Q and A on investigation of valerie plame leak.

The Question: Roves' involvement with Gannon seems highly plausible. I wonder if he will be nabbed for it[leaking identity of Valerie Plame as CIA agent in retaliation of Joe Wilson's discrediting of the Niger, yellowcake story], he just seems so powerful, almost invincible right now.The good thing about America is that there are processes to follow inorder to get to some measure of the truth, Watergate...Irancontra...etc. Can that process be counted on or has it been infiltrated by the GOP and corrupted beyond repair? It makes me think of the case of Tom de lay and the ethics committee ousters...
The Answer by JJR: In the case of Watergate, you had a Republican president and a Democrat controlled house and senate. If at least the Senate were controlled by Democrats right now, our government would work alot better. You would have senate committees with subpoena power digging into the Valerie Plame situation and the Jeff Gannon thing. As it stands, the committee chairman (who is a republican) has to set the hearings and issue the subpoenas to investigate any issue, thus, nothing is going to happen or, if it does, it will be a watered down job. Special prosecutor for the Valerie Plame case, Patrick Fitzgerald, is from Chicago and has a reputation of being somewhat independent but, as long as the reporters involved and all the republicans in the know keep quiet, I'm not sure how he cracks the case. I give the guy some credit though as he has subpoenaed everybody in sight and has forced at least one reporter to jail for failing to talk. The republicans are doing so many other things highly damaging to the country and of questionable legality that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Recapturing the senate for the democrats would absolutely huge. The backstop in the American system when the government does not do its job of policing itself is the independent press. Right now Bush (with the aid of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and his crowd, and the Jeff Gannons of the world) absolutely have the mainstream press cowed. Look at the Dan Rather situation. Amazingly, Jon Stewart at Comedy Central has become something of the standard carrier for the progressive media. Keith Olbermann at MSNBC has recently picked fights with Brit Hume and Bill O'Reilly at Fox so he is in our corner as well. It was the progressive bloggers who broke the story about Jeff Gannon. The internet is an amazing tool to aid in struggles such as ours. I really believe that ordinary people such as ourselves talking about the issues on blogs and messages boards helps to raise the profile of these important matters. Keep blogging!

It is not clear what will happen or what has happened Robert Novak who broke the story on valerie plame. Explainer in Slate does a great job of explaining.


Blogger jjray said...

I have a comment on the Slate story. Here is a quote therefrom:

"Novak's role (or non-role) in the grand jury investigation has baffled legal observers. Since he wrote the column outing Plame, he should have been the first witness on special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's list."

This is an inaccurate statement (i.e., Novak should have been first on the witness list). The standard procedure when investigating a conspiracy is to starting outside and work your way into the core (like peeling an orange) or, put another way, from the bottom up to the top players. The Enron investigation is a classic example. Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling were the last two to be indicted after the prosecutor went through rafts of lower level officers of the company. Novak should not have been first out of the box; however, Fitzgerald is now over 1 year into the investigation. I assume there have been document subpoena served on Novak and I would even expect he has already been questionned under oath. If Novak did not divulge the fact of being subpoenaed, then the prosecutors are barred from doing so. We just don't know for sure one way of the other. As to why Novak has not been threatened with jail for failing to talk like the other reporters, I can only speculate that he is next on the list (as a bigger fish in the conspiracy). If 6 months go by and Novak still is not facing a content citation from the judge, then I will begin to wonder.

That said, I am glad Slate is writing about the case and wondering aloud why Novak is not currently under threat of jail for failing to talk. It puts scrutiny on the prosecutor to do something with Novak (which I hope he does).

2/22/2005 5:17 PM  

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