Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Where The Special Prosecutor Is?

From Opinion Journal:

Where's the special prosecutor? A bipartisan cabal of U.S. senators (a k a John Kerry and Richard Lugar) spilled in open hearings yesterday the name of a supposedly undercover U.S. intelligence agent in Latin America as they pursued their Constitutional duty to belabor UN nominee John Bolton over past arguments with WMD analysts. ... Mr. Kerry began reading from transcripts of closed-door questioning with committee staffers, incautiously babbling the name that others were trying to keep out of the public record. Anybody can consult the AP story or the committee hearing transcript from yesterday, available from news services and Congress's own website, to find the name. He's also been mentioned dozens of times in the press over the years, which is hardly surprising given a succession of jobs with high public profiles, like, say, press spokesman for a U.S. congressman and White House national security official.

I make no excuses for what seems to have been perfectly dreadful and irresponsible acts on the part of some Senators. But the special prosecutor was probably smothered by Article I, Section 6 of the United States Constitution, which absolutely protects even the most inane Senate committee statements:

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

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