A beautiful theory,
    brutally murdered
    by a gang of ugly facts

Did Novak talk to the grand jury? And, if so, did he lie?

A couple of days ago, I more or less talked myself into thinking that Robert Novak’s continued freedom — by contrast with Judith Miller’s incarceration — was a (presumably temporary) consequence of his being one of Fitzgerald’s targets rather than one of his witnesses.

It was a beautiful theory, but if Murray Waas is right it has the disadvantage of not fitting the facts.

Waas argues for the obvious alternative accoun: that Novak avoided a contempt citation by the simple expedient of testifying. I had doubted that, on the grounds that accurate testimony would have involved burning Novak’s buddies. But Waas suggests that Novak avoided that problem by the simple expedient of lying.

Waas isn’t just blogging, he’s reporting. He attributes his account to “attorneys familiar with the matter” and “

those familiar with Novak’s accounts to the investigators.”

With Cooper talking, Novak may have his tit caught in the wringer big-time; he might, along with Rove, face charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice. If that happens, it will be interesting to see whether actual journalists treat Novak as one of their own, or as a mere political operative acting under journalistic cover.

(Hat tip: PBD.)

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