Tuesday, June 13, 2006


"And I am not going to say I told you so: I'm really not."

Eat Crow
Despite Truthout's breaking news story that Karl Rove was about to be indicted and equally hopeful comments by "progressives" across America and elsewhere on blogs such as Daily Kos and Eschaton, Karl Rove is not going to be indicted in the Valerie Plame leak case. This case has the makings of a trial of the century-type event, and could result in some major changes in how news sources are able to protect and use contacts and how classified materials and information are protected. Scrappleface has his humorous version of the events, explaining how President Bush is doomed.

So why is this news? What makes a non-event even worth blogging about, let alone massive coverage across the blogosphere? One word: Fitzmas.

The term "Fitzmas" was coined to describe the glee and schadenfreude that the left was displaying while looking forward to the dearly hoped-for indictment of Karl Rove by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. The attitude in many was like a child looking forward to Christmas. For example, even with the failure of this indictment to come to pass, here's how Tigerhawk describes the New York Times' coverage:

The New York Times describes this as a barely dodged bullet, Rove having been "dangerously close to possible charges." You can almost feel the disappointment.

Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame's husband, said that would love to see Karl Rove "frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs." Although that dream is dead, there are still ways to keep hope alive in this for the left, and Decision '08 has a top-10 list to help out.

Just One Minute Typepad has extensive coverage of this, as is Tom Maguire's usual style, laying out the timeline, the coverage, and the events with precision and care. In fact, any time there is a major legal scandal, check Just One Minute out, he'll have some of the best coverage available on the internet, if not the best. Tom honorably makes an admission:

Let me gulp down some crow - last May 8, I pegged the probability of a Rove indictment at 70%; a few days ago, I marked that down to 50% - well, at least I had the trend right.

Two quick guesses as to why there was no indictment:

(a) The Libby indictment looks very much like a failed attempt to force Libby to cooperate, presumably by testifying against Dick Cheney. Evidently, the prospect of a second failed attempt held little appeal for Fitzgerald.

(b) The Armitage angle made a Rove indictment problematic except as a package deal (as I discussed on May 19). Briefly, Richard Armitage, former deputy Secretary of State, had apparently leaked about Ms, Plame's CIA affiliation to Bob Woodward in mid-June and Bob Novak in early July. However, he seems to have only testified about the Woodward leak *after* the Libby indictment was handed down in Oct 2005, despite reminders and requests from Bob Woodward during 2004. That looks a lot like obstruction and perjury, yet Special Counsel Fitzgerald has shown no interest in pursuing him. Well, fine, but how can what Rove did (which amounted to forgetting about his talk with Matt Cooper of TIME) be considered indictable if Armitage's behavior was not?

Commenters at the Typepad typed this:

I repeat my Diogenesian quest. someone please tell me why we should not break out in convulsive laughter whenever Leopold prints anything. I guess the sealed indictment disappeared into Area 54? Or the business clock on the wall had its batteries wore out and stuck on 10 minutes to midnight?
-by Gary Maxwell
[Mr Maxwell is referring to the Truthout.org claim of indictment, based on a sealed indictment being handed down which was presumed to be Karl Rove's]
Anyway, I'm a simple girl with a simple idea. Fitzgerald got led astray by the Marc Grossman "Strickly for Revenge" story. He indicted Libby because he thought Libby started the chain of leaks (like Begala and Carville in the Gennifer Flowers smear).
BUT Libby wasn't hiding the big leak, and Fitz wouldn't have indicted him if UGO would have stepped forward. Fitz just got it wrong, and he's been unable to extricate himself.
I didn't think he would step in it MORE by indicting Rove on charges that only mattered in a false narrative.
-by MayBee

I'm glad to see there are enough sensible people here to be encouraged, but not celebratory.

If the leaker lawyer indeed has a letter from Fitz absolving Rove of ALL charges, it would
be highly unusual unless.........there is a bigger fish to fry.
-by Semanticleo

Actually, Leo, I think I answered my own question upon further reflection. Rove's lawyer doesn't have a letter absolving Rove of anything. He has a letter that says he isn't going to indict him. There was nothing to absolve...capice?
-by Sue

It is fair to say that my chest is swollen with gloating joy. By God, this is rich! Now we can sit back and wait for Leopold to deliver on his promise to out his sources if they proved to be incorrect. As I recall, he said he had one at Knight Ridder, one at ABC News, and a couple of others. But don't hold your breath...
-by OtherTom
[In case you want to ask Mr Leopold to follow through on this promise, here's his email address: jasonleopold@hotmail.com]
Wake up people, McHitlerBushiburton is pulling the wool over your eyes! This is just another plot by the Administration to subvert the American justice system. Obviously, the only way they could have gotten away with this is... Karl Rove and Patrick Fitzgerald are the same person!

Think about it, have any of you ever seen them in the same room together? No! Has anyone ever interviewed the people sitting on the grand jury to see if Fitz was just talking to himself those 5 times? No! Has Fitzgerald ever officially denied that he is Karl Rove in disguise? No!

It all makes total sense if you think about it. Or not.
-by The Unbeliever

I am not a lawyer so forgive me for being sceptical. I wonder whether charges could still be brought at or around October/November.
-by Davod

Here's Luskin's formal statement.

"On June 12, 2006, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove.

In deference to the pending case, we will not make any further public statements about the subject matter of the investigation. We believe that the Special Counsel's decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove’s conduct."
-by Semanticleo

I'm sure somebody can explain to me why a prosecutor would bring any charges BEFORE he determined whether or not an actual crime was commited.

Fitzgerald must be a special form of idiot because this fact has never made any sense. If Fitz thinks he'll be able to convict anyone, of anything, without demonstrating to a jury that an actual crime was commited he better pray for a panel of equally stupid jurors.
-by jag

It's Fitzmas morning and the Dems are a Jewish kid!
-by Epphan

I have to say that immunity in exchange for cooperation is certainly something that has crossed my mind after the unusual multiple testimonial appearances before the grand jury that Rove made. And I have to wonder what that does mean, if so. And when we’ll find out.


The left is not giving up.
-by Sue

Two quick guesses as to why there was no indictment

May I add a third?

When Walton admitted Cooper's drafts in the Libby case Fitz abandoned any hope those documents would remain concealed. Given Cooper's status as the fulcrum on which any tale of Rove perjury was leveraged Fitz gave it up as hopeless.
-by Dwilkers

OK we have a winner! From one of the first posts at an open thread on KOS. Warning major spew alert. This is a classic. See if you dont agree:

I don't think I've ever seen such a look of misery and dejection on the face of my daughter as I just did a moment ago. She just couldn't understand why the President would be going to Iraq when so many things are wrong in this country. "Doesn't Mr. Bush care about us anymore?" she asked pitifully.

I sat down with her on the sofa and (as calmly as I could) tried to explain to her why the President seems to be abandoning his country. "Honey, I think his boss, Mr. Rove, sent Mr. Bush out of the country in order to keep himself out of the newspapers. You see, he wasn't sure if he was going to be arrested today or not, and so he planned Mr. Bush's trip ahead of time just in case..."

I tried to keep my voice steady, but it became increasingly difficult - the rage and feelings of helplessness were just too much. I think my daughter could tell something was wrong. I found myself at such a loss for words - nothing made any sense; nothing makes sense anymore. I finally had to admit, "Honey, I just don't know - I don't know what's going on in this country anymore..."

When I finished her lower lip started to tremble and her eyes began to fill with tears, "Daddy" she said, "why are the Republicans doing this to the country?" Well, that was it for me: I finally fell apart. She just fell into my arms and we both began sobbing for several minutes.

For once she had to comfort me and get me back on my feet. Sometimes I just think it's too much, but seeing the strength in my young daughter's voice helped me to get through.

Shouldn't Child Prtective Services be called, as this poster is not well at all.
-by Gary Maxwell

*UPDATE: Added Wilson quote and minor formatting change
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