Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Rove's Reporter Testifies. WorldCom's Ebbers Sentenced For Fraud.

Rove's Reporter Testifies. Tells Us What We Already Knew.

In a less than shocking development, Matt Cooper testified before a grand jury today that White House Deputy Cheif of Staff Karl Rove, was indeed the source for the story that led to the exposure of Valerie Plame as a deep-cover CIA asset. Fox News excerpt:

WASHINGTON — Journalist Matt Cooper on Wednesday confirmed to a grand jury that White House aide Karl Rove was his source for a story about a CIA operative that has investigators deciding whether any laws were broken by the leak of the agent's identity.

Cooper told reporters he would give them details of his grand jury testimony — in a future article for Time magazine.
"I'm not going to scoop myself today," Cooper, a White House correspondent for the news weekly, said outside the U.S. District Court Wednesday afternoon.

Cheeky bastard, isn't he? I guess Cooper feels he can afford to be smug now that he seems to have escaped a jail sentence similar to that now being served by fellow typist Judith Miller. Still, I'd think a bit harder before busting out a quote like that, after all, it's not like Cooper doesn't already have a target on his back.

Cooper spoke after a two-and-a-half hour appearance before the grand jury investigating the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame's
identity. He was one of several journalists to whom Plame's identity was leaked following the publication of an editorial written by her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, in which Wilson criticized the Bush administration.

One of those journalists, Judith Miller
of The New York Times, is in jail for her refusal to name the person who revealed Plame's identity to her. Last week, Cooper escaped a similar citation for contempt of court when he told the judge his source had waived confidentiality, freeing him to testify before the grand jury.

"Today I testified and agreed to testify solely because of a waiver I received from my source," Cooper said outside the courthouse. "Once a journalist makes a commitment of confidentiality to a source, only the source can end that commitment."

The grand jury is tasked with finding out if whoever leaked Plame's identity to the press two years ago did so with the intent of burning her cover, possibly in retaliation for Wilson's criticisms of the administration's claims that Iraq's nuclear program.

Full story:,2933,162406,00.html

Big effing deal. We know about one one-hundred-millionth more about this story now than we knew yesterday. We also know that Scotty McLellan has had the Thanksgiving stuffing beaten out of him for past two days by a press corps that has suddenly been awakened from suspended animation.

Two questions: What are the real chances that Rove will be tossed under the bus for this? And again, why the hell hasn't anyone gone after that shithead Novak? He's the ass-clown that wrote the first story about this to begin with.

There is a lot of incendiary rhetoric flying around about this, from both the left and the right. Much of it misses the mark because the central issue of having compromised our national security seems to have been largely ignored. Not to comparison shop, but what do you suppose would have happened if this type of thing had occurred under Bill Clinton's watch?

WorldCom's Ebbers Sentenced For Fraud. When Is Kenny Lay Going Down?

In the "maybe there is justice after all" department, former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers was sentenced to a 25-year prison term today for perpetrating the biggest corporate fraud in U.S. history. Washington Post excerpt:

NEW YORK -- Weeping in court as he learned his fate, former WorldCom boss Bernard Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison Wednesday for leading the largest corporate fraud in U.S. history.

It was the toughest sentence imposed on an executive since the fall of Enron in 2001 touched off a record-breaking wave of business scandals.

And speaking of Enron, why the hell is Ken Lay still a free man?

The sentence came four months after Ebbers was convicted of overseeing the $11 billion WorldCom fraud - much of it a pattern of chalking up expenses as long-term capital expenditures, which are classified as assets.

Ebbers, an imposingly tall man with buzzed white hair, leaned forward in his chair and cried, sniffling audibly, after Judge Barbara Jones of U.S. District Court in Manhattan read his penalty. "I find that a sentence of anything less would not reflect the seriousness of this crime," the judge said.

It was just more than three years ago that the fraud at WorldCom began to come to light, reducing shares of stock once worth more than $60 to mere pennies. Billions of dollars in market value vanished.

Mississippi-based WorldCom filed for bankruptcy, also the largest in U.S. history, in the summer of 2002. It has since re-emerged under the name MCI Inc., with headquarters in Ashburn, Va.

Full story:

Too bad this didn't occur after the new bankruptcy laws had been passed. But then again, those laws were only intended to punish poor schmucks like you and me, not big fish like Ebbers and Lay. Too bad there isn't a way to go after the assets of the new company to ease the pain of the folks who got burned when Ebbers ran this con game. Well, at least the son of a bitch got what he deserved.

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