Patrick Fitzgerald Caught Between a Rock, a Hard Place & a Lie
With the information this week that Richard Armitage is the leaker in the Plame Affair and that he leaked the information days before Lewis Libby, Patrick Fitzgerald’s integrity suddenly comes into question.
From Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s press conference on October 28, 2005:
Valerie Wilson’s cover was blown in July 2003. The first sign of her cover being blown was that Mr. Novak published a column on July 14th 2003. But Mr. Novak was not the first reporter to be told that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Wilson, Ambassador Wilson’s wife, Valerie, worked at the CIA. Several other reporters were told. In fact, Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked with Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson.
But Investor’s Business Daily brought up a very interesting point in an editorial today:
Patrick Fitzgerald’s three-year manhunt to track down who blew Valerie Plame’s CIA “cover” has been exposed as a costly sham. He apparently knew all along that his man was not Scooter Libby…
But it’s hard to see anything but politics as the motivation for Fitzgerald’s handling of the Plame affair. The facts indicate that Fitzgerald knew early on that the original leaker was State Department official Richard Armitage. So why did Fitzgerald let a cloud hang over White House adviser Karl Rove’s head for so long? And why is Fitzgerald continuing to hound Libby, the former vice presidential chief of staff?
The answer seems to be that Armitage, who is charged with nothing and brags that he hasn’t even consulted a lawyer, was former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s right-hand man and a critic of pre-emptive war in Iraq. Libby, on the other hand, was an architect of that war strategy. Do doves get a pass in Fitzgerald’s book, while hawks get an indictment?
Armitage revealed Plame’s identity in a meeting with The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward a week before the Libby-Miller meeting in June 2003.
Armitage is also clearly columnist Robert Novak’s primary source for his July 2003 column.
Fitzgerald’s contention in October that Libby was “the first official known to have told a reporter . . . about Valerie Wilson” may therefore have been a lie.
Fitzgerald knew in the early days of his politicized witch hunt that no crime was committed. No one intentionally revealed the identity of a truly covert agent. Yet he made a reporter, Miller, spend nearly 90 days in jail for refusing to reveal her source.
Meanwhile, Fitzgerald refused to reveal to the public the true source. From top to bottom, this has been one of the most disgraceful abuses of prosecutorial power in this country’s history. That it’s taking place at a time of war only magnifies its sordidness.
And, there you have it.
The Wall Street Journal also skewers Fitzgerald, Armitage and the State Department, for this non-conspiracy.
The New York Times is reporting that Armitage is now admitting his role as the first leaker in the non-scandal.
Hat Tip Larwyn
Tom Maguire does not think it was a lie as much as it was ineptitude.
There doesn’t seem to be much chirping from the Left on this one.