Friday, November 04, 2005

Special Counsel

I saw this column by Cal Thomas in today's Knoxville News Sentinel (their version not on the web). He makes a novel argument against Patrick Fitzgerald:

Now comes a different independent counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald. In the run-up to Friday's announcement of a five-count indictment against Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, for obstruction of justice, perjury and false statements, we get from the big media that Fitzgerald is an apolitical straight-shooter who is the definition of integrity. Translation: Everything he alleges about Libby must be true.
Since the Independent Counsel Law was birthed in 1978 in response to the Watergate scandal, there have been scores of investigations, but few convictions of those indicted. It has cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Most of those indicted were either acquitted, won appeals judgments, plea-bargained to lesser charges, or were pardoned by the presidents they served . . .

Enough Democrats and Republicans have been forced to run this gauntlet that perhaps a truly bipartisan solution can be found to end it. That Libby's indictments are not about policy, but about who remembers what and when, ought to be the final straw in this ridiculous process.

Perhaps Thomas has been in a coma for several years -- that would explain alot -- but the Independent counsel law actually expired in 1999. He also is in error in claiming that Ken Starr was appointed by Janet Reno. Such counsels were appointed by a panel of judges. On the other hand, Patrick Fitzgerald is a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department.

Cal Thomas gets one thing right -- it is all a matter of who's ox is being gored. "During the Clinton presidency, Democrat partisans James Carville and Paul Begala slandered Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr as a sex maniac with a political agenda . . ." I'm sure that anyone willing to do the tedious research will discover that Thomas and others on the right denounced the investigations of the Reagan administration while they generally cheered those of the Clintons; and that the Democrats did the reverse.

No comments: