Commentary — July 24, 2008, 11:38 am

Replies

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.


From: MW
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.

Share
Single Page

More from Harper’s Magazine:

Mentions July 16, 2014, 7:00 pm

“The End of Retirement” on MSNBC

Watch Jessica Bruder on MSNBC’s The Cycle

Official Business June 25, 2014, 8:00 am

Garry Winogrand at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A retrospective exhibition from June 27 to September 21 in New York City

Heart of Empire, Mentions June 20, 2014, 11:41 am

Andrew Cockburn on Democracy Now

Andrew Cockburn discusses the origins and possible fate of Nouri al-Maliki’s prime ministership

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

September 2014

Israel and Palestine

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Washington Is Burning

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On Free Will

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

They Were Awake

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Arab artists take up — and look past — regional politics
“When everyday life regularly throws up images of terror and drama and the technological sublime, how can a photographer compete?”
“Qalandia 2087, 2009,” by Wafa Hourani
Post
“There was torture by the previous regime and by the current Iraqi regime,” Dr. Amin said. “Torture by our Kurdish government, torture by Syrians, torture by the U.S.”
Visiting His Own Grave © Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Article
The Tale of the Tape·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Heroin isn’t the weakness Art Pepper submits to; it’s the passion he revels in.”
Photograph (detail) © Laurie Pepper
Criticism
The Soft-Kill Solution·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Policymakers, recognizing the growing influence of civil disobedience and riots on the direction of the nation, had already begun turning to science for a response."
Illustration by Richard Mia
New Books
New Books·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

 
“Almond insists that watching football does more than feed an appetite for violence. It’s a kind of modern-day human sacrifice, and it makes us more likely to go to war.”
Photograph by Harold Edgerton

Chance that a movie script copyrighted in the U.S. before 1925 was written by a woman:

1 in 2

Engineers funded by the United States military were working on electrical brain implants that will enable the creation of remote-controlled sharks.

Malaysian police were seeking fifteen people who appeared in an online video of the Malaysia-International Nude Sports Games 2014 Extravaganza, and Spanish police fined six Swiss tourists conducting an orgy in the back of a moving van for not wearing their seatbelts.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today