On Friday, we commented on Marc Ash's Truthout post regarding how they were "standing down" from their previous reporting that Karl Rove had been indicted on May 13th. An excerpt from that post:
"Because, you know.... at some point, we just start to look stoooopid". At least, that's my translation of this post from Marc Ash at the soon to be defunct "TruthOut.org". (How long can a blog go on when it refuses to admit that it was wrong and/or lied to and won't correct the record?)Well apparently pretty long. As Marc teased in his Friday article, a "more comprehensive accounting of this matter" was to appear on Monday, May 19th.
Well last night at 6:59:47 [hey thats still a "business" hour on the West coast -ed], it arrived.
It starts out with a rather ominous tone, but they take a useful step in at least giving a hint as to their sources for their information:
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.Got that? It's their report, to their readership. Isn't that the definition of any article by any definition? Or is Truthout trying to say with that sentence, that if you don't like how they report something, too bad.
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."So that means no answer. No comment does not mean, "no comment with a wink".
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.Or the alternative is that you didn't out anything and were fed a load of bull. Which you swallowed hook, line and sinker.
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.Premature? Ahead of the news cycle again are we?
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.06 cr 128 could be related to non-Karl Rove matters as well, since its sealed, you don't know what it says or what it involves. Fake but accurate does not rule the day. The fact that a sealed case exists, does NOT mean that it backs up your case. No matter how much you "point" to it.
And your sources, continuing to maintain their load of bull, does not indicate that you have more key facts. That's the same logic that Dan Rather used.
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.How about, Luskin has no reason to lie, and in fact has every reason to tell the truth since his client is reportedly (according to you) a target of this investigation.
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.Well, duh. Of course he doesn't have to issue a press conference telling you who he did or didn't indict. In his Libby indictment press conference he even said as much (emphasis mine):
QUESTION: I think you, kind of, answered this but I assume that you have no plans and don't even think you'd be allowed to issue a final report of any sort. FITZGERALD: You're correct. But let me explain that. I think what people may be confused about is that reports used to be issued by independent counsels. And one of the complaints about the independent counsel statute was that an ordinary citizen, when investigated, they're charged with a crime or they're not; they're not charged with a crime, people don't talk about it. Because of the interest in making sure that -- well, there's an interest in independent counsels to making sure those investigations were done thoroughly but then people ended up issuing reports for people not charged. And one of the criticisms leveled was that you should not issue reports about people who are not charged with a crime. That statute lapsed. I'm not an independent counsel, and I do not have the authority to write a report, and, frankly, I don't think I should have that authority. I think we should conduct this like any other criminal investigation: charge someone or be quiet.
Continuing with Truthout:
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.Twice? This is the first I've noticed that negotiations happened twice. Was this another marathon 14 hour session at a "locked down" Patton Boggs? Or was it something else?
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.Those concessions being what? Come on, do some real reporting! What did Karl Rove promise to do? Flip on Cheney? Or something simpler like not discuss the ineptitude of Fitzgerald's Grand Jury questions.
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.
Or your sources could be lying to you again. Not sure what Karl Rove could provide in the way of documentation of Cheney's involvement, since it seems that thats already been documented with the "notes in the margin" document, that the left seems to think is grounds for impeachment.
Face it, you have more story, but not any new facts. And your sources very well could be pushing their own spin in order to tarnish someone who as we now know, does not face any criminal charges.
See JustOneMinute as well, here and here