ROUND-UP: CIA LEAK INVESTIGATION
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is nearing the end of his investigation into whether senior White House officials, including Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Karl Rove, were responsible for the identification of Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA officer. Following are experts who can discuss any aspect of the investigation:
**1. STEFFEN SCHMIDT, professor of political science at IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY: "Is the simple 'outing' of a CIA agent sufficient justification for the potential paralysis of the White House and the endangerment of American continuity in Iraq, in negotiations with Iran, North Korea and Syria, and the capacity of recovering from several devastating storms? The answer is 'no.' However, the 'Plamegate' fiasco is much more than that -- it is the culmination of years of tricky news management over Iraq, arrogance, cronyism and sloppiness by the Bush team, and a deeply divided political culture that continues to convulse the country. The American public may not be able to sort all of this out but, having lost confidence in this administration, the public will no doubt buy this as another significant example of the failure of our political elites."
**2. KENNETH WARREN, professor of political science at SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY: "This is quite a controversy with implications for the 2006 election. Bush was elected on an integrity platform Ã¢â‚¬"- the Bush administration has been hurt by a number of things, and this investigation is just another strike against it. This has dire consequences for anyone seeking re-election." Warren is one of the most respected political analysts in the nation and also owns his own polling company. Warren can speak to the political implications of the CIA leak investigation and its effects on the 2006 elections.
**3. MATTHEW FELLING, media director of the non-profit, non-partisan CENTER FOR MEDIA AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS: "Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation is not merely the 'criminalization of politics.' It is the sum of UK Intel Official David Kelly's suicide, the Downing Street memo, Joseph Wilson's assault on the uranium claims within President Bush's State of the Union address and Robert Novak's participation in a White House campaign. It's also crucial to remember that the principle that Judith Miller embraced -- that of a journalist's right to keep secret an anonymous source's identity -- is a vital one to the press, democracy and an informed populace even when it's uncomfortable."
**4. KATY J HARRIGER, professor of political science at WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY and author of the book "The Special Prosecutor in American Politics," says criticism of CIA leak investigation Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is simply political spin: "Critics of the special counsel should remember that he was appointed by a delegate of the president and is accountable to the executive branch. One of the reasons the independent counsel provisions of the Ethics in Government Act were allowed to expire in 1999 was because critics believed judicially appointed independent counsels, like Ken Starr, were uncontrollable and unaccountable to anyone."
**5. LYN RAGSDALE, presidential scholar and professor and head of political science at the UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO: "Should indictments be issued to White House staff following the grand jury investigation into the disclosure of Valerie Plame's identity, it would be a huge blow to the Bush Administration. If indictments are handed down, I predict the administration, claiming an ongoing legal process, will not remove any staff members." Ragsdale has served as editor of Political Research Quarterly and is past president of the Western Political Science Association.
**6. PHILIP KLINKNER, James S. Sherman Associate Professor of Government at HAMILTON COLLEGE: "These indictments come at the worst possible time for the Bush administration. Previous administrations have been able to get past scandals, but in those cases, the president was extremely popular. For example, during Iran-Contra, President Reagan was riding low in the polls. Much the same was true for Bill Clinton when the Lewinsky scandal broke. Unfortunately for George Bush, these indictments come on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, high gas prices and deepening dissatisfaction with the Iraq War. To put this scandal behind them and have a successful second, the Bush team will team have to perform the equivalent of a political miracle."
**7. PATRICK BASHAM, senior fellow of the Center for Representative Government at the CATO INSTITUTE: "The expected indictment of at least one senior White House official in the Plame case is, at a minimum, a public relations black eye for the Bush administration. However, if the case drags on throughout the run-up to next yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mid-term elections, it may constitute a fatal body blow for the presidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s second-term agenda. Critically for the president, the case may deprive him of Karl RoveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unparalleled political counsel. President BushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unsure response to Hurricane Katrina reflected, in part, RoveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s preoccupation with the Plame investigation. Any additional demands upon RoveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time and energy will weaken the White HouseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s increasingly fragile hold on the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s political agenda."
**8. IVAN ELAND, senior fellow for foreign policy at the INDEPENDENT INSTITUTE: "The implication of Vice President Cheney may turn out to be the biggest story, especially if Libby is indicted. Cheney clearly was digging into Plame's background before her identity was publicly revealed. Libby, his chief aide, was talking about her to the media, whether he committed an illegal act or not. Cheney is a government official and should not be involved in any way in endangering the nation's intelligence operatives and sources."
**9. EVAN MCKENZIE, associate professor of political science at the UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO and a former prosecutor: "Patrick Fitzgerald, special prosecutor of the CIA leak investigation, is a pure prosecutor who is not interested in politics. If a provable case doesn't exist, Fitzgerald won't have any trouble ending the investigation without indictments."
**10. E. LAWRENCE BARCELLA JR., partner of the litigation department at PAUL HASTINGS LLC, has extensive experience in every area of white-collar criminal litigation and chairs the firm's white-collar corporate defense practice. He has substantial experience with intelligence-related cases under the Classified Intelligence Procedures Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Barcella has extensive experience in issues involving the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) and the Ethics in Government Act. Additionally, Barcella received national and international recognition for his investigation and prosecution of a former CIA agent
**11. STEVEN REICH, partner at MANATT, PHELPS & PHILLIPS and former senior associate counsel to President Bill Clinton, can discuss what effect this investigation might have inside the White House, what could happen if the indictment moves forward on the perjury and obstruction charges, but not the disclosure issue, and whether this is a legitimate indictment. Reich handles high-profile investigations and cases that require multi-dimensional solutions. Reich has supervised the defense of civil litigation filed against the White House and its officials. Recently, Reich led a team of attorneys when he served as special counsel to a Select Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly considering whether to recommend the impeachment of then-Gov. John Rowland.
**12. JOEL K. GOLDSTEIN, professor of law at SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY, is one of the most highly respected presidential, vice presidential and constitutional scholars in American legal education. His doctoral dissertation grew into his first book, "The Modern American Vice Presidency: The Transformation of a Political Institution." Goldstein has written widely on the vice presidency, consulted on vice presidential selection and is frequently interviewed on the subject. Currently, he is writing a book about the relationship between the presidency and the U.S. Supreme Court.
ROUND-UP: IMPACT OF HURRICANES KATRINA/RITA (continued)
We've added the following to items posted previously at http://profnet.prnewswire.com/organik/orbital/thewire/lst_leads.jsp?iLRTopicID =10923
**1. QUENTIN KELLY, CEO and founder of WORLDWATER & POWER, is available to speak on solar technology's role in the Gulf Coast relief efforts, as well as its future in today's market, particularly as gas/oil prices continue to rise: "Solar technology has played a significant role in the Gulf Coast relief efforts. Our company has recently donated one of its mobile, solar-powered water pumping and purification systems to the town of Waveland, Miss., one of the hardest hit areas in the Gulf Coast. The unit will be used to pump and purify water that will be distributed to relief workers and refugees still camped in the state park."
ROUND-UP: GULF COAST RECONSTRUCTION (continued)
We've added the following to items posted previously at http://profnet.prnewswire.com/organik/orbital/thewire/lst_leads.jsp?iLRTopicID =11301
**1. JEFFREY E. SUECK, vice president of HILL INTERNATIONAL, is currently leading a team of cost estimators to provide FEMA with validation of replacement costs and/or repairs to all state, county and local government buildings. Sueck's team is spread throughout New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La.; Jackson, Gulfport and Hattiesburg, Miss.; and Mobile, Ala. The team from Hill has provided both technical specialties (water/wastewater specialist) and project officer staff to the regions.
**1. ECONOMICS: CHINA'S EMERGING MARKET. RAVI RAMAMURTI, professor of general management at the NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY College of Business Administration: "A recent article was written on China as being the most important emerging new market; China also represents the competition. The China market opportunity is not limited to low-income goods, but increasingly also to high- income goods (Gucci products, so to speak). And on the production side, it is not limited to low-tech assembly and manufacturing, but increasingly also to medium- and high-tech R&D." Ramamurti does research and consulting on corporate strategy and business-government relations in emerging economies.
**2. GOVERNMENT: TERM LIMITS FOR SUPREME COURT JUSTICES IS A BAD IDEA. LEANE MEDFORD, attorney at Dallas-based law firm ROSE WALKER: "While it's not surprising that people are currently looking at Supreme Court term limits, it is still not a good idea. People are living longer and that makes some people nervous about lifetime tenure for justices they don't like, but the framers of our Constitution would see that as a benefit, not a problem. The whole idea was to create a system where justices could rule -- sometimes in an unpopular fashion -- and not suffer any political, social or even personal consequences. If you limit their time on the bench, you strip them of that protection to the detriment of our legal system."
**3. WORLD AFFAIRS: UN'S YEAR OF MICROCREDIT CLOSES, BUT MUCH IS LEFT TO BE DONE. ALEX COUNTS, president of the GRAMEEN FOUNDATION USA: "Last year, the UN declared 2005 the Year of Microcredit. Recent reports indicate that although the global poverty rate is reducing, it is doing so very slowly. With the United Nations International Year of Microcredit drawing to a close, the strategy is well defined. The microfinance community must scale up, mobilize resources and sustain support for microfinance among the philanthropic community, thought leaders, public policy officials and social investors.Ã¢â‚¬?
**4. WORLD AFFAIRS: BAGHDAD CAR BOMBINGS' TARGET IS MEDIA EXPOSURE. STEVEN LIVINGSTON, interim director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: "Monday's car bombings in Baghdad further illustrate a tactical use of the media common in terrorist attacks. The political impact of violence is expanded by the selection of targets that are highly visible to international journalists. Even the timing of the detonations was carefully thought through. The initial explosions were meant to draw the attention and camera operators. Then, after giving them time to set up and begin shooting the first scene, a third massive blast rose up in the immediate foreground of the frame. The violence and drama of the moment is extraordinary."