Thursday, March 24, 2005

Okay, maybe the Plame case wasn't a crime

Media: Two stories from Washington Post and Editor and Publisher both saying that may not have been any crime committed in revealing Valerie Plame name in a Bob Novak column. This is a 180 when this story first broke as the Wall Street Journal pointed out in February.

"After an egregiously long delay, Attorney General John Ashcroft finally did the right thing yesterday when he recused himself from the investigation into who gave the name of a CIA operative to the columnist Robert Novak. Mr. Ashcroft turned the inquiry over to his deputy, who quickly appointed a special counsel." In the recent annals of press freedom, there are few more regrettable sentences than those two from a December 31, 2003, editorial in the New York Times. The special counsel that the Times was cheering on, Patrick Fitzgerald, is now threatening a Times reporter with jail, and in a way that jeopardizes the entire press corps. This is what happens when liberals let their partisan disdain for a President obscure their interest in larger principles."
Now.
Washington Post: "The 40-page brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, argues that there is "ample evidence . . . to doubt that a crime has been committed" in the case, which centers on the question of whether Bush administration officials knowingly revealed the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame in the summer of 2003. Plame's name was published first by syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak and later by other publications."

It was all fun and games for the press when it looked bad for Robert Novak and the Bush admin. It hasn' worked out the way they hoped and now furiously backtracking to save themselves.

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