Wednesday, October 19, 2005



The Poisoned Memo

Everyone knows how to catch rats -- you either set traps, or you put out poisoned bait. In the case of the White House conspirators who outed Valerie Plame, it looks like Patrick Fitzgerald is making use of both.

The traps we already know about -- Rove, Libby et. al. stuck their heads inside one every time they spoke to an FBI agent or testified before the grand jury. We'll find out in a few days whether the traps snapped shut on their little necks, when Fitzgerald either does or doesn't indict them for perjury, or making false statements, or whatever.

The poison, though, may be what nails the conspirators for leaking Plame's identity and CIA affiliation -- although it may also show the plot was more a case of collective criminal negligence than a calculated act of reprisal against Plame's husband. That may not be good enough for a conviction under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (a.k.a. the Agee law, the 1982 act) but it could give Fitzgerald what he needs to indict the leakers under the Espionage Act.

The irony is that in this case the rats may have poisoned themselves by leaking classified, but erroneous, information -- making it that much easier for Fitzgerald's team to trace the leak back to its original source:


Judy Judy Judy

"Burning Judy won't light the way to better journalistic standards and ethics in a media marketplace that long ago concluded having access to power is more important than speaking truth to it."


WASHINGTON - An angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair, sources told the Daily News.

"He made his displeasure known to Karl," a presidential counselor told The News. "He made his life miserable about this."

Bush has nevertheless remained doggedly loyal to Rove, who friends and even political adversaries acknowledge is the architect of the President's rise from baseball owner to leader of the free world.

As special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald nears a decision, perhaps as early as today, on whether to issue indictments in his two-year probe, Bush has already circled the wagons around Rove, whose departure would be a grievous blow to an already shell-shocked White House staff and a President in deep political trouble.

Asked if he believed indictments were forthcoming, a key Bush official said he did not know, then added: "I'm very concerned it could go very, very badly."


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Pentagon screening finds that "28% of Iraq veterans," about 50,000 this year alone, have returned home with medical or mental health problems, dwarfing the Pentagon's official casualty count.
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