Truthout Explains It All (?) Posted by: Dale Franks
on Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Today was supposed to be the day that Truthout.org explained why the Karl Rove Indictment never materialized. Their explanation is...odd.
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.
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.
That leaves the most important question: If our sources maintain that a grand jury has returned an indictment - and we have pointed to a criminal case number that we are told corresponds to it - then how is it possible that Patrick Fitzgerald is reported to have said that 'he does not anticipate seeking charges against Rove at this time?' That is a very troubling question, and the truth is, we do not yet have a definitive answer. 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. Before we can assess the glaring contradiction between what our sources say and what Luskin says Fitzgerald faxed to him, we need to be able to consider what was faxed - and in its entirety.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In essence they argue that Karl Rove was indicted, but that Patrick Fitzgerald is letting him off the hook, as long as he provides the needed information to get an indictment of Vice President Cheney.
It's Cheney! Cheney is the one who's going down! Who needs Rove when you can get the Dark Lord himself!
Marc Ash argues that the sealed indictment, 06 cr 128, is, in fact, the Rove indictment, and that Fitzgerald is using that sealed indictment to force Rove to testify against Cheney.
But, as Tom Maguire points out, that's a bit hard to swallow.
The gist - in the DC circuit, cases are assigned a docket number in sequence. A sealed case will still get a number in sequence, but will be missing from the docket.
And the case on which TruthNot pins their hopes, 06 cr 128, falls between two cases assigned numbers on May 16 and May 17.
Since Rove was indicted on May 12, that does not work.
But, Truthout's story is, "We were completely right, but behind-the-scenes maneuvering is hindering the full reportage of the story. Oh, and Cheney! He's going down, because Rove will rat on him! Keep watching this space!"
I don't know when I've read anything quite this crazy — at least not for a decade or more, when far-Right versions of the far-Left Truthout maniacs were alleging that Bill Clinton had been a secret CIA agent during his time as governor of Arkansas profiting from small planes flying drugs in and out of Central America and ordering the murder of two teenage boys who saw too much at the Mena airstrip.
To be honest, I don't think Marc Ash, the editor of Truthout, actually believes what he wrote. I think he's got a marketing crisis on his hands. Truthout's website puts it this way: "The growth and success of TO can be linked directly to the support our readers have shown for the project. As many of you may know, TO is 100% reader supported. We have no corporate sponsors, no advertising, and no pop-ups. This news source depends upon its readers for its survival. Sure that can be annoying, and at times intrusive, but it's better, because we answer to you." I suspect that Truthout's aggressive "reporting" on Plamegate was a major moneymaker for Ash's operation, and Ash knows full well that a retraction of it would place the future of his website in jeopardy.
Fitzgerald won't be closing up shop for at least a year, and Ash can keep hope alive on a daily basis — and keep the money flowing from the sorts of people who will swallow almost any kind of flim flam as long as it reinforces their ideological hatreds. A lot of people on the Right made money off the Mena stuff (and other anti-Clinton stuff) in the '90s from angry nuts with checkbooks, and it's easier today with a credit card and a website like Truthout.
BREAKING: IT TURNS OUT ROVE WAS INDEED INDICTED - IT’S JUST THAT FITZGERALD WON’T TELL ANYONE, WHICH ALLOWS THAT LYING LUSKIN LIAR TO RUN AROUND TELLING LIES. BUT TRUST US, DICK CHENEY IS, LIKE, SO TOTALLY SCREWED. SERIOUSLY. AS IN, SOON KERRY SPOKESMAN DAVID WADE WILL BE TALKING ABOUT CHENEY GETTING CORNHOLED IN PRISON - THAT’S HOW SCREWED HE IS
*must credit protein wisdom*
So, the guys at TruthOut have at least another year to go before it becomes clear that Fitzgerald wont indict either Rove or Cheney. And if an indictment does appear sometime in the next year, well, then they can claim they were right all along. If not, then day of reckoning is put off, and they have plenty of time to think up a good excuse as to why their "reporting" didn't pan out. In the meantime, the money can keep coming in.
Oh, by the way, that reminds me: I have some very important news to report myself, but before I can report it, I need lots of money from you to support my reporting efforts. You need to transfer money to me directly through PayPal. My PayPal email address is dale-at-dalefranks.com. I can't tell you what this very, very important news is at the present time. But, it's, like, really important! Only your monetary donations will allow me to report this very, very important story.
Which I would love to tell you about, but I can't, because, you must give me money first. I only wish I could unveil the whole, sordid, twisted story now, but I need hefty donations from you before I can make up report this vitally important story.
Did I mention that learning about this story could change your life? Because it will! And make you lose weight, too!
No. Really. I'm serious. And I can prove it to you!
As soon as you donate enough money to allow me to continue my scam reporting efforts!
Truthout has become rather a joke in liberal circles. Even when their "Rove was indicted" story came out some weeks ago, most of us raised our eyebrows and said we’d wait for confirmation, thanks. This, I assume, will seal the website’s fate, as it well should.
So, the guys at TruthOut have at least another year to go before it becomes clear that Fitzgerald wont indict either Rove or Cheney. And if an indictment does appear sometime in the next year, well, then they can claim they were right all along. If not, then day of reckoning is put off, and they have plenty of time to think up a good excuse as to why their "reporting" didn’t pan out. In the meantime, the money can keep coming in.
I don’t think they’ll ever be able to come up with a good excuse, but if they can delay the need for any excuse for a year, they won’t need one. By then everyone will be too bored of the issue to care.