June 24, 2003
FBI Arrests Karl Rove On Anonymous Tip By Ashcroft; Guidelines For Use of Tips Subsequently Narrowed
In the wake of news that false terrorism tips have been uprooting the lives of innocent suspects, a recent encounter between Karl Rove and the FBI has come to light.
An anonymous tipster (John Ashcroft) provided the FBI with information leading to the subsequent arrest of Karl Rove as a suspected terrorist about two weeks ago.
Special Agent Hans "Christian" Anderson and partner Martin Asphalt had received a wanted notice for a "chubby balding man with glasses and expensive, ugly ties" who "was up to no good" and "possibly linked to terrorist activities." Several hours after receiving the APB, Anderson and Asphalt saw a man fitting this description lingering over the magazine section at Walmarts, where he was purportedly "fondling a copy of Maxim." (Rove late claimed that the magazine was The Weekly Standard, and that he had not been "caressing" it, as agents had described.)
The agents immediately picked Rove up and transported him to a secret detention center in Arlington, where, during interrogation, Rove repeatedly turned bright red screaming, "I'm the President, you morons."
Agent Asphalt often responded by picking up a copy of The Washington Post and showing him the cover. "This is the President," he would say. Rove blustered in response, "That man's a complete simpleton. I run everything."
Correcting himself later, Rove told the agents that "He was one of the most prominent members of President Bush's staff, and that he worked at the White House," but the agents noted that they had never seen him anywhere. Agent Asphalt later recalled bleakly that he and his partner had laughed "really loud and hard" whenever Rove had pointed out the m that they "were in a world of trouble now." Agent Asphalt is presently awaiting trial on charges stemming from the discovery of over 20 pounds of cocaine found in an FBI evidence bag in his bedroom closet, moments after Rove's release.
Things might have been straightened out quickly if the agents had permitted Rove access to a phone or provided him with a lawyer, but FBI policies prohibited allowing suspects of terrorism to have any contact with anyone in the outside world. As a result of the debacle, president Bush immediately issued guidelines narrowing the use of anonymous tips by the FBI.
One of the changes prohibits FBI agents from arresting anyone who is caught reading Maxim magazine.
Posted by Tom Burka at 3:30 AM