Tuesday, May 29, 2007



Both Joel Seidman at MSNBC and Dan Froomkin at today's Washington Post are reporting what has been widely known by everyone with a 3-digit IQ who's been paying attention to the Valerie Plame case: she was a covert CIA agent when Cheney's shop decided to out her to Bob Novak and other right-wing media tools. But like John Amato says, Now it's official. And now it looks like Pat Fitzgerald may well wind up indicting Cheney after all!
Special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald has made it clearer than ever that he was hot on the trail of a coordinated campaign to out CIA agent Valerie Plame until that line of investigation was cut off by the repeated lies from Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Libby was convicted in February of perjury and obstruction of justice. Fitzgerald filed a memo on Friday asking U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who will sentence Libby next week, to put him in prison for at least two and a half years.

That's all you get for treason these days? Two and a half lousy years? What happened to firing squads and gallows? I thought these wingnuts loved capital punishment. Oh... not for themselves?
Despite all the public interest in the case, Fitzgerald has repeatedly asserted that grand-jury secrecy rules prohibit him from being more forthcoming about either the course of his investigation or any findings beyond those he disclosed to make the case against Libby. But when his motives have been attacked during court proceedings, Fitzgerald has occasionally shown flashes of anger -- and has hinted that he and his investigative team suspected more malfeasance at higher levels of government than they were able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

In Friday's eminently readable court filing, Fitzgerald quotes the Libby defense calling his prosecution "unwarranted, unjust, and motivated by politics." In responding to that charge, the special counsel evidently felt obliged to put Libby's crime in context. And that context is Dick Cheney.

And it always has been. Cheney told Libby that Plame was a secret CIA agent and Cheney told Libby to disclose that information to hack reporters and was Cheney part of-- actually directed-- the cover-up that followed the White House's outing of her.

Fitz: "To accept the argument that Mr. Libby's prosecution is the inappropriate product of an investigation that should have been closed at an early stage, one must accept the proposition that the investigation should have been closed after at least three high-ranking government officials were identified as having disclosed to reporters classified information about covert agent Valerie Wilson, where the account of one of them was directly contradicted by other witnesses, where there was reason to believe that some of the relevant activity may have been coordinated, and where there was an indication from Mr. Libby himself that his disclosures to the press may have been personally sanctioned by the Vice President."

Libby gets sentenced June 5, a week from today. Will the judge allow him to remain out of prison while he appeals. Umm... is he a rich, well-connected white Republican male? And even if he gets thrown in the pokey, anyone wanna take bets that Bush pardons him within hours?

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At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Howie for pulling this together in a great update.

Let's hope Walton does a major "upward departure" on sentencing.

(a phrase I learned from the legals at FDL during the Libby trial)


At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 1/2 years for perjury and obstruction. "Treason" would be the appropriate charge for Cheney himself.


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