According to Associated Press reports, “Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said that former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has shown no remorse for corrupting the legal system and deserves to spend 2–1/2 to 3 years in prison for obstructing the CIA leak investigation.”

In my humble opinion, Libby should be freed on the grounds of massive governmental stupidity.



As the lawyers say, to wit:

1. No crime was committed.

Valerie Plame was not a covert operative within the meaning of the statute governing release of CIA operative names. Thus there was no crime to investigate. Most prosecutors study the law to insure that all of the elements of the alleged crime can be proven in a court of law. A reading of the law indicated that the leak of Plame’s name was not a chargeable offense.

2. The Justice Department abandoned their responsibility to both the law and the people they serve.

The politicized Justice Department may have been remiss in their duties in appointing a special prosecutor to prosecute a “crime” which they should have known did not occur.

And when pushed by the Democrats and overwhelming media attention, the DOJ decided to appear neutral by appointing a Special Counsel; even as they knew that no crime had taken place.

Perhaps part of the blame should be laid at the doorstep of Deputy Attorney General, James B. Comey who appointed his close friend and former colleague Fitzgerald to serve as Special Counsel. [Comey has since moved on to serve as the General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Lockheed Martin.]

If anything, the compete autonomy given by Comey to the special prosecutor was the first time in history that a special prosecutor was responsible to nobody. Thus Fitzgerald was allowed to do anything he wanted without oversight. 

3.  The Special Counsel knew who had leaked the information to the reporters early in the investigation … prior to Grand Jury proceedings.

Fitzgerald knew that Richard Armitage was Robert Novak’s source when he he described Valerie Plame as a CIA operative…and yet Fitzgerald continued to spend time, effort and money on the investigation.

4.  No one was charged with the actual crime that was the underlying reason for the prosecution.

At this point in time, the investigation should have been abandoned since there was no crime and the prosecutors knew who had leaked the information to the reporters.

At this point, millions of government dollars could have been saved and lives and reputations preserved.

5. Did Libby have a faulty recollection or was it something more sinister: lying to the investigators?   

Libby, a busy and powerful Administration official, acting as Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and as an adviser to President Bush, leads a complex life filled with numerous meetings and conversations. To interview Libby over and over and then to characterize what may have been no more than a “lapse in memory” as “obstruction of justice” is unconscionable since there was no indication that he was guilty of an underlying crime.

6. Did the Special Counsel ignore or forgive memory lapses of others while continuing to prosecute Libby?

Other people testifying were told of their inconsistencies in testimony and allowed to correct the record. It seems that this remedy was not made available to Libby. However, in one instance Libby chose to appear before the special counsel without his own lawyer — perhaps a fatal mistake on his part.

7. Did Fitzgerald manipulate the Grand Jury to obtain an indictment.

It is well known that the Grand Jury is an instrument of the prosecutor. But the question remains, did Fitzgerald tell the Grand Jury that no crime had been committed and that he knew the name of the person who leaked the information to the reporter?

8. Did the Special Counsel continue to investigate the case beyond a reasonable expectation?   

With knowledge that no crime had been committed and the identity of the real Novak source, Fitzgerald continued to spend the government’s time, energy and money in continuing the investigation. This seemed to compound insult and injury by forcing a number of other related individuals to expand large sums of money on their own defense attorneys to represent them in their hearings before investigators and special counsel staff. The actual investigation should have been performed by the FBI.

9.  Did the Special Counsel leak or provide inaccurate information to the press?

  Fitzgerald may have made Nifong-like (Duke Rape Case Prosecutor) public statements which may have contained inaccuracies.

10. Did the Special Counsel act out of political or personal aspirations?

It is unknown at this time whether or not there was any undue influence on the Special Counsel on the part of political operatives, the Justice Department or other sources. Taken as a whole, Fitzgerald appears to be guilty of poor judgement.

While Libby was found guilty by a jury on four of the five counts with which he was charged: two counts of perjury, one of obstruction of justice, and one of making false statements to federal investigators, the matter remains on appeal.

If Libby “repeatedly and blatantly” lied to prosecutors as Fitzgerald alleges, then he deserves some form of punishment commensurate with the crime. Mitigated, of course, by an allowance for “governmental stupidity.”

Regardless of how you feel about Libby or Fitzgerald, the impact of this case upon the public is enormous and its effects should be recognized.

1.   Government officials will forever be wary of testifying, fearful that a lapse of memory can cost them every cent they have to defend themselves and possibly result in a jail sentence. Witness the demand for immunity from prosecution by Alberto Gonzales’ deputy before testifying. Officials will be inclined to claim “a faulty memory” rather than subject themselves to further action.

2.   Government officials will be less cooperative with journalists and members of the media, fearful that the report who declares that they will defend their sources turns up as a witness for the prosecution. Comments made “on background” or “off the record” will be limited, denying valuable “context” to the media.

3.   Special Prosecutors will forever be suspect as to their motivations to bring a case to trial… or, hopefully, confusing the extent of their duties where they become the chief investigator as well as prosecutor.

4.   One good thing that might outweigh all of the negative consequences of this case, providers of false information to gain political advantage will be discouraged from engaging in nefarious leaks.

5.   This case may discourage the future use of special counselors or limit their powers as to the length, breadth and depth of their investigations.

6.   If this case proves, to the government and public alike, that lying to investigators will not be tolerated, it may have all been worth the government’s time, effort and cost.

What can YOU do?

Essentially nothing. Sentencing is now in that hands of Judge Reggie B. Watson, appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on October 29, 2001, after being nominated to the position by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate. The Judge has received a number of letters from the public and is well aware of the issues.

But understand how simple cases may spin out-of-control into nightmares for all concerned.

— steve

A reminder from a large improvement can result from a small change…

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS