‘Justice’ Department Investigating White House Leak?

  • Washington Post: Bush Administration Is Focus of Inquiry. At CIA Director George J. Tenet’s request, the Justice Department is looking into an allegation that administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist, government sources said yesterday.

  • Anyone really believe that John Ashcroft’s ‘Justice’ Department will find anything, or wants to. I didn’t think so.

    I’d be happier if the Post had used some named sources to confirm the story that White House officials were behind what looks like a fairly evil attempt to smear the man who went to investigate Iraq weapons-dealing charges but came up with nothing, despite the Bush administration’s zeal that something be found. But this looks solid, as such things go.

    If Karl Rove did the leaking, as has been suggested, he should be put on trial. But if he’s the one, nothing of the sort will happen, because he’s too powerful in an administration that worships secrecy — including inside the ‘Justice’ Department, where Ashcroft even stiffs Congressional oversight — and is fond of telling the ever-spinless Congress to drop dead.

    Bush is lucky in so many ways. One of his most fortunate situations is not having an independent-counsel law like the one that the right wing used to persecute the Clinton White House. Given the sleaze in this one, there would be quite a few special prosecutors working already — and Rove might well be the target of a new one.


    Posted by: Alice Marshall on September 28, 2003 04:51 PM

    David E. has a great post about this story and anonymous sources:


    Posted by: steve on September 28, 2003 04:53 PM

    What’s wrong with America is as simple as A B C”


    Posted by: on September 28, 2003 06:13 PM

    Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo
    raises any number of pertinent,
    not to mention impertinent, questions
    that will have to be answered before
    this is all over.

    For the record, although Mike Allen/
    Dana Priest’s WP piece advances the story
    by a magnitude, it’s worth noting that
    it was NBC that broke the news that the
    CIA had asked DoJ to investigate the
    White House in regard to Joseph Wilson’s
    wife’s blown cover, and the story has
    been widely reported today.

    Call me naive, but I don’t think recklessly
    exposing a CIA agent and her contacts is
    an event can be swept under the rug as
    easily as most of what the media give this
    White House a pass on. Anybody want to form
    a pool on when we’ll first hear that reportage
    on the inquiry imperils national security
    and gives aid and comfort to Saddam Hussein?

    Posted by: on September 28, 2003 07:08 PM

    on the inquiry imperils national security
    and gives aid and comfort to Saddam Hussein

    dang took the words right outa my mouf

    Posted by: paul on September 29, 2003 07:17 AM

    Well, gosh, I can’t imagine why the “Justice” Department’s name is in quotes. After all, they did such a professional and vigorous job of investigating various and sundry unsavory events under the preceding administration: Travelgate, the Weaver shootings at Ruby Ridge, Waco, Elian Gonzalez… no doubt there are others.

    Sniff if you like, but remember that to some extent, the Attorney General is a figurehead. It’s the career Justice Department bureaucrats who, IMO, are the real reason why this scandal probably won’t be investigated as fully as it should.

    Posted by: Ted Feuerbach on September 29, 2003 05:29 PM

    *WHY* has a felony, that jeopardizes national
    security and committed for political gain, that
    was alleged by a journalist who is highly
    respected in the conservative community, gone
    uninvestigated for two months? This *DOES* fall
    into the category of high crimes (forget the
    misdemeanors). This leak may have caused the
    deaths of field agents. It has almost certainly
    destroyed vital, hard won intelligence assets in
    the search for WMD’s. But we’ll never know
    because releasing that information could cause
    even more damage. It has also done irreparable
    harm to our ability to recruit new operatives,
    just when we need them the most.

    Don’t try to tell me that John Ashcroft doesn’t
    read Robert Novak’s column. Mr. Ashcroft has been
    screaming that prosecutors go for the maximum
    penalties in all of their criminal cases and he
    ignores this one?

    This Administration doesn’t care what it destroys
    in furthering its agenda. Not the economy, the
    environment, our relationships with other nations
    or even the safety of our citizens.

    Note to Degustibus: Reportage is a real word and
    is used in correct context in Fisher’s post.

    Posted by: UncleBob on September 29, 2003 06:02 PM

    Well, Bush has admitted that he skims headlines and lets Condi Rice do his world affairs reading for him. John Ashcroft probably only reads the Bible – mostly the Old Testament.

    Can someone answer me this question: Which is more serious, blowing the cover of a covert operative to get revenge on her husband, or sneaking into the back room for a knobjob from someone to whom you aren’t married?

    I agree with fisher – Josh Marshall has been doing a great job connecting dots. He also dug up an old Esquire piece showing the Karl Rova got in trouble before for selective leaking to Robert Novack.


    Posted by: Stan Krute on September 29, 2003 09:13 PM

    Rush Limbaugh hit this story hard today.
    This, and the Wes Clark candidacy, have his
    jammies all clenched.

    Posted by: on October 7, 2003 04:30 PM

    The above was the second time I’ve read that Bush said he rarely reads newspapers; he just skims the headlines then lets advisors fill him in. Having taught in school, when students don’t read, it is often due to a disability. Question: Is Bush dyslexic? His C average in high school may be the result of same. Coming from his family, unless there was a strong undercurrent that said you don’t have to work, his parents would have pushed him to get good grades. So, what happened? Some in the US will try to say a strong leader need not be burdened by details because he needs to make decisions based on his gut instinct. Equally as many will be appalled to read a quote that helps to explain why he is so out of touch with basic issues, why he ridiculed Gore’s good statistics
    as “fuzzy math,” almost as though Bush can’t keep up with others’ reading.

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