Friday, September 15, 2006
Personal Asides: John Kass to Guest Lecture at My Roosevelt U Class Am I Missing Something in David Grafs Question?
John Kass, the Tribunes candid, straight-talking, straight-writing columnist, who coined the world combine as an illustration of the one-party hybrid that rules Illinois, will be my guest at Roosevelt University in November. In my estimation he is the finest newspaper columnist of this Chicago generation who is endowed with street smarts, integrity and the knack of not taking his profession too seriously. There is no doubt that he was the best city hall correspondent the paper has ever had. A terrific addition to the Roosevelt U lineup.
I must say that I dont get the full content of David Grafs question that appeared yesterday in Readers Comments. To paraphrase he asks why, if Bob Novak is such a good Catholic, did he publish the Valerie Plame story. Huh? What does his Catholicism whether he is an observant or non-observant Catholic have to do with the question? The question at hand was why Joe Wilson, an acknowledged critic of the administration, was sent on this quest by the CIA. The answer seemed to be that he went at the suggestion of his wife, Valerie Plame who was working at the CIA. Thats what the deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage admits he told Novak. The political context of the story was that the CIAs bureaucracy was at war with the administration and that it listened to Wilsons wife recommend a man who was a critic: evidence that the internecine war was going on. Novak has said, I believe, that he did not know Plame was a covert agent and that he looked up Wilsons bio in Whos Who and found that Plame was indeed listed as working for the CIA which would lead anybody to believe that she was not a covert agent.
There are a thousand questions about the matter and not one I can think of touches Novaks Catholicism. The big question to me involves Patrick Fitzgerald. Why when he was informed by Armitage that he was the leaker and also told by Novak that Armitage was the leaker, did he tell Armitage to shut up about it and continue the prosecution which goes on today of Scooter Libby? If one must bring Catholicism into this, let it be brought up in connection with Catholic Fitzgerald. How moral is it to allow a man to twist slowly, slowly in the wind and amass millions of dollars in legal bills when Fitzgerald knew all the time that Libby was not the leaker? If the whole thing hinges on whether or not in trying to recall telephone calls Libby was inaccurate, Fitzgerald ought to stop being a martinet and get on with more important stuff. This action really damages Patrick Fitzgerald in my eyesunless there is something remaining that we dont know. There is a very slight chance there could be: but whatever it is, I dont think moral theologians will center on whether Novak violated even a micro-millimeter of ethics in doing his job. Comon, David, you can do better than that!