in front of you, since Republicans believe only Democrats can be guilty of crimes while Republicans cannot, and that makes it OK then while it isn't now?

But I digress.

I'm very surprised that no one has picked up on this spectacular revelation by Time reporter Matt Cooper:

NBC NEWS' MEET THE PRESS - Transcript for July 17

MR. RUSSERT: For the record, the first time you learned that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA was from Karl Rove?

MR. COOPER: That's correct.

MR. RUSSERT: The piece that you finally ran in Time magazine on July 17th, it says, "And some government officials have noted to Time in interviews, (as well as to syndicated columnist Robert Novak) that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA official who monitors the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. These officials have suggested that she was involved in her husband's being dispatched to Niger..."

"Some government officials"--That is Rove and Libby?

MR. COOPER: Yes, those [men] were among the sources for that, yeah.

MR. RUSSERT: Are there more?

MR. COOPER: I don't want to get into it, but it's possible.

MR. RUSSERT: Have you told the grand jury about that?

MR. COOPER: The grand jury knows what I know, yes.

MR. RUSSERT: That there may have been more sources?


Considering some of the very tough questions Russert later asks of GOP Party Chair and self-loathing closet gay basher Ken Mehlman, I may just have to take back some of the vituperative comments I've levelled at him in the past. He may very well still remember how to be a real investigative reporter, even if his reasons for doing so now - six years after he should have been asking tough questions of GOP officials and candidates - are suspect.

He would have access to more news than the rest of us have time to pursue, so he may know that things are about to change in this nation. He may well want to be on the winning side when the balance of power shifts, which explains to my satisfaction his incentives in going after Ken Mehlman like he does here:

(Videotape, September 30, 2003):

PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: "That person will be taken care of." A week after that, Scott McClellan talked to the White House press corps and the American people. David Gregory of NBC News asked him the following question:

(Videotape, October 7, 2003):

MR. DAVID GREGORY: You have said that you personally went to Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Elliott Abrams to ask them if they were the leakers. Is that what happened? Whey did you do that? And can you describe the conversations you had with them? What was the question you asked them?

MR. SCOTT McCLELLAN (White House Press Secretary): Yeah. They are good individuals. They are important members of our White House team, and that's why I spoke with them so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt with--of that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it's accurate before I report back to you, and that's exactly what I did.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: Why did Scott McClellan feel comfortable in commenting on the investigation back in 2003 when it was just going on? He said to the American people that Libby, Rove, Abrams were not involved. And we now know that, according to published reports and Mr. Rove's attorney, that Mr. Rove confirmed the Novak account and was the source for Matt Cooper as Matt Cooper testified before the grand jury and explained this morning on MEET THE PRESS.

Is that not being involved?

Mehlman's mealy-mouthed misdirection meanderings aren't worth repeating here, but shortly afterwards, Russert takes the point in the charge again:

MR. RUSSERT: Let me refer you both to a Washington Post editorial on Friday [7/15/05]. "A federal prosecutor is conducting a criminal probe that has, among other things, unearthed an e-mail from Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper revealing that Mr. Rove told him about Ms. Plame's role in her husband's trip.
This gives the lie to White House denials that Mr. Rove was involved in the leak.

Over Mehlman's stuttering obfuscations, Russert presses home like Perry Mason exonerating his accused client:

Mr. Rove and White House spokesman Scott McClellan can fairly be accused, at the very least, of responding to questions about the affair with the sort of misleading legalisms and evasions that Republicans once rightly condemned President Bill Clinton for employing."

Russert then points out the hypocrisy of the current illegitimate occupiers of the White House:

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Mehlman, if this happened in the Clinton White House, [if] John Podesta or Leon Panetta or someone was accused of doing this, what would the Republican National Committee be saying today about the Clinton White House?

Mehlman then demonstrates that he is one of those "people that had been trained, in some instances, to disassemble." Russert pins him to the mat:

MR. RUSSERT: You would not be pouncing on a Democratic White House for leaking the identity of a CIA agent?

We all know very well that they would be - loudly - on several thousand radio and television stations all over the country, and all around the clock. Pet assets like Michelle Malkin, Judy Miller, and Ann Coulter would be busting out of their Wonderbras spewing their vileness. Rush would rant for so long his Oxycontin would run out. Hannity would qualify for sainthood before he was done orating, and O' Reilly would finally be displaying the dementia which currently hides in what passes for the logical centers of his cranial mass.

But I digress.

Having exposed Ken Mehlman for the lying bag of Bandini-brand male bovine excremental product distributor that he is, Russert then turns the floor over to former Clinton White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, allowing him to bring the question to the present:

MR. RUSSERT: When you were at the Clinton White House, you all remember President Clinton's testimony under oath, where he and his lawyer, Mr. Bennett, [are] saying there is no sex of any kind, and President Clinton saying, "Well, it depends what `is' is." Are those the kind of legal evasions that you're now accusing the Bush White House of?

MR. PODESTA: Well, I think that, you know, the president paid a tremendous price. But ... this isn't about President Clinton.

This is about the Bush White House, this is about the war in Iraq, this is about the fact that, whether it's Dick Clarke or General Shinseki or Max Cleland or Joe Wilson, the modus operandi is: if you criticize this White House, if you suggest there's another point of view, you're attacked, you're smeared, and that's what happened.

It got them in trouble two years ago. It's not going to get them out of trouble today. They ought to cut it out.

MR. RUSSERT: But is there a lesson from what happened in the Clinton White House that you think should be applied to the Bush White House?

MR. PODESTA: Well, I think the lesson is that you ought to be straightforward with the American public.

MR. RUSSERT: And avoid the legalisms?


It looks like someone learned the lesson that it definitely does depend what is is.

There has been a lot of speculation that King George will follow the example of his father when Poppy Pardoned Powerful Pols for their criminal actions of supplying Nicaraguan terrorists with weapons and other support in clear violation of US law.

I for one believe that he will pardon Rove and everyone else involved, since he and his minions firmly believe that they are blessed with being above the law they seek to impose upon everyone else through the justification that their desired ends justify their extra-legal means of realizing these ends.

In addition, since enough American citizens care nothing about what these traitors do as long as their gas prices don't hit $3/gallon like diesel fuel just did, there won't be enough outrage to cause the Congress to remember that they serve at the whim of the voters and take action.

But if enough of these voters eventually become angry enough to oust the incumbent, even Diebold won't be able to save them.

Until the people remember that they have a responsibility to protect their own way of life by keeping their government honest, the course being followed by Bu$hCo isn't going to alter one little bit. They will continue to plunder the world until someone makes them stop.

It would be best if that someone were the American people.

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