[eDebate] truthout sticks to indictment/rove turning state's evidence against cheney

Jake Stromboli infracaninophile
Mon Jun 19 20:48:20 CDT 2006

i celebrate the accuracy of our prediction last night of truthout's post 
today based on an analysis of the dynamics of the case:


Returning to "06 cr 128"

By Marc Ash,

Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 06:59:47 PM EDT :: Fitzgerald Investigation

What will follow will be a rather frank discussion of our reporting of and 
involvement in the Rove indictment matter. If you like simple answers or 
quick resolutions, turn back now. This is our report to our readership. Our 
primary sources for this report are career federal law enforcement and 
federal government officials speaking on condition of anonymity. This report 
was developed under the supervision of all of Truthout's senior editors, 
which should be taken as an indication that we view this matter with the 
utmost seriousness.

For the record, we did reach Kimberly Nerheim, a spokesperson for Patrick 
Fitzgerald, and asked her these questions: Did a grand jury return an 
indictment of Karl Rove? Did Patrick Fitzgerald send a fax to Robert Luskin 
similar to that described in recent press reports? Is Patrick Fitzgerald's 
probe of the Plame matter still ongoing? Her response to each question was 
identical: "I have no comment."

The Rove indictment story is way beyond - in terms of complexity - any other 
story we have ever covered. In essence, we found out something we were not 
supposed to find out, and things exploded from there. We were not prepared 
for the backlash.

On Tuesday, June 13, when the mainstream media broke their stories that Karl 
Rove had been exonerated, there were frank discussions amongst our senior 
editors about retracting our stories outright. The problem we wrestled with 
was what exactly do we retract? Should we say that Rove had not in fact been 
indicted? Should we say that our sources provided us with false or 
misleading information? Had Truthout been used? Without a public statement 
from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald we felt that it was premature to 
retract our report.

After spending the past month retracing our steps and confirming facts, 
we've come full circle. Our sources continue to maintain that a grand jury 
has in fact returned an indictment. Our sources said that parts of the 
indictment were read to Karl Rove and his attorney on Friday, May 12, 2006. 
Last week, we pointed to a sealed federal indictment, case number "06 cr 
128," which is still sealed and we are still pointing to it. During lengthy 
conversations with our sources over the past month, they reiterated that the 
substance of our report on May 13, 2006, was correct, and immediately 
following our report, Karl Rove's status in the CIA leak probe changed. In 
summary, as we press our investigation we find indicators that more of our 
key facts are correct, not less.

That leaves the most important question: If our sources maintain that a 
grand jury has returned an indictment - and we have pointed to a criminal 
case number that we are told corresponds to it - then how is it possible 
that Patrick Fitzgerald is reported to have said that 'he does not 
anticipate seeking charges against Rove at this time?' That is a very 
troubling question, and the truth is, we do not yet have a definitive 
answer. We also continue to be very troubled that no one has seen the 
reported communication from Fitzgerald to Rove's attorney Robert Luskin, and 
more importantly, how so much public judgment could be based on a 
communication that Luskin will not put on the table. Before we can assess 
the glaring contradiction between what our sources say and what Luskin says 
Fitzgerald faxed to him, we need to be able to consider what was faxed - and 
in its entirety.

What appears to have happened is that - and this is where Truthout blundered 
- in our haste to report the indictment we never considered the possibility 
that Patrick Fitzgerald would not make an announcement. We simply assumed - 
and we should not have done so - that he would tell the press. He did not. 
Fitzgerald appears to have used the indictment, and more importantly, the 
fear that it would go public, to extract information about the Plame outing 
case from Rove.

Yes, it does appear that Truthout was used, but not lied to or misled. The 
facts appear to have been accurate. We reported them, and in so doing, 
apparently became an instrument. From all indications, our reports, first on 
May 13 that Rove had been indicted, and then on June 12 when we published 
case number "06 cr 128," forced Rove and Luskin back to the table with 
Fitzgerald, not once but twice. They apparently sought to avoid public 
disclosure and were prepared to do what they had to do to avoid it.

The electronic communication from Fitzgerald to Luskin, coming immediately 
on the heels of our Monday morning, June 12 article "Sealed vs. Sealed" that 
became the basis for the mainstream media's de facto exoneration of Karl 
Rove was, our sources told us, negotiated quickly over the phone later that 
afternoon. Luskin contacted Fitzgerald, reportedly providing concessions 
that Fitzgerald considered to be of high value, and Fitzgerald reportedly 
reciprocated with the political cover Rove wanted in the form of a letter 
that was faxed to Luskin's office.

Our sources provided us with additional detail, saying that Fitzgerald is 
apparently examining closely Dick Cheney's role in the Valerie Plame matter, 
and apparently sought information and evidence from Karl Rove that would 
provide documentation of Cheney's involvement. Rove apparently was reluctant 
to cooperate and Fitzgerald, it appears, was pressuring him to do so, our 
sources told us.

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation is a unique chapter in 
American history. The probe has managed to shed light into the inner 
recesses of perhaps the most secretive presidential administration in US 
history. His mission is not political, and he will not allow it to be.

However, we call upon the Special Counsel to consider the right of the 
American people to know what has happened. Nothing, we believe, is more 
important to the survival of democracy than the light of justice, and 
nothing more damaging than the curtain of secrecy that today surrounds the 
highest office in the land.

Joe Lauria and The Washington Post's Attacks on Jason Leopold

We are well aware of the Lauria article and the series of attacks The 
Washington Post has launched against Jason Leopold and Truthout. As always, 
we will carefully consider all information and then publish a thoughtful 
response. In this case, we will publish our response on Wednesday, June 21, 
at 5:00 p.m. Pacific time.

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