Saturday :: Oct 29, 2005

Is It Really That Bad That It Was Only Libby So Far?

by Steve

I’ve had my say yesterday about my initial reaction to Fitzgerald’s five indictments yesterday, and of course all of you are free to disagree, as larre did and dj moonbat among others have done. I will restate my point, which is that as the grand jury expired, Fitz was only able to get a five count indictment against Libby in essence for lying to the FBI and the grand jury. I also said that unless there are new developments, that was it folks, and that the White House got off somewhat easy in comparison to how bad it could have been, when we were hearing that Rove and Hadley were expecting to be indicted as well.

But what could be those new developments? Well, both CNN and the AP noted late yesterday that “Official A” is definitely Karl Rove, but Fitzgerald didn’t move against him yet with this grand jury. And as several of you have pointed out, Fitzgerald’s MO indicates that he will slowly and deliberately continue to plug away here against additional targets and issue more indictments, like he did in Chicago.

Second, as many of you pointed out, it will get much worse for Cheney and Bush when this case goes to trial, probably just before the 2006 midterm elections. Cheney will have to be a witness, as will Rove and many other administration officials. And those testimonies will cripple the GOP chances in 2006. The only way to avoid that would be for Libby to accept a plea bargain and avoid a trial, but Fitzgerald’s history suggests that the time for Libby to cut a deal elapsed yesterday, and with Libby intent on proving his innocence, a trial seems a certainty. And after Bush’s comments about Fitzgerald’s work being “serious” yesterday, there is no chance that Bush would pardon Libby before a trial.

Third, what surprised me last night as I was scanning the cable chatfests (except the Kool Aid drinking, what-hurricane-is-it-now Fox News) was that the initial reaction from the talking heads indicated the shark-pack mentality had returned to the media, and a Bush-is-fu*ked mentality had at least taken over amongst the talking heads. Frankly, given the cuckolded media we have seen over the last five years, I wasn’t expecting this yesterday when I heard that Rove escaped the initial swath of Fitzgerald’s sword.

Lastly, and on a purely political note, this indictment and any additional ones should surely allow the Democrats to ram home the message over and over again starting now that the Bush Administration and the GOP cannot be trusted with our national security, our secrets, or with protecting us. The Democrats should be openly asking the voters “if these guys did this to our CIA agents, how can you trust them to protect us from another attack?”

Update: Andrew Sullivan makes a point today that it is quite possible that Fitzgerald issued what he did yesterday as the platform from which to pressure Libby one more time to roll over on his boss or on the others in the administration who were involved in the bad intel/disinformation campaign. And under Sullivan's line of thinking, if Libby blows off Fitzgerald's last offer here of a plea bargain, then Fitzgerald will hit him with the IIA and Espionage Act charges as well. It is clear from the indictment as Josh Marshall notes, that Libby and Cheney knew Plame was covert when they talked about where in the CIA she worked. And both Cheney and Libby, being old intelligence/national security types they claim to be, knew the import of her working on that side of the Agency. So if they knew she worked on the covert side when they talked about spreading the pushback campaign out amongst the selected journalists, then you have the necessary predicate for the IIA and Espionage charges.

Steve :: 9:22 AM :: Comments (13) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!