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Department of Justice... Ha!
October 2, 2003 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Attorney General Is Closely Linked to Inquiry Figures Karl Rove, President Bush (news - web sites)'s top political adviser, whose possible role in the case has raised questions, was a paid consultant to three of Mr. Ashcroft's campaigns in Missouri, twice for governor and for United States senator, in the 1980's and 1990's, an associate of Mr. Rove said on Wednesday. Jack Oliver, the deputy finance chairman of Mr. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign, was the director of Mr. Ashcroft's 1994 Senate campaign, and later worked as Mr. Ashcroft's deputy chief of staff. No wonder 69% of Americans think that an independent counsel should conduct the investigation.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly (48 comments total)

 
Don't wanna keep flogging Atrios, but he had this great, extremely relevant "Ashcroft Flashback" that should've been on that leftcoaster page, which I've dragged out of Nexis and pasted in without Atrios' ellipses...

CNN, Evans & Novak, October 4, 1997
ASHCROFT: The truth of the matter is that if the law's been violated, we should be able to ascertain that. We can if we have an independent person without a conflict of interest. And if there's been a violation that can be prosecuted -- there's a whole range of additional questions that you might want to ask...
EVANS: Well, that's what I want to get to. The attorney general has shaved down all the allegations that Vice President Gore apparently down to one single allegation -- which telephone he used to make these fundraising calls from. Do you really think that alone is worthy of a special prosecutor?
ASHCROFT: Well, whether -- you know, a single allegation can be most worthy of a special prosecutor. If you're abusing government property, if you're abusing your status in office, it can be a single fact that makes the difference on that. So my own view is that there are plenty of things which should have caused her a long time ago to appoint a special prosecutor, an independent investigator. We asked for that on March the 13th of this year in letters from Republican members on the Judiciary Committee. And she's in a bad position.
EVANS: Well, let me ask you this.
ASHCROFT: The man who signs her check is the man that she's investigating, and she hasn't been very aggressive about it.

posted by soyjoy at 10:54 AM on October 2, 2003


I am being crushed by an irony avalanche.
And I love love love it.
posted by Outlawyr at 11:07 AM on October 2, 2003


I recommend everyone joins me here to let CNN know how we feel about the issue, and also about Mr. Novak's flip-flopping and past actions.
posted by VulcanMike at 11:15 AM on October 2, 2003


Great, but can they pin any of this on Rush Limbaugh?
posted by alumshubby at 11:20 AM on October 2, 2003


Uh, what does CNN have to do with this?
posted by mkultra at 11:22 AM on October 2, 2003


Oh look, more partisan blather from Ignatius J. Reilly.

Further, this is splattered all over the news sites. Why post it here?
posted by the fire you left me at 11:24 AM on October 2, 2003


Uh, what does CNN have to do with this?

Novak, who wrote the article that outed the CIA agent works as a host on CNN's Crossfire.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:35 AM on October 2, 2003


mkultra: Bob Novak was responsible for first printing the leak, and as my links explored, has questionable involvement with the administration and the smear. He's also part of CNN's Crossfire, The Capital Gang and The Novak Zone, where he has his own wide forum for sharing his views, or perhaps any spin the administration might feed him.
posted by VulcanMike at 11:36 AM on October 2, 2003


Yea, partisan blather. That's right. Yup.

Sorry, but you just can't deny the truth of the connections, and the serious issues they raise.
posted by mapalm at 11:36 AM on October 2, 2003


That should have been "partisan blather" (see the fire you left me above)
posted by mapalm at 11:38 AM on October 2, 2003


Uh, what does CNN have to do with this?

Novak works for them.

Oh look, more partisan blather from Ignatius J. Reilly.

More reasoned refutation from the fire you left me. What does partisan mean? I don't belong to any political party, and certainly not to the party to which you are assigning me (Democrats).

Why post it here?

Recent posts on similar topics have led to good threads with lots of links, and I certainly found it to be interesting. Plus, it's on the web. If Matt deletes it, I won't cut off my hand or anything, but I don't feel the need to furth defend this post in the blue. Don't derail a thread just because you think I'm a doofus.

posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:38 AM on October 2, 2003


Further, this splattered all over the news sites. Why post it here?

All posts by the fire you left me.
posted by y2karl at 11:39 AM on October 2, 2003


From one of the other NYT articles today:

In a memorandum distributed Wednesday to Republicans on Capitol Hill, the Republican National Committee suggested that the party strike back at Democrats.
"Lacking a positive issue agenda to offer the American people, the Democratic Party now returns to what they have long seen as their best opportunity to defeat President Bush and Republicans — scandalmongering," the memo said.


Republicans acusing Dems of "scandalmongering!" That is just precious...
posted by micropublishery at 11:58 AM on October 2, 2003


Who said independent counsels are a good thing?
posted by mathowie at 12:04 PM on October 2, 2003


Good news! Ashcroft seems to favor special prosecutors. Or at least that's waht he said in 1997.

ASHCROFT: The truth of the matter is that if the law's been violated, we should be able to ascertain that.

We can, if we have an independent person without a conflict of interest


ROWLAND EVANS: The attorney general has shaved down all the allegations that Vice President Gore apparently down to one single allegation -- which telephone he used to make these fundraising calls from.

Do you really think that alone is worthy of a special prosecutor?

ASHCROFT: you know, a single allegation can be most worthy of a special prosecutor.

If you're abusing government property, if you're abusing your status in office, it can be a single fact that makes the difference on that.

So my own view is that there are plenty of things which should have caused [Attorney General Janet Reno], a long time ago, to appoint a special prosecutor, an independent investigator.

We asked for that on March the 13th of this year in letters from Republican members on the Judiciary Committee. And she's in a bad position

The man who signs her check is the man that she's investigating, and she hasn't been very aggressive about it.

posted by madamjujujive at 12:04 PM on October 2, 2003


duh, sorry for the repeated info ignatius... it would help if I had read all your posts more carefully!
posted by madamjujujive at 12:08 PM on October 2, 2003


Oozing Hypocrisy Over a Leak
posted by homunculus at 12:24 PM on October 2, 2003


Ashcroft's performance at a press conference a couple of days ago was priceless:

"Attorney General Ashcroft," the reporter said, "I was wondering if you could follow up" on the question of "what assurances can you give the American public that this will be an independent inquiry -- wait, wait!"

"Apparently, there aren't any other questions," Ashcroft said. "I want to thank you very much."

"But there are other questions!"

posted by homunculus at 12:32 PM on October 2, 2003


madamjujujive, how come IJR gets the apology instead of me? And here I thought you loved me.
posted by soyjoy at 12:35 PM on October 2, 2003


An Independent Counsel? Not Again! by Timothy Noah at Slate.
posted by donth at 12:37 PM on October 2, 2003


The investigation into the leak of a CIA officer's name is likely to expand to other Bush administration agencies, including the State and Defense departments, officials said Thursday.
posted by stonerose at 12:54 PM on October 2, 2003


Wow, soyjoy, I must be suffering from flashbacks after the wavy gravy thread... mea culpa, mea culpa!

But just because I am space cadet of the day doesn't mean I don't love ya, soyjoy!
posted by madamjujujive at 12:58 PM on October 2, 2003


On NPR yesterday a reporter mentioned that the order for the White House to preserve records was delayed a day. I'm unable to find this in any stories online. Any leads?
posted by hyperizer at 1:10 PM on October 2, 2003


hyperizer, here:

"The department notified the counsel's office about 8:30 p.m. Monday that it was launching an investigation but said the White House could wait until the next morning to notify staff and direct them to preserve relevant material, McClellan said."
posted by homunculus at 1:17 PM on October 2, 2003


GOP Senator [Arlen Specter]: Ashcroft should consider recusal on leak probe
posted by soyjoy at 1:20 PM on October 2, 2003


From stonerose's link:

"Justice Department guidelines allow for journalists to be subpoenaed only on rare occasions, after all reasonable attempts are made to obtain the information from other sources."

The author of that article should read the links in this thread.
posted by homunculus at 1:26 PM on October 2, 2003


and meanwhile, no wmds. Is the administration too busy doing damage control to plant some? or are they waiting for an october surprise?
posted by amberglow at 2:30 PM on October 2, 2003


Someone else who thinks this is treason
posted by anastasiav at 2:38 PM on October 2, 2003


I can see why the guy's dad is pissed, anastasiav, but it's not clear to me how this is treasonnous...? (And I mean that sincerely, the word "treason" is being tossed around with such gay abandon these days, I'm not sure I know to what it actually refers any more).
posted by JollyWanker at 2:44 PM on October 2, 2003


It harmed our country by revealing a secret agent's identity--that seems treasonous to me. here's dictionary.com's definition
posted by amberglow at 2:55 PM on October 2, 2003


and meanwhile, no wmds. Is the administration too busy doing damage control to plant some? or are they waiting for an october surprise?
Surprise!!!, amberglow.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:57 PM on October 2, 2003


Treason implies an attempt to overthrow the government. What Rove may have done is the opposite. His actions were in the interest of the administration.

Rove's alleged actions wouldn't make him guilty of treason. They just make him a traitor to the U.S.

Hey, Ann Coulter, did you get all that?
posted by eyeballkid at 3:03 PM on October 2, 2003


wouldn't Kay have mentioned that in his report to Congress if it was related, or even true? or Rummy? or someone? They're not using it as evidence at all.

Despite six months of postwar searching, weapons hunters have yet to announce any findings that would validate most of President Bush's assertions about Iraq's weapons programs and ties to terrorism. Those assertions, and the intelligence behind them, drove the administration's case for war.
posted by amberglow at 3:07 PM on October 2, 2003


Surprise!!!

I saw this last night. Has it been verified by any other sources? The thing I don't get is, if you want to get chemical weapons from Iraq to Europe, why go through Kuwait, which has been cooperating closely with the U.S. since the first Gulf War? Wouldn't Syria or Turkey be easier?
posted by homunculus at 3:23 PM on October 2, 2003


I would think the administration would have been shouting this from the rooftops to stop all the leak investigation news--if they ever needed something like this, it's this week. I think you're right, homunculus. Anywhere--even Iran would have been a better place to smuggle stuff into.
posted by amberglow at 3:35 PM on October 2, 2003


Surprise!!!
I think they found then on the floor of the hospital next to the babies Saddam tossed out of the incubators.
posted by JackFlash at 3:36 PM on October 2, 2003


been verified by any other sources
Find the article being published in a small publication odd too, why I posted it.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:38 PM on October 2, 2003


JollyWanker - please see this for the answer to your question.
posted by anastasiav at 3:56 PM on October 2, 2003


Treason implies an attempt to overthrow the government. What Rove may have done is the opposite. His actions were in the interest of the administration.

Sorry, but no. Treason means acting directly and intentionally counter to the interests of your own country, not just its current administration. Otherwise it would have been treason to force Nixon out of office. The act of outing an undercover CIA operative - especially one who's doing the very work that's supposed to save the country from destruction - is treasonous in a literal, if not legal, sense. And lastly, this act does not, from where I'm seeing it, seem to be in the interest of this administration. Quite the contrary.
posted by soyjoy at 6:39 PM on October 2, 2003


thomcatspike's WMD link comes from the Agonist where the subtitle read Treat As Suspect. The Agonist was being extremely generous--that story makes Debkafile--nay, the Weekly World News--look like the New York Times in comparison to the Hindustani Times. It's right up there with the Mystery Ships in the credibility department. No, I take that back--the Mystery Ships were a lot more believable. Batboy on 20/20 is a more likely October surprise.
posted by y2karl at 7:24 PM on October 2, 2003


John Dean thinks Plame and Wilson should file a civil suit. Apparently a civil suit played an instrumental role in Watergate.
posted by homunculus at 9:28 PM on October 2, 2003


And here's an interview with Daniel Ellsberg discussing the similarities.
posted by homunculus at 4:08 PM on October 3, 2003


Leak of Agent's Name Causes Exposure of CIA Front Firm

The leak of a CIA operative's name has also exposed the identity of a CIA front company, potentially expanding the damage caused by the original disclosure, Bush administration officials said yesterday.

Wilson Hires Lawyer As Leak Probe Intensifies

The couple's lawyer, Christopher Wolf, says "obviously the Wilsons' right to privacy has been violated."
posted by y2karl at 6:49 PM on October 3, 2003


...Bush administration officials said yesterday.
so are they leaking about the leak now? And doesn't this info hurt more people in the field or at the CIA?
posted by amberglow at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2003


"The truth, however, is that Novak's televised mention of Plame's 'employer' is a non-issue -- at least in terms of doing further damage. The damage was done on July 14th when he first mentioned her name."
posted by homunculus at 10:40 AM on October 4, 2003


Here is a detailed, day-by-day chronology of Bush's reaction to the leak.
posted by homunculus at 4:34 PM on October 4, 2003


that's hysterical, homunculus (and pathetic too)
posted by amberglow at 5:07 PM on October 4, 2003


interesting take on the whole thing by the godfather of outing, Signorile.
posted by amberglow at 11:05 AM on October 7, 2003


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