Thursday, March 08, 2007

Plame Blame Game - pardons & future witch hunts

Lordy, can't believe I'm addressing this nonsense at all. What a waste of bandwidth and court docket time this whole trial has been.

From the "much ado about nothing" files.... except, however, to Scooter Libby who faces potential jail time.... comes the head spinning
quote from juror, Ann Redington which sums up the highly publicized trial in a nutshell....

“I would like him to get” a pardon from Bush, Redington said. “It kind of bothers me that there was this whole big crime being investigated and he got caught up in the investigation as opposed to in the actual crime that was supposedly committed.”

Exactly... the fallout from an investigation in search of a scandal. Or, as Ms. Redington aptly put it, "the actual crime that was supposedly committed."

Since we (the public) have known it was Dick Armitage for months, and Fitz has known for years, it's notable the guy's still running around free. One can only assume there has been no chargeable crime.

Jurors were quite confused for the most part, and were evidently reluctant to even play the guilty/not-guilty game.

“Some jurors commented at some point: ‘I wish we weren’t judging Libby. You know, this sucks. We don’t like being here.’ But that wasn’t our choice.”

Juror Denis Collins apparently didn't share that reluctance.

“I will say there was a tremendous amount of sympathy for Mr. Libby on the jury,” said the juror, Denis Collins, a former newspaper reporter.

“It was said a number of times: ‘What are we doing with this guy here? Where’s Rove? Where are these other guys?’ ” Collins said, referring to Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove, who was identified during the investigation as one of the senior officials who revealed the identity of the operative, Valerie Plame, to journalists.

“I’m not saying we didn’t think Mr. Libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of,” Collins said. “It seemed like he was, as Mr. Wells [Ted Wells, Libby’s attorney] put it, he was the fall guy.”

No surprise an ex WaPo reporter is still focused on trying to find some way to pull Rove or other WH admin officials down along side Libby. Rather absurd since they had nothing to do with Armitage's "outing", or Libby's "lying".

But still the burning question to Mr. Collins remains on the tip of my lips.... fall guy for *what* crime? Scape goat for whom?

Now it's the media, so called "battered", Wilsons' turn to
be in the spotlight. None of this nonsense would exist were it not for a disgruntled Joe Wilson and his botched attempts to discredit the WH over the Iraq war. The tongue in cheek humorist, Jonah Goldberg, announces the next game plan eloquently in his column, "The Joe & Valerie Show" today, i.e., the Wilsons are again ready to assume the "victim" stance.

The Wilsons' civil lawsuit against Dick Cheney, Rove et al — filed, they assure us, "with heavy hearts" — claims that the White House's revelation of her identity put her life and the lives of her children in danger. (Never mind that it wasn't the White House who outed her but Richard Armitage over at the State Department.) Even after baring all for Vanity Fair, the golden couple clearly take every effort to maintain their privacy. While heading for a vacation getaway, Wilson couldn't resist giving one last interview at the Houston airport. One of his sons blurted out for everyone to hear, "My daddy is famous, my mommy is a secret spy." Clearly the pressures of the Wilson family code of silence had gotten to the lad.

And yes... the Wilsons are also suing Armitage. But this trial is a long way from the original event starting the ball rolling downhill. For those confused out there on the sequence of events - and who couldn't be with the way the media has misrepresented the story and trial over and over again - we can take a brief trip down memory lane with a smile using Jonah's mini history recap from a Nov 2, 2005 article, "The Grinch who stole Fitzmas". Allow me to summarize...

1: This all started when Wilson took to the press to try and discredit the WH admin/SOTU with his objection that Iraq sought uranium "yellowcake" in Africa. True there are no "reported" requests for uranium, but Wilson neglected to address the underground black market. Get serious, Joe. What were you thinking? When you're trying to buy weapons grade uranium illegally, are you going to put in a purchase order?? Fact is, Joe's report, of which there are documented lies about where the trip's "order" came from, and to whom it was circulated, only lent credibility to the fact that Saddam was indeed trying to obtain illegal "yellowcake".

Additionally, Euro and Brit intel still stand by their findings that Iraq was indeed seeking uranium from Africa (via black market). Uh... believe Joe? Or believe multiple allied intel agencies... don't help... Okay, I'll take Door #2.

2: It has established that Ms. Plame, via outside usual CIA channels (aka without their knowledge?) sent her husband to Nigeria for this little investigation, and not the WH. Not Cheney. Not Rove. Evidently didn't do such a bang up job to boot.

3: Fitz already knew Novak's source was Armitage years ago, and saw no need to press charges for outing Ms. Plame. DOH! There goes the crime charges. But WAIT! Libby made it difficult for us to get to that "never mind" moment here... he *lied* in multiple places of those repetative hearings. Let's file one charge for each individual lie! (Thus, the 5 counts) But wait... Russert speaks from both sides of his mouth too? But he's not on trial. So we'll get Libby.

What we have here is little more than a media circus - a game of political Clue but without the crime.

But the reality is, trying Scooter Libby for perjury and "obstruction of justice" when no crime was committed is as absurd as it would have been to prosecute Clinton for his perjury after he left office. Again, a waste of docket and bandwidth time for what?

Like the infomercial language says, BUT WAIT.. there's MORE! Neither the Congressional Dems or Wilsons are willing to give up so easily. They still continue the witch hunt, seeking ways to draw Cheney and Rove into their net.

So we have yet another Congressional hearing! Gawd, what do these people do to get paid the big bucks anyway...

Henry Waxman (D-Ca) has invited both Valerie and Fitz to appear before the House Oversight and Govt Reform Committee hearing. The stated quest, per Waxman's words?

"The trial proceedings raise questions about whether senior White House officials, including the vice president and Senior Adviser to the President Karl Rove, complied with the requirements governing the handling of classified information," Waxman wrote in his invitation to Fitzgerald.

"They also raise questions about whether the White House took appropriate remedial action following the leak and whether the existing requirements are sufficient to protect against future leaks," Waxman added. "Your perspective on these matters is important."

Oh my... Clinton's Sandy Berger has written the handbook on the "handling of classified information". His penalty for stealing and destroying classified docs on terrorism in order to hide it from the 911 Commission? $57K fine and picking up the trash. Almost zip media coverage of that crime, BTW... a mere blip on the MSM screens. Amazing that no one seems to care.
Those who's testimonies are "questionably" by Waxman have already been in front of grand juries multiple times. Were they not in "compliance", Fitz... ever the attention to detail prosecutor... would have already found ways to prosecute. Like perhaps they had dirt under their fingernails?

Needless to say, Valerie's frothing at the bit to testify. But it looks like Fitz, who probably knows more than everyone at this point about the non-value of wasting time and hunt & peck investigations, isn't enthused about being involved in another witch hunt.

Fitzgerald has made clear that, unlike earlier independent counsels appointed under a law now expired, he is not required to submit investigative reports to Congress.

"I think we should conduct this like any other criminal investigation: charge someone or be quiet," Fitzgerald said when he announced Libby's indictment.

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