You'll never read this in the New York Times
CIA 'outing' might fall short of crimeThat's precisely right: Fitzgerald is doing his job, merely investigating if someone broke a law. Rove is not the target of the investigation, because investigators have no actual suspicion that he's guilty of anything. On the other hand, we now have strong evidence that Karl Rove named "Wilson's wife" but that it was hardly a violation of the relevant statute.
WASHINGTON — The alleged crime at the heart of a controversy that has consumed official Washington — the "outing" of a CIA officer — may not have been a crime at all under federal law, little-noticed details in a book by the agent's husband suggest.
In The Politics of Truth, former ambassador Joseph Wilson writes that he and his future wife both returned from overseas assignments in June 1997. Neither spouse, a reading of the book indicates, was again stationed overseas. They appear to have remained in Washington, D.C., where they married and became parents of twins.
Six years later, in July 2003, the name of the CIA officer — Valerie Plame — was revealed by columnist Robert Novak.
The column's date is important because the law against unmasking the identities of U.S. spies says a "covert agent" must have been on an overseas assignment "within the last five years." The assignment also must be long-term, not a short trip or temporary post, two experts on the law say. Wilson's book makes numerous references to the couple's life in Washington over the six years up to July 2003.
"Unless she was really stationed abroad sometime after their marriage," she wasn't a covert agent protected by the law, says Bruce Sanford, an attorney who helped write the 1982 act that protects covert agents' identities. [emphasis added]
The leaking of Valerie Plame's identity started a chain of events that now has the White House at the center of a political firestorm as some Democrats demand President Bush fire close aide Karl Rove. Rove discussed Plame's CIA connection with Time reporter Matthew Cooper in 2003, though without naming her, according to Rove's attorney.
Joseph Wilson would not say whether his wife was stationed overseas again after 1997, and he said she would not speak to a reporter. But, he said, "the CIA obviously believes there was reason to believe a crime had been committed" because it referred the case to the Justice Department.
Spokesmen for both the CIA and federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who is investigating whether a crime was committed, also would not comment.
Just don't tell this to the Kool Aid-imbibing liberal moonbats, who pounced on my 25-word entry. Let me be blunt: I really don't give a damn if they found that quick entry "insightful" or not, nor will I ascribe them any credibility when they can't even do me the courtesy to spell "Eidelblog" correctly. I wrote the entry in question at nearly 3 a.m. and was deliberately brief because I was headed for bed. I get up pretty early during the week because I have a serious job and do serious work. Someone has to perform earn all the tax dollars that liberals like to redistribute to themselves, right? I question how many of them generate any significant economic activity at all, besides using the power of government to spend other people's money.
How pathetically funny they are, mocking supply-siders like me, when this report shows that, well, they're full of it. Don Luskin explained why Krugman's "wrong again on the budget," especially in what federal taxes are increasing. Payroll taxes are surging. Don is absolutely right to say that higher payroll taxes imply an increase in employment levels and wages. How do liberals harmonize the increase in payroll taxes with their claims of poor job growth and wages not keeping up with inflation? They can't, because it must be one or both. But what do you expect when liberal quasi-economists like this one often don't know what they're talking about?
It's truly stupid for anyone short of God to state "full employment is 5% unemployment" as fact, let alone to allege that's what "economists believe." Claiming that an entire profession believes a disputable "fact" is one of Krugman's shadier tactics, like when he said "journalists" didn't think Paul Bremer was passionate about democratizing Iraq. "Full employment" fluctuates, and there's a lot of disagreement as to how much it is, or if it's something to worry about at all. Besides, if we're now at "full employment," defined as the level of employment where inflation is not increasing, then why was the Fed concerned about inflation when unemployment was higher? That's because there are two types of inflation: are we talking about rising prices because of supply and demand, or because of Fed monetary policy? Also, nobody can say with real certainty what "full employment" is. As Luskin pointed out, we get into a lot of trouble when a central bank targets what it decides "full employment" is.
Once upon a time, some economists thought that full employment was 6%. During the later 1990s, some wondered if it was down to 4.5% or possibly 4%. I myself maintain that we're better off looking at the underlying statistics behind "full employment," instead of worrying about a meaningless yardstick of our employment being at (one measure of) "equilibrium." The later 1970s, with both high unemployment and inflation, had lower "full employment" than during the dotcom boom. In turn, "full employment" is lower today than during the late 1990s. We need to stop wasting energy worrying that inflation will increase if we have too much employment, and instead focus on low tax rates so businesses have a reason to add jobs.
Regarding something that that Stewart fellow wrote: perhaps this will be simple enough for liberals to understand. If problems with calculating unemployment mean that it's actually 1% higher than officially reported, then the same applies for the "economic miracle" Clinton years. It's only fair, since we used the same formulas then as now. So even if unemployment is calculated too low, for whatever reason, it doesn't mean our current economic expansion (we're long past the recovery stage) isn't so. It's all relative.