Valerie Plame: The White House Ducks Again

Tim Noah on Slate [*] reports that White House spokesman Scott McClellan was asked directly about Karl Rove’s possible responsibility for the Plame affair and, once again, ducked the question. As Noah points out, McClellan’s “if I could find out who anonymous people were I would” [*] line is complete gibberish now that a specific name has been named. If he, or the President, wants to find out whether Rove was involved in a felony, presumably they have Rove’s phone number; they can ask him.

It’s too bad that the White House transcripts don’t give reporters’ names; I’d love to know who keeps risking his or her favor at 1600 Pa. to keep asking these questions.

On the other hand, Noah reports that Wilson seems to be backing off Rove as a target. I’m a little disappointed that Wilson seems to confuse metonymy with synecdoche. But I’m more than a little disappointed by his backing and filling; if he doesn’t have anything on Rove personally, then naming him was an irresponsible and discreditable act. If he does, then why be coy?

Update A reader informs me that the questioner was Russell Mokhiber. [*]

[Thread starts here.]

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: