OF POWER BACKFIRE
greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.” --Edmund
Golden Boy U.S.
Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is having a hissy fit over a book, Triple
Cross, How Bin Laden's Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets,
and the FBI, a 2006 by Peter Lance. Lance had the temerity (and
documentation) to question the fiction of Fitzie’s infallibility.
Fitzgerald calls the book a "deliberate lie masquerading as truth."
efforts to kill the publication of the paperback version of Triple Cross
crescendoed when he most recently wrote Harper Collins, “…if
in fact you publish the book this month and it defames me or casts me
in a false light, HarperCollins will be sued.”
U.S. Attorney for Illinois’s Northern District, is a prosecutorial
threatening Lance with defamation and ¬libel charges. However, he
supposedly is fighting as a private citizen defending his public reputation…wink-wink/nudge-nudge…
Fitzgerald tried to do,” says Lance, “is virtually unprecedented.
Understand that this is arguably the most powerful Federal prosecutor
in America combing through the book and writing 32 pages of threat letters,
none of which make a viable claim for defamation. Triple Cross
has become Patrick Fitzgerald’s obsession.”
I have read all
of Lance’s 9/11 work (www.peterlance.com)
and find it detailed, compelling and serious journalism. Lance is an
adherent of the Metcalf axiom “it is not a question of WHO is
right or wrong but WHAT is right or wrong that counts”. Fitzgerald
apparently disagrees and accuses Lance of being “outrageously
dishonest”. Although the threatening letters have been sent from
a U.S. Attorney (and at least one faxed and time stamped from the U.S.
Attorney’s office), the feud has taken on a school yard echo:
“Did not! Did to! Oh yeah! In your face! Neener neener…”
‘polished’/tweaked the paperback version and added a new
introduction…which is mostly about the U.S. Attorney’s efforts
to kill the book (and will probably get more attention than “How
bin Laden's Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets, and the
FBI”…which is the too long subtitle of ‘Triple Cross’).
the ire and angst of Fitzgerald to Triple Cross: that Fitzgerald
mucked up handling a key FBI informant who doubled as an Al Qaeda spy;
a bogus sworn affirmation dissing Intel from an inmate snitch; and an
alleged cover up involving an FBI agent and a mobbed up player, there
are two key overlooked elements to this soap opera: 1) Abuse of Power;
and 2) Unintended consequences.
Abuse of power
under the color of authority is a big deal and Fitzgerald’s over
the top efforts to kibosh an investigative book about 9/11is open to
such a charge. Lord Chesterfield once observed, “An injury is
much sooner forgotten than an insult.” The perceived insults in
Triple Cross probably would have faded away into the shadows
of conspiracy folklore without the itching and moaning and gnashing
of teeth exhibited by the star U.S. Attorney.
The hardcover version
of Triple Cross is ranked 15,918 by Amazon. Pre-sales of the
paperback version is ranked 47,000 by Amazon. In the wake of Mike Isikoff’s
Newsweek story, the Chicago Sun and Wall Street Journal ink, Lance and
Harper Collins should be getting early Christmas presents this year…all
thanks to the excessive protestations of their harshest critic.
the ultimate irony,” Lance says. “It wasn’t reviewed
by a single U.S. publication. If Patrick Fitzgerald had not attempted
to kill it, it would have just gone off into publishing obscurity. This
is the true lesson of censorship.”
"We believe the book fairly raises issues of public concern,"
a spokesman said. Their press release for the book, added, what should
be obvious to anyone who reads will know, that Triple Cross
“stands as an important work of investigative journalism.”
Lance says, “Patrick
Fitzgerald accuses me of making charges in the book that I never made….At
the same time, he continually fails to respond to the substantive allegations
documented in 604 pages, 1,425 end notes and 32 pages of documentary
selectively been using “no comment” to some reporters, adding
that on this personal matter, he could be reached only through a P.O.
Box (unless the moon is in a certain phase and he arbitrarily chooses
to talk to certain people).
is refusing to respond to allegations and press inquires so as to include
them in a book of his own? Meanwhile a point by point refutation of
Triple Cross would do more good for the legend of Patrick Fitzgerald
than sophomoric trash talk.
© 2009 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved