John Podhoretz has a good column today on the Obama administration’s travails. I did not know this bit until I read the column:
Even more startling, the search warrant makes clear that the FBI already had everything it needed on the leaker, as the request for a search warrant features quotes from an interview that were tantamount to a confession. It asked that the warrant be sealed — in other words, that Rosen not be told — because knowledge might “cause subjects to flee”! Imagine it: Rosen, an on-air reporter on a national news channel with a wife and two small kids in DC, seeking refuge in Cuba . . .
Full disclosure: I’m friends with James and I have a lot of respect for him. He’s a dogged and professional reporter, extremely knowledgeable, and a very funny guy. But he’s also a bit intense and passionate about a few subjects. In fact, one of the ironies of this story is that of anyone under the age of 50, Rosen is probably the most obsessive student of Watergate I know. Given that, that he’d be targeted by a White House for doing his job is astounding. I am confident he will come out of all of this fine, his reputation intact if not further enhanced. I can’t imagine Fox News will do anything but back him to the hilt for as long as it takes. Still, I’m sure it’s also stressful.
All of that said, I think it’s hilarious that DOJ argued he’s a flight risk. Forget the fact that, as John notes, he’s been an on-air reporter for years. Forget that he wouldn’t leave his family. Forget the fact that he doesn’t think (I assume) he did anything wrong and it wouldn’t occur to him to flee.
The idea of James Rosen “going to ground” just gives me the giggles. As does the image of some DOJ hack yelling, “we got a gopher!” as James made his escape via some storm drain in the D.C. metro system. Maybe once he outran the hounds, he could become a lumberjack and dazzle his colleagues with his William F. Buckley impersonation. Or perhaps James could grow a ZZ-Top beard and work as a short-order cook, regaling diners about what Haldeman knew and when he knew it. When finally caught by the Marshals, his motel neighbor could tell local reporters how she thought it was odd how he kept listening to Rubber Soul day and night. “Other than that, he was such a sweet man. He never seemed to use contractions when he talked. He reminded me of a character from that TV show Mad Men.”