Parsing the legal matrix

Yesterday, President Bush finally commented publicly on the Rove case, saying that anyone who "committed a crime" connected with the disclosure of Valerie Plame's identity would be dismissed from his staff. Previously, Bush had said the individual who had leaked Plame's name to reporters would be fired.

After mulling the subtleties of the statement every which way, we turned to AlterNet's legal expert, Michael P. Kerner. Kerner, a partner with the crack legal team of Janin, Morgan & Brenner, is a nationally renowned specialist in the rules and bylaws of legal obfuscation. He has been closely following the shifting verbal sands of Rove-Plame-Cooper-Miller-Wilson-McClellan.

TAI MOSES: What's your analysis of President Bush's comment yesterday?

MICHAEL P. KERNER: His statement was the most considered comment he's made since he was wired in the first debate. It's absolutely clear the comment was crafted by Bush's brain. It's lawyer talk. He was parsing the legal matrix.

TM: Why do lawyers talk that way?

MPK: Why do dogs lick their balls? Because they can. They're trying to avoid the tremendous legal pitfalls of speaking off the cuff, which is just about the only thing Bush is talented at.

TM: Who do you think coached him?

MPK: A full cadre of highly trained, white-collar criminal lawyers.

TM: You're suggesting that these lawyers are themselves white-collar criminals?

MPK: Yeah, yeah.

TM: Can we expect to hear more from President Bush about Rove-Plame-Cooper-Miller-Wilson-McClellan?

MPK: You can expect to hear the same comment over and over again. His memory bank is limited. Only one comment per week.

TM: It's your belief then, that they've got Karl Rove off the hook.

MPK: They've been working on this project for two years, figuring out how to get Rove off the hook. It's clear they believe they've got him out of the woods, legally.

TM: So, legally he is out of the woods and off the hook. How about politically?

MPK: Politically doesn't matter for Karl Rove; it matters only for George Bush.

TM: Say more.

MPK: Now they have to figure out a way to allow George Bush to keep Karl Rove on the payroll and working at home in his jammies.

TM: Who are these lawyers?

MPK: They're all members of the Federalist Society.

TM: What is this Federalist Society?

MPK: It's a super-conservative group of mostly lawyers who believe in strict construction of the Constitution. They are largely responsible for putting Bush in the White House. They're probably behind the selection of the replacement for Sandra Day O'Connor and they will be behind Rehnquist's eventual replacement.

TM: Thank you for talking with us today.

MPK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TM: 'Wired in the first debate' ... you think?

MPK: It doesn't take a Harvard law degree.


Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}