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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Good Cop/Bad Cop

I truly appreciated the way that the NY Times dug into the secretive financial monitoring program now widely known as the Swift operation. Opponents claim that the NYT should never have published the story because the administration told them not to. But right there in the initial story, you can see that the administration's people had laid it out for all the world to see, on the record:
Viewed by the Bush administration as a vital tool, the program has played a hidden role in domestic and foreign terrorism investigations since 2001 and helped in the capture of the most wanted Qaeda figure in Southeast Asia, the officials said. The program, run out of the Central Intelligence Agency and overseen by the Treasury Department, "has provided us with a unique and powerful window into the operations of terrorist networks and is, without doubt, a legal and proper use of our authorities," Stuart Levey, an undersecretary at the Treasury Department, said in an interview Thursday. The program is grounded in part on the president's emergency economic powers, Mr. Levey said, and multiple safeguards have been imposed to protect against any unwarranted searches of Americans' records.
What, you say, that the NY Times would have printed the story even if Mr. Levey had not talked on the record? Au contraire, the reporters Lichtblau and Risen used the old reliable technique known to everyone who has watched their fair share of cop shows. They basically emptily threatened to publish leaked information, and the traitorous Levey, acting as the only named source, spilled all the information. Dear Mr. Leakey, how ignorant of you, anybody in your position of authority should know better not to fall for this kind of *bleeping bleepity-bleep* stuff.

I don't understand why no one in the media has pointed out this classic "good cop/bad cop" trick that the NYT pulled off.
At its bare bones, it is nothing more than a variation of the 'good cop, bad cop' scenarios that we have seen on other TV shows. Pembleton is warm, cordial even pleasant to Tucker, while Bayliss unrelentingly questions him on the facts and inconsistencies that have developed in the Araber's story trying desperately to cause a crack in this man's facade. This goes on for half the episode.
Then about halfway through comes an exceptional sequence. In it Bayliss and Pembleton begin to speak in precise rhythm drilling in to the Araber's head what they know--- that he killed her..
And it happens again with the Wilson/Plame affair, whereby Novak revealed that Karl Rove acted as his secondary source in outing the CIA agent. A secondary confirming source leaking information should rate the same as a primary source, as Rove, just like Levey, should not have fallen for this likely bait-and-switch ruse.

Rove should go to jail for leaking this information and join Levey; let them stew away for several years, all the time wishing that they had watched more cop shows in their youth.

We can only hope that oil executives and OPEC members would prove this gullible. If they had, we would have long ago figured out our global oil reserves.

But they better watch their backs, as this guy looks like a good cop/bad cop rolled into one.


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