Friday, September 08, 2006
By the way...
LAWYERS. Remember this guy? We've mentioned him before, but now that the facts of the Plame case are becoming known -- no thanks to Fitzgerald -- it's time to look specifically at what this special prosecutor has been up to for almost two years. His job was to investigate the leak of Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA employee and determine if that leak was a criminal, i.e., knowing and deliberate, act.
Now we know that the leaker was Richard Armitage, who has finally come forward to tell the truth:
July 2003, Armitage told columnist Robert Novak that Ambassador Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, and Novak mentioned it in a column. It's a crime to knowingly reveal the identity of an undercover CIA officer. But Armitage didn't yet realize what he had done.
So, what exactly did he tell Novak?
"At the end of a wide-ranging interview he asked me, 'Why did the CIA send Ambassador (Wilson) to Africa?' I said I didn't know, but that she worked out at the agency," Armitage says.
Armitage says he told Novak because it was "just an offhand question." "I didn't put any big import on it and I just answered and it was the last question we had," he says....
Armitage immediately met with FBI agents investigating the leak.
"I told them that I was the inadvertent leak," Armitage says. He didn't get a lawyer, however...
That was nearly three years ago, but the political firestorm over who leaked Valerie Plame's identity continued to burn as Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald began hauling White House officials and journalists before a grand jury.
So why didn't he come forward sooner?
Armitage says he didn't come forward because "the special counsel, once he was appointed, asked me not to discuss this and I honored his request."
Amazingly, columnist David Broder has called the press to account for their disgraceful reporting of the story (h/t Malkin), which systematically replaced fact with wild conspiracy theorizing. But there is more judgment to be passed here. Armitage himself is a disgusting worm, his emotional mea culpa notwithstanding:
"Oh I feel terrible. Every day, I think I let down the president. I let down the Secretary of State. I let down my department, my family and I also let down Mr. and Mrs. Wilson," he says.
When asked if he feels he owes the Wilsons an apology, he says, "I think I've just done it."
Well, the Plames have been wined and dined by the national media for years now, based on the Armitage leak. They don't need any apology. The people who are owed an apology are President Bush, Karl Rove, and Scooter Libby, whose reputations and effectiveness have been continuously impaired by the fraudulent scandal, as well as the American people, who have been manipulated and misled throughout. Yet he offered no apology to the country and apparently hasn't even had the guts to speak with the President. Worm.
Colin Powell is also a worm. According to Armitage, "I almost immediately called Secretary Powell and said, 'I'm sure that was me." Which means that the vastly over-praised bureaucrat-general also remained silent for years when the country and its leadership would clearly have been better served by the truth than the legalistic priorities of the State Department and the special prosecutor's office.
And what about that special prosecutor? We now know that the mission of the special prosecutor was accomplished before Patrick Fitzgerald even began his investigation. And he knew it. What purpose could there possibly have been to this whole charade other than to embarrass the administration and create a perjury trap for spurious prosecutions? None.
Patrick Fitzgerald should be investigated, then prosecuted for conspiracy and misconduct, disbarred, and sent to prison.
Won't happen, of course. But it should.