The Israeli spy in the Pentagon:
    Why is the story breaking now?

Why did the FBI choose to go public with this now?

Query: Why is the story breaking now?

Given the FBI’s general political coloration, it’s hard to imagine that someone at the Bureau (apparently the source of the leak to CBS) was trying to damage the Bush campaign. Is it possible that Richard Clarke’s views about the competence of the Bushies on the counter-terror front is shared in the Hoover Building? That would back up the thesis that the national security establishment has begun to defect in droves, which I’m still hoping will be the subtext of the rest of this campaign. (Note, for example, that Schwartzkopf won’t be endorsing GWB for re-election.)

The other obvious guess is that someone in Main Justice was sitting on the case, and that someone in the Bureau (perhaps with a wink and a nod from his superiors) decided to go public to keep it from getting squashed. It’s not quite impossible that Ashcroft’s crew could have been that clueless about what they could, and couldn’t, get away with.

I have no factual basis for either supposition, or for deciding between them. Perhaps there’s a third explanation that I haven’t thought of yet.

Update: Indeed there is, and Laura Rozen supplies it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

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    Why is the story breaking now?”

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