Friday, October 28, 2005


Plamegate…or as it could also be called Humpty-Dumpty: Bush Style (All of Bush’s Horses and all of Bush’s men, couldn’t put his administration together again.)

After weeks of investigation by the Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, all of Washington is awaiting word on who in the Bush administration will be handed indictments in relation to the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

It is a given that I. Lewis ‘Scooter” Libby will be receiving one. However there is wide speculation that Karl Rove and Dick Cheney (aka: Bush’s Left and Right Brain) could also be handed these ‘golden tickets’. (I would like to see an Indictment song and dance number by some oompaloompas!)

What does this mean for the Bush administration?

Well, first you have to remember that the President himself has said that this was a serious investigation and that anyone found to be guilty of involvement would be subject to serious consequences. Well, we will soon get to see what happens when the ‘rubber meets the road’ so to speak.

Already the republican party faithful are trying to put a spin on what is sure to be some serious public backlash, as well as basically trying to also turn Fitzgerald into this administrations version of Ken Starr. The party faithful are appearing on Sunday morning talk shows to explain that no real crimes were committed, just a teensy weensy bit of perjury, actually the quote was “Some perjury technicality”. Who made the ‘teensy weensy’ statement and where? It was Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson in an appearance on ‘Meet the Press’.

This is the same Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson who during the congressional investigation into the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal made the following statement as reported in the February 13, 1999 Dallas Morning News:
'The principle of the rule of law-- equality under the law and a clear standard for perjury and obstruction of justice-- was the overriding issue in this impeachment.'

Sen. Hutchison also voted 'guilty' on both counts against then President Clinton.

How ironic that the mighty have fallen hard and fast. As stated in the Washington Post, "The party that said they won the last election because of their stand on moral issues doesn't have a leg to stand on. Nothing shows how out of touch Republicans now are with the values of the American people."

So knowing that ‘Scooter’ will be indicted by weeks end, what is his background? Does his wife call him ‘Scooter-Pie’? (That last one we are not even going to delve into…) Here are the basics-

Aug 22, 1950

1972- Yale University, BA
1975- Columbia University, JD

Prior to coming to work in the White House, ‘Scooter’ was a managing partner at the Washington office of the international law firm of Dechert, Price & Rhoads. Prior to that he had held a variety of positions at both the U.S. State Department and the Department of Defense.

So given his education, background and length of experience you would think that ‘Scooter’ would know not to repeat privileged or secret information, and the consequences for failing to heed the rules. Only an indictment or clearance by the grand jury will tell us which has happened.

Now the current grand jury’s term is set to expire this Friday, October 28th, this leaves little time for Fitzgerald to complete his work. It may be that he has focused on, and will ask for, one indictment out of this current grand jury and will pursue further indictments with the next jury seating.

Ok, for all of you who have not followed this issue as closely as you wish you would have, lets see what all the ‘fuss’ is about. To do that we go back to 2003. (Time travel fade…)

January - With a U.S. invasion of Iraq looming in the not to distant future, President Bush tells the nation in his State of the Union address that, “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

July 6- Almost 3 months after the invasion of Iraq and the fall of Baghdad, Joseph Wilson (a former U.S. Ambassador) writes in the New York Times that he had investigated the Niger uranium report for the CIA in 2002 and he had found it ‘highly doubtful’ that such a transaction could have occurred.

July 11 - After finding no WMD in Iraq and with increasing questions about the so-called ‘intelligence’ that the administration cited during the debate over the war, CIA Director George Tenet says that the claim of uranium should not have been included in the State of the Union address. He also takes responsibility for the mistake.

July 14 - Robert Novak, syndicated columnist, writes in his column that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, is an operative with the CIA and she had suggested sending him to Niger. The column cites ‘two senior administration officials’ for the report.

September- The Justice Department launches a criminal probe into the leak at the request of the CIA. A 1982 law makes knowingly disclosing the identity of a covert agent a felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Novak says that he won’t reveal his sources. President Bush tells reporters that he welcomes the investigation and that ‘If there’s a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is.”

December - Then Attorney General John Ashcroft recuses himself from the leak probe, due to possible conflict of interest. The U.S. Attorney in Chicago, Patrick Fitzgerald is named as Special Prosecutor to take over the investigation.

That ends 2003.

Over the next almost 2 years, Fitzgerald moves forward with his investigation. During this time Fitzgerald or his top aides question /subpoena various figures in connection with the leak. Among these are staffers at Time Magazine, Vice President Cheney, President Bush, then Secretary of State Colin Powell, Karl Rove and ‘Scooter’ Libby. Judith Miller of the New York Times refuses to testify before the grand jury regarding sources in a story that she had published and is jailed for contempt of court.

As a result of the investigation, it is revealed that Libby was Miller’s source. It is also reported through others that Rove and the Vice President himself may have also had a hand in the dissemination of Plames CIA affiliation.

Ok, now we are up to present day and you have the ‘cliff notes’ version of the whole issue. Try and keep up on your own, don’t worry, if you can’t we will be here to help clarify.

So, it appears that Fitzgerald has been doing a thorough job and should be commended for his steadfastness in getting to the truth of the matter and keeping a lid on any leaks coming out of his office. Any leaks that have emerged were most likely let out by lawyers close to those being investigated. (Probably as a way to gauge the potential public outcry and damage to the White House that indictments would surely elicit.) This lack of leaks is in stark contrast to some of his predecessors.

Also, no one has even tried to suggest that Fitzgerald would ruin his reputation by going after so-called ‘technicalities’ as opposed to ‘real crimes‘. He takes his duties seriously and will see this investigation to an honest conclusion irregardless of which way the political pendulum swings as a result of his findings. This man has integrity! (Wow, what a concept in Washington)

Now, we wait and wonder, will it be 1, 2 or 3 indictments? We should know by Friday, meanwhile 'Scooter' should get a letter of resignation ready to go.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, what does this mean for the Bush administration? Plenty! Libby has been a very active force behind the scenes of this White House and an indictment would be a huge blow to the inner workings of the administrations core planners.

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