DoJ keeps the Plame probe close-hold

The New York Times finally breaks some actual news on the Valerie Plame affair: the Justice Department is tightening controls on information about the Plame investigation, excluding, among others, the career FBI agent who runs the Washington Field Office. Arthur Silber at Light of Reason isn’t happy:

Ashcroft, et al. don’t want anyone to know anything about this investigation — until they have decided who the fall guy(s) will be, and how they will play the story.

In short: the rest of you poor schnooks will know what we want you to know, when we want you to know it. And once we have decided what the story will be.

I think it’s that simple. And that deplorable.

One of his commenters puts it this way:

Once again, the New York Times has been scooped by The Onion [Onion story here]

I’m not quite as worried as Arthur; at least DoJ thinks there’s something worth keeping quiet about.

The Times also reports that someone at the press conference asked Bush why he hadn’t asked his staff for affidavits, and got a non-response:

The best group of people to do that so that you believe the answer is the professionals at the Justice Department,” Mr. Bush said. “And they’re moving forward with the investigation. It’s a criminal investigation. It is an important investigation. I’d like to know if somebody in my White House did leak sensitive information.”

He’d like do know, but he doesn’t want to ask.

Okay, as long as we have that clear.

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