A special prosecutor was good enough for Nixon

· long story short

This whole question of reviving the independent council law used so effectively to torture Bill Clinton (when an ultrapartisan prosecutor was installed, unlike what Reagan and Bush were faced with for Iran-Contra – Lawrence Walsh only seemed partisan in the end after the stonewalling and before the pardons), and the attendant hypocrisy, misses the point.
Hillary Clinton doesn’t need to call for the reinstatement of the law. We had a perfectly good underlying solution with the special prosecutor procedure. It worked with Nixon. It should be more than adequate for this Bush, even – or especially – with a squeaky-clean nonpartisan prosecutor-appointee managing the investigation.
Putting the focus back on the journalists is a clever ruse, similar to broadening the issue to leaks in general, but it skims over the felonious revelation of classified information by someone authorized to know it.
Call him or her the Missing Link. If Ashcroft identifies that person and the two callers (assuming the Missing Link isn’t one of the callers), those like myself who called for a special prosecutor will have to admit that the appearance of a conflict of interest did not hinder the investigation. That remains to be seen. Scandals of the past have taught us, though, that any effort to manage an investigation, as well as the news coverage, of a story you don’t control eventually looks worse than simply calling in a referee.