ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More Plame B.S.

It seems that the inaction by Fitzgerald is generating a lot more talk than if he handed down some indictments. Check out this post from DailyKos and this post from the Raw Story, which is just a great site for news - unless you like facts.

Excerpted and skewered in full:

Prosecutor in leak case seeks indictments against Rove, Libby, lawyers close to case say
Jason Leopold and John Byrne

Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has asked the grand jury investigating the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to indict Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, lawyers close to the investigation tell RAW STORY.

Fitzgerald has also asked the jury to indict Libby on a second charge: knowingly outing a covert operative, the lawyers said. They said the prosecutor believes that Libby violated a 1982 law that made it illegal to unmask an undercover CIA agent.

Libby’s attorney, Joseph A. Tate, did not return a call seeking comment.

First, it's a fact that Plame wasn't undercover at the time of the disclosure - nor was she undercover within the past five years prior to the disclosure (which is the statute of limitations in the 1982 law). So, it's unlikely that this charge will be levied against anyone, EXCEPT if Plame status had been covertly changed to undercover and that information hasn't been made public yet.
Two other officials, who are not employees in the White House, are also expected to face indictments, the lawyers said.

Hmmmm... not employees of the White House means CIA/State Dept employees or journalists. Or perhaps someone from the neighborhood McDonalds who knew that she worked at the CIA? You... Make... the... call.
The grand jury had not yet decided on whether to make indictments at the time this article was published. It appears more likely that the jury would hand down indictments of perjury and obstruction than a charge that Plame was outed illegally.
Wait, I thought you just said that there was going to be an indictment against Libby for the outing? Looks like you're contradicting yourself...
Those close to the investigation said Rove was offered a deal Tuesday to plead guilty to perjury for a reduced charge. Rove’s lawyer was told that Fitzgerald would drop an obstruction of justice charge if his client agreed not to contest allegations of perjury, they said.

Rove declined to plead guilty to the reduced charge, the sources said, indicating through his attorney Robert Luskin that he intended to fight the charges. A call placed to Luskin was not returned.

Those familiar with the case said that Libby did not inform Rove that Plame was covert. As a result, Rove may not be charged with a crime in leaking Plame’s identity, even though he spoke with reporters.

Yes, it's highly unlikely that Rove would get an indictment for violating the 1982 statute... it's also highly unlikely that Rove would get convicted of a perjury charge, given that he's repeatedly appeared before the grand jury to correct the record. (Unless he appeared before the Grand Jury and, instead of correcting the record, did something like arguing over the meaning of the word "is" a "sex."
A Wall Street Journal report Wednesday suggests Fitzgerald's primary focus is Cheney's office. An L.A. Times story last week indicated that Libby mounted an "aggressive campaign" against Joseph Wilson, the husband of the outed CIA agent, who questioned the Administration's claims that Iraq sought to obtain uranium from Niger.

Richard Sale, a former UPI intelligence reporter, wrote on a blog Wednesday that two White House officials were likely to be indicted, citing federal law enforcement and senior intelligence officials. Sale was the first to finger Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin in the Israel-AIPAC espionage case.

Rove’s charges appear to stem from allegations that he lied to FBI investigators in 2003, the sources said. Perjury and obstruction charges leveled against Libby center around conflicting testimony to the grand jury, they added.

So, again.. you've got conflicting stories on whether it's perjury or disclosure.... make up your mind, please.
The lawyers said Fitzgerald needed more evidence to convince the grand jury that Plame was in fact an undercover agent. On Monday, he sent FBI agents to her residential neighborhood to obtain testimony from neighbors that they were unaware of Plame’s employment prior to her outing.

Evidence collected in these inquiries was aimed at convincing the jury that she was covert, the lawyers said. A Reuters story indicated that Plame’s neighbors were not aware that she was working at the agency.

This part had me rolling... I don't know about you, but many of my neighbors couldn't tell you where I work... nor my wife. And just because your neighbors don't know you work for the CIA does not give you undercover status. Heck, even if you worked for the CIA and weren't undercover, would you tell all your neighbors that you worked there? If this is true, then Fitzgerald is truly reaching...
Any indictments are expected to be handed down today or Thursday. It is unclear how much information Fitzgerald will make public when they are announced.

Good guess... only way you can be wrong is if they're handed down on Friday. Thanks for the information!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler