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Fitzgerald: Over his head and folding like a two dollar suitcase

Posted in the database on Wednesday, July 12th, 2006 @ 15:24:34 MST (2124 views)
by Wayne Madsen    The Wayne Madsen Report  

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Robert Novak, like Karl Rove, has now been told by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald that he is off the hook for the disastrous leak of the name of a CIA covert agent and her non-official cover (NOC) cover company. It is now time to focus on the politics being played by Fitzgerald. On Monday, June 12, Fitzgerald participated in an afternoon hearing before Judge Reggie Walton on the Scooter Libby perjury and obstruction of justice case (not the Espionage Act violation involving the outing of CIA agents). That same morning, Fitzgerald appeared before Chief Judge Thomas Hogan (who recently ruled that it was legal for FBI agents to search the offices of Rep. William Jefferson without restrictions). It was after that meeting that Fitzgerald, depending on what news source one believes, faxed or sent a letter or phoned Rove attorney Robert Luskin and told him he did not anticipate seeking criminal charges against Rove. Now, Novak writes that he has been informed by Fitzgerald's office that he is off the hook for the leak of the CIA information by the White House, although he names Rove as one of the sources for the leak. Rove, through Luskin, said Novak told Rove about Plame's work at the CIA. Luskin now says that Rove's and Novak's accounts do not differ greatly. That is an astounding claim. Either Rove told Novak or Novak told Rove -- there is nothing remotely similar about those two actions. However, given Rove's past as a political manipulator and master deceiver, this editor believes Novak is telling the truth. For years, Novak was teamed with the late Rowland Evans, someone with close ties to the U.S. intelligence community and someone who would have been livid about the leak of covert CIA agents as a form of political retaliation. Rove has no such background in prudent judgment nor has he been mentored by anyone who has had an appreciation for the dangers involved with such leaks.

On Friday, May 12, Fitzgerald reportedly had a sealed indictment of Rove for the CIA leak. That set in motion the most egregious White House interference in a criminal case since Watergate. However, in this case, Fitzgerald was not fired and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty did not resign in protest. Make no mistake about it -- Gonzales is not Elliot Richardson and McNulty is no William Ruckelshaus. Richardson and Ruckelshaus both resigned rather than fire Independent Special Counsel Archibald Cox. That ignominious distinction went to Solicitor General Robert Bork. That previous week, a cocky Rove was appearing at Republican events around the country, acting like someone who knew he was immune from any prosecution. Rove's spokesman, Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Attorney General John Ashcroft, participated as the middleman in a diversionary effort to criticize the only media that was paying serious attention to the details of the backstage developments in the Rove case. This week, Rove continues on the GOP political stump, acting as someone who has no worries about any indictment, even with Novak's recent disclosures that Rove was one of the sources of the CIA leak. These developments now put the spotlight on Fitzgerald and his seemingly endless investigation. If Fitzgerald were told by Addington and Gonzales that Bush intended to pardon Libby, the prosecutor's case against Rove would have been dead on arrival. The indictment would remained sealed. Was the pardon of Libby what Fitzgerald discussed with Judge Hogan on the morning of June 12 just before he informed Luskin that he had no plans to indict Rove? Was the afternoon hearing before Walton and Libby and his attorneys an effort by Fitzgerald to put on a happy face and keep up appearances that a case still existed?

It is clear that Fitzgerald, who was politically appointed by the Bush administration as the U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois in 2001 and, therefore, had to pass a litmus test administered by the most extreme right-wing administration in the history of the nation, has politically manipulated the investigation of the CIA leak by dragging out the process with endless motions; sidebars with judges; questionable meetings with Bush's, Rove's, Libby's, and Cheney's attorneys; and the failure to nail Libby with Espionage Act violations. Fitzgerald earned his "crime fighter" stripes by indicting the Republican Governor of Illinois, George Ryan, for a bribery scandal committed while he was Secretary of State, not anything he did while Governor. But one thing that Ryan did as Governor was to commute the death sentences of Illinois' death row population. The reason: law enforcement and prosecutorial misconduct in Chicago and Illinois -- in other words, Ryan was accusing Fitzgerald's pals in the Illinois and Chicago police and the state prosecutors office of criminal malfeasance -- a criminal act. So, Fitzgerald, who originally worked for death penalty fanatic, John Ashcroft, decided to indict Ryan. Many knowledgeable sources saw that indictment as a politically-motivated retaliatory move. Fitzgerald is now pursuing criminal investigations of Illinois Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich and Chicago Democratic Mayor Richard Daley, Jr. Of course, getting indictments in Illinois and Chicago for bribery is much like shooting at fish in a barrel. That says more about Illinois politics than it does Fitzgerald's prosecutorial skills. Anyone want to indict a ham sandwich?

Fitzgerald has also been engaged in some fancy legal footwork in the case against Hollinger neo-con former Chairman and media mogul Lord Conrad Black. The Canadian-born member of the British House of Lords has the same circle of powerful Republican and neo-con friends as does Scooter Libby. Even if Fitzgerald were an Independent Special Counsel, he would likely face the same resistance as that experienced by past independent prosecutors: Archibald Cox, Leon Jaworski, and Judge Lawrence Walsh. Fitzgerald is clearly the kind of referee the Bush administration prefers in his role as a politically-vulnerable Special Prosecutor and U.S. Attorney -- primarily because he's someone who decided to run the clock on the Libby trial until after the November election, thus eliminating the trial as a campaign issue. But the trial, which is due to begin in January 2007, is scheduled just after Bush is expected to issue an end-of-the-year pardon for the Vice President's ex-Chief of Staff. By gaming the judicial process to favor the White House, Fitzgerald, who has reportedly been pressured by Cheney's uber-counsel and Chief of Staff David Addington and Attorney General, is giving the Bush administration a number of escape routes in the CIA leak case -- postponing the Libby trial until after the elections and after the expected Bush pardon of Libby at the end of December; running out the clock on three-year statute of limitations on a potential civil lawsuit by Ambassador Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson, starting from the dates of the original wrongful actions by the Bush White House -- in July 2003, although there are indications that the "work up" on Wilson and his wife may have commenced as early as March 2003.

Fitzgerald, who has never served in the military or the intelligence community, appears to think that the CIA leak case is on par with white collar criminal and political corruption cases in Chicago. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the Ryan case, people received state business for political payola. In the Hollinger case, investors were defrauded. In the CIA leak case, agents and informants were tortured and executed. No one died from Illinois corruption and Hollinger rip-offs.

The original reason for the CIA leak was Ambassador Wilson calling Bush's major reason for invading and occupying Iraq -- that nation's supposed desire to obtain yellowcake uranium ore from Niger -- an outright misrepresentation of the truth. That White House lie, which Wilson called them on, has resulted in the deaths of over 2500 American military personnel, the wounding of 40,000 military members, the deaths of nearly 150,000 Iraqis, and the transformation of Iraq, the Cradle of Civilization, into a hell zone. That is not a case of mere political corruption and corporate fraud. Mr. Fitzgerald especially owes an explanation for his molasses-like investigation to the families of dead and wounded U.S. servicemen and women about his failure to carry out justice is a timely and forthright manner. Fitzgerald may be an honorable man. But he is dealing with the most dishonest and reprehensible people to ever hold public office in this country. The Special Counsel should stop giving the White House breaks or resign and provide a full explanation of what has transpired to the American people. For it is the American people, not Mr. Bush, not Mr. Cheney, not Mr. Rove, not Mr. Luskin, and not Bush's attorney Jim Sharpe, to whom Mr. Fitzgerald is ultimately responsible for his actions.

____________

Read from Looking Glass News

The Wreck of St. Patrick Fitzgerald: CIA LEAK COVERUP

The Bush spinmeisters' Kabuki dance with Patrick Fitzgerald.



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