Friday, October 21, 2005

It Depends on the Definition of Independent

Joe Conason compares and contrasts Patrick Fitzgerald and Ken Starr.

Starr was appointed by Republican judges, under the dubious influence of Republican Sens. Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth. He had no prosecutorial experience and proved to be an inept partisan. His investigation meandered repeatedly into new areas far afield from his original brief, took nearly five years to complete, required many grand jury extensions, and cost approximately $70 million. Starr and his prosecutors leaked promiscuously to favored reporters throughout the probe, thereby ensuring favorable press coverage and inflicting political damage on their White House targets.

Fitzgerald was appointed by the Bush administration's own deputy attorney general, as noted above, at the request of the CIA director. He boasts extensive experience and success as a federal prosecutor. He is not only skilled but absolutely free of any partisan taint, having prosecuted both Republicans and Democrats in Illinois. His investigation of the CIA leak will be wrapped up after less than two years, without any grand jury extensions. His office has been remarkably free of leaks, which may help explain why he gets none of the fawning publicity that was once lavished on Starr.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.

And while we’re on the topic, you should go out and rent the movie (or read the book if you’re into that sort of thing), The Hunting of the President. It’ll make you think.

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