Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

The Waiting is Over: The Coming Battles

Posted by Mark on October 29, 2005

The National Review editorial today is worth reading, and mirrors my views on the Libby indictment. My post yesterday was written at noon. The National Review editorial at 6:20pm. :

There has been much high-minded talk about how the Valerie Plame controversy is really about the case for the Iraq war. No. For liberals, it has always been about inflicting as much damage as possible to the Bush White House, especially by taking out through indictment its most central player in the person of Karl Rove. That has not happened. Nor has special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald alleged a conspiracy at the top levels of the Bush administration to out a CIA agent. What he instead charges in his five-count indictment is that Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, lied to investigators about conversations with three reporters. This long-hyped, two-year investigation appears to come down, in other words, to one man’s alleged dishonesty when investigators came knocking. This is not Watergate or Iran-Contra, but neither is it a trifle.

And this:

Fitzgerald’s merits aside, the limits of special-prosecutor investigations were once again evident in this case. Two years later, we still don’t know important facts. Was Plame covert? Fitzgerald can’t or won’t say. Who is “Official A” (although we can all guess)? Who were the other unnamed officials? It is a prosecutor’s job to build a criminal case, period, full stop. But in high-stakes political controversies, that’s not really the public interest — disclosure is. Then, everyone knows the facts and the public can make its judgments on what is appropriate. Offending officials can be punished with resignations and public obloquy. Except in dire cases — say, bribery — that process should take precedence over prosecutions rather than the other way around.

OpinionJournal also has an editorial worth reading. The left will continue to wail about how this is about Iraq, yet Patrick Fitzgerald, in his somewhat long-winded press conference, clearly stated this case is NOT about Iraq,but about lying to the Grand Jury. I’m thinking the Left will selectively leave out that part of his statement.

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