Sunday, October 02, 2005

well somebody's pants are on fire

You'd think the White House would be pushing harder to keep religion out of government and legislation instead of encouraging it, especially since G-d's pesky commandment against lying could interfere with business as usual. Maybe there's some fine print in the ten commandments that provides a loophole for Republicans, otherwise BushCo may be in trouble with more than just G-d (who's looking into retracting his vote with continuous confirmation of Repubevangelical breech of his moral turpitude clause).

It's unlikely that any indictment will be handed out for a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, the crime Patrick Fitzgerald seated the grand jury to investigate, because the act is written so specifically that it appears to have been written to provide a legal out if high level government officials wanted to out an operative for political purposes. This being said, there were other violations of law including, but not limited to, criminal conspiracy
But a new theory about Fitzgerald's aim has emerged in recent weeks from two lawyers who have had extensive conversations with the prosecutor while representing witnesses in the case. They surmise that Fitzgerald is considering whether he can bring charges of a criminal conspiracy perpetrated by a group of senior Bush administration officials. Under this legal tactic, Fitzgerald would attempt to establish that at least two or more officials agreed to take affirmative steps to discredit and retaliate against Wilson and leak sensitive government information about his wife. To prove a criminal conspiracy, the actions need not have been criminal, but conspirators must have had a criminal purpose. [WaPo]
A few attorneys speculate that Fitzgerald will not hand down any indictments or issue a report claiming to have jailed Judith Miller just to get her testimony and wrap up the investigation noting it's unlikely Fitzgerald has evidence of a crime and that the actions undertaken that lead to the revelation of Plame's identity can be chalked up to politics, not criminal wrongdoing. The defense will be that the Administration didn't out Plame to damage national security, they outed her to facilitate the continued perpetuation of the administration's lies to the American People. Whether it is illegal to defraud Congress of their votes to legally declare a war the administration had already begun is another question entirely; it is, however, reprehensible that one could avoid criminal charges for endangering national security, when they knew full well the course of action they were taking could do so, just because the intent was to extract a little political payback and marginalize a critic. If a drunk driver gets into an accident, (s)he is not exonerated of charges simply because the intent was to drive home, political game playing should not be an acceptable legal justification for administration officials to abrogate their responsibilities to the security of the country and/or welfare of its people.

It's unlikely an attorney of Fitzgerald's reputation would incarcerate Miller to obtain information as specific as what was listed in her subpoena unless he fully expected to be able to deliver an indictment. We already know that there is
conflicting testimony which could lead to a perjury charge or two (Clinton was nailed for lying about a blowjob that did not impact national security; the lies and cover-up in this case were about actions that jeopardized CIA operations and operatives - we may never know the amount of damage actually done in order to facilitate BushCo's perpetuation of other lies). Whether indictments will be handed down or not, one thing is clear: two high ranking BushCo officials were very much involved in the outing of a CIA operative and the White House continued to lie about it (and any knowledge of involvement) while not so subtly changing its tune on how they'd address involvement.

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