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  • Saturday, October 22, 2005


    Down to the Wire in the CIA Leak Investigation

    If I understand correctly, Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor looking into the leaking of the identity of a CIA agent in 2003, should file charges this week. This assumes he will file any charges at all.

    Common Dreams has a reprint of the modestly titled The Most Important Criminal Case in American History by James Moore. It starts like this:

    If special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald delivers indictments of a few functionaries of the vice president’s office or the White House, we are likely to have on our hands a constitutional crisis. The evidence of widespread wrongdoing and conspiracy is before every American with a cheap laptop and a cable television subscription. And we do not have the same powers of subpoena granted to Fitzgerald.

    We know, however, based upon what we have read and seen and heard that someone created fake documents related to Niger and Iraq and used them as a false pretense to launch America into an invasion of Iraq. And when a former diplomat made an honest effort to find out the facts, a plan was hatched to both discredit and punish him by revealing the identity of his undercover CIA agent wife.

    Patrick Fitzgerald has before him the most important criminal case in American history. Watergate, by comparison, was a random burglary in an age of innocence. The investigator’s prosecutorial authority in this present case is not constrained by any regulation. If he finds a thread connecting the leak to something greater, Fitzgerald has the legal power to follow it to the web in search of the spider. It seems unlikely, then, that he would simply go after the leakers and the people who sought to cover up the leak when it was merely a secondary consequence of the much greater crime of forging evidence to foment war. Fitzgerald did not earn his reputation as an Irish alligator by going after the little guy. Presumably, he is trying to find evidence that Karl Rove launched a covert operation to create the forged documents and then conspired to out Valerie Plame when he learned the fraud was being uncovered by Plame’s husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson. As much as this sounds like the plot of a John le Carre novel, it also comports with the profile of the Karl Rove I have known, watched, traveled with and written about for the past 25 years.

    The New York Times suggests the tactic the GOP will take to discredit any indictments:
    With a decision expected this week on possible indictments in the C.I.A. leak case, allies of the White House suggested Sunday that they intended to pursue a strategy of attacking any criminal charges as a disagreement over legal technicalities or the product of an overzealous prosecutor.
    Right. Overzealous. That's why he's waited until the last week possible before issuing an indictment. While I would dearly love to see some people in this administration jailed on this one, I'm pessimistic. These folks have perfected the art of deniability, of baffling with bullshit and shifting definitions.


    Nota Bene: This is PBU43, my contribution to a collective blogging action done weekly by members of the Progressive Blogger Union (PBU). I do it because it's fun, fun, fun! To find out what other members of PBU are saying about the CIA leak investigation, this link should take you to a page where other PBU member posts are available. is a social bookmark and search engine. It categorizes and links all kinds of things on the web. Or you can go to this PBU page and click on "PBU43 from all users". You can also plug "PBU43" into the Technorati search engine.

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