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As usual, Ben Stein hits the nail on the head. For me, the main issue is prosecutorial misconduct. Like Nifong, Fitzgerald knew the facts — in this case Armitage’s early confession sealed the deal. Fitzgerald found the culprit; there was no need to expand the case. The questions that need answering are as follows:
Did Fitzgerald report back to the AG his findings vis-a-vis Armitage? This is important as Fitzgerald had to ask for permission to expand his investigation. In public he acted as if they were not making any headway. He was given the green light under this assumption. In public it appeared that there were those in the White House who were stonewalling. Everyone remembers Judith Miller being jailed. To the public, Fitzgerald appeared to the eager prosecutor who hunted down political apparatchiks that put politics before national security. The public would have thought differently if they knew Fitzgerald already knew who leaked Plame’s name to Novak. How much information did Fitzgerald keep to himself when he requested permission to expand his investigation.
In the course of the investigation Fitzgerald threatened jail to reporters and delivered on his promise. This set a dangerous precedent, especially when one considers that Fitzgerald already knew who leaked Plame’s identity to Novak. Did Fitzgerald mislead the courts by withholding this information? If the case was solved, what was Fitzgerald doing other than going on a hunting expedition?p>Since Libby is a conservative, not one person in Congress or the press seems too concerned about a prosecutor who in effect lied or misled the AG, the courts, or the public. The moral outrage has been reserved for the President who issued the clemency. There seems to be no problem bankrupting a person, ruining his reputation, and destroying his ability to even feed his family. I don’t even think Kafka could write such a tale. br> — JP br> Indiana /p>
If what Ben says is factual regarding Fitzgerald’s case, then there should be recourse for this injustice. If there is no recourse then all this is moot. Given that Fitzgerald’s public as well as trial statements don’t agree in some very important ways and no one was charged with a crime regarding the central point of the investigation, it strikes me that if he had to answer the same questions asked several different ways over several months about his inaccuracies he could probably be brought up on perjury and obstruction of justice charges despite there not being an underlying crime to investigate. I’m sure one can be invented for this purpose. Indeed, if Washington DC residence and workers were held to the same standard as Libby under the same circumstances, the District would be relatively empty and we couldn’t build enough prisons fast enough.p>Remember it took a year for any controlling legal authority to take even interest in Nifong’s charade. For there to actually have been obstruction of justice their had to be an underlying crime or injustice committed. There wasn’t. The case should have ended even sooner than Nifong’s injustice. Nifong did what he did for purely political gain. Libby was left out to hang because of politics. Both have no place in a real justice system. br> — Thom Bateman br> Newport News, Virginia
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