Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

April 24, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

KARL ROVE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE....Oh my:

The Office of Special Counsel is preparing to jump into one of the most sensitive and potentially explosive issues in Washington, launching a broad investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that for more than seven years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove.

The new investigation, which will examine the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities, could create a substantial new problem for the Bush White House.

...."We will take the evidence where it leads us," Scott J. Bloch, head of the Office of Special Counsel and a presidential appointee, said in an interview Monday. "We will not leave any stone unturned."

I have a longstanding belief that Rove will never be seriously touched by any investigation. He's too good at keeping his fingerprints off the wetwork. But I'd love to be proven wrong.

Kevin Drum 1:46 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (89)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

I've gotten my hopes up so many times before...

Posted by: Old Hat on April 24, 2007 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

Some officials have said they understood that they were expected to seek opportunities to help Republicans in these races,
through federal grants, policy decisions or in other ways.

Whoa. Is this a new disclosure?

Posted by: Old Hat on April 24, 2007 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

Yay!

Posted by: craigie on April 24, 2007 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

Late-night people, check this out

Posted by: Swan on April 24, 2007 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe they can answer the question: "Why does Karl Rove hate America?"

Posted by: craigie on April 24, 2007 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

No, he'll go down; as will the President. Even today, Congress could impeach Gonzales with bipartisan support.

The Iraq War will finish them. Its disastrous course is a direct reflection of the failings of the commander in chief. And the longer he stays, the worse it gets.

...plus, Republicans will want to win elections sometime in the next 30 years, and they're not going to stay in the burning barn much longer.

Posted by: Max Power on April 24, 2007 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

"We will take the evidence where it leads us," Scott J. Bloch, head of the Office of Special Counsel and a presidential appointee, said in an interview Monday. "We will not leave any stone unturned."

Bloch serves at the pleasure of the President.

Posted by: Disputo on April 24, 2007 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

Bloch...Bloch, you say? Has he ever been a member of...the Federalist Society? Good question--what's the answer?

Posted by: parrot on April 24, 2007 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

Max Power wrote:

"...plus, Republicans will want to win elections sometime in the next 30 years, and they're not going to stay in the burning barn much longer."

You would think so Max, but I am beginning to believe the Republicans have entered the 'death spiral' (When a pilot goes into a deadly, non-recoverable spin) that either Kevin or Josh Marshall has often cited. Principled or even just logical people should have jumped this ship long ago. After all, Republican recalcitrance is making it possible for President Bush to delay the end of the Iraq War indefinitely; and certainly through the next election cycle.

Unless the entire Republican caucus has some 'road to Damascus' moment before this Summer it will be too late. The war in Iraq will drag them down in huge numbers. Of course, it is a fate they richly deserve, but I still find it puzzling.

Posted by: James M on April 24, 2007 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

Who knows ? Maybe putting an offical veneer of "nothing to see, move along now" on it all.

Certainly fatigue is a factor.

Somehow, somewhere, sometime something`s gonna give...

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought." - Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi

Posted by: daCascadian on April 24, 2007 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

KARL ROVE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE....Oh my:

...must be a big bloody microscope.

Posted by: Bad Rabbit on April 24, 2007 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

This, and the news that Waxman is looking into security violations at the WH, count as double good news.

Posted by: KathyF on April 24, 2007 at 4:02 AM | PERMALINK

The theory of the Unitary Executive will hopefully face a consitutional test as a result. It's an important question and one that's been long overdue.

Posted by: The Eye of Ra on April 24, 2007 at 4:35 AM | PERMALINK

Dam, this story's gotten me all giddy; now I can't sleep...

Did a quick google search and found this on the Office of Special Counsel from WaPo back in Oct '05:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/26/AR2005102602460.html

"An anonymous group of OSC employees has accused Bloch of creating a hostile work environment by retaliating against career workers who have been critical of his leadership, hiring employees based on personal connections rather than merit, allowing politics to taint the workplace and giving misleading testimony to Congress."


Sounds a bit similar to the actions that he's investigating. Can anyone give me an update on what happened at the Office of Special Counsel between this previous allegation and now?

Posted by: The Eye of Ra on April 24, 2007 at 4:47 AM | PERMALINK

I don't hold a lot of hope for Mr. Bloch. He seems to typefy the *loyal Bushie* - seems to have a real problem with gays and lesbians and apparently doesn't waste a lot of time worrying about minutiae like civil rights or civil liberties.

He's an *Originalist* (I have always used the term *strict constructionist* and I assume they mean the same thing?) I haven't found a definitive yes or no to the Federalist Society question.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 24, 2007 at 4:48 AM | PERMALINK

I have no confidence whatsoever that a Bush appointee will honestly and thoroughly investigate the Bush White House and Karl Rove. Far more likely is that it will be a whitewash based on a half-assed investigation that meets with much stonewalling and uncovers nothing significant. Then they will point to Bloch's investigation as having exonerated Rove.

As I say, that is my guess based on experience with Bushco, not any detailed knowledge of Scott Bloch. Maybe he'll turn out to be another Patrick Fitzgerald, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Posted by: The Fool on April 24, 2007 at 5:03 AM | PERMALINK

Crap, Blue Girl and Fool may be on to something. Maybe this explains my earlier question about the OSC's apparent about-face. Or rather, the WaPo story gives credibility to the idea that Bloch is just being used as a smokescreen.

Booooo... I was just starting to sense there just might be light at the end of this tunnel after all.

Posted by: The Eye of Ra on April 24, 2007 at 5:07 AM | PERMALINK

He probably won't be touched -- even if things get bad for him, Bush is stubborn enough to stand by him and impede any efforts to oust him. This administration firmly believes it's better to continue saying "up is down" rather than give the press any sacrificial lambs. And that's true, to an extent -- the press gets tired and gives up. But prosecutors aren't so easy to stonewall. And these boys haven't always been so careful. If it hadn't been for Chatty McGossip over at Time, Rove might well be sitting around with Scooter, waiting for an appeal.

Before you get too caught up in the zen of Rove, remember this line:

"Forget the myths the media's created about the White House. The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand."

Posted by: Royko on April 24, 2007 at 5:11 AM | PERMALINK

"The 106-person Office of Special Counsel has never conducted such a broad and high-profile inquiry in its history.

"One of its primary missions has been to enforce the Hatch Act, a law enacted in 1939 to preserve the integrity of the civil service."

This would be the same Hatch Act cited by the White House as reason for wide-spread use of outside email & IMing accounts?

Is this an end-run to keep the mail from Congress? To tie-up interviews with persons of interest?

I don't trust it. (see comments above re Bloch).

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on April 24, 2007 at 5:33 AM | PERMALINK

Here is a nasty, NSFW graphic of Rove, and this the place it came from.

If Rove is as bad as we think he is, he may well get his comeuppance. He's fucked up so badly that he won't find a welcome in any other country.

Posted by: bad Jim on April 24, 2007 at 6:02 AM | PERMALINK

The testimoney of Ms. Doan at GSA is probably the genesis of this investigation.

It doesn't sound too promising.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 24, 2007 at 6:37 AM | PERMALINK

Will we ever learn how this administration earns such loyalty from its minions? I suppose it's a carrot-and-stick or the threat of?

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on April 24, 2007 at 6:37 AM | PERMALINK

Color me skeptical. Makes it pretty easy to tell Rep. Waxman and Sen. Leahy and others to take a powder because there is an ongoing "official" investigation.

Posted by: Tommy Corn on April 24, 2007 at 7:31 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, this guy is a real winner.

From The Eye of Ra above,

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/26/AR2005102602460.html

The Bush appointee has been accused of failing to enforce a long-standing policy against bias in the workplace based on sexual orientation, unnecessarily reorganizing the OSC to try to run off critics, and arbitrarily dismissing some personnel complaints and whistle-blower disclosures in an effort to claim reductions in backlogs.

Also, from Blue Girl:
http://www.osc.gov/specialcounsel.htm

From 2001-2003, Mr. Bloch served as Associate Director and then Deputy Director and Counsel to the Task Force for Faith-based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked on First Amendment cases, regulations, intergovernmental outreach, and programmatic initiatives.

He's sure to be an objective investigator, as in "Nothing to see here, move along."

Seems like we need to make sure Democrats in Congress know about this guy.


Posted by: Pol on April 24, 2007 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

If you think this is a good deal, try to remember any invetiation of this administration by it's own people that resulted in any findings of wrongdoing-they mostly just fizzled out in multiple delays.

Posted by: Neal on April 24, 2007 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

Color me skeptical. Makes it pretty easy to tell Rep. Waxman and Sen. Leahy and others to take a powder because there is an ongoing "official" investigation.

Can the do that?

Posted by: pol on April 24, 2007 at 7:44 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, I'm afraid Sheryl Crow got the closest to touching Karl Rove. I wish I could work "wetwork" into this comment.

Posted by: matt on April 24, 2007 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

I'm suspicious too. Who are these guys? This investigation is supposedly unprecedented, too. Internal investigations are often cover-ups.

Posted by: John Emerson on April 24, 2007 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

> He's too good at keeping his fingerprints off the wetwork.

I knew the guy uses his blackberry frequently, but it turns out he uses it for for stuff that needs to be deleted mistakenly and urgently.

These people use e-mail that according to Fitzgerald has holes around 2003 in the archives. And Fitzgerald wasn`t even really looking for that. Again an embarrassing use of e-mail.

I bet the hoster of the rnc servers hires any geeks provided they have a big GOP bumperstickers on their forehead. And cracking an e-mail server takes minutes, once you have physical access.

As for the blackberries, rumor has it the the proven crappy air interface encryption of the GSM network was a design request from an European NATO power. Without rather difficult to set up extra end-to-end encryption that guy is potentially snooped on by every foreign intelligence agency that can afford some basic radio equipment, a bunch of computers and a van.

There is a reason the new NSA director ordered the development of devices a little more secure than the blackberry.

In fact, half of the NSA does nothing but secure US government communications. And during all of this disappearing e-mails story I have not seen a single indication that any of their magic has been used in the RNC operations.

And that is just the central infrastructure. If there was any way to prove it I would bet that the e-mail servers of either the Christian coalition or grover norquists group or a big lobbying firm is cracked at this very moment. The risks are minute and the potential payoffs enormous. Turns out there is a market for "political intelligence" among investors.

Moreover, if Karl ever, and I mean ever (including 2010) loses his blackberry and someone with a little cash and curiosity finds it... he is toast. These things have the physical security of a matchbox.

Posted by: asdf on April 24, 2007 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Who is Scott Bloch? Another right-wing Catholic whose loyalties are the Church, Bush, and the Constitution, in that order. There's a whole lot of coverup you can do when you're running an investigation - especially when you hire your investigators from the Catholic wing-nut Ave Maria law school.

Posted by: Bloix on April 24, 2007 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Keving,

Should be "for more than SIX years" - Looks like they fixed the article after you linked.

Posted by: dmBG on April 24, 2007 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Here's something from a couple of years ago about Bloch. He doesn't look like a good guy.

http://www.alternet.org/story/22000/

Posted by: John Emerson on April 24, 2007 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

They're just criminalizing policy differences.

I had a 'policy difference' with a guy on a subway platform late at night who had a gun. It was his policy that my wallet belonged to him, and it was my policy that my walled belonged to me.

Felt like a mugging, though. I'm still conflicted about that.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on April 24, 2007 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, remember one thing about Karl Rove: Nobody is lucky forever. He's gonna get his, sooner or later.

Posted by: BaritoneWoman on April 24, 2007 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

Everyone is in some way good , bad or ugly ! So I think that the philosophy of the ole BAR ROOM SPINNING
WHEEL can be applied here . "" WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND .""

Posted by: TREBEL WINGNUT on April 24, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, unfortunately, for every William Inge, the University of Kansas does produce a slew of Right Wingnuts as well - Saddens me as a Jayhawk, that Bloch, not only taught there, but is a graduate as well.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 24, 2007 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

I hope he doesn't answer like this when he gets on the stand:

http://www.govgap.com

It's a video just released by GovGap about the DOJ testimony.

Posted by: Ethan J Olivia on April 24, 2007 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Must be hard to run investigations, when there are seven children at home to raise. His new Flunky Post for Shrub must pay a whole lot better than being an Adjunct Professor at KU.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 24, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Don't hold your breath. Bloch is a Bush appointee. His investigation and ultimate exonoration of Rove will just give Bush cover and the ability to claim that a complete investigation cleared all of wrongdoing.

Posted by: Clem on April 24, 2007 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

From what I've heard about Bloch, this "investigation" is more likely to cover up wrongdoing than to bring it to light.

Posted by: McCord on April 24, 2007 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

After six irrational years of Bushco, my reasoning heuristics fail me. I start with the heuristic that anyone with any connection to the Bush WH can't be trusted to do a legitimate investigation of anyone in the Bush WH. Either they will be incompetent or immoral or both.

This heuristic leads me to conclude that this is just a WH-initiated whitewash. Things are hot for Karl these days, and they want to provide him some cover.

But then I apply my second heuristic--developed after so much evidence--that everything undertaken by Bushco, 100%, will eventually accomplish the opposite of whatever it was they set out to do.

That cynical view leads me to think that even if it is a whitewash initiated by Bushco, it will end up going badly for them.

Posted by: PTate in FR on April 24, 2007 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

This is a setup to whitewash Rove. Check out the comments here: http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/003084.php

Posted by: eCAHNomics on April 24, 2007 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't it be incredible if after all of the Bushies' sleazy doings on so many fronts, they were brought down by... the Hatch Act? It's like when the Treasury guys nabbed Al Capone for tax evasion.

And I like this bit of elegant understatement:

"All administrations are political, but this White House has systematically brought electoral concerns to Cabinet agencies in a way unseen previously."

Finally, a reporter who doesn't play the "equivalency game" and stretch the truth into pretzels to find some Democratic administration that's done the same thing.

Posted by: sullijan on April 24, 2007 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

> more likely is that it will be a whitewash
> based on a half-assed investigation that
> meets with much stonewalling and uncovers
> nothing significant. Then they will point to
> Bloch's investigation as having exonerated Rove.

Nah. They will use this to claim "ongoing investigation" until February 2009, at which time they will claim "no judicable issue / no standing - no need for any more investigations".

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on April 24, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Josh Marshall has said this wouldn't be a criminal prosecution, so, I assume, it wouldn't carry any criminal penalties,


So my question is,

would someone who is convicted of something by this board be immune to further prosecution because that would nonetheless be double jeopardy?

Posted by: cld on April 24, 2007 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Now, now, we must be very careful in what we say about Mr Bloch - Otherwise, his mentor, Sam Brownback, and the offices of Inhofe, will send their storm troopers to start yelling that conservative Catholics are being harrassed by the Kaplan gays in government.

Have conservative Catholics no rights?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 24, 2007 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

A Bush acolyte investigating his Dark Master? I'm not holding my breath. This is nothing but a dog-and-pony show.

I'm sure MC Rove has nothing to worry about; he can continue to get jiggy with impunity.

Posted by: NSA Mole on April 24, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Impeachment in the only hope republicans have in 08.

Posted by: the fake fake al on April 24, 2007 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

The new investigation, which will examine the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities, could create a substantial new problem for the Bush White House.

First, the inquiry comes from inside the administration, not from Democrats in Congress. Second, unlike the splintered inquiries being pressed on Capitol Hill, it is expected to be a unified investigation covering many facets of the political operation in which Rove played a leading part.

Here we have two essential media "facts". One, that any Congressional investigation is necessarily flawed and politically motivated "to make the president look bad". Two, that the Democrats don't have a clue how to run things, not even an investigation.

Obviously, when you run a proper investigation, you decide the results first, then discover the facts to support your conclusion. Much more efficient that way. This is what I expect from this deal.

Posted by: Liv Pooleside on April 24, 2007 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Fuck Karl Rove.

This guy's certainly not the genius that the D.C. media whores and weak-kneed Democrats are so apt to describe him.

Rather, the only thing that both he and his patron George W. Bush have shown us is their abject willingness to ruthlessly breach ethical boundaries and lines that nobody else heretofore dared to even contemplate crossing. They're proven liars and congenital cheats whose moral compasses were rendered inoperative decades ago.

Now, what are we going to do about it? If all we do is wring our hands in frustration and despair and lament that these people will probably get away with it all, then we will richly deserve the obvious fate that awaits our democracy and nation.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 24, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

The entire exercise is simply to noodle out where Rove's exposure might be in preparation for a congressional investigation.

Its all crap and they'll never get to Rove.

Posted by: Simp on April 24, 2007 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

This is bullshit. The OSC is a presidential appointee and reports to the White House. This is a whitewash waiting to happen. I can hear it now...

"See! After this 'independant, non-partisan' investigation it was determined nothing was wrong... There is no need for Rove and Miers to testify. Congress is on a fishing expedition..."

Posted by: Mr Furious on April 24, 2007 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

There's no way the US justice system could give the stinking rove what he truly deserves. If there was a god rove would surely have a 25 cm
grade 4 glioma erupting in his fat little pig brain.

Posted by: repug on April 24, 2007 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

OT, for those who keep citing military sources for "proof" that there are rays of sunshine among the gloom in Iraq . . .

The government failed two military families, the chairman of a House panel said Tuesday that the military "invented" stories about the death of Tillman and the capture of Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch.

The military invents whatever information is necessary to protect Princess Bush and the military's political and ranking military leaders.

They will lie about anything and everything.

Just like their "Commander in Chief".

Just like Karl Rove.

Just like Dick Cheney.

Posted by: anonymous on April 24, 2007 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

OT . . .

Mary Tillman told ESPN Radio last month that everyone involved in the shooting knew immediately that her son had been shot three times in the head by a member of his platoon.

"That was not a misstep, that was not an error," she said. "This was an attempt to dupe the public and to promote this war and to get recruitments up, and that is immoral."

. . .

The Tillman family released a statement calling the corrective action a slap on the wrist, saying, "Once again, we are being used as props in a Pentagon public relations exercise."

Expect the wingnuts to rationalize this further administration dishonesty away by blaming the victims.

There is no GOP water so putrid and foul that ex-liberal and gang won't carry it.

Posted by: anonymous on April 24, 2007 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Mr. Furious' finding of fishiness beat me to it.

Posted by: gregor on April 24, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Fuck Karl Rove. They're proven liars and congenital cheats whose moral compasses were rendered inoperative decades ago.

Dats da' kine. Geev 'em, brah!

Posted by: trex on April 24, 2007 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Politics? In the Oval Office? Unheard of.
Be careful of establishing a policy you don't want to live with. Some people remember things.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on April 24, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

I have a longstanding belief that Rove will never be seriously touched by any investigation. He's too good at keeping his fingerprints off the wetwork.

I'm so tired of people on my side buying into Rove juju. He's not especially smart or cunning -- what he is is amoral, and ruthless, and his lack of any moral compass allows him to get away with things that others wouldn't attempt. This has nothing to do with him being especially smart. Rather, he's had the advantage for six years of a neutered Congress, DOJ and press that absolutely refused to perform any oversight functions. Now that he actually has people investigating him it's going to be a lot harder for him to keep his fingerprints hidden.

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2007 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

To me it looks like Bloch is lighting a backfire.

Will an OSC investigation tie up evidence sought by Congressional oversight committees? Will it keep White House officials from testifying in other investigations? Will it give cover to officials who can now say, "I can't comment on an issue under investigation?" Will the OSC spin its wheels for 12 months and come out with a "Clean Bill of Health" for the GOP in the middle of next year's election races?

These guys only do things that serve Karl Rove and the GOP. Bet on it.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on April 24, 2007 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

There he goes again

Bill O'Reilly has his tin-foil hat on, as usual

Posted by: Swan on April 24, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

The job of the OSC may be to make sure all the fingerprints are well scrubbed.
Enjoy

Posted by: DILBERT DOGBERT on April 24, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK
I have a longstanding belief that Rove will never be seriously touched by any investigation. He's too good at keeping his fingerprints off the wetwork.

Even in the absence of documentary evidence, there are always direct witnesses; the kind of things at issue are not possible without plenty of those. Clearly, Rove has counted on loyalty (perhaps backed by intimidation) to keep witnesses quiet. The problem this administration faces—one typical of authoritarians with a siege mentality—is that it has gotten into a spiral where it has begun attacking those basically loyal to it for petty "disloyalties". Beyond a certain point this stop enhancing loyalty with fear, and starts destroying it by making people feel that there is no reciprocal loyalty, no certainty that loyalty will be responded to with anything but harsh attacks.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 24, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

The only way Rove is going down is if a segment of the Republican party turns on him and the President. Given the Bush's abilities to destroy their enemies like some old sicilian crime family, I don't see who will be brave enough to take it on.

A crazy old time religionist like Bloch might be the guy to do it but that is only if the religious right has decided it needs to obliterate Rove and Bush to maintain credibility.

I won't hold my breath, but I will look for the signs. My hope lies with the Democratic Congress and victory margins in 2008 that can overcome GOP voter suppression efforts.

Posted by: Northern Observer on April 24, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Walter E. Wallis: Be careful of establishing a policy you don't want to live with. Some people remember things.

Be careful of being deliberately obtuse and improperly conflating "politics" with the constitutional duties and responsibilities of the nation's executive and the legal limitations and requirements on how those duties can or must be carried out. Some people remember things.

Posted by: anonymous on April 24, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK
Will an OSC investigation tie up evidence sought by Congressional oversight committees?

No. It does nothing to Congress authority to compel testimony.

Will it keep White House officials from testifying in other investigations?

No. They could assert their 5th Amendment privilege with or without an active investigation, and Congress can negate it, where appropriate, with immunity with or without an active investigation.

Will it give cover to officials who can now say, "I can't comment on an issue under investigation?"

They'll certainly try to use it that way. OTOH, stonewalling won't be a change of pace for them. It doesn't really add anything.

Will the OSC spin its wheels for 12 months and come out with a "Clean Bill of Health" for the GOP in the middle of next year's election races?

Possibly, but if the Democrats are smart they'll also be using those 12 months effectively, challenging the OSC as being headed by a Bush loyalist. Unless the Democrats are incompetent at the spin game, there is no upside here for Bush—at best, his own appointee who serves at his pleasure says his "brain" is innocent—and plenty of potential downside.

These guys only do things that serve Karl Rove and the GOP.

They are certainly partisan, and certainly personally ambitious. They may have some loyalty to Rove or the Administration beyond that, but increasingly both personal political ambition and even partisan interest may conflict with any loyalty to this Administration.


Posted by: cmdicely on April 24, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK
Bloch serves at the pleasure of the President.

In theory, perhaps. However, in the current political climate, Bush firing him while he is investigating Rove and the White House would be, short of concrete irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing, seen as a confirmation of the worst of the allegations made in the US Attorney's firings. It'd be the Saturday Night Massacre on steroids.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 24, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

If, say, Congress goes to court over the EOP's missing e-mails (RNC & any others), would the OSC have any superior claim to these communications? Could the White House selectively release the e-mails to the OSC and not to Congress, claiming this satisfies their concerns about Executive Privelege?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on April 24, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Walter E, you do remember a lot of things - Except for the French Battery saving your sorry rear end one very cold night in Korea.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 24, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Why does Karl Rove hate America?" Posted by: craigie on April 24, 2007 at 2:11 AM

Yes, why does Karl Rove hate a free America and its viable two-party system with a three-way balance of power?

That self-aggrandizing pompous disrespectful presumptuous ass of narrow-vision who thinks he and his affluent ilk have any right to dismantle the carefully framed world our forefathers built for this country for their own benefit? Why does he hate America?

In lieu of harsher punishement, Rove and Cheney should be chained tightly together, fat mug to smug mug, where each of them can stare into the eyes of arrogant greed for the rest of eternity.

Other than that, I don’t give him much thought.

Posted by: Zit on April 24, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

The war in Iraq will drag them down in huge numbers. Of course, it is a fate they richly deserve, but I still find it puzzling. Posted by: James M on April 24, 2007 at 3:23 AM

It is that Victory thing isn't it? They are still hoping Bush will pull a Victory out of his ass at the last moment, so that all Republicans can point and laugh and congratulate themselves on Staying the Course while nonbelievers and Democrats tryed to derail them. At Victory, the GOP would once more recognize itself. There would be much back-slapping, smug smiles all around, and cigars for everyone. The media would rejoice as much as Congress would be silent. Red staters would hitch their pants up and walk into Wal-marts all across the country with backs straight and heads high. Victory, an I-Told-You-So Victory.

Then after the Victory, Republicans will turn. They will turn and face those of their party that abandoned them at the critical hour and the culling will begin. Heads, blood, and reputations will fall to the enth degree until finally, until at last the party is once more filled by only those who have their morals and principles firmly in tow with the party line.

Is that it? Republicans are still waiting for Victory.

Posted by: Zit on April 24, 2007 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Is it really gonna be Fizmas this time? Cause the kids have been lied to so many times now. And me and my friends have been whipped up into a frenzy a bunch, too. But, we're getting giddy again...

Posted by: nikkolai on April 24, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Disputo. This is just another smokescreen. They'll investigate and find that Karl was scrupulous, he just accidentally deleted those 5 million emails. The Daily Show was (as usual) hysterically funny about "accidentally" deleting emails.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 24, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

There's a whole lot of coverup you can do when you're running an investigation - Posted by: Bloix on April 24, 2007 at 9:10 AM

If he actually does stumble across something that was left out too openly, he can bury it for Rove.

What if he were backed up by someone with an actual intent to investigate? A bi-partisan investigation, one each to follow the other around and sniff what the other is (or is not) sniffing?

If there is to be no stone unturned, two sets of eyes looking under the rock would be as good as one set?

Posted by: Zit on April 24, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Internal investigation? Internal autdit more like. Companies do those to know what they forgot to destroy / cover.

Posted by: bushburner on April 24, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I must say, though, that Karl is kind of jumpy lately. Snipping at Sheryl Crow like that isn't in character for the Karl of Old, the Kidder, the Funny Guy. Before the heat started turning up on him, he would have ogled Crow and ignored David, so clearly all this IS getting to him.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 24, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

nikkolai: Is it really gonna be Fizmas this time?

Christmas has come and gone, where were you?

Sorry you missed it.

Better luck this time around.

You really don't have to pay much attention, since Fitzmas makes all the headlines.

Posted by: anonymous on April 24, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely >"...It'd be the Saturday Night Massacre on steroids."

"We the people..." can only hope "we" should be so lucky.

The only viable solution to this "issue" is to keep the pressure on so that the weakest part(s) of the "firewall(s)" break. Somewhere, somehow something is going to "come loose" & the system dynamics will transition to a rout.

Be prepared for the "mop up" phase. "Pitchforks & torches" at the ready.

"If you don't know what your government is doing, you don't live in a democracy." - Jane Anne Morris

Posted by: daCascadian on April 24, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

The entire exercise is simply to noodle out where Rove's exposure might be in preparation for a congressional investigation. Posted by: Simp on April 24, 2007 at 11:19 AM

So how much will this noodle be costing the taxpayer and how come we can't bitch about the bill?

We have already given the whole Bush Administration a free lunch.

Posted by: Zit on April 24, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

The only way Rove is going down is if a segment of the Republican party turns on him and the President. Given the Bush's abilities to destroy their enemies like some old sicilian crime family, I don't see who will be brave enough to take it on."

A Republican willing to sacrifice his or her place within the gated fortress of the GOP for the sake of keeping freedom as freedom, for the sake of this country and what it was founded on?

[insert sigh] Maybe we could send in a Democrat operative posing as a Republican and implode them.

Posted by: Zit on April 24, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

It's just a modified limited hangout:

Great news! The guy Bush has tapped to investigate Karl Rove is a crony-hiring, gay-hating adjunct Professor who’s gutted his department and hired Christianists just of out of law school to replace the professsionals!

In other words, a "loyal Bushie" ...

Posted by: lambert strether on April 24, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

O'Reilly further claimed that he didn't "remember saying" either of the statements pointed out by Kenny " Swan

Well, if Libby used it and Gonzo used it, maybe it'll work for meeeeeeeeeeee........

Grrrrr.
I fart in O'Reilly's general direction.

Posted by: Zit on April 24, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Mommy, what will happen to all the brown noses after 2008 election?

Well, dear. They serve at the pleasure of the president.....

I wonder if any of these loyalists ever think of the future, where not everything or everyone is Republican. I wonder if they think about that future, where doing the best job they could might have taken them further than giving Bush the best job they could. Isn't he on a short calendar these days for usefulness to this particular breed of Rub-My-Back loyalists?

Posted by: Zit on April 24, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps I’m being overoptimistic, but the fact that Scott Bloch is being raked over the coals for his actions at OSC could mean that he now has to conduct a legitimate investigation in order to save his own skin.

Also, if the OSC investigation leads to a prosecution before the Merit Systems Protection Board, I’m confident that the case will be judged fairly. By statute, the Board is bipartisan, i.e., no more than two of the three members can belong to the same party. More to the point, it’s a hack-free agency. The Board does have a number of political appointees, but none of them are zealots.

Posted by: douglasfactors on April 24, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK
If, say, Congress goes to court over the EOP's missing e-mails (RNC & any others), would the OSC have any superior claim to these communications?

I'm pretty sure not, and more importantly, I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter. OSC having them doesn't prevent Congress from getting them, and vice versa, so if each has a legitimate claim to them, there is no need to consider which claim is "superior".

I mean, its not like the issue is who gets to keep the physical media, and its not like representatives of one investigating body or the other can't examine the physical media and copy any and all information from it while it remains under the physical control of the other.

I can't see any way that OSC's investigation could deny Congress access to it.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 24, 2007 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

How do we know this "special" counsel isn't just a plant to make it look like someone is investigating Lard Butt?

Posted by: Danzo on April 24, 2007 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

"We will take the evidence where it lead us...."

I don't know this Bloch individual, but he sounds just like Henry Kissinger.

Alas.

You don't have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

Posted by: Dennis on April 24, 2007 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, just had a thought:

If Karl Rove had a same sex union with Mitchell Wade, would they call themselves the Ro ve-Wades?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on April 24, 2007 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

they are covering up something that will ambarass them...sort of like the "pelican brief" theory that actually turned out to be correct and is now common knowledge but not in 03.

the whole point was to get people talking politics and religion. most people when i began my theory didn't even know who Cheney was and now the country does.

unfortunatly, if not for 9/11 most of us would not have supported a war, and since no one could touch the Prez after 9/11 someone had to beg and beg and rove was watching and used it all to shape his compaign

i'm almost possitive they blame 3333 for internet use, and deleted e-mails for that time period. Later came Kerry and the Moores, and the tv shows, etc.

better to expose them for firing attorneys than be ambarrassed that one person alone made them skirm and country is on right track and made their own decision in time...amen...fast e-mail, late, tired, just another theory. maybe 3333 is the brains behind it all, but how ironic, considering the time and where we stood in o3...powel knows more and left early. don't worry, no leaks, just dots and more dots, etc...

Posted by: eelnorn on April 26, 2007 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly