The Spectacle Blog

Underlying Thread

By on 10.28.05 | 5:59PM

Let's not get carried away with the Scooter vs. the Reporters issue on the Libby indictment. If we read this carefully, and think about what Fitzgerald said in his endless presscon, there's another thread that seems to be the one that sewed up the indictment.

There's a pattern they're alleging in Libby's attempts to characterize the source of the information about Plame's identity. The indictment doesn't charge Libby with lying to reporters, but to the grand jury. Libby -- if he did as the indictment alleged -- told the grand jury that reporters (Russert, et al.) were the source of the Plame identity and that he repeated it to other reporters without knowing its truth or falsity. Libby is charged because he said those same things to the grand jury knowing that his source of the information wasn't the reporters but a White House official.

Outing Plame isn't charged, but Fitzgerald seems to be convinced that leaking her name was a violation of law. If she wasn't covert (and apparently she wasn't) it's hard to see what law was broken in leaking her CIA employment.

The only good news in this is that it's pretty thin gruel for anyone such as the MSM to build a case that "Bush lied us into war" based on anything in this indictment. There may be other indictments coming. But let's not go after Fitzgerald yet. He - unlike the Lawrence Walshes of the world - seems to be playing it straight, if perhaps overly aggressive.

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