Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Fitzgerald's findings -- more questions
Bloggers and will surely be climbing over Michael Issikoff and Murray Waas in a race to discover the identity of the four people identified by Fitzgerald as Libby's Plame sources. One is a "senior CIA officer," one is an undersecretary of state (Bolton, perhaps...?), one is a "counsel to the vice president," and one is Dick Cheney.

Speaking of Cheney, here is his statement on Libby's troubles today (courtesy of The Washington Note):

Mr. Libby has informed me that he is resigning to fight the charges brought against him. I have accepted his decision with deep regret. Scooter Libby is one of the most capable and talented individuals I have ever known. He has given many years of his life to public service and has served our nation tirelessly and with great distinction.

In our system of government an accused person is presumed innocent until a contrary finding is made by a jury after an opportunity to answer the charges and a full airing of the facts. Mr. Libby is entitled to that opportunity.

Because this is a pending legal proceeding, in fairness to all those involved, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the charges or on any facts relating to the proceeding.

Another Fitzgerald paraquote from his presser today on the "why no leak charge" question: "Knowing that [Libby] learned the classified information [about Plame] and knowing that he gave that information to someone outside the government who was not entitled to receive it, and knowing it was classified, is not enough." You need to know that he understood all of those things and disclosed it anyway. "It doesn't matter what statute you use to vindicate the [public] interest. If Mr. Libby is found guilty of the charges, it will vindicate the public interest and hold him accountable. You wouldn't say that he was convicted under the wrong statute."

Fitzgerald is essentially saying that prosecuting Libby perjury and obstruction is another way to get at the same end that prosecuting him on the leak itself would: getting to the bottom of how and why classified information was leaked to unauthorized persons, and punishing those involved (starting with Libby) ...

More Fitzgerald: "This indictment is not about the war, and persons who oppose the war or persons who favor the war ... should not look to this indictment to vindicate their feelings. ... They would be disappointed and I think it would impede the process..." (Fitzgerald also made the point that "there is no law that says if you simply give classified information to someone else, that's a crime." There is no "official secrets act" as in England. There is a narrow statute under which you could charge someone with a serious national security violation.) What it seems is that if Libby hadn't lied to the grandy jury, no indictments would have been handed down, at least at this stage... which leads to more questions -- why would Libby take that chance? He's a lawyer and surely understands the jeopardy he placed himself in. Why did he go so far as to lie to the FBI and "repeatedly" to the grand jury? To protect Cheney? To protect someone else?

I've got more questions than answers or any form of "vindication" at this point...

Updates:

Bloomberg says the Indictment of One weakens Bush further.

RawStory is reporting that Fitzgerald may be holding out for much more serious charges against Karl Rove, stemming from those forged documents and possible "misuse of classified information..." (more RawStory scoopola here) ...

Libby's replacement has been named, and he's not without controversy...

The Daily News reports on the despondency of the Bush-bots...

Fitzgerald is out with a press release on the charges ...

LAT has a brief history of scandal-plagued aides ...

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Tags; , , , , Karl Rove, , White House, PlameGate, , Middle East, War, Terrorism, Foreign Policy,
posted by JReid @ 2:49 PM  
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