No crime, no time: But will true Justice prevail?
One of the strangest checks your humble correspondent has ever written went out with the mail last week. The amount of the check wasn’t all that great, the widow’s mite one might say. But it, along with thousands of others, will help the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice.
What makes all this so strange is that the special counsel appointed to investigate for evidence of a crime discovered, early-on, that no crime had been committed. Moreover, had there been an underlying crime, the special counsel discovered the identity of the “perpetrator” almost at the outset of his investigation.
In fact, the “perpetrator” had already “confessed” to his boss that he was probably the person whose chat with a newspaper columnist had gotten the prosecutorial ball rolling. Then, knowing no crime had been committed, the special counsel swore the “perpetrator” and his boss to secrecy. Then, he went on a three-year fishing expedition that cost the U.S. taxpayers over $2 million dollars and consumed the time of dozens of government officials and members of the Sinistra Media.
Of course, the “perpetrator,” had there been a crime committed, was then Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, and his boss was then Secretary of State, Colin Powell. It was Armitage (no friend of Bush military policy) who told columnist, Robert Novak, that CIA employee, Valerie Plame, was the person who suggested that her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, be sent to Niger to check out reports from British and French intelligence that Saddam Hussein had sent agents to Niger to purchase yellow-cake uranium used in the production of nuclear weapons.
The reason the identification of Ms. Plame as a CIA employee to a journalist was not crime is that Ms. Plame’s employment with the CIA was no longer covered by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA).That protection expires after five years and Ms. Plame had not been in a covert assignment for almost a decade. She, like the other 20,000 CIA employees who work on the 258-acre CIA campus in Langley, Virginia, wore her CIA ID card on a lanyard around her neck. As she drove her convertible to work each morning, where she was headed was no secret.
If Ms. Plame had been covered by the IIPA, the special counsel could have charged the “leaker,” Richard Armitage, on the spot. He did not.
Apparently, Special Counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, had bigger fish to fry. He kept fishing, summoning a number of White House officials and members of the Sinistra Media to testify, under oath, about their recollections of conversations in which the employment of Ms. Plame by the CIA might have been discussed.
In the end, it all came down to one of those: “he-said/she-said” contests where the recollections of government officials and members of the Sinistra Media are bumped up against each other. The victim in all this, Scooter Libby, could not square his recollections with those of the Sinistra Media (mainly, Tim Russert) and the jury came down on the side of Russert.
By now, it should be apparent that the big fish Fitzgerald wanted to fry were Vice President Dick Cheney and Bush advisor, Karl Rove. But Fitzgerald only had a ten-inch skillet and the only person he could get to fit his skillet was a small-fry -- Scooter Libby.
Justice cries out for Libby to be exonerated on appeal, and Justice may be served. The President has kept Libby from going to jail while Libby pursues his appeal. Meanwhile, Libby had to pay the $250,000 fine and has a ton of on-going legal fees. As a convicted felon, he can’t practice law and earn a living. Catch 22.
If you want to add your check to mine, the address is: Libby Legal Defense Trust, 2100 M Street, NW Suite 170-362, Washington, DC 20037-1233. Even the smallest donation will help. Or, just send a card saying: “Our prayers for Justice are with you.”
Syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today, William Hamilton, is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval War College and a former research fellow at the U.S. Military History Institute of the U.S. Army War College. Writing as William Penn, he and his wife are the co-authors of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2007. William Hamilton.