The Scene: Lionel Twain's dining room, after the detectives return to find it filled with people though it was empty the moment before.
Milo Perrier: What do you make of all of this, Wang?
Sidney Wang: Is confusing.
Moose Head on the wall: It! It is confusing! Say your goddamned pronouns!
Diane Silver and Inspector Wang have something in common:
Kline claims that his raid on the medical records is motivated by nothing other then the wish to uncover rapes and incest and prosecute the evil doers. I find that I'm confused, though...The end of the movie, and neither I nor anyone else has seen it.
So, let me ask what may be a stupid question: How can Kline use these records to prosecute rapists or child abusers -- if the records do show those crimes -- when the records don't identify the victims? It appears that the only thing Kline can do with these records is possibly, if there's been a crime, prosecute doctors.
Honestly, I do want answers (no kidding here). I know pro-Kline people read this blog, so I ask you: What am I missing?
But what is interesting is how many people are sure whodunnit (his name is "Phill Kline" apparently) when they are only 15 minutes into this mystery.
The facts thus far are that Kline, as part of an investigation, asked a judge to subpoena certain medical records from 2 abortion clinics. That's what we know. We don't know why other than in generalities. We don't know who the records belong to. We don't even know if these are all the records in the investigation (I would bet my bottom dollar that they are not).
Kline's detractors are certain that this is either a) a fishing expedition, b) an attempt to scare women away from getting abortions, or c) a "panty sniffing" (Pandagon's words) exercise to find out who the slutty girls are.
We can rule out "b" because Kline did not publicize the fact that he was going after the records; that was done by the clinics themselves. I think we can rule out "c" as well, because there are no names (yet) and there are easier ways to find loose women than asking the court to vet them for you. That leaves "a," which is of course possible but unlikely given the oversight functions of several levels of courts. None of the motives assigned by his critics are very likely - though they play well in the paper.
When I worked in Kline's office I talked to Ms. Silver, who was covering the statehouse for the Wichita Eagle at the time. I don't recall the conversation, only her name, so I don't know if I ever explained ABA Rule 3.6, which states with enumerated exceptions that an attorney (and that includes his spokesman, me) "shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter."
In Kline's office, Rule 3.6 meant we did not talk about investigations, period. We didn't say that there was an investigation taking place, who was being investigated for what, what we were looking for or where we were looking. Under Kline's office rules we usually said exactly nothing, much to the frustration of Ms. Silver's compatriots who were often well along a hot trail. Kline has talked about this investigation in generalities - after it became public by the actions of those being investigated - breaking his own rules in doing so (being the guy who made the office rules, he can do that). But even he can't break Rule 3.6 without getting into the lawyerly equivalent of hot water, so what he can say is necessarily limited as well. That explains why he has spoken only in generalities and why there are so many questions he will not answer publicly.
I said all that to say this: the only people who know the intended use of the records being collected are Phill Kline, the judge who issued the subpoena, the Assistant AG and team actually performing the investigation, and possibly the Kansas Supremes, and none of them are going to say, can say, for various legally-defined reasons. But a judge has reviewed the request using proper legal criteria and believes that Kline has presented sufficient legal evidence that a crime has occurred to subpoena records that might lead to an indictment. It's the judge overseeing the investigation who needs to be convinced of the veracity of the case, not the press, not me, certainly not the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times. Eventually maybe a jury will, but that must wait until the final scene. That's how prosecutions are supposed to work.
Everyone else who thinks they know exactly why these records are wanted, what information Kline and his investigators hope to get from them, even precisely what is being investigated and how, doesn't know dick. Everyone, on either side, is simply guessing. "Is confusing," because we don't know the facts and won't know them until Lionel Twain reveals that he is indeed the world's greatest living detective and the credits roll.