Spin, testimony, and truth

A pro-Rove leaker — likely Rove’s lawyer — tells the press that Rove told the Grand Jury that he’d heard from a reporter — he can’t remember which reporter, or when — that Joseph Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA. Maybe he actually said that. Maybe it was actually the truth. But I doubt it.

A grossly pro-Rove leaker tells the newspapers that Rove testified to the Grand Jury that he had heard that Joseph Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA before Novak asked Rove about it. Conveniently, according to the leaker, Rove can’t remember which reporter that might have been.

There are three possibilities here:

1. That’s how Rove testified, and it’s the truth.

2. That’s how Rove testified, but it was perjury. (In that case, the further question arises: can Fitzgerald prove it?)

3. That isn’t how Rove testified.

Given these three possibilities, which seems to you least likely? Yes, that’s the one the wingnutosphere has immediately fixated on as fact, on which huge structures of speculation can then be erected. (Tom Maguire, by contrast, notes right up front that this is a “Bush-friendly leak,” though why he thinks it comes from DoJ rather than from Rove’s lawyer/liar Luskin escapes me.)

Since Glenn Reynolds believes in blogospheric “tough love,” someone who still loves him ought to tell him that somtimes he sounds like a dumb, shrill, partisan hack.

Option #3 corrected, thanks to an alert reader.

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