Sunday, October 30, 2005

Coal In Our Stockings?

Joy's Analysis

"The truth is the engine to the judicial system. If you compromise the truth, the system is lost."
Patrick Fitzgerald, Oct. 28, 2005 Press Conference

Well. Perhaps he should not have mentioned this odd belief that "justice" equals "truth." Much less speak about that belief as if it were more important than the acts of treason in the White House at the heart of this case. Had he done the right thing based on this belief, he'd have looked a little less like a high school debate loser and more like an actual official of the US Department of Justice circa 2005.

But then, there are way too many American citizens outside the beltway who already know that human "justice" has nothing much to do with "truth." Instead, it's purely a matter of who's got the most money, the broader interests, and the best liars... oops. I mean "lawyers." Maybe Fitz just hasn't lived an 'ordinary' enough life to yet realize that his ideals don't count as much on Main Street as they do on his resume.

Let's face it. Politicians, like lawyers, are professional liars. That is as much known and properly respected in the provinces as it is known and respected in the attorney's lounge outside courtrooms all over this nation. Deal is, your lies have to serve a specified purpose on both levels, and regular people have to generally agree with the specified purpose. For lawyers, it's the axiom (framed by the Bill of Rights) that even the guilty deserve the best defense that can be mounted. This can ensure fairness, but it can also render injustice. We the People know that. We live with it every day.

For politicians, we have the expectation (voiced through our votes) that our elected government's movers and shakers can keep our national security and policy interests close to the vest while telling gratuitous lies to our enemies without batting an eye. And keeping some things entirely secret outside "need to know" because the knowledge is dangerous. To real people, who devote their lives - not just 4 or 8 years - to defending American interests. Not to mention the danger to those interests, which in this case have to do with CIA's directorate of counterproliferation. For God's Sake, is there ANY collective security interest more important?

This case is about an in-house battle over the long-term national security interests of our nation. On one side were Neocon radicals in the White House - concentrated mostly through the puppeteer Veep's office, with Haliburton's recent CEO in that chair. On the other side were the lifers in CIA, DIA and British intelligence services, who became increasingly alarmed by Cheney's personal spooks' 'fixing' of intelligence in support of a war that didn't need fighting, and which the UN would not sanction.

We have known for awhile now that we went to war in Iraq based on lies about WMDs. And we know that among the evidences used to sell that lie to the American public (after it didn't work at the UN) were forged documents planted in files at the Niger embassy in Rome saying Saddam had a deal going in Niger to purchase uranium yellowcake. The plumbers came attached to Dick's spooks, Iran-Contra alumni among them. Italy even has arrest warrants out for some of 'em!

[speculative diversion] I have long suspected that this operation ran afoul of Plame's operation. Thus it would have been within reason for Plame to have been involved in high-level Ops planning and analysis about what was going on and whether it presented a threat to the kind of American interests divisions like counterproliferation exists to defend. There were concerned British analysts too, one of whom died under suspicious circumstances in July of 2003. The same month in which Joe Wilson's NYT Op-Ed was published and Robert Novak then outed Wilson's wife as a CIA operative.

According to the scenario Fitz described in such detail, the CIA said they sent Wilson because someone in Cheney's office (Libby?) initiated CIA interest in evidence that Saddam was trying to purchase yellowcake in Niger. That person asked CIA [through Tenet?] to "check into" information the White House had acquired that Saddam was trying to buy yellowcake in Niger.

Perhaps unknown to that person was the ongoing investigation Italian intelligence was engaging into the break-in at the Niger embassy in Rome. British intelligence deep-cover was working that investigation as was [in my imagination] Plame's outfit. Maybe they'd discovered the insertions to the specific files by then, maybe the tip from the Veep's man told them where to look. The forgeries were not good. My grandson could do better. They weren't hard to find if you knew where to look.

It wasn't until Cheney was told by Tenet that the anonymous "ex-diplomat" sourcing stories questioning the evidence used to justify the war was Joe Wilson that Cheney also learned that Wilson's wife was CIA and was attached to counterproliferation (a NOC-running ops outfit). For Cheney, it must have been infuriating to find that Wilson - who was certainly qualified to go public with what the CIA knew about the evidence - was married to the spook division least likely to be impressed with the lies used to take us into unnecessary war - and a far less stable world situation.

By outing Valerie Wilson, the Cheneys killed two birds with one stone, per their twisted logic. They could attack Wilson's credibility and take out the CIA's whole rival Brewster-Jennings NOC operation in one fell swoop. They were so focused on the Rove political play-book for undermining critics that they forgot to consider that Mrs. Wilson's position per finding out about the Rome break-in and forged Niger documents wouldn't be enough to convince concerned Americans that Joe Wilson wasn't qualified to speak about what he learned - even if he learned it as much through his CIA contacts as through personal interviews with officials and industry folks in Niger. A task he admitted up front all along that he undertook at the behest of the CIA because the Veep's office asked the question.

So I'm going with the 'retired' diplomats, generals, officials and spooks on both sides of the Atlantic on this one. The only way the Cheneys and Rove can pull this off is for American citizens to simply refuse to believe the truth when it's right in front of our faces. Only about 30% of people are Fox-News zombies. The rest of us still have some brain cells, and we're not blind (even if we are near-sighted). Outing a NOC operative, his/her cover, and all agents and contacts under that cover is an act of high treason. It cannot be anything less, unless evidence exists that the operation was rogue and against American interests. No such evidence concerning the counterproliferation operation once covered by Brewster-Jennings exists that we've seen or will ever be allowed to see. Which, in the spook world, means it doesn't exist. Fitzpatrick's judges have consistently upheld on redacted material that this situation is very, very serious. More serious than perjury or obstruction. [/speculative diversion]

I think this is what disappoints me most about Fitzgerald's back-door cop-out on the Real Story of what's wrong with the current administration in DC. A 5-count indictment for lying might have been a glorious first act in the final scene, except that Fitzy blew it by exposing to one and all his seemingly awesome naivete. No real, soul-sold professional liar old enough to have a touch of grey at the temples should come out as such a babe-in-the-woods. All that does is cut his own legs off at the knees - he's done. This is going no farther, and the reason it's going no farther is that Fitzy refuses to allow himself the courage to indict on the underlying charges even if the targets lie. A real prosecutor would have expected them to lie all the way to Sing-Sing. And would have taken 'em there anyway.

Nothing about prosecution of crimes has ever been or is ever expected to be a slam-dunk of self-incrimination and noble truth-telling. It's about sleazy liars who don't care whether what they do is legal or not, and don't really care if you bust 'em for it. This is "senior administration official" stuff - not only can they lie with straight faces and believe themselves blessed by God for it, they can always count on executive pardons before prosecution or after. They'll never do any time.

See, "senior administration officials" representing administrations with policy goals at serious odds with traditional American values and policies don't have to be constrained by those traditions. They ARE "American Policy" so it is THEIR policies that trump. That's what the whole intelligence "regime change" the Bushies have accomplished since 9-11 is all about. Any career diplomats, generals and/or spooks who get in the way are "fair game" (to quote the Cheneys).

If Fitz were the naif that he portrayed himself to be on national media this past Friday, he'd have been doing this whining AFTER he'd issued perjury and obstruction charges against Rove as well as Libby. He'd have charged Judith Miller with obstruction too, and another couple of reporters with aiding and abetting that crime. Heck, if Judith Miller actually has the security clearance she claimed to have in her NYT rendition of the saga, Miller is party to the act of treason too! And he would have charged Cheney, Libby, Rove, Hadley, Bolton and several other players with conspiracy to commit treason.

Then take it all to trial and see what sticks. All you have to do is schedule the trials properly and information learned in the early trials (as well as deals for 'flippers') could be used to shore up the material for later trials. Bush would be effectively crippled in his tireless efforts to turn this country into a Fascist Dictatorship, and several of these traitors would be headed to prison FOR treason. In fact, it would be reasonable to then launch impeachment hearings in the House for Bush (because he hired traitors to manage American foreign policy and got us into a tragic war for Haliburton based on lies). At which point we wouldn't have to worry that the traitors wouldn't ever go to prison. Bush would be stripped of his pardon power, and Dennis Hastert could go in on the promise NOT to issue blanket pardons for anyone but Bush.

But instead, we have a DoJ crybaby who just can't believe these people would lie to him. Waa-waa boy. Scooter will scoot right on off to happy retirement land without ever even having been tried, and Haliburton laughs all the way to the rest of our diminished treasury.

Randall of course disagrees with me on this. Which is good, because it is nice to be able to so carefully tend that diminishing ember of hope deep in the pit of my stomach. But I can't overtly believe Fitz is Big and Bad enough to have real weapons up his sleeve. I don't have any real expectation that he's smarter than the liars, since he's so whiny about them lying. I would love to be proved wrong, but only Fitz can provide that proof. I more strongly suspect he'll be back home in Chicago before Christmas, which is also going to be mighty slim this year.

That's a shame.

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