"Subpoenas issued last month to reporters for The San Francisco Chronicle were criticized yesterday by a former chief spokesman for Attorney General John Ashcroft as a "reckless abuse of power."funny. Tom Maguire:
The former spokesman, Mark Corallo, made similar statements in an affidavit filed in federal court yesterday. He said Mr. Ashcroft's successor, Alberto R. Gonzales, had acted improperly in issuing the subpoenas.
"This is the most reckless abuse of power I have seen in years," Mr. Corallo said in an interview. "They really should be ashamed of themselves."
Mr. Corallo said..."It has to be a matter of grave national security or impending physical harm to innocent people," he said, "not just, well, this is the only way we're going to be able to get this information.""
"Someone ought to ask him whether he thinks the Valerie Plame case counts as a matter of "grave" national security - there are certainly plenty of reasons to think it does not.funny, for different reason.
And if it does not, then might Rove and Libby have presumed that Ashcroft would not be issuing subpoenas to reporters? One might wonder if they were calculating that, absent reporter's testimony, the case would just drift away.
Now, there is an obvious circularity to this argument - *IF* the national security implications were not significant, then why bother with a cover-up at all? Well, the avoidance of political embarrassment would be the obvious motive.
"Of course, you don't need to take a position on whether in fact the Plame leak was a matter of grave national security to appreciate Tom's point. All you need to ask - and the question almost answers itself - is whether the Republicans in the Justice Department at the time considered this a matter of grave national security, and whether Rove and Libby would have had a sense of where they stood on this. Troubling indeed."