The Rove watch, or when no news is no news

Twenty-four hours. Twenty-four business hours. Twenty-four days, anyone?


Tim Grieve
May 19, 2006 6:26PM (UTC)

If folks at the White House are serious about cracking down on leaks from the CIA and elsewhere, there's somebody they ought to think about hiring: Patrick Fitzgerald.

The special prosecutor in charge of the CIA leak investigation seems awfully adept at preventing unauthorized disclosures of information, classified or otherwise. Here we are, midway through the morning of the day on which a lot of people expected to be learning of Karl Rove's indictment, and the news -- the on-the-record news, the off-the-record news, the double-secret super-background news -- is, so far as we can tell, entirely nonexistent.

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Scooter Libby's indictment was announced on a Friday back in October, and by this time on that day reporters had received a media advisory from Fitzgerald's office promising the "release of public information and [a] press conference" that afternoon. So far today? Nothing. On the morning that Libby was indicted, the New York Times was quoting sources who said that it was likely that Libby would be indicted that day, and that Karl Rove wouldn't be. So far today? Nothing, again.

The last we heard from Truthout, its editors were still standing by Jason Leopold's story -- the one that cited sources as saying that Rove has already been indicted. That story initially said that Fitzgerald told Rove's lawyers last Friday that he had "24 hours" to get his affairs in order. Then the story was changed to say "24 business hours." Then Truthout's Marc Ash said that -- notwithstanding the fact that it was in the second paragraph of Leopold's story -- "the 24 hour thing" wasn't that important at all. "That does not mean that at the end of that 24-hour period, Fitzgerald is obliged to hold a press conference and make an announcement," Ash wrote. "It just means that he has given Rove a 24-hour formal notification. Fitzgerald is not obliged to make an announcement at any point; he does so at his own discretion, and not if it compromises his case. So we're all stuck waiting here. Grab some coffee."

Ash wrote those words Wednesday, long after "24 hours" had passed and just before "24 business hours" would, too. We've all had a lot of coffee since then. As for Leopold? The last time we heard from him, he was promising to "call every vet in a 20-mile radius" around Robert Luskin's home in the hopes of disproving Luskin's claim that he was taking care of a sick cat rather than meeting with Fitzgerald last Friday.

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Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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