Thoughts on the Rove non-indictment

1. Damn!

2. Will the two people I lost bets to please send me their snailmail addresses? (My email is mark [at] samefacts [dot] com.)

3. Fitzgerald hasn’t said anything in public. In particular, he hasn’t announced that the grand jury investigation is over. The rules don’t allow him to use the grand jury just to keep piling up evidence against Libby. So who’s he still after?

4. Jane Hamsher thinks Rove made a deal with Fitzgerald, and that Cheney is the target. Maybe. Jeralyn doubts it.

5. Jeralyn is surely right to say that Jason Leopold and Truthout ought to now keep their promise to reveal the identity of whoever told Leopold that Rove had been indicted. Don’t hold your breath.

6. The Wilsons seem to be threatening a civil suit. That would be fun.

7. If the Libby indictment proved that Fitzgerald was an out-of-control, partisan prosecutor, what does the Rove non-indictment prove?

8. The big disappointment isn’t that Rove wasn’t indicted now; it would have been a blow to Bush, but Bush isn’t running. The big disappointment was that the New York Times and Time Magazine collaborated with the White House to drag the case out past November 2004. If Libby had been indicted in the fall of 2004, Bush wouldn’t still be President.

9. Media Matters asks when the White House will start answering all the questions it hasn’t been answering to avoid interfering with an ongoing investigation. I’d estimate the Twelfth of Never as the most likely date. But to be fair, as far as we know the grand jury is still working, and for sure the Libby trial is in prospect, so the White House excuse is really as valid now as it was yesterday.

10. There’s always the hope that the Susan Ralston connection will get Rove entangled in the Abramoff scandal. Right now, the big-money corruption cases, and especially those such as MZM that involve looting the Defense, intelligence, and Homeland Security budgets, are in the center ring. The Plame affair, which looked huge in 2003, is now more or less a sideshow.

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:

11 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Rove non-indictment”

  1. Not a bad summary. On #7, the National Review answers thusly – the non-prosecution of Karl makes Fitz an out of control prosecutor. See – Fitz loses either way because he is not investigating the sex lives of Democrats.

  2. Rove may not be indicted, but how great would it be if he rolled on Cheney. Wouldn't a Cheney indictment be the best thing ever? Ok, Bush, Rove, Rumsfeld, and Rove in prison would be the best thing ever, but I'll start with this.

  3. Re the Wilson civil suit – Fitzgerald has been adamant about not disclosing Plame's classified employment status, although he has finally been ordered to provide a summary.
    How would a civil suit proceed without her employment history? Or will President Feingold decide that he was elected to settle scores, and appoint a CIA director with an open-file policy?

  4. Yeah, I just love those papers, protecting the public good by protecting the public from a chunk of the story esp. in regard to Judith Miller who didn't even write one.
    OTOH, when she did write, it left something to be desired. But, hey, protecting sources (missing the forest for the trees in the process) is key, and Cooper is a nice guy who was quite distraught. Not for helping Bush be re-elected, but still …
    This is one long soap opera. The idea that Rove is truly "cleared" in all respects would be like [fill in example]

  5. "If Libby had been indicted in the fall of 2004, Bush wouldn't still be President." You may be underestimating the Republicans' ability to steal elections.

  6. It appears that virtually everything we know about this is from the energetic and skilled spinning of Rove's lawyer, swallowed uncritically by most of the media. My guess is that non-prosecution is indeed a trade for co-operation, and Fitzpatrick's letter that isn't being released spells it out.

  7. My guess is that you're all excessively obsessed with Karl Rove, and he's laughing his head off about it. Do you *really* think he's the secret puppet master orchestrating everything you oppose, and if you take him out, all the puppets will fall to the ground?

  8. I think there are far fewer puppets around than you think, even if it requires accepting that many people can independently decide to do things that annoy you.

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