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October 19, 2003

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dwight meredith

Perhaps Mr. Bush should want to locate the persons who burned Valerie Plame because such persons should no longer have access to classified information lest it be placed in the public domain to the deteriment of our national security interests.

CMike

Ashcroft will at some point have to seperate himself from this, and at some point I will have to firmly grasp the distinction between a special prosecutor and an independent counsel. I want the credible outsider operating under the aegis of the DoJ, especially since the special prosecutor statute has lapsed.

First, I suppose you meant to say "since the independent counsel statute has lapsed." It is a special prosecutor that Ashcroft might appoint and the DoJ would maintain some control over that position as you would prefer.

Second, as you remember Judge Starr was an independent counsel - for years. I am new to this site and may be jumping to an erroneous conclusion but it appears the host leans to the right and prides himself on being fair minded. I would guess that the host boiled through the 90's at Clinton and his scandals and felt confirmed in his prescience by the affair Monica. What I find very interesting is that the host, an astute and fair minded political observer the Clinton presidency, has yet to "firmly grasp the distinction between a special prosecutor and an independent counsel."

Speaking of prescience, you might want to read Judge Scalia's dissent in the independent counsel case, Morrison v. Olson (1988).

TM

Dwight - we may be confusing means and ends. Even assuming Bush himself knew about this incident during the long, quiet summer, it is not at all clearrthat an amateur investigation will be accepted as credible, will find all of the culprits, and will shield the President from obstruction of justice and witness tampering charges. What Bush views as a good-faith attempt to learn the truth might be construed by others as an attempt to coordinate stories and orchestrate a cover-up.

CMIke - Goopd point! I don't understand all of my attempts at humor either.

Anyway, when I google "Ken Starr 'special prosecutor' ", I get about 4,000 hits, including, at a quick glance, some from TIME and CNN. "Ken Starr 'independent counsel' " gets about 14,000 hits.

A similar test with Lawrence Walsh favors independent counsel by about 2-1.

So, I am inclined to think that the confusion is real, and irelevant, since I thought I was clear as to what I meant. Anyway, I had very recently linked to (or at least read) an Alex Parker post where he had chided folks for not knowing the difference, so I thought it was kind of funny, but there you are... these jokes are always soo much funnier after the explanation, aren't they?

And yes, I remember Ken Starr, and Lawrence Walsh, and how Reps wanted to kill the independent counsel in the early 90's, but Dems (and Clinton) insisted on re-enacting it, so there we were.

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