I'm giving Fitzgerald the benefit of the doubt for another week. Okay, two weeks, but if there are no indictments by then, I think it's time to stop kidding ourselves about Patrick Fitzgerald being the knight to save the republic.
I do have to wonder why the focus is on the underlings (Rove and Libby) when both Bush and Cheney admitted just a few weeks ago that they ordered the leak. It took two years to get here, and nobody is asking the question: What did Bush and Cheney tell Fitzgerald when they spoke with him in 2004?
From the Washington Post (by Sue Schmidt, aka "Steno Sue," mouthpiece for the Bush administration) on June 25, 2004:
President Bush was interviewed for more than an hour yesterday by a special prosecutor investigating whether administration officials illegally disclosed the name of a covert CIA officer last summer.If Fitzgerald isn't going after Bush and Cheney, then I have to ask why NOT? They both misled investigators for close to two years before admitting just a couple of months ago that the leak came from them. If Fitzgerald isn't targeting the two at the top, then Fitzgerald is "on the payroll," and this is all just an elaborate ruse. A stall. All that Republicans have to do is get past the midterm elections (five-and-a-half months from now) and keep both houses of Congress (more likely than not) in order to be "home-free" - no hearings, no investigations, pass the rest of the Bush-Republican agenda (more tax and economic reform favoring the wealthy, massive sell-off and privatization of America's resources, Patriot Act II with more elimination of our civil liberties, elimination of social security and medicare and other programs, etc.) and Bush can write his own legacy.
Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald and several assistants questioned the president for about 70 minutes in the Oval Office yesterday morning. A White House spokesman declined to comment on the substance of the interview but said Bush, who was accompanied by a private lawyer, was not placed under oath.
Fitzgerald's session with Bush comes amid a flurry of recent interviews and subpoenas from investigators who have operated in almost complete secrecy for six months, giving little outward indication of where the probe is headed. White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales testified on June 18 before a grand jury taking testimony in the case, and it was revealed in early June that prosecutors had interviewed Vice President Cheney.
"The leaking of classified information is a very serious matter," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan, adding that Bush was "pleased to do his part" to aid the probe.
"No one wants to get to the bottom of this matter more than the president of the United States, and he has said on more than one occasion that if anyone -- inside or outside the government -- has information that can help the investigators get to the bottom of this, they should provide that information to the officials in charge."
Fitzgerald is investigating whether Bush administration officials leaked the name of CIA covert officer Valerie Plame to syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak last July. Plame is married to former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, a public critic of the Bush administration's claims about Iraq's efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. Wilson has suggested that administration officials disclosed his wife's identity as retaliation for his criticism.
The disclosure of a covert CIA officer's name could be a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison if it was done intentionally by an official who knew the government was trying to maintain her cover.
The disclosure came in a column Novak published last July 14. He said that when he wondered why the CIA selected Wilson in 2002 to investigate claims that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Niger, two administration officials told him that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and set up the trip.
Bush's session with prosecutors is unusual but not unprecedented. Bill Clinton testified or was interviewed at the White House in criminal investigations at least seven times during his presidency, on matters that included a probe of the death of deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster Jr., campaign finance irregularities, the Whitewater inquiry and the Monica S. Lewinsky investigation that led to his impeachment.
"Any careful prosecutor would want to make sure that he or she left no stone unturned. In that sense, an interview with the president should not be seen as out of the ordinary," said Solomon L. Wisenberg, a former prosecutor who investigated Clinton.
Bush retained a private lawyer, James E. Sharp, for the interview. Sharp did not return calls seeking comment yesterday.
Some lawyers representing witnesses in the case have speculated that the recent activity, including the interviews of the president and vice president, may signal that the investigation is close to completion. But others said they are less certain that the interview with senior White House officials represents a tying up of loose ends.
"It's hard to believe the special prosecutor would be burdening the president with an interview unless they had testimony to the effect that the president had information," said Floyd Abrams, a First Amendment lawyer representing Time magazine in the probe.
Fitzgerald has subpoenaed reporters from Time and NBC to testify before the grand jury. Both media organizations are fighting those subpoenas in court. The subpoenas to reporters may be another indication that the probe is nearing an end, because Justice Department guidelines demand that prosecutors exhaust all other avenues before calling reporters before a grand jury.
If Bush can ignore the laws of the land (and he does), if he can make up the law by whim with Executive Orders (and he does), if he can ignore the Constitution and spy on American citizens without warrants (and he does), if he can get cases against his administration dismissed by the courts on grounds that to go forward would expose "state secrets" (and he does - at least five times in the last year), if he can abduct people anywhere in the world, torture them, keep them in underground prisons for years on end, murder them, without any judicial process or congressional oversight (and he has), what makes anybody believe that he won't do exactly what his father did for Casper Weinberger? Bush will pardon Libby (and anyone else whom Fitzgerald might indict), putting an end to this investigation and any proceedings against him or his administration, on grounds that "We're at war and I'm a wartime President....there's no way that this can go forward without causing damage to the national security....Case dismissed!"?
This case has always been about Bush and Cheney, and their extreme abuse of office. Rove and Libby are no more than foot soldiers falling on their swords for the King. Get rid of them, and there will be fifty (or more) to take their places tomorrow. The "genius" that we attribute to Rove is better explained as sociopathy. It's gotten the better of us because we're stunned that he's been so brazen about standing the body politic on its head, IN BROAD DAYLIGHT.
Karl Rove appeals to today's brand of Republican because, with all their talk of morality, they share an inability to do what is right and just unless it is written as law. And even then, they ignore the laws and have their lackeys (people like Victoria Toensing, Ted Olsen, Clifford May, Frank Gaffney, etc.) hit the cable news programs to spin their way around them.
Bush and today's Republicans have proven inexhaustible in their deconstruction of the laws governing policies and programs that produced the richest, most vibrant culture the world has ever known. They have taken a civilization out of which has come manned missions to the moon, polio vaccines, the Peace Corps, Big Bird, and economic expansion that lifted millions out of poverty, illness and despair, and overwhelmed it with their guiding philosophy that there is no COMMON GOOD - it's "every man for himself."
Rove and today's Republicans, devoid of moral compasses, have no inner counsel to admonish or rebuke their assault on the nation and the world. The principles of equity and fair play are absent in this Republican party. Nobody in the Bush administration or in today's Republican party will be remembered as statesmen. In the most hallowed halls of our land, nobody stops Bush, Cheney, Rove or the Republican Party. That alone is a stunning revelation.
Two more weeks.
Technorati Tags: Technorati Tag, Technorati Tags, tags, categories, reasons not to vote for Republicans, Friday Cat Blogging, James Sharp, Valerie Plame, Plamegate, Plame, Patrick Fitzgerald, I. Lewis Libby, Lewis Libby, Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Bush, The Constant American, Constant American