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From: Greg R. Rampton
Subject: “It Started in Texas: Karl Rove’s Political Prosecutions,” by Scott Horton
I am the “curious” and “unstable” FBI Agent mentioned prominently in your July 2007 interview with James Moore, author of Bush’s Brain. I was unaware of the article until now, hence my belated reply. Moore’s innuendo, supposition, and half-baked conspiracy theory are thin gruel, indeed. There are only two people who know the extent of the Karl Rove/FBI Agent Greg Rampton relationship. Rove isn’t talking, but I’m glad to.
I was an agent in Austin in the 1980s and handled most public corruption cases. I met Rove during a gubernatorial campaign involving his Republican candidate. The night before a debate, Rove and the Republicans had their offices swept for bugs by a private detective. He found a transmitting device behind a picture in Rove’s office. I got the case and determined that the device was bogus–it could pick up a conversation but was too low-powered to broadcast beyond the office. It had no recording capability and so was useless. I developed a suspect, unrelated to Rove, the Republicans, or the Democrats. However, the suspect refused a polygraph, wouldn’t confess, and there was otherwise insufficient evidence to prosecute. Rove and I had no further interaction–no lunches, no calls, no nothing. (Rove once equivocated when asked in a Congressional hearing about me–probably to add luster to his master manipulator reputation and, in adding to the myth, Moore and Scott Horton have been manipulated.)
Space precludes me from addressing each inaccuracy in the characterization of the Mike Moeller/Texas Department of Agriculture investigation. But the record speaks for itself–Moeller and two others were convicted and served time. Suffice it to say that Rove had no part in the origin, or investigation of the case. I never discussed any aspect of the case with Rove and he never asked me about it. Moeller’s case took two years to investigate; I never spoke to the press on or off the record. Nor did I leak anything to Rove or anyone else about this, or any other corruption investigation.
As Rove gained notoriety reporters looking into his past decided that–since I knew Rove and had some corruption investigations involving Democrats–Rove must have been my informant. They added two and two and got five. Rove never gave me any information on any Democrat, or anyone else.
After 30 years, I retired from the FBI as an assistant special agent in charge; hardly the curious, unstable “mad dog” of Moore’s dreams. Moore’s other allegations, including tampering with evidence at Ruby Ridge, are equally specious. As one steeped in politics, Moore knows the value of an unfounded accusation. The truth is available in the trial transcript for anyone interested, even Moore. Truth is in short supply; unfortunately, supply exceeds demand.
Subject: “On the Peace Born of Faith,” by Scott Horton
Mr. Horton’s contribution regarding the meeting of Obama with evangelical leaders was topical and relevant. However, I feel that it might be wise to inquire as to why Obama did not choose to stick his ground during the described meeting, but turned around and did a massive flip-flop on the FISA measure. There can be no question that Obama had expressed a determination to filibuster the FISA bill, and no question that he voted first for cloture, then for the measure itself.
I question whether the ethical standard-bearer described in Mr. Horton’s article would in fact have done what Mr. Obama actually did by giving in to G.O.P, demands for telecom immunity after the fact, and for approving continued warrantless eavesdropping at the Government’s own pleasure. Mr. Obama’s relationship with God is his own affair. His selling out on the FISA measure is a matter of public record.
From: Darius Greene
Subject: “That New Yorker Cover,” by Ken Silverstein
I think the New Yorker cover featuring a caricature of Obama is not only obvious satire but a rather great example of it. Although I could be wrong, I would think something like this would actually deter the G.O.P. from possibly taking such laughable positions–terrorist fist-jabs and the like.
And I’d like to disagree with Mr. Sanders that liberals are solidly sold on Obama. I was never a Clinton supporter, and I surely hope Obama wins over McCain, but perhaps a good liberal, or just a good thinker in general, should never be “solidly sold” on any politician. I would say the same for Bush supporters who might have actually believed his “less-government,” “compassionate” approach before 2000.
It seems from even the past months your readership, by the letters I’ve read, are afraid of you finding out anything bad about Obama, which is understandable perhaps given the importance of the forthcoming election–but then that’s exactly the point. These times are too important to give anyone a free ride into that office. And not wanting to hear anything negative, or allowing oneself to become upset over satire, is to live in a bubble of dreams that is forever in danger of being popped.
More from Harper’s Magazine:
Memento Mori — March 11, 2014, 1:51 pm
Remembering a contributor and friend
Harper's Finest — January 20, 2014, 8:00 am
“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”
Estimated acres of forest Henry David Thoreau burned down in 1844 trying to cook fish he had caught for dinner:
The bombardier beetle, which can fire liquid at its enemies from its rear end at up to 300 squirts per second, was being scrutinized in the hope of building a better airplane engine.
London Fire Brigade investigators blamed a building fire in South London on a bird that carried a lit cigarette to its rooftop nest. “Smokers,” said neighborhood baker Richard Scroggs. “What can you say?”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”