Siegelman: Another Political Prisoner

Interesting story from 60 Minutes.
Did Ex-Alabama Governor Get A Raw Deal?

This one sounds bad for Rove. I bet the Democrats really write a stern letter to Bush about this one.

Wow. It WILL be interesting to watch. We know for fact that the administration plays unfair prosecutorial games, firing all the prosecutors that it felt weren’t pushing the administration’s positions. But these allegations are outrageous – launching a witchhunt against hte guy just because he’s a promising democrat and getting him imprisoned for 7 years based on unfair procedures, false evidence, etc. Wow.

[quote]Republican lawyer from Alabama, Jill Simpson, has come forward to claim that the Siegelman prosecution was part of a five-year secret campaign to ruin the governor. Simpson told 60 Minutes she did what’s called “opposition research” for the Republican party. She says during a meeting in 2001, Karl Rove, President Bush’s senior political advisor, asked her to try to catch Siegelman cheating on his wife.

“Karl Rove asked you to take pictures of Siegelman?” Pelley asks.

“Yes,” Simpson replies.

“In a compromising, sexual position with one of his aides,” Pelley clarifies.

“Yes, if I could,” Simpson says.

She says she spied on Siegelman for months but saw nothing. Even though she was working as a Republican campaign operative, Simpson says she wanted to talk to 60 Minutes because Siegelman’s prison sentence bothers her conscience.[/quote]

[quote]Two years later, as Siegelman geared up to run again, the Justice Department took one of its Siegelman investigations to trial-an indictment involving an alleged Medicaid scam.

“He’s indicted. He goes to trial. That’s a pretty big deal to have your former governor on trial. Everybody’s there. The government gives their opening argument. The judge says, ‘I want to see you in chambers because this case, there’s no case here,’" Grant Woods says.

Woods says the judge threw the case out, without a witness testifying. “The case is so lame that he throws it out,” he says. [/quote]

[quote]prosecutors zeroed in on that vivid story told by Siegelman’s aide, Nick Bailey, who said he saw the governor with a check in his hand after meeting Richard Scrushy. Trouble was, Bailey was wrong about the check, and Siegelman’s lawyer says prosecutors knew it.

“They got a copy of the check. And the check was cut days after that meeting. There was no way possible for Siegelman to have walked out of that meeting with a check in his hand,” Jones explains. [/quote]

[quote]Grant Woods, the former attorney general of Arizona, says the case should never have gone to trial. “The prosecutor’s gotta look at it and say, ‘Hey, is this the sort of thing that we’re really talking about when we’re talking about bribery?’ Because what the public needs to know here is there is no allegation that Don Siegelman ever put one penny in his pocket,” he says.

Richard Scrushy did make donations totaling $500,000 to that education lottery campaign, and after serving on the hospital board under three previous governors, Scrushy was re-appointed by Siegelman.

But Woods says that’s politics, not bribery. “You do a bribery when someone has a real personal benefit. Not, ‘Hey, I would like for you to help out on this project which I think is good for my state.’ If you’re going to start indicting people and putting them in prison for that, then you might as well just build nine or ten new federal prisons because that happens everyday in every statehouse, in every city council, and in the Congress of the United States,” [/quote]

[quote]After two months, the jury deadlocked twice, then, voted to convict on its third deliberation. Many legal minds were shocked when federal judge Mark Fuller, at sentencing, sent Siegelman directly to prison without allowing the usual 45 days before reporting.

“He had him manacled around his legs like we do with crazed killers. And whisked off to prison just like that. Now what does that tell you? That tells you that this was personal. You would not do that to a former governor,” Woods says.

“Would you do that to any white collar criminal?” Pelley asks.

“No, I haven’t seen it done,” Woods says. [/quote]

I hope they vindicate the Guv and finally send that Rove bastard to jail.

WTF is going on down there in Gumpland?

[quote]In 1955, when WLBT-TV, the NBC affiliate in Jackson, Miss., did not want to run a network report about racial desegregation, it famously hung up the sign: “Sorry, Cable Trouble.” Audiences in northern Alabama might have suspected the same tactics when WHNT-TV, the CBS affiliate, went dark Sunday evening during a “60 minutes” segment that strongly suggested that Don Siegelman, Alabama’s former Democratic governor, was wrongly convicted of corruption last year.

The report presented new evidence that the charges against Mr. Siegelman may have been concocted by politically motivated Republican prosecutors - and orchestrated by Karl Rove. Unfortunately, WHNT had “technical problems” that prevented it from broadcasting a segment (the problems were resolved in time for the next part of the show) that many residents of Alabama would no doubt have found quite interesting.

After initially blaming the glitch on CBS in New York, the affiliate said it learned “upon investigation,” and following a rebuke from the network, that “the problem was on our end.” It re-broadcast the segment at 10 p.m., pitting it against the Academy Awards on rival ABC, before Daniel Day-Lewis won the best actor Oscar. As public criticism grew, it ran it again at 6 p.m. on Monday.

Stan Pylant, WHNT's president and general manager, assured viewers that "there was no intent whatsoever to keep anyone from seeing the broadcast."

WHNT is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners, a private equity firm whose lead investor is one of the Bass brothers of Texas. The brothers are former business partners of George W. Bush and generous contributors to Republican causes.


These 'bama boys and girls would make the Dear Leader proud. :America: :unamused:

After doing so me further reading on this it appears to be something that may well bite a number of people in their wallet and career.
Bad situation for the participants.

Good analysis here:

CBS: More Prosecutorial Misconduct in Siegelman Case

Not a quick read and it does contain a video of the missing part of the broadcast.
from the article:

“The broadcaster is Channel 19 WHNT, which serves Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee. This station was noteworthy for its hostility to Siegelman and support for his Republican adversary. The station ran a trailer stating “We apologize that you missed the first segment of 60 Minutes tonight featuring ‘The Prosecution of Don Siegelman.’ It was a techincal problem with CBS out of New York.” I contacted CBS News in New York and was told that “There were no transmission difficulties. The problems were peculiar to Channel 19, which had the signal and had functioning transmitters.” Channel 19 is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners, who can be contacted through Rhonda Barnat, 212-371-5999 or Oak Hill Partners represents interests of the Bass family, which contribute heavily to the Republican Party. Viewers displeased about the channel’s decision to censor the broadcast should express their views directly to the station management or to the owners.”

Why do the lurid details of this case not surprise me one bit?

[quote=“Chris”]Why do the lurid details of this case not surprise me one bit?[/quote]“lurid”…?
Whats ‘lurid’ here?
No sex, no animals…no cross-dressing or battery-enabled devices mentioned.
Being bit mello-dramatical there.

[quote=“TainanCowboy”][quote=“Chris”]Why do the lurid details of this case not surprise me one bit?[/quote]“lurid”…?
Whats ‘lurid’ here?
No sex, no animals…no cross-dressing or battery-enabled devices mentioned.
Being bit mello-dramatical there.[/quote]

A outright conspiracy to do anything to get Siegelman in jail just because he’s a Democrat?

Rove’s request of a GOP operative to watch Siegelman and photograph him should he be in a compromising position with an intern?

Now, under Bush, America has achieved yet another similarity with the Communists the GOP supposedly hate (but keep trying to emulate): having political prisoners.

I look forward to further investigation of this matter.
Until it is more fully detailed any comment is speculatory.
If laws have been broken, legal proceedings will be made public. This appears to be a fairly complex issue.

Like the ones that put Siegelman in jail in the first place? I’ve already written to my congressional delegation requesting a full inquiry into this matter as I have little confidence that the Justice Department will investigate thoroughly on its own.

I don’t believe Chris is being “mello-dramatic” at all. These allegations against the US attorneys involved are shocking. If true, those bastards should be put into the exact same cell that Siegelman is released from. :fume:

I’m not following this at all, but I did see this article this morning:

[url=]Actually, every single person whose name Simpson invokes as she spins her stories says that she is either lying or deluded. Even Don Siegelman. Simpson says that she signed her affidavit after repeated urging by Siegelman, whom she spoke with several times on the telephone. Untrue, says Siegelman. As the Justice Department wrote in a letter to John Conyers’ Judiciary Committee:

The alleged conversation described by Ms. Simpson has been denied by all of the alleged participants except Ms. Simpson. Indeed, even Mr. Siegelman states that Ms. Simpson’s affidavit is false as it relates to him. Moreover, according to Ms. Simpson, she met with Mr. Siegelman and his co-defendant Richard Scrushy for several months before signing the statement at their urging. She also claims to have provided legal advice to them. She contends she drafted but did not sign a motion filed by Mr. Scrushy seekung to have the federal judge removed from the case.

All of which is sheer madness. There are only two alternatives: either Ms. Simpson is a liar (or perhaps insane), or else every other person with knowledge of her allegations, including a former Alabama Supreme Court Justice and Don Siegelman himself, is lying. Yet CBS offered Ms. Simpson as a credible witness without disclosing these basic facts.[/url]


That Simpson lady sounds like a real hick. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) But even if you take her out of the equation, there are a lot of questions to answer.

Out on bail, but this story ain’t over yet.

[quote]Former Governor Don Siegelman of Alabama, released from prison today on bond in a bribery case, said he was as convinced as ever that politics played a leading role in his prosecution.

In a telephone interview shortly after he walked out of a federal prison in Oakdale, La., Mr. Siegelman said there had been “abuse of power” in his case, and repeatedly cited the influence of Karl Rove, the former White House political director.

“His fingerprints are smeared all over the case,” Mr. Siegelman said, a day after a federal appeals court ordered him released on bond and said there were legitimate questions about his case.

Mr. Rove has strenuously denied any involvement in the conviction of the former governor, who was sentenced to serve seven years last June after being convicted in 2006. He could not immediately be reached for comment today.

Mr. Siegelman served nine months while his lawyers appealed a federal judge’s refusal to release him on bond, pending the ex-governor’s appeal of his conviction. That refusal was overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Thursday.

The former governor, a Democrat, said he would “press” to have Mr. Rove answer questions about his possible involvement in the case before Congress, which has already held a hearing on Mr. Siegelman. On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee signaled its intention to have Mr. Siegelman testify about the nature of his prosecution.

In June of 2006 he was convicted by a federal jury here of taking $500,000 from Richard M. Scrushy, the former chief executive of the HealthSouth corporation, in exchange for an appointment to the state hospital licensing board. The money was to retire a debt from Mr. Siegelman’s campaign for a state lottery to pay for schools, and the ex-governor’s lawyers have insisted that it was no more than a routine political contribution.

On the telephone outside the prison today, Mr. Siegelman said he had confidence that the federal appeals court, which will now consider his larger appeal, would agree with his view of the case — that he was convicted for a transaction that regularly takes place in American politics.

Otherwise, Mr. Siegelman said, “every governor and every president and every contributor might as well turn themselves in, because it’s going to be open season on them.” . . . .[/quote] … ref=slogin

Funnily enough, on that very same day Attorney-General Mukasey was saying this:\

Like the 11th Circuit?

Waiting with bated breath for his fearless impartial investigation of Turdblossom.

A long-awaited, by some, answer to this affair by Karl “The Magnificent Bastard” Rove:
(a bit long, but quite a good read)

[quote]Karl Rove Responds
April 18, 2008

We wrote here about 60 Minutes’ disgraceful hit-job on Karl Rove, in which the program accused Rove of masterminding the criminal prosecution of an Alabama politician. The program was based entirely on wild and uncorroborated claims of a widespread conspiracy by an evidently unbalanced Alabama woman, who said–with no supporting evidence whatsoever–that she had been Rove’s secret agent in Alabama. We followed up here and here.

Subsequently, MSNBC repeated CBS’s slur by republishing the same outrageous claims by the same woman, Jill Simpson. On April 13, Karl Rove wrote this letter to MSNBC’s Dan Abrams:

Dear Mr. Abrams:

On April 7th, you again devoted a substantial part of your show to the claim of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman that I was behind his prosecution. Your continued coverage of this issue raises questions about your journalistic standards and those of MSNBC and NBC. During your broadcast, Mr. Siegelman referred to Ms. Dana Jill Simpson as a “respected Republican political operative,” a reference it seems you accept because of the frequent attention you give her in your broadcasts.

Have you, during your coverage of Ms. Simpson, ever actually looked into her claims? For example, have you ever asked her what campaigns she worked as “an operative” with me?

And if so, did you check out what she said by calling the candidates who were my clients or their campaign managers to ask if she was involved in those campaigns? Did you review campaign expenditure reports to see if her name appeared as a paid operative? Or did you check with the DeKalb County Republican chairman or activists (such as the Moore campaign chairman, an effort she told the Judiciary Committee she was active in) to see if she really was a “respected Republican political operative?”

Did you inquire when it was that I first asked her to undertake unnamed campaign tasks, as she alleged happened in the years before 2001? And did you try to ascertain whether she was telling the truth about those requests?

Did you inquire when and where her supposed 2001 meeting with me took place at which she was asked to follow Siegelman and photograph him? If so, did you make any effort to see if she could document her claim?

And if you were personally convinced by her answers that there was a good likelihood of such a meeting, did you try to figure out if there was any way that I was likely to have been available for such a meeting? Or is it merely enough for her to assert for you to repeat?

Didn’t it strike you as foolish for me to ask someone with no particular experience to undertake a task requiring adroit surveillance and shadowing skills, a mission with such potential to blow up in everyone’s faces?

Then consider Ms. Simpson’s September 14, 2007 interview with the House Judiciary Committee that followed an earlier extensive interview by a Democratic committee lawyer. Did it not bother you Ms. Simpson failed to mention the claim she made to CBS for their February 24, 2008 story that you then repeated on February 25th? After all, wouldn’t that be something Congressman John Conyer’s people would find interesting?

Don’t you find it odd that in 143 pages of testimony in September she said nothing about having worked with me in campaigns, nothing about being asked by me to undertake various tasks, nothing about my supposedly having asked her to follow Governor Siegelman and photograph him in a compromising position, nothing about having had meetings with me? In fact, she never says she knows me or has met me. Don’t you find that odd? Or were these considerations that got lost as you attempted to catch-up with CBS on the story? Did the pressure of competition lead you to discard tough questions and sober reflection?

In fact, did you even read the transcript of Dana Jill Simpson’s testimony? Did you try to ascertain if there was any evidence that would lead a reasonable person to believe the claims she made to the Judiciary Committee staff about Don Siegelman, Terry Butts, Judge Fuller and others were likely to be accurate? Did it matter to you that following the release of her interview, as one observer has written, that “every single person whose name Simpson invokes as she spins her stories says that she is either lying or deluded?” Are you aware that the list of people denying her claims includes Don Siegelman, whom she claims repeatedly urged her to provide her original affidavit?

Did you try to discover whether there was any evidence she did in fact shadow Don Siegelman? Did you ask for travel records, itineraries, or expense reports that showed Ms. Simpson’s travel from Northeastern Alabama matched up with the Governor’s schedule?

Did you ever consider that the Governor’s security detail might have taken note of an ample-sized, redheaded woman who kept showing up at his events with a camera? Did you talk with the Alabama Department of Public Safety?

In fact, did you ever ask her how she attempted to find him in a compromising position? Was it her practice to follow him from his events and shadow him late at night when he was on the road? Peek through hotel windows? Hang out down the hallway from his hotel room? Were you satisfied she actually did what she was supposedly asked to do?

In your February 25th broadcast, she said she had phone records of calls to “Virginia and Washington” that corroborate her charges. Have you made an effort to review those records and ascertain what they point to? Since I lived and worked in Washington, D.C. in 2001, I can’t imagine what her cryptic reference to Virginia could mean. The Bush/Cheney transition office (where I was rarely, working instead in Austin) was in Virginia until late 2000, before the transition was moved to a government building near the White House before year’s end. But what number and who was she calling in Virginia (presumably) later in 2001 when she was being asked to shadow Siegelman? And what were those Washington numbers? Did you ask her? Or was it good enough for you that she said had them so you were content to let the matter drop?

In fact, what did you do to ascertain if anything she told you and that you repeated or relied upon was accurate? Or is it good enough for you to simply repeat her charges without examining them personally to satisfy yourself that she is – and has done – what she says she did?

Does it bother you that your coverage asserts, as Governor Siegelman summarized it in his April 7th appearance on your program, that he is the victim of a vast conspiracy involving two U.S. Attorneys, the Alabama Attorney General, unnamed career officials in the Public Integrity Unit at the U.S. Justice Department, unnamed higher-ups in the Justice Department and, oh yes, Karl Rove and that there is not a single piece of paper, not a single email, not a single conversation, not a single disgruntled career employee who’s came forward, not one credible witness to the workings of the conspiracy?

And do you really believe such a scheme could be operated so efficiently and effectively that it would manipulate the career prosecutor who brought the case so that he did not understand he was doing the bidding of this vast conspiracy? And that the FBI agents who conducted the investigation could similarly be so easily and subtly subverted?

In fact, it seems you believe that the absence of any concrete evidence is itself evidence of the conspiracy. If you don’t have any proof Karl Rove did it, that absence is proof enough. I am that good.

And is it your habit not to challenge a guest, as long as he is following your chosen theme for the night? For example, let’s take your December 13, 2007 broadcast.

Scott Horton said “We don’t have all the links in place but we do know that certainly beginning from 2002, Karl Rove out of the White House was deeply involved in the election of Rob [sic] Riley, structuring it, raising money for it, putting together a strategy for it. A part of that strategy involved the criminal justice system nailing charges, landing charging [sic] on Siegelman on some sort. As we know that it involved at some point, consultation with the Justice Department and also two U.S. Attorneys in Alabama…”

Just how does Mr. Horton know all this “certainly”? Did you ask him what proof he had that I was deeply involved in Congressman Riley’s gubernatorial bid? What evidence does he have that I structured it, raised money for it, put together a strategy for it? What evidence does he have that “my” strategy included indicting Siegelman? With whom and when did I consult with the Justice Department about this “strategy?” When did I consult with the two U.S. Attorneys in Alabama about it? He said, “we do know that certainly” this all happened. If you consider yourself a journalist or even a lawyer, wouldn’t this be the point where you should have asked Mr. Horton, how do you know that, what evidence do you have?

What about you? Did you review campaign spending and news report to identify the Riley campaign consultants or ad team and call them to see if I played a role? Did you do some sleuthing of your own, phoning Republicans in Alabama who might have been in a position to know? Did you call any major donors to Congressman Riley’s gubernatorial bid and ask if they were contacted by me and encouraged to give money? Did you talk with your colleagues in NBC covering the White House and ask them how credible the argument might be that I was serving as the political consultant and campaign manager of a candidate for Governor of Alabama in 2002 while also serving as Senior Advisor to the President of the United States? Or because Mr. Horton’s assertions fit your story line for the night, did you think he didn’t need to prove anything he claimed and you didn’t need to do any work?

As a matter of fact, I had other things to occupy my time in the White House in 2002 rather than “structuring” a campaign for an Alabama gubernatorial candidate, calling people to raise money for his race, and going through the arduous task of “putting together a strategy.” And I certainly didn’t meet with anyone at the Justice Department or either of the two U.S. Attorneys in Alabama about investigating or indicting Siegelman. My involvement in the campaign was to approve a request that the President appear at a Riley campaign fundraising event, one of several score fundraising events the President did that election cycle.

It boils down to this: as a journalist, do you feel you have a responsibility to dig into the claims made by your guests, seek out evidence and come to a professional judgment as to the real facts? Or do you feel if a charge is breathtaking enough, thoroughly checking it out isn’t a necessity?

I know you might be concerned that asking these questions could restrict your ability to make sensational charges on the air, but don’t you think you have a responsibility to provide even a shred of supporting evidence before sullying the journalistic reputations of MSNBC and NBC?

People used to believe journalists were searching for the truth. But your cable show increasingly seems to be focused on wishful thinking, hoping something is one way and diminishing the search for facts and evidence in favor of repeating your fondest desires. For example, while you do ask Siegelman what evidence he had to back up his charges, you did not press him when he said "We don't have the knife with Karl Rove's fingerprints all over it, but we've got the glove, and the glove fits."

The difficulty with your approach is you reduced yourself to the guy in the bar who repeats what the fellow next to him says – “The glove fits! The glove fits!” - only louder, because it suits your pre-selected story line ("Bush Justice") and you don’t want the facts to get in the way of a good fable. You have relinquished the central responsibility of an investigative reporter, namely to press everyone in order to get to the facts. You didn’t subject the statements of others to skeptical and independent review. You have chosen instead to simply repeat something someone else says because it agrees with the theme line your producers slapped on your segment, created the nifty graphic for and promoted in the ads before your appearances.


Karl Rove

The depth to which “mainstream” journalism has sunk is appalling. I’m honored to say, by the way, that the “observer” Rove quotes in his letter was me.

Some very good questions that were never asked.

Anybody seen G. Gordon Libby around lately?

[quote]In two states where US attorneys are already under fire for serious allegations of political prosecutions, seven people associated with three federal cases have experienced 10 suspicious incidents including break-ins and arson.

These crimes raise serious questions about possible use of deliberate intimidation tactics not only because of who the victims are and the already wide criticism of the prosecutions to begin with, but also because of the suspicious nature of each incident individually as well as the pattern collectively. Typically burglars do not break-into an office or private residence only to rummage through documents, for example, as is the case with most of the burglaries in these two federal cases.

In Alabama, for instance, the home of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman was burglarized twice during the period of his first indictment. Nothing of value was taken, however, and according to the Siegelman family, the only items of interest to the burglars were the files in Siegelman’s home office.

Siegelman’s attorney experienced the same type of break-in at her office.

In neighboring Mississippi, a case brought against a trial lawyer and three judges raises even more disturbing questions. Of the four individuals in the same case, three of the US Attorney’s targets were the victims of crimes during their indictment or trial. This case, like that of Governor Siegelman, has been widely criticized as a politically motivated prosecution by a Bush US Attorney.

The main target of the indictment, attorney Paul Minor, had his office broken into, while Mississippi Supreme Court Justice, Oliver E. Diaz Jr., had his home burglarized. According to police reports and statements from Diaz and from individuals close to Minor, nothing of value was taken and the burglars only rummaged through documents and in Minor’s case, also took a single computer from an office full of expensive office equipment.

The incidents are not limited to burglaries. In Mississippi, former Judge John Whitfield was the victim of arson at his office. In Alabama, the whistleblower in the Don Siegelman case, Dana Jill Simpson, had her home burned down, and shortly thereafter her car was allegedly forced off the road.[/quote] … epartment_

Bush’s man at the OSC (Office of Special Coverup) got his house raided by the FBI (Federal Bush Investigators).

Memo Shows Frustration With Special Counsel
He closed the Siegelman investigation.

[quote]But on Oct. 11, OSC chief Scott J. Bloch ordered the case file be closed immediately, saying that he had not authorized it, seven career employees wrote in an internal draft memo made public last week.
“After concerns are expressed that OSC simply cannot close a file without conducting an investigation into theses [sic] allegations, the TF [task force] is directed to not further investigate this case and to wait for further instructions from the Special Counsel,” the employees wrote in the document dated Jan. 18.[/quote]

They took the man’s flash drives.

F.B.I. Raids Office of Special Counsel

Rove refuses call to testify under oath

The last time Karl put his hand on a bible, it burst into flames.

“My gung fu is strong!”

Some follow-up on Jill Simpson and the Don Siegelman debacle…author poses some of Karl Roves questions…look at the answers.

[quote]A Conspiracy So Lunatic…Only 60 Minutes could fall for it.
by John H. Hinderaker,
05/26/2008, Volume 013, Issue 35

Jill Simpson is an unusual woman. A lawyer, she has scratched out an uncertain living in DeKalb County, Alabama. Fellow DeKalb County lawyers describe her as “a very strange person” who “lives in her own world.” The daughter of rabid Democrats, she has rarely if ever been known to participate in politics as even a low-level volunteer. Yet today, she is a minor celebrity who is unvaryingly described in the press as a “Republican operative.” Those who know her in DeKalb County scoff at the idea that she is a Republican at all.

Recently, Simpson’s house and law office were on the auction block. Rumor has it that she is leaving DeKalb County for good and heading for the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Jill Simpson, who barely got by in Alabama, is now toasted by the national Democratic party and featured on network and cable news. All this because she has testified–without a shred of supporting evidence–to a conspiracy so vast as to be not just implausible, but ridiculous.

Simpson claims to have participated in a phone conversation with several Alabama Republicans in which she was made privy to a plot involving the Republican governor of Alabama, Bob Riley, a former justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, a federal judge, two United States attorneys, several assistant United States attorneys, the Air Force, and, apparently 12 jurors, to “railroad” former governor Don Siegelman into his 2006 conviction for bribery and mail fraud. Every person whose name Simpson has invoked has labeled her story
a fantasy, including Siegelman; she claimed to have played a key role both in his giving up his unsuccessful contest of the 2002 gubernatorial election and in his defense of the criminal charges against him.

Normally one might expect a person of uncertain mental health who alleged such a comprehensive conspiracy to be ushered quietly offstage. Instead, in late February, CBS’s 60 Minutes gave her a starring role. This can be explained only by the fact that Simpson included in her fable, as she related it to CBS, a final conspirator: Karl Rove, who, according to Simpson, orchestrated the plot against Siegelman.

In her 60 Minutes interview, Simpson claimed to have been Rove’s secret agent in Alabama. She said that during Siegelman’s term as governor of Alabama, Rove had asked her to follow Siegelman around and try to get photographs of him “in a compromising sexual position” with one of his aides. This led to one of the great moments in recent broadcast history:

60 Minutes's Scott Pelley: Were you surprised that Rove made this request?
Simpson: No.
Pelley: Why not?
Simpson: I had had other requests for intelligence before.
Pelley: From Karl Rove?
Simpson: Yes.

Pelley was at a crossroads: He knew that either (1) he was on the verge of uncovering a whole series of Rovian plots, the stuff of which Pulitzers are made, or (2) he was talking to a lunatic. Intuiting, no doubt, which way the conversation was likely to go, Pelley discreetly chose not to inquire further.

Simpson can offer no evidence that she has ever spoken to or met Karl Rove. Moreover, when she told her story of the alleged conspiracy against Don Siegelman to John Conyers’s House Judiciary Committee staff, she said that she heard references to someone named “Carl” in the aforementioned telephone conversation–she made the natural inference that this must be Karl Rove–but never offered the blockbuster claim that Rove himself had recruited her to spy on Siegelman. Neither in the affidavit that she submitted to the committee, nor in 143 pages of sworn testimony that she gave to the committee’s staff, did she ever claim to have met Karl Rove, spoken to Karl Rove, or carried out any secret spy missions on his behalf, even though the whole point of her testimony was to try to spin out a plot against Siegelman that was ostensibly led by someone named “Carl.”

60 Minutes chose to highlight Simpson’s claim that she was Rove’s secret agent without telling its viewers that this sensational allegation had been altogether absent from her sworn accounts. Subsequently, MSNBC’s Dan Abrams invited Simpson to repeat her slur against Rove. This prompted Rove to write to Abrams, posing a series of questions about whether Abrams had used elementary journalistic methods to check the accuracy of Simpson’s account.

Rove’s letter drew a response from Abrams:

[Y]ou wrote, "Did it not bother you Ms. Simpson failed to mention [in her sworn statement to House Judiciary Committee staff] the claim she made to CBS for their Feb. 24, 2008 story, that you then repeated on Feb. 25th?"

Fair question. Which is why I asked her the following on Feb. 25, 2008: ABRAMS: And why have you never mentioned before the allegations of Rove and the pictures?  .  .  .

SIMPSON: Well, let me explain something to you. I talked to congressional investigators, Dan. And when I talked to those congressional investigators I told them that I had followed Don Siegelman and tried to get pictures of him cheating on his wife.

However, they suggested to me that that was not relevant because there was nothing illegal about that and they'd just prefer that not come up at the hearing that day.

[b]Put aside the fact that before she was interviewed by House Democratic staffers, Simpson submitted an affidavit on the alleged conspiracy. In her affidavit, she did not claim that she had ever met Rove, let alone been
his secret agent in Alabama. What MSNBC found plausible was Simpson’s suggestion that House Democratic staffers got their hands on the story that Karl Rove had tried to get compromising photographs of the governor of Alabama and they hushed it up! The credulity of modern journalists apparently knows no bounds.

Simpson’s story is unbelievable and contradictory on so many levels that it cannot bear a moment’s inspection. (Wholly unexplained, for example, is why, if Rove or anyone else wanted to spy on the governor of Alabama, he would assign the task to a conspicuously large redhead with no experience as an investigator and no ties to the Republican party, rather than hire a professional investigator.) But that has not prevented her from being hailed as a hero by the Democratic party. Citing her testimony, John Conyers has threatened to subpoena Karl Rove to testify before his committee. Siegelman himself has called her a “great American,” while simultaneously acknowledging that her story, insofar as it claims a relationship with him, is false.[/b]

Siegelman’s embrace of Simpson is understandable. He is facing seven years in a federal prison; any port in a storm. But what explains CBS’s and MSNBC’s decision to peddle her fable?

Karl Rove has become the man who cannot be libeled. Any story that includes his name is treated as self-authenticating, requiring neither supporting evidence nor the barest plausibility. Having committed the unforgivable sin of contributing to two successful Republican presidential campaigns, Rove has become, for American media, the equivalent of an outlaw, possessing no rights that must be respected.

John H. Hinderaker is a contributor to the blog Power Line and a contributing writer to The Daily Standard.
The Weekly Standard[/quote]

Thanks to the OP for starting a very interesting thread… :bravo:

Mr. Rove has left the country
He might come back some day. What’s the statute of limitations on this? Is he house hunting for Bush and Cheney?