Monday, September 29, 2003

VALERIE PLAME: News-item of the day (and the many days to come, presumably): the Valerie Plame-affair. It goes as follows. In the event that you are not familiar with this story, it is as follows: Ambassador Joseph Wilson went to Niger in 2002 to look into the possibility that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium from that country. According to the Washington Post, "senior administration officials" made phone calls to "at least six journalists" revealing Valerie Plame's name and identity.

The Democrats are doing what the Republicans did during the Lewinsky-affair: asking for an independent council. Back than the Democrats replied that the Department of Justice could handle it. Today, they're doing the exact opposite. The Democrats are calling for an independent council, while the Republicans, or the White House at least (for now), say that the Justice Department can handle it. The Independent Council Statute, first enacted in 1978 that had to be renewed every 5 years, expired and was subsequently not renewed in 1999, since neither Republicans like it when they're being gored or Democrats don't like it when they're being gored.

Right now there's a pseudo- Independent Council provision which would makes it largely independent, but he or she can still be fired by the Attorney-General, which would be a politically stupid and (with the elections coming up in 1 year) suicidal move.

All we can do is speculate, which is fun, but I will leave that to the experts: Kevin Drum and Josh Marshall.

I will be covering breaking news if there is any, but I hope to get back to subjects I have touched upon earlier. My prediction of the outcome of all of this? Well, a) the leakers aren't going to get caught b) a lot of political firestorm that will divide this country even more and c) Bush trying to cover his ass up. Yeah, it seems vague, but that's my skeptical looks on a country that's so incredibly politically divided. Questions still remain: is it true? Did a senior White House administration official blow Plame's cover?

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: I need to use my words more carefully from now on. The Democtars are calling for an independent investigation.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Has Attorney-General John Ashcroft told the FBI to start investigating? Blogger Swopa exerpts from tomorrow's New York Times:

Mr. Ashcroft decided over the last several days to move ahead with a preliminary inquiry, and the Justice Department notified the F.B.I. late today that the bureau would lead the investigation.

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