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:

Memento Mori August 24, 2017, 12:19 pm

Kim Wall (1987–2017)

Official Business March 17, 2015, 4:01 am

Radio Hustle

Listen to the broadcast version of “American Hustle,” Alexandra Starr’s story, for the April 2015 issue of Harper’s Magazine, about how elite youth basketball exploits African athletes.

Official Business January 8, 2015, 3:57 pm

The Art of Outrage

We defend Charlie Hebdo’s right to publish its cartoons—and our right to critique them.

Get access to 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

November 2017

Preaching to The Choir

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Monumental Error

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Star Search

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Pushing the Limit

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Bumpy Ride

Bad Dog

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Monumental Error·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In 1899, the art critic Layton Crippen complained in the New York Times that private donors and committees had been permitted to run amok, erecting all across the city a large number of “painfully ugly monuments.” The very worst statues had been dumped in Central Park. “The sculptures go as far toward spoiling the Park as it is possible to spoil it,” he wrote. Even worse, he lamented, no organization had “power of removal” to correct the damage that was being done.

Illustration by Steve Brodner
Article
Star Search·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On December 3, 2016, less than a month after Donald Trump was elected president, Amanda Litman sat alone on the porch of a bungalow in Costa Rica, thinking about the future of the Democratic Party. As Hillary Clinton’s director of email marketing, Litman raised $180 million and recruited 500,000 volunteers over the course of the campaign. She had arrived at the Javits Center on Election Night, arms full of cheap beer for the campaign staff, minutes before the pundits on TV announced that Clinton had lost Wisconsin. Later that night, on her cab ride home to Brooklyn, Litman asked the driver to pull over so she could throw up.

Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Pushing the Limit·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In the early Eighties, Andy King, the coach of the Seawolves, a swim club in Danville, California, instructed Debra Denithorne, aged twelve, to do doubles — to practice in the morning and the afternoon. King told Denithorne’s parents that he saw in her the potential to receive a college scholarship, and even to compete in the Olympics. Tall swimmers have an advantage in the water, and by the time Denithorne turned thirteen, she was five foot eight. She dropped soccer and a religious group to spend more time at the pool.

Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
Bumpy Ride·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

One sunny winter afternoon in western Michigan, I took a ride with Leon Slater, a slight sixty-four-year-old man with a neatly trimmed white beard and intense eyes behind his spectacles. He wore a faded blue baseball cap, so formed to his head that it seemed he slept with it on. Brickyard Road, the street in front of Slater’s home, was a mess of soupy dirt and water-filled craters. The muffler of his mud-splattered maroon pickup was loose, and exhaust fumes choked the cab. He gripped the wheel with hands leathery not from age but from decades moving earth with big machines for a living. What followed was a tooth-jarring tour of Muskegon County’s rural roads, which looked as though they’d been carpet-bombed.

Photograph by David Emitt Adams
Article
Bad Dog·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Abby was a breech birth but in the thirty-one years since then most everything has been pretty smooth. Sweet kid, not a lot of trouble. None of them were. Jack and Stevie set a good example, and she followed. Top grades, all the way through. Got on well with others but took her share of meanness here and there, so she stayed thoughtful and kind. There were a few curfew or partying things and some boys before she was ready, and there was one time on a school trip to Chicago that she and some other kids got caught smoking crack cocaine, but that was so weird it almost proved the rule. No big hiccups, master’s in ecology, good state job that lets her do half time but keep benefits while Rose is little.

Illustration by Katherine Streeter

Tons of invasive carp that the Australian government plans to eradicate by giving them herpes:

1,137,000

Contact lenses change the microbiome of the eye such that it resembles skin.

A reporter asked Trump about a lunch the president was said to have shared the previous day with his secretary of state, Trump said the reporter was “behind the times” and that the lunch had occurred the previous week, and the White House confirmed that the lunch had in fact occurred the previous day.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Report — From the June 2013 issue

How to Make Your Own AR-15

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

Subscribe Today