- Current Issue
SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
Need to create a login? Want to change your email address or password? Forgot your password?
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
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:
Weekly Review — November 26, 2013, 8:00 am
The countries and companies responsible for climate change, nuclear options in Congress and Iran, and the extinction of Darwin’s frog
Official Business — October 23, 2013, 3:00 pm
Join us Saturday, October 26, at 6:30 p.m.
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Average portion of its yearly household expenditures that a South African family will spend on a funeral:
Neuroscientists were hoping to use rat brain waves to find people buried by earthquakes.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature