Valerie Plame update

Keith at The Complex Now argues that the original Plame revelation was probably unintentional in the sense that whoever did it probably didn’t know that Plame was undercover. Josh Marshall thinks otherwise.

I tend to lean toward Keith’s side of the question, but all three of us agree that it doesn’t matter very much. First, whoever did it should have known. Second, the people who made the follow-up calls, didn’t fire the original leaker, and have been running the slime and defend opeation since certainly knew, and kept doing it anyway.

Meanwhile, John Dean thinks that Ashcroft’s recusal probably means that an underling has flipped and fingered one of top guys, one with a connection to Ashcroft.

Another blogger, whose link I have unfortunately lost, offers an interesting and plausible bit of speculation: Maybe the reason for the Ashcroft recusal is that he didn’t want to have to sign off on subpoenas to reporters. If that was your idea, email me and I’ll give proper credit and a link.

Update Eric Rasmussen was too shy to claim credit, but a reader supplied this link.

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