HistoricalMullet: No independent counsel on Wilson-Leak

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An early point of view of the simmering distrust I had of independent counsels based on Clinton’s Presidency. Note the Discussion as it gets more into the nuance between independent counsel, special prosecutor, and career staffer prosecutor. (Ed. 10/3/2023)

On the Wilson-CIA-Whitehouse leak, my opinion is there shouldn’t be any independent counsel. We saw how crazy politically motivated fishing expeditions could get with Starr and there’s no reason to go back to that. If I never see a special prosecutor again I’d be happy. Let’s leave the exposure of politics’ dirty secrets to those who do it best: the media.

Tim C.



The Independent Counsel law expired when it was not signed back into law. It was either allowed to expire by Clinton or the new Bush. Kenneth Star was an independent counsel, and, had the potential to run amok. The “special prosecutor” that they are clamoring, for now, would not be like Kenneth Starr, he would be a guy appointed by the Justice Department, and ultimately, under their control. More like the Nixon special prosecutors who were capable of being “massacred”. I am not against having some independent guy be appointed to look into this situation, assuming that there is actually something there.

Understood, but to me the career prosecutors in the DoJ are independent enough to handle the job regardless of whatever administration there is, and in exceptional circumstances the congress/media are apt enough to take exceptional measures; this is not an exceptional circumstance. Rather someone high up in the WH leaked the fact there was illegal leaking to the newspapers last week (how’s that for morning alliteration) and I have a feeling we’ll see folks identified from within and handed up on a platter. I’m just wondering who inside wants them gone. This is an inside the beltway political storm that comes up every few months and lasts only a few weeks, not the end of the world (unless a mission is truly blown or someone dies, then it gains more legs).

Congress needs to spend it’s time passing the 2004 budget (they missed the deadlines and we’re funding now at 2003 levels).


I think in this case, your almost certainly right. There would have to be a lot of malice attributed to high level white house officials, including evidence of an actual link between trying to discredit Wilson and possibly destroy his wife’s (and his) life and the allegations made about lying about Iraq. An appropriate amount of coverup can turn anything into a career ending story, but I don’t think there is anywhere near that level of cover-up here. Bush, I view as being more of a dangerous adolescent. He sees everything in black and white hats, suffused with a great deal of adolecent arrogance. He is definately not a schemer, but rather wanders into bad situations because he has not thought them through. However special prosecutors in general, people who can actually subpoena documents and evidence, like erased tapes, are valuable in actually bringing the story out. Media gets the hints, but special prosecutors get the facts and evidence. If there is evidence of enough of a cover-up, a special prosecutor may be necessary to get to the bottom of it.

Who do you think was the senior WH source that fingered the leakers to the newspaper? This was a dead issue until someone inside the administration decided to bring it back out. Unusual because all things being equal otherwise, I know Bush and company run a very tight ship. I’d like it to have been Powell since he’s been roughed up so bad lately, but I think he’s too professional for that. Not sure who else who could’ve tipped off the papers that it was the WH that leaked the information and also had the motive to do so. To me that’s the real story…

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