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Well, reading between the tea leaves here listening to the Patrick Fitzgerald Press Conference today the following significant points were made:

  1.  The Grand Jury has completed the bulk of it's work.

  2.  The continuation of a 2nd Grand Jury is simply a formality (because the 1st Grand Jury cannot legally be extended) but again bulk of the actual work in this case, according to Fitzgerald is already completed.

  3.  There are no expectations of any further indictments ( i.e., Rove, Cheney, Bolton, Hadley, Rice, Bush, etc. ) and no significant new work from here on..

  4. There will be no effort here to prosecute the "Mr. X" in the Vice-President's office for being the actual source of providing Plame's background to Lewis Libby.

  5.  Fitzgerald seeks to wrap up the entire leak case as quickly as he can merely as a leak case (and nothing further) and is not interested in exploring any of the important underlying wider issues that we here have all been talking about, such as:  a) who forged the Niger Uranium report, b) the fraudulent selling of the "Iraq Nuclear Threat" and Iraq War, c) the constitutional conduct of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush and their own perjury.

  6.  Fitzgerald made clear that he has no interest whatsoever (unlike Ken Starr) in expanding his own authority or his own role or probing/confronting the closely related matters in this case that might involve additional criminality.


Some may not interpret his Press Conference quite this way but I found it very, very, very revealing that Fitzgerald basically said that the bulk of the Grand Jury work is done and implied in essence that there is no further work to do (aside from trial prep & wrap-up) and no further targets.

I also found it very revealing that the Isocoft (Newsweek) reporter asked a very profound question about why "Mr X", the original source to Libby, is not also facing an indictment and Fitzgerald essentially said that nobody other than Libby is relevant to any Indictment charges.

Needless to say, what could have been a big, big, Bush Administration Watergate senario has simply fizzled-out here into nothing but 1 single Indictment and 1 single resignation.

Rove walks (and is free to reek havoc in the 2006 elections)
Cheney walks (and is free to wage War in Syria or Iran )
Bolton walks (and is free to destroy the United Nations)
Bush walks (and is free to look guilt-free )

What could have brought down the Bush administration and also made clear even to partisans the widespread lies, deceit, fraud, revenge-against-whistleblowers, and high criminal abuse of office that created this totally unnecessary Iraq horror, human catastrophe, & madness  has now melted away into a relative "non-story" here about 1 single obscure individual that 99% of the American do not even
know and do not care about at all one way or another.

We need to get back to focusing on:

  1.  The DowningStreet Memos
  2.  Massive Civil Disobedience
  3.  Katrina Incompetence
  4.  Verified Voting

This investigation is now nothing more but a tiny blip on the radar screen.

Originally posted to DerekLarsson on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:19 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Could Very Well Be (none)
    But the parallels were to Santa, not to Jesus.

    He dropped a little gift.  There will be a trial.  Some loose ends wrapped up.  And that is that.

    "When you starve the beast, you starve the people. And the bathtub was a reference to New Orleans." -- bink

    by bink on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:20:45 PM PDT

  •  How disappointing (none)
  •  Go back to RedState (3.45)
    I just watched as a senior assistant to the President was indicted for Obstruction of Justice, Perjury and False Statements.  I just watched as Fitz said this harmed our national security.  I saw Fitz say that the investigation will continue.

    You, on the other hand, are shilling for the Bush administration.  This was a titanic event.  The Bush administration is under siege with this indictment.

    I am not falling for your affected doom and gloom.  Now, go back to RedState where you belong.

    "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

    by manyoso on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:24:31 PM PDT

    •   agree - (none)
      his comment to Issakoff was merely that he wasn't going to comment - this is not over.
    •  It's a discussion (4.00)
      We can have discussions about legitimate interpetations of events without accusing people we don't agree with of being shills and telling them that they should leave.

      I think your response was uncalled for.

    •  Don't you have the eerie feeling... (none)
      ...that this and many of the other "boohoo" comments were written in all but very minor details long before the press conference started, and would have been excreted onto us no matter what?

      Remember, there weren't supposed to be any indictments at all. There was going to be a complete coverup, because Fitz was a REPUBLICAN SPY. Or someone very minor was going to take the bullet. Or whatever.

      Those who are allergic to the positive -- could you die of it right now, PLEASE, and quit shitting from a great height onto the rest of us?

      But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

      by sagesource on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:39:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reality not Shill (3.66)

      If you have read any of my other posts it would be obvious that I am not a shill for the Bush administration.

      You may call me a pessimist but some might say I'm just a realist.

      However, my interpretation of Fitzgerald's own reamrks is that Fitzgerald is looking at this leak case as narrowly as possible and that his Investigation is essentially now over aside from a Libby Trial.

      It is dissppointing that nobody was ever charged here with the leak itself and that Isocoft's question about charging the high-official in Cheney's Office (likely Dick Cheney himself) who was Libby's source has been left out of this whole Investigation

      I suspect Fitzgerald just grabbed the one guy here (Libby) who self-incriminated himself in the most obvious way and is not going to get into rocking the boat beyond that.

      As he said himself, he has no interest in the underlying issues ( The leaker himself, The Niger Forgery, lying about Iraq & mushroom clouds, The Iraq War premise, etc.)
      and seeks no additional authority or wider investigative role

      Patrick Fitzgerald is the anti-Kenn-Starr here.

  •  Curious (4.00)
    I didn't read it at all that way.  I thought, "Here is a very circumspect guy who is saying nothing about his intentions, and the future is a total mystery."

    Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

    by DCDemocrat on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:24:40 PM PDT

    •  Well put (none)
      and worth repeating.

      "Here is a very circumspect guy who is saying nothing about his intentions, and the future is a total mystery."

      Though I did came out trusting his intentions. He is very focused.

  •  Gonna have to disagree (none)
    I appreciate the analysis and think you're probably right.  But I think you're looking at this the wrong way.

    Fitzgerald has given us all he's going to give us in terms of indictments.  The trial however, is going to introduce information to the public that is only talked about inside-the-beltway and in the blogosphere.  

    Our focus should be pouncing on those opportunities as the trial unfolds.  We need to make sure we exact a heavy political price for the Bush administration every step of the way.

    If this is all we get from Fitzgerald, then the rest is up to us.  Walking away from the issue is just stupid.

  •  I agree (none)

    Fairness is a liberal value

    by diplomatic on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:25:30 PM PDT

  •  That's not what I heard him say (none)
    He stated that this grand jury had run its statutory course and that normally another grand jury is ready to go if, as in this case, there was further work to do. However, he didn't talk about the details as he said he would have to consult with others to make sure its all done right.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

    by bewert on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:26:09 PM PDT

  •  I fear you are right (none)
    That within these indict that he cites the SF 312 oath violation but doesn't indict on that is fucking mind-boggling to me.


    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:26:18 PM PDT

  •  This is the beginning... (4.00)
    ...of a long siege that may last as long as the Bush administration lasts.

    Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on. --Winston Churchill

    by rmwarnick on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:26:21 PM PDT

    •  my take is that this thing is going to last for (4.00)
      a very long time.  I agree with you.  The fact that Fitzgerald conveyed what he did to the diarist just shows what a straight arrow prosecutor he is.

      Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

      by DCDemocrat on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:30:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  None of those things, though, are relevant (4.00)
    and Fitzgerald rightly stated that. This isn't a show trial about the war, the Niger forgeries, or any other thing. There are other Grand Juries that can be empanelled later to do that. Fitzgerald was originally tasked to look at one issue, and unlike Kenneth Starr, he did so. Good for him.
  •  Your post is, in essence, wrong. (4.00)
    We don't know what Fitzgerald can do next and Fitzgerald CANNOT TELL US WHAT HE IS GOING TO DO NEXT. Did Fitzgerald ever once, during the course of his two year investigation, come before the public and tell us what he was doing or what he was going to do? No, he didn't. Quite a few times over the last two years, people speculated that Fitzgerald was not doing much on this case but, as we now know, he was. You think he is not going to do very much more but for all we know, he is at this very moment - given that he left the press conference - hotly continuing his pursuit of this case.

    We'll just have to wait and see what the future will bring as we have been doing over the last two years.

    •  Agree (4.00)
      Don't takes Fitz's lack of detail as an indication that it's over. He's constrained by the law and professionalism from blabbing his moith.

      "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately." - Ben Franklin

      by RandyMI on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:30:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup (none)
        It's all Rorshach-ing going on.

        I'd comment but it'd be useless. The ink blot press conference was an ink blot press conference, nothing more.

        "Mr. Bush's relationship to the environment is roughly that of a doctor to a patient--when the doctor's name is Kevorkian." Bob Herbert, NYT

        by jorndorff on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:41:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Fitzgerald did his job, we have to do ours (4.00)
    I think people (me included to some extent) got so caught up in the connections of this case to the big issues that we ended up expecting Fitzgerald to essentially ride in on a horse and slay the dragon of this corrupt, lying, murderous administration for us.  But, of course, that was not his job, and that's what he told us in the press conference - his job is to find out if crimes were committed, determine if he could prosecute them successfully and bring the charges.  That's what he's done.

    Don't forget that the big damage in Watergate was not so much the legal proceedings, but the Senate hearings which revealed the underbelly of the Nixon political process and the existence of the Oval Office taping system.  That ultimately led to Nixon's impeachment proceedings in the House the next year.  It was a political process that ultimately brought those fuckers down.  And that was when the Democrats had control of Congress - we unfortunately won't have that available to us now to pursue the open questions left over here.  

    But we have to push, as a matter of public obligation - we can't wait for Fitzpatrick to rescue us, we have to do it ourselves.  And I certainly hope the Democrats in Congress, while not having the power to get it done, will start screaming as soon as Fitzgerald is really done, for investigations into the Italian Job, and everything else here.

  •  more indictments or not? fitz cant say right now (none)

    "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values." - Bill

    by skyterrain on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:30:33 PM PDT

  •  I disagree (4.00)
    Fitz held his intentions incredibly close to the vest, and did not come close to saying what would happen next.  He did say, several times, that the investigation would continue.

    Check out the indictment itself: it's very clear that Fitz has nailed down the "who" and "what" - he just hasn't got the "why" (Fizt said this himseld).  His baseball analogy was an attempt at explaining that, while trying to find out the "why," he had "sand thrown in his fac," i.e., Scooter lied his ass off.  This frustrated the investigation.  You have to know the "why" to file charges under the Espionage Act (Fitz explained this) because the statute requires that the leaker "knows" that the information is classified, or the leaker was "reckless" in leaking it.

    So, there is only one conclusion to draw if you're a prosecutor - you know that Libby asked for the info that was leaked, you know he took part in meetings with other officials (including Cheney) about Wilson and how to respond to his allegations - in other words, you know that Libby knows the "why".  Now, you have to get it out of him?

    How do you do that?  Well, you have evidence enough for indictment that Libby perjured himself and obstructed, so you bring that charge first.  The hope now is that Libby will relent and give up the "why" in order to get the charges reduced.

    I'd say there is a good chance of this, if the Franklin case is any evidence.  The evidence against Libby is pretty damning.  The Scootster doesn't look the kind of guy who wants to do 10+ years.

    •  Exactly (none)
      So will Libby deal?
      Or will Rove deal?
      Also, think about the optics of this trial during an election year -- testimony by Tim Russert, Judy Miller, Matt Cooper, Ari Fleischer, potentially Dick Cheney, Karl Rove (Official A -- unless he takes the 5th, which is just as good!).

      This is going to be a big part of 2006....

    •  Good theory ... (none)

      Good theory on a technical level.

      However, if the Scootster knows that he can beat the wrap by means of a forthcoming Bush pardon then he won't have to deal any further.

      How much actual hard jail time did Ollie North get?
      (f.y.i, all the other guys were preemptively pardoned)

      My point is without multiple indictments in hand, I think, without trying to be too negative, that ... let's just say this was a very disappointing day!

      Had Fitzgerald said that he wished to now expand his legal authority or widen his prosecutorial role then I would be more hopeful about all of this.

      But I heard him say the exact opposite.

      •  Pardoning is a trap (none)
         If Libby is the 'bad apple' in this thing, then a preemptive pardon does MUCH more damage to BushCo. It then moves from a scenario of 'well, we had Libby go off on a tangent' to what will be charges of 'Libby knew too much, and had to be protected so he won't roll.' That may or may not be the truth, but it will DEFINITELY be perceived to be the latter.

        I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

        by Anderson Republican on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:40:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, from what I understand... (none)
        ...due to the letters he has received, and the recusals that took place, Fitz basically has the power the AG himself when it comes to this investigation (Fitz even referred to himself as "wearing the Attorney General hat" during the press conference, if I remember right).  So, he wouldn't need to announce anything, or expand anything.  Plus, even he planned to expand anything regarding himself or the grand jury, he would never announce it: violated the rules.

        What he did say was that the investigation continues.

        As for pardons, I wouldn't jump to any conclusions on them becauss the political cost could be huge.  But, even with this possibility, this won't stop Fitz from proceeding, and that's a good thing.

  •  Wrong! (4.00)
    You must not have been watching the same press conference some of us watched. He said he did the best he could do get everything wrapped up before this grand jury expired, but it was clear from his statement that he was not able to do so. It was also clear that he wants to get to the bottom of the original crime (as he said, to fulfill his mandate) and that Libby is being charged with these serious charges because he "threw sand in his eyes" and prevented him from getting to the bottom of it.  He said that under the grand jury secrecy act (or something to that effect, I probably have the name wrong) he's not supposed to talk about what the next grand jury will be looking into--and he said that's a good thing. Basically, it sounds to me like the investigation will go on, but Fitzgeral doesn't want the media circus camped out at the courthouse analyzing every time he walks in and out, etc.  
  •  The first rule of people not named in indictments (none)
    is that you don't talk about people not named in the indictments.

    I'd lay odds that he may have a sealed indictment or two up his sleeve. This isn't over.

    "Science is defined by how you ask the question, not the question you ask."

    by themis on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:38:54 PM PDT

  •  Listen closely (4.00)
    Fitz was clear that ALL he would comment on in this particular press conference would be the indictments handed up today.  He repeatedly refused to comment on the rest of the ongoing investigation.  He would not comment on any of the other parties involved in the investigation.

    He also answered multiple times that he would not offer a specific timeline for wrapping up the investigation.  He did not expect the current one to take 2 years.

    I think the good prosecutor is going to do what it takes to get to the bottom of the leak.  All of the ancilliary information will come out during that process.

    This man is totally RULE OF LAW.  He is stringing a very long chain of popcorn with which to decorate the tree.

    As he said numerous times, "take a deep breath".

    I trust him.

    By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. --Benjamin Franklin

    -8.00, -5.08

    by Jennifer Clare on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:39:03 PM PDT

  •  Wrong (none)
    You are totally wrong on 3 and 4.  

    No more Melissa Beans!

    by Paleo on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:51:05 PM PDT

    •  Maybe (none)

      Maybe ... but

      If Fitzgerald is not interested in point 5),
      [ Point number 5) is accurate ], and does not seek to expand his authority or role any further ... (for example, put Dick Cheney under oath)

      then he can't really do much more than what he has already done to this point and 3) and 4) will not happen.

      Look at the 6 statements as a whole package.  Because some of them were actually stated very clearly -- then all of them utlimately are the likely results from here on.

      •  Fitzgeralds' mandate is already broad (none)
         There was quite a bit of discussion on that - Comey's letter gives VERY broad latitude to him.

        I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

        by Anderson Republican on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:42:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I can understand your confusion (4.00)
    Karl Rove certainly does seem that he would reek if you got up close, but one wreaks havoc.

    And I predict that Fitzgerald's "mopping up" will do precisely that to this Whitehouse.

    Don't forget, ePluribus Media isn't them, it's US. That means you too.

    by Bionic on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:54:33 PM PDT

  •  Dunno where you're getting your interpretation (none)
    1. Fitz said in his press conference: Don't read tea leaves

    2. "Work substantially done" would appear to refer primarily to shoe leather, not analysis or jigsaw puzzle construction

    3. Given that he talked about 1-5 indictments (NOT 1-5 charges) and indications were that would be on the high end, there's more out there. Don't believe the Faux/Luskin spin that "the great Luskin" put a beatdown on Fitz.

    "There is no god, and I am his prophet." SocraticGadfly

    by steverino on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:59:08 PM PDT

  •  Derek's concerns (none)

    As a fellow Democrat, I understand your concern, but I don't share it.  I truly believe that today's indictment of Libby is the tip of a very large iceberg.  All things to follow from the 5 count indictment may well uncover a wealth of prosecutable activities from this White House in regard to the War in Iraq -- and perhaps other issues.  This trail may lead back to Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, as it should.  

    It's all fun and games to have the nickname "Scooter" until the indictments come down.

  •  I also feel pessimistic (none)
    Patrick made some rather profound statements i.e., 1) this was an investigation about leaks and the quality of the work by the team and grand jury was excellent.  (The contrast to Ken Starrs' grand jury case should not be lost on the American people).  2)The fact that this was perjury, etc. should not be seen as irrelevant.  He went on for some time defending the value of perjury convictions.  I do feel he came across as a straight arrow and blunted some of the Republican spin about to be heard on that score.  Other than that I don't think enough people flipped.  

    Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

    by hairspray on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 02:52:04 PM PDT

  •  End of the Road (none)
    If Karl Rove is happy after the news of yesterday, I am not. Rove clearly escape, and knows that all he has to worry about now is the colleratal political, but not legal, damage from a Libby trial process.

    It sure looks like Libby agreed to take the fall, and his friends will support him down the road.

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