Water for the Horse
It's been puzzling to me, especially since I don't have the inside scoop on the Valerie Plame/Scooter Libby thing, to understand why the prosecutor never brought charges against anybody for leaking Plame's CIA identity to the press. I mean it seems to me that if Patrick Fitzgerald, the special federal prosecutor assigned to investigate the Plame identity leak, hadn't considered the leak important enough to prosecute, he would never have pressed the Libby issue. For that matter, Libby himself never would have felt the need to lie about his own involvement. Yet as the verdict makes clear, he did lie about it.
It's just speculation on my part, but the only way I can make any sense of all this is this...
First, Patrick Fitzgerald is one of those very rare individuals who really do believe it is important to get the truth out.
Second, I tend to think that Fitzgerald figured out early in his investigation that the main source of the leak of Plame's identity was the Office of the Vice President. It makes sense to me that Fitzgerald figured out fairly easily that Vice President Cheney himself was the prime impetus for this leak.
Third, it would make sense that in the prevailing political environment in 2004 and through 2006 any attempt (if it was even legal to do so) of bringing charges against the Vice President in federal court would be suicidal in terms of a prosecutor's career.
Not too likely that Fitzgerald is suicidal.
Chances are pretty good that Libby understood that the outing of an undercover CIA agent's identity to undermine and politically attack an Iraq War critic was illegal. That's why he lied to deny his own role in it.
What I now think happened was that Fitzgerald realized that the only way to get the truth out in public where it could be dealt with was to bring Libby up on charges of lying and obstructing the investigation. Realistically Fitzgerald couldn't press charges against Cheney.
But the more I think about it the more I think that Fitzgerald's main agenda was to bring to the attention of those who could and should do something about it that Cheney abused his power as Vice President. Fitzgerald must have understood the larger picture, that what was really involved here was that the Office of the Vice President was engaged in a campaign of misrepresenting intelligence in order to justify the war, then fighting back against any critics using abusive and even illegal means.
I can't quite imagine something like that going before a jury of 12, if you know what I mean. That kind of behavior and that kind of trial belongs in Congress. Cheney's guilt or innocence should be determined by impeachment proceedings, not by a federal court. I'm just guessing that Fitzgerald is an intelligent enough man to realize something like that.
Now that the trial is over and it has been proven in court that Libby lied, now that the evidence clearly points to Vice President Cheney himself, it's time for Congress to take the next step. But will they?