Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ash Wednesday

The Valerie Plame investigation while massive in the States doesn't really have that high a profile in the UK, nevertheless this profile - from the Feb 2006 issue of Vanity Fair - of Patrick Fitzgerald the tireless attorney who is running it lodged in my mind because of the extraordinary paragraph below.

The face he showed that day looked a bit banged up, as if he'd just come out of a rugby game, though in fact it reflected only sleeplessness. There was a kind of wide-eyed, youthful sweetness to it. One easily understood why, when Fitzgerald and Andrew McCarthy, a fellow Irish-American, had prosecuted Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman in a Manhattan terror bombing and assassination conspiracy a decade ago, defense lawyers petitioned for a recess on Ash Wednesday: the blackened foreheads of the prosecutors would only accentuate their maddening altar-boy images. (The judge, incidentally, granted the request.)
The defence for an Egyptian Muslim cleric got an adjournment on Ash Wednesday so that the court wouldn't be swayed by the crosses of ashes sported by the Irish American Catholic prosecuters a a sign of penitence and mortality! I'm astounded. You wouldn't believe it in a novel or a film

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