The mystery is why Ashcroft, after resisting the appointment of a special prosecutor for several months, changed his mind. One exciting possibility is that Karl Rove, whom Plame’s husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson, fingered early on, has emerged as a serious suspect. (Rove was a political consultant on two of Ashcroft’s gubernatorial campaigns and one of his Senate campaigns.) But it’s just as possible that Ashcroft handed the investigation over to a special counsel in order to bury it. — Timothy Noah, “Ashcroft as Br’er Rabbit: Will a special counsel bury the Plame investigation?,” Slate, January 2, 2004.
I’m betting that it’s both.