Will Friday October 28, 2005 be Fitz-mas day at the White House? With less than 2 days left in special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s term to investigate the source of CIA operative Valerie (Plame) Wilson’s identity leak to the press it is safe to say that this could be (or not) a watershed event in the very troubled Presidency of Dick Cheney, I mean George W. Bush.
If indictments are handed down then it will be yet another personnel shuffle in an administration already filled with career yes men/women and career Bush family loyalists whose inescapable incompetence is never ending. What is becoming clear so far in the case is that the leak did indeed originate from within the White House.
The $64,000 question is how high up inside the administration will the evidence lead. As all involved are well schooled in covering their tracks, it may be difficult to pin anything directly on W or Cheney. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire folks.
It is now known that I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, VP Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff, lied when previously questioned by a grand jury in the case about his meeting with Mr. Cheney. Libby previously told the grand jury that he first learned of Ms. Plame from journalists. This statement is now known to be false as Mr. Fitzpatrick already had Libby’s notes of a June 12, 2003 meeting between himself and Cheney in which Valerie Plame was discussed. The Novak article came out about one month later. Lying to a grand jury is perjury. Obstructing a federal investigation is also a crime.
Was Scooter Libby trying to protect the VP? If so, why? Did Mr. Cheney initiate the leak without explicitly initiating it; sort of a Washington wink-wink, nod-nod kind of assignment? If Cheney did; then did George W. Bush know about it prior to when right wing columnist Robert Novak printed his article in July 2003? If W did know about it, or even condone it, then is there any evidence to make him indictable? If W didn’t know about it then is it safe to keep assuming that Dick Cheney is really running the show behind the scenes? Many Americans have suspected this since 2000 anyhow. And if W didn’t know; then is this further evidence that he really is not in control of his OWN administration and therefore the country? The proverbial inmates running the asylum scenario? Maybe.
Another interesting and central figure is the sleazy Karl Rove, W’s deputy Chief of Staff and long time confidant. Mr. Rove has been at the center of this controversy from the start. Mr. Novak has said that Rove was one of the two “senior sources” he spoke to inside the White House about Ms. Plame. Mr. Rove has denied that he leaked the name and in fact insists that he first learned about her from reporters. That was the same story Scooter Libby had until a few days ago. At a minimum, Mr. Rove is perhaps guilty of making false statements and obstructing a federal investigation, two offenses that landed Martha Stewart in the slammer for 5 months. Although the evidence may not be there, it is reasonable assumption that Rove knew as much about it as BOTH Cheney and Libby. And it is a good bet that if Karl Rove knew, then W probably did as well. Those two are like peanut butter and jelly, never apart.
The buzz in the press is that Libby and Rove are indictable. The question is how strong is Mr. Fitzgerald’s evidence to get them and others higher up on stronger offenses?
Be excited it’s Fitz-mas Eve in D.C.!!! And with tomorrow being Fitz-mas Day, we may finally get some of our wishes…getting rid of at least two sleaze balls in the White House…Scooter Libby and Karl Rove. Hopefully there will be more, but we’ll take two for now and wait for the next White House misstep to get more.