"And so basically, what it looks like is going to happen is that Libby and Karl Rove are going to be executed” because “outing a CIA agent is treason,” left-wing author and radio talk show host Al Franken asserted Friday night, to audience laughter, on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman. Franken qualified his hard-edged satire: "Yeah. And I don't know how I feel about it because I'm basically against the death penalty, but they are going to be executed it looks like." Franken later suggested that President Bush is at risk of receiving the same punishment, since Karl Rove likely told him what he did, but he added a caveat: “I think, by the way, that we should never ever, ever, ever execute a sitting President."
Joining the interview as Franken, who came aboard to plug his new book, The Truth (with jokes), delivered his explanation of the Valerie Plame case:
David Letterman: “The feeling was that this report made the administration's decision to go to war look bad-”
Al Franken: “Right. So they wanted to smear the guy who came back with the report, and so they out his wife and said she sent him there. This is essentially, you know, George H.W. Bush, the President's father, was the head of the CIA and he has said that outing a CIA agent is treason.”
Letterman: “It is treason, yes.”
Franken: “And so basically, what it looks like is going to happen is that Libby and Karl Rove are going to be executed."
[audience laughter over Letterman’s response]
Letterman, in mock indignation: “What? What! Really?”
Franken cautioned: “Yeah. And I don't know how I feel about it because I'm basically against the death penalty, but they are going to be executed it looks like.”
A bit later:
Letterman quipped: “The real crime is that there's an adult man walking around in the current administration named Scooter. I mean, we can agree on that, right?” [Audience laughter]
Franken combined the liberal spin on the case with some humor: “That, but sooner or later he'll be executed, so that, and you worry about because the President at some, he said right away when Novak outed the CIA agent, Plame, said 'I want to get to the bottom of this.’ Well now Karl Rove is his right-hand man. Did he ask Karl? Did Karl lie to him? If so, we know he should have fired Karl by now so that, and did Karl tell the truth to him? In that case the President -- and I think, by the way, that we should never ever, ever, ever execute a sitting President.” [Audience laughter]
Letterman: “It makes us look bad around the world, I think.”
Franken, in jest: “It would. It would be heartbreaking, I think, and I think that we should have a constitutional amendment.”
Letterman: “I see, yeah. Have we ever come close in the history to executing a seated President?”
Franken: “No, this will be the closest.”
Letterman: “This will be the closest, yeah.”
Franken: “Unless we get that amendment passed now.”
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