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Yesterday I posted a note from a reader wondering why Eliot Spitzer’s name leaked out of the Justice Department so quickly, while Senator David Vitter’s didn’t leak after the arrest of the D.C. Madam.
Today, another reader emailed with what sounds like a very good explanation:
The main reason Vitter’s name didn’t leak–nor did anyone else’s–is that investigators were going after the madam, not the johns, and never had a ‘black book,’ never apparently tapped phones, or did anything else that would have put the identity of the clients under their noses. The names didn’t leak because the agents never had the names–and didn’t do anything to try to get them.”
But it still seems curious how quickly word leaked about Spitzer’s involvement. The New York Times has reported that it “began investigating Spitzer’s possible involvement with a prostitution ring on Friday, the day after the prosecutors arrested the four people on charges of helping run the Emperor’s Club. After inquiries from the Times, the governor on Monday canceled his public schedule.”
So how did the Times hear about Spitzer’s involvement?
Of course, even if the leak was political, Spitzer is entirely responsible for his self-immolation. Hiring a prostitute shouldn’t be a crime, but it’s criminally and pathologically stupid to do so when, as is the case with Spitzer, you’re a moralizing prig, have numerous bitter enemies, have made political capital out of breaking up hooker rings in the past.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”