14 Jul 2007

Sounds Like a Good Idea To Me

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Samuel Blumenfield proposes indicting Patrick Fitzgerald for obstruction of justice.

In January 2004, the Justice Department chose prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity. He became aware that the leaker was Armitage, who resigned from the State Department in November 2004 but remained a subject of the inquiry until February 2006 when Fitzgerald told him in a letter that he would not be charged. …

Why would the prosecutor keep this vital information from the president who had expressed concern over the outing of a CIA operative? Meanwhile, the liberal press hysterically speculated that it was Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney who most likely leaked Plame’s identity to the press.

Despite the fact Fitzgerald knew the source of the leak, he decided to go after reporters who refused to name their sources. Thus, Times reporter Judith Miller spent 85 days in jail for refusing to reveal her sources to the prosecutor. She was finally released when she agreed to testify before a grand jury.

So, why did Fitzgerald go after Scooter Libby, Vice President Cheney’s top aide? Apparently, Armitage had read a memorandum Libby had commissioned as part of an effort to rebut criticism of the White House by Joe Wilson. Who wrote the memorandum, and did it mention Valerie Plame? Was it the source of any leaks to the press? Apparently not, for it was Armitage who supposedly read the report and made the leak, not Libby.

Nevertheless, it was Libby who Fitzgerald decided to indict, and the jury found Libby guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice. But how could he have obstructed justice when it wasn’t Libby who outed Valerie Plame, but Armitage, who voluntarily admitted that he was the perpetrator of the so-called crime of outing a CIA covert agent?

If anyone has obstructed justice it is prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who told Armitage to keep his mouth shut or face prosecution, did not tell the president who the leaker was and spent the taxpayers’ money in a costly prosecution against an innocent man.

Is it not a crime for a U.S. government official to deliberately withhold vital information from the president of the United States? Is it not a crime for a federal prosecutor to threaten a suspect with prosecution if he dared to make public his guilt?

When is the government going to indict Patrick J. Fitzgerald?

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