Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Timing is everything

Knight-Ridder did before and, since their purchase last year by McClatchy, continues to consistently out-performed their competition in providing sound reporting and analysis. Josh Marshall at TPM has owned the U.S.A. purge story but he couldn't do it without some media organizations doing their jobs. As Josh points out, the key component of this story here is its context...

Below I noted this paragraph in tonight's article from McClatchy ...

In an e-mail dated May 11, 2006, Sampson urged the White House counsel's office to call him regarding "the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam," who then the U.S. attorney for southern California. Earlier that morning, the Los Angeles Times reported that Lam's corruption investigation of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., had expanded to include another California Republican, Rep Jerry Lewis.

The timing is well worth noting. But the Lewis investigation wasn't the only trouble Lam was making. Look what else was happening in the couple weeks before May 11th ...

April 28th, 2006 -- Cunningham-Wilkes-Foggo "Hookergate" scandal breaks open. Probe grows out of San Diego US Attorney's Office's Cunningham investigation. CIA Director Goss denies involvement.

April 29th, 2006 -- Washington Post reports that Hookergate's Shirlington Limo Service had $21 million contract with Department of Homeland Security.

May 2nd, 2006 -- Kyle "Dusty" Foggo confirms attendence at Wilkes/Cunningham Hookergate parties.

May 4th, 2006 -- Watergate Hotel subpoenaed in San Diego/Cunningham/Hookergate probe.

May 5th, 2006 -- WSJ reports that Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, who Goss installed as #3 at CIA, is under criminal investigation as part of the San Diego/Cunningham investigation.

May 5th, 2006 -- Porter Goss resigns as Director of Central Intelligence.

May 6th, 2006 -- WaPo reports on questionable DHS contract awarded to Shirlington Limo, the 'hookergate' Limo service under scrutiny as part of the San Diego/Cunningham investigation. Similar report in the Times.

May 7th, 2006 -- House Committee to investigate DHS contract with Hookergate's Shirlington Limo.

May 8th, 2006 -- Lyle "Dusty" Foggo resigns at CIA.

May 11th, 2006 -- LA Times reports that Cunningham investigation has expanded into the dealings of Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), House Appropriations Committee Chairman.

May 12th, 2006 -- Federal agents working on the San Diego/Cunningham investigation execute search warrants on the home and CIA office of Kyle "Dusty" Foggo.

Earlier Josh wrote:
The date, though, really speaks volumes.

Lam's firing has always been at the heart of this. I've had a lot of people ask me why we devoted so much virtual ink to this story so early. But the truth is that by rights Lam's dismissal should have sounded alarm bells for everyone on day one.

What people tend to overlook is that for most White Houses, a US attorney involved in such a politically charged and ground-breaking corruption probe would have been untouchable, even if she'd run her office like a madhouse and was offering free twinkies to every illegal who made it across the border. Indeed, when you view the whole context you see that the idea she was fired for immigration enforcement is just laughable on its face. No decision about her tenure could be made without the main issue being that investigation. It's like hearing that Pat Fitzgerald was fired as Plamegate prosecutor for poor deportment or because he was running up too many air miles flying back and forth from Chicago.

Lam's investigation (and allied ones her probe spawned) were uncovering a) serious criminal wrongdoing by major Republican power players on Capitol Hill, b) corruption at the CIA -- which reached back to the Hill, c) and as yet still largely hidden corrupt dealings at the heart of the intelligence operations in the Rumsfeld Pentagon.

Nothing matters unless the investigation gets to the heart of what happened there.

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