Sunday, November 06, 2005

Thomas Sowell flip-flops

I saw Thomas Sowell's column in today's Rocky editorial page in the Denver Post. Sowell does his best to characterize the efforts of Patrick Fitzgerald to get to the bottom of the Plame-gate scandals as a "fishing" trip.

Sowell tries to advance the two main spin points of the White House damage control effort. One is that special prosecutors can't be trusted. The other is that even though someone in the White House clearly violated the Espionage Act and revealed the identity of a clandestine CIA agent, no crime was committed.
What really needs serious re-examination are laws under which special prosecutors are issued unlimited fishing licenses to go see if they can trip someone up on inconsistencies in their statements about something that was not even a crime in the first place.
Of course, let's remember what Sowell said back in October, 1998 when Ken Starr was chasing Bill Clinton:
When Clinton lied, was Starr supposed to let it go at that or was he supposed to start collecting evidence to the contrary? And when Clinton tried to stop him from getting evidence and testimony that contradicted the lies, was Starr supposed to roll over and play dead or go into court and start issuing subpoenas?
Gee, that seems a bit inconsistent with what he says today -- a flip-flop, if you will. Of course, we should also remember that Starr's original official purpose was supposed to be about investigating Whitewater, not Bill Clinton's sex life, which was what Bill actually lied about.

Sowell also had this to say about special prosecutors in 1998:
When lies under oath become acceptable and revealing the truth provokes outrage, then you know we are in big trouble. Or you will find out the hard way, as those in power begin to ignore the restrictions on their power that were written into the constitution.
Truer words were never spoken, Tom.

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