Specter's calls are empty

Bill's Rant

May 15, 2008|By BILL ORDINE

As expected, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter's concerns over Spygate were not allayed by his conversation with ex-New England Patriots employee Matt Walsh. To the contrary, Specter was moved to call for an independent investigation.

If you read the full text of Specter's "floor statement" on the subject, he makes what some might consider a pretty strong prima-facie case for such an inquiry based on circumstantial evidence -- for example, anecdotal observations that link rule-breaking videotaping with subsequent improved Patriots performances, and inconsistencies in the NFL's own inquiry and disclosures. The inquiry Specter suggests is one similar to the investigation conducted by former Sen. George Mitchell on behalf of baseball.

But there's a huge difference here. Remember that Mitchell's investigation got its traction from information and a handful of witnesses that resulted from federal law enforcement authorities doing their own investigations into drug cases. An independent Spygate investigator, without subpoena power, would have no such advantage or leverage. So what would be the point?

Specter, in the last line of his floor statement, hinted that if the NFL didn't initiate an investigation, Congress might get involved.

You know, with gasoline headed to $4 a gallon and the economy teetering, I just don't see that happening.

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