Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fitzmas No Mas

If you don't understand why the Libby verdict today is a shameful travesty, get yourself over to Just One Minute, Tom Maguire's indispensable blog for Plame-maniacs.

You don't have to memorize all the intricacies of the case as the JOM regulars have to recognize that Patrick Fitzgerald conducted a selective, politically biased investigation. In Fitzgerald's Future in Stand-Up, Maguire summarizes the Special Prosecutor's deficiencies and concludes:

In Jan 2004 Fitzgerald learned from Ari Fleischer that David Gregory had received a leak on the morning of July 11, which certainly gave Russert time to chat with Gregory and then with Libby.

Did Fitzgerald call Gregory to verify Fleischer's testimony? No. Why not? Ask Fitzgerald. But my guess is that he figured that Gregory would only undermine the case he was constructing against Libby, and building that case was more important than learning the truth.

Fitzgerald abused his office and his public trust.

Over at The Corner at National Review Online, Mark Levin agrees.

Most prosecutors that I know try to determine what crimes they are looking into. Since Fitzgerald didn't charge anyone with revealing Plame's identity, he must have concluded early on that there was no such crime relevant to his investigation. And he knew Libby hadn't "leaked" to Woodward or Novak. That's where it should have ended. But it didn't. I find his conduct very troubling. He sought special authority from Comey to drag reporters before the grand jury (authority no prosecutor to my mind has ever exercised let alone sought). His press conference announcing the indictment was grossly misleading. He knew Libby hadn't been the source who revealed Plame's identity. He knew that many of his own witnesses had poor memories. He knew that Joe Wilson was a liar (if he reads newspapers or Senate Intel report).

His closing argument was politically charged as he referenced Cheney repeatedly and Bush as well. And he went back to the conspiracy theory he chose not to bring in a formal indictment, i.e., that Cheney led an effort to put out information about Wilson. This is the most absurd prosecution in my memory, and the idea that the man in charge of it should be viewed as simply following the law and addressing the circumstances before him is not credible to me.

In today's press conference, Fitzgerald described his investigation as "inactive." He said that he and his team were "all going back to our day jobs." And not a moment too soon.

No comments: