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Libby/Clinton comparisons

The Libby indictment has, of course, invited a lot of comparisons with the charges against Bill Clinton by Ken Starr. Also interesting, and perhaps more pertinent, are the comparisons with Hillary Clinton.

Deborah Orin reminds us that Special Prosecutor Robert Ray, after investigating Travelgate, found that Hillary had made seemingly false statements under oath no fewer than eight times. Coincidentally, that's the same number of conflicting statements Fitzgerald attributes to Libby.

In the end, Ray decided not to prosecute because, in part, no underlying crime was committed -- the White House had the right to fire the travel office staffers if they wished.



Bottom line, I guess, is it's OK ("fair game") to reveal a CIA agent's identity.

And it's OK for the Vice President to be actively involved in this whole thing.

Yeah, I think outing CIA agents is about the same as unfairly firing an employee. The next time Scooter Pooter gets mad, maybe he and Rove will give out secret military codes to any units that criticize Bushy Wushy.

Awwww, they are sooo cute!

Guys, Fitzgerald seems to be of the opinion that no crime was committed in identifying Valerie Plame. I'm sorry, but that fact is relevant.

Fitzgerald would not say whether or not the outting of Ms. Plame was a crime. He said that he is not charging Mr. Libby with that crime, which is a different statement than saying that no crime was committed. Indeed, the complexity of his answer to the following question does not convey to me the message that Libby was not charged with the underlying crime solely because "no crime was committed."


QUESTION: The indictment describes Lewis Libby giving classified information concerning the identify of a CIA agent to some individuals who were not eligible to receive that information. Can you explain why that does not, in and of itself, constitute a crime?

FITZGERALD: That's a good question. And I think, knowing that he gave the information to someone who was outside the government, not entitled to receive it, and knowing that the information was classified, is not enough.

FITZGERALD: You need to know at the time that he transmitted the information, he appreciated that it was classified information, that he knew it or acted, in certain statutes, with recklessness.

And that is sort of what gets back to my point. In trying to figure that out, you need to know what the truth is.

So our allegation is in trying to drill down and find out exactly what we got here, if we received false information, that process is frustrated.

But at the end of the day, I think I want to say one more thing, which is: When you do a criminal case, if you find a violation, it doesn't really, in the end, matter what statute you use if you vindicate the interest.

If Mr. Libby is proven to have done what we've alleged -- convicting him of obstruction of justice, perjury and false statements -- very serious felonies -- will vindicate the interest of the public in making sure he's held accountable.

It's not as if you say, "Well, this person was convicted but under the wrong statute."

FITZGERALD: I think -- but I will say this: The whole point here is that we're going to make fine distinctions and make sure that before we charge someone with a knowing, intentional crime, we want to focus on why they did it, what they knew and what they appreciated; we need to know the truth about what they said and what they knew.

PE, I realize that Fitzgerald did not close the door on that issue. I'm simply assuming that if he believed he had ample evidence to indict those responsible for revealing Plame's status, he would already have done so. If he does, in fact, obtain indictments for the outing of Ms. Plame at a future date, I will modify my opinions accordingly. The seriousness of Libby's false testimony would then be compounded, since they would constitute false material testimony in an effort to cover up a crime.

Wow, for some reason Fitzgerald couldn't get the evidence he needed! I don't suppose that had anything to do with the massive coverup and lie-fest of the Bush Administration, eh?

The Republicans impeached over NOTHING MORE than what the Bush Administration has done en masse, even without the official charge of treason as opposed to Clinton's consentual sexcapades.

"I don't suppose that had anything to do with the massive coverup and lie-fest of the Bush Administration, eh?"

Paranoia strikes deep.

I assume you also believe that Wellstone was murdered?

(Objection! Asked and answered!)

I hope Wellstone was murdered, because he was just as big an asshole as Bush. Do you think I am Liberal or something? This country has two problems, Conservatives and Liberals.

I am a Radical Moderate Independent. I believe in ripping the Left and Right equally. If you would stop kissing the Right's ass, you would hear me hit on the Left more.

All I hear is bitterness and hate. Oh riiight, biting anger is what makes people want to work together.

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