Veteran U.S. attorney appointed to oversee Plame inquiry

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

U.S. Dept. of Justice attorney for 40 years, Dave Margolis, was assigned by James Comey on August 12 to take over his position as the acting Deputy Attorney General. The former assistant deputy replaces Comey as the acting boss of Patrick Fitzgerald, the lead prosecutor of the Plame CIA leak case. Comey left the post for the private sector as general council for Lockheed Martin Corp.

Al Martin, ret. Navy Lt. Commander (who testified for Kerry's Iran-Contra hearings) alleges that when David Margolis was the Domestic Criminal Section Chief, he helped limit the liability of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in the Iran-Contra affair. Martin is also on record as having alleged that Margolis was part of a "restricted access group" known as RAG-1, which "was first to develop and then to coordinate the CIA's policy of trafficking in narcotics on a large-scale basis, in order to produce ongoing covert revenue streams pursuant to the aid and sustenance of illegal operations of state," according to Martin.

President Bush nominated Timothy E. Flanigan for Comey's job. The Comey departure, without Margolis stepping in, would have left two key posts at the Justice Department unfilled. The head of the Criminal Justice, formerly occupied by Christopher Wray, has been empty since May.

Flanigan is facing tough questioning during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation process. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) said he is unsure whether he would vote for his confirmation. Flanigan's role in the aggressive interrogation techniques used on detainees from Afghanistan and Iraq and his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff are being probed.