Saturday, October 22, 2005

Simmer Down
Rove-a-Palooza/Take a Letter from Libby/Miller's Crossing/Big Time!

Before you get too excited over this coming week's Fitzmas celebrations (I've heard tell of some losing sleep because of all the excitement), here's a little curbing of enthusiasm courtesy of John Dean (who, as part of the whole Watergate shenanigans, has a bit of wisdom). This comes via Armando over at Daily Kos, but you can read Dean's analysis in full here:
Fitzgerald Will Probably Look to Whether the Leakers' Motivation Was National Security

All prosecutorial decisions are political. Not necessarily in the partisan sense, but rather, in the sense the prosecutor balances the seriousness of the conduct involved, with the purpose of the laws that might be violated, and his job is to act in the best interest of the United States government.

The leak of Valerie Plame Wilson's covert identity, if it was part of a plan to discredit her husband's report on his trip to Niger, is directly related to issues of "national security." After all, the Niger uranium claim was part of the basis for the Iraq War, and Joe Wilson's claim that it was bogus, and the President ought to have known as much, is intimately related to the politics of going to war - and also to national security in the sense of responding to genuine, and only genuine, threats to the United States.

But national security is a very gray area. Was the Bush/Cheney White House operating in the best interest of the country, or did they have a private agenda (oil fields in Iraq)? Did Cheney, Karl Rove, and Scooter Libby believe they had national security reasons to discredit Wilson's claims, and act accordingly? This is an area where there is no law, and it compounds the assessment of the actions of those involved.

It is difficult to envision Patrick Fitzgerald prosecuting anyone, particularly Vice President Dick Cheney, who believed they were acting for reasons of national security. While hindsight may find their judgment was wrong, and there is no question their tactics were very heavy-handed and dangerous, I am not certain that they were acting from other than what they believed to be reasons of national security. They were selling a war they felt needed to be undertaken.

In short, I cannot imagine any of them being indicted, unless they were acting for reasons other than national security. Because national security is such a gray area of the law, come next week, I can see this entire investigation coming to a remarkable anti-climax, as Fitzgerald closes down his Washington Office and returns to Chicago.

In short, I think the frenzy is about to end -- and it will not go any further. Unless, of course, these folks were foolish enough to give false statements, perjure themselves or suborn perjury, or commit obstruction of justice. If they were so stupid, Patrick Fitzgerald must stay and clean house.
Here's hoping for stupidity!


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