The New York Times writes:
The case was about the “outing” of an agent – supposedly covert, but working openly at C.I.A. headquarters – in Robert Novak’s column two years ago by unnamed administration officials angry at her husband’s prewar Iraq criticism.
To show its purity, the Bush Justice Department appointed a special counsel to find any violation of the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act. That law prohibits anyone from knowingly revealing the name of a covert agent that the C.I.A. is taking “affirmative measures” to conceal. The revelation must be, like that of the 70’s turncoat Philip Agee – “in the course of a pattern” intending to harm United States intelligence.
Evidently no such serious crime took place. After spending two years and thousands of F.B.I. agent-hours and millions of dollars that could better have been directed against terrorism and identity theft, the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, admits his investigation has been stalled since last October. We have seen no indictment under the identities protection act.
What evidence of serious crime does he have that makes the testimony of Judith Miller of The New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine so urgent? We don’t know – eight pages of his contempt demand are secret – but some legal minds think he is falling back on the Martha Stewart Theory of Prosecution. That is: if the underlying crime has not been committed, justify the investigation by indicting a big name for giving false information.
However, the Democrats have a portion of their old website that was dedicated to Plamegate (the cached version is here and I’m not sure for how long). It includes several quotes from the New York Times and other papers about how horrible and terrible Plamegate was. Well which is it?
The New York Times, when they didn’t think they had any skin in the game, was talking up the crisis as worse than Watergate. But when it turns out that one of their own reporters can finger the culprit, they start singing a new tune. Which part is the spin? The first part, spinning for the benefit of the Left, or the second part, spinning to cover their complicity. You make the call.Powered by Sidelines