However, in an e-mail last weekend, Barcella suggested that he could have made finding the Russian Report even harder if not impossible. "Trust me Bob, if I didn't want that rpt to surface, you wouldn't have found it," Barcella wrote.
Still, it seems pretty clear that Barcella really "didn't want that rpt to surface." He might reasonably have thought that sticking it in a box that would likely disappear into some government warehouse was a pretty safe way to make sure that it wouldn't.
Except for my unlikely trip to the Ladies Room, it probably would have remained safely outside the public domain, possibly forever.
Yet, more troubling in my view than a dispute over my choice of the verb "hide" is Barcella's continued refusal to address specific criticisms of the logic behind the task force conclusions, which he has insisted represented "meticulous" investigative work and analysis.
In one of my e-mails back to him last weekend, I wrote:
"As for the investigation, as reflected in the report, it is anything but meticulous. Indeed, many of the alibis are laughable. Surely, you don't think that Dick Allen's writing down Bill Casey's home phone number on one day is proof that Casey was at home, especially since Allen told the task force he had no memory (or record) of calling Casey that day.
"Surely, you were aware that Larry Casey was lying when he concocted another alibi for his uncle, after presenting Frontline with an entirely different (and provably false) alibi.
"Surely, as a seasoned prosecutor, you would not accept an agreement from someone who identifies an alibi witness but then forbids you to speak with the alibi witness. Even a rookie cop would laugh at that one."
However, Barcella responded, as he has previously, rebuffing the opportunity to explain how these and other judgments could be defended.
"I told you I'm not going get into a point by point with you," he wrote. "Time is too precious to me right now than to deal with your obsession."
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