[[S C A N D A L S]] * You just knew that the Karl Rove-Valerie Plame CIA leak scandal was eventually going to generate a catchphrase worthy of signs and bumper stickers, right? Well, this morning’s e-mail brought news that those inspiring activists over at MoveOn.org have chosen (from a pool of 17,740 entries) a winner in their Fire Karl Rove Slogan Contest: “Loose Lips Deserve Pink Slips. Fire Karl Rove.” Suggested by Mary Thornquist of Catonsville, Maryland, that saying (sans the word “deserves,” for some reason--probably design related) is already available for downloading in the form of a two-color posted; I can only expect that the just-right-for-your-bumper version will soon follow. When, though, we might expect to see George W. Bush actually fulfill his vow to sack any members of his administration who were involved in leaking agent Plame’s name--with or without proof of their having committed a crime--is anyone’s guess.
Meanwhile, fears that Bush might decide not to reappoint Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in charge of this leak investigation, when his four-year term as U.S. attorney in Illinois expires in October, seemed to be put to rest during a speech this morning by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Addressing the American Bar Association meeting in Chicago, Gonzales suggested that Bush won’t interfere with Fitzgerald’s probe--even though it threatens to bring down not only deputy chief of staff Rove but other White House habitués. “You’ll have to ask the president as to whether or not he intends to find a new U.S. attorney for this district,” Gonzales said. “I will say from my vantage point as the attorney general, I have great confidence in Pat Fitzgerald.” Of course, the Nixon administration expressed its own faith in the integrity and fairness of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox--right up to the explosive point when, in October 1973, Richard Nixon ordered that Cox be fired for refusing to cease his pursuit of the president’s tape-recorded White House conversations.