"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Friday, September 16, 2005
The Justice Department and the special counsel investigating the leak of a CIA operative's identity pressed Congress to block legislation that would compel the administration to turn over documents related to the case, the department said in a letter released on Thursday.
The Justice Department, in a letter dated September 14, said special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald had advised that producing documents and holding hearings would interfere with his investigation. The letter was sent to the House Intelligence Committee's Republican chairman, Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan.
Congressional Democrats have so far failed in their attempts to pass legislation that would force President George W. Bush and the departments of state, justice and defense to provide Congress with documents relating to CIA operative Valerie Plame.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday rejected the legislation on a party-line vote. Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee and International Relations Committee rejected similar resolutions on Wednesday.
Republican say Congress should await the outcome of Fitzgerald's investigation.
Democrats countered that Republicans were trying to protect Bush and his top political adviser, Karl Rove.
So, what's the story? Several possibilities come to mind: First, it may be that the Republicans on the Committee are doing the right thing for the wrong reasons - that is, they sought to keep the DoJ information under wraps in an effort to short-circuit the Democrats' efforts to get at the truth, but inadvertently ended up facilitating Fitzgerald's efforts to get at the truth. Second, it may be that Fitzgerald is actually a partisan hack, and is working with the Republicans to keep the bodies buried (this seems unlikely to me, based on Fitzgerald's track record, but Ashcroft did appoint him, after all). Finally, it may be that the Republicans on the Committee are actually on the side of the angels, want to see the truth revealed, and don't want to mess up Fitzgerald's work.
Okay, that last one was a joke.
Anyway, until we see what comes out of the grand jury, it may be wise to avoid upsetting the apple cart too much. All in good time, my pretties!