I remain on a vacation (well-deserved, if I do say so), but I did post the below item on my personal blog at www.davidcorn.com. If you’re not a regular visitor there, please become one.
The spin never ends. In a New York Times op-ed piece published on Tuesday, former Senator Bob Dole, the hapless 1996 GOP presidential nominee, backs proposed legislation that would protect (to a large degree) a reporter’s confidential relationship with a source. That’s all fine and well, but Dole also takes the occasion to disinform about the Rove scandal. The piece opens:
Like many Americans, I am perplexed by the federal investigation into the alleged leak of classified information that exposed Valerie Plame Wilson, the wife of Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador, as a Central Intelligence Agency officer.
Why is he perplexed? Classified information was leaked. It was not an “alleged leak.” The leak did occur. No one disputes that. And the CIA has repeatedly said the information that was leaked–Valerie Wilson’s employment status at the CIA–was classified information. The Justice Department, which initiated the investigation, presumably agrees. (Otherwise, why investigate?) And we now know that Karl Rove (at least) twice shared this classified information with reporters Bob Novak and Matt Cooper and that Scooter Libby shared it (at least) once with Cooper. Yet Dole, following the lead of conservative spinners, diminishes the matter as an “alleged leak” and writes it off as oh-so-puzzling. There’s noting perplexing about special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s mission.
So far the special prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, has achieved one notable result: putting a New York Times reporter, Judith Miller, in jail for refusing to break her promise of confidentiality to her sources in response to a grand jury subpoena.
Here Dole is pandering to his audience–or the editors of the Times. Prosecutor do not tend to achieve any “notable” result until he or she ends his or her investigation and brings indictments. There is nothing odd in that Fitzgerald has not produced any results yet. True, he has chased Miller into jail, and that does distinguish his inquiry from most investigations conducted by US attorneys. But again Dole is doing his disingenuous best to falsely portray Fitzgerald’s work, which remains unfinished.