Monday, April 24, 2006

Inflammatory Opinion:
One Thousand Fifteen

Robert NovakValerie PlameOn July 14, 2003, columnist Robert Novak, in his article entitled, "Mission to Niger," wrote the following words: "Valerie Plame is a [Central Intelligence] Agency operative. Two senior Administration sources told me..." In the White House press briefing of September 29, 2003, Press Secretary Scott McClellan said, "[T]hat is not the way this White House operates. The President expects everyone in his administration to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. No one would be authorized to do such a thing." Mr. McClellan later in that press briefing went on to say, "[T]here's been no information that has been brought to our attention, beyond what we've seen in the media reports, to suggest White House involvement," and he demanded of reporters questioning him, "Do you have specific information to suggest White House involvement?" None did at the time, although such evidence would ultimately surface in grand jury testimony, principally about the activities of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and more recently in court filings that note the involvement of Vice President Richard Cheney and President George W. Bush in what might have been an effort to discredit Ms. Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, whose article in The New York Times disputed Administration claims that the regime of Saddam Hussein had sought to purchase unrefined, "yellowcake" uranium from Nigeria.

Mr. Novak outed Ms. Plame 1,015 days ago.

U.S. Attorney Patrick FitzgeraldBased in part on a subsequent complaint filed by the Central Intelligence Agency, the Justice Department agreed to launch an investigation into who within the Bush Administration disclosed the name of a CIA agent. On December 30, 2003, then-Attorney General of the United States John Ashcroft announced at a news conference that he was recusing himself with respect to that investigation, and he publicly named Assistant Attorney General James Comey as Acting Attorney General to oversee the matter. Mr. Comey at that same news conference named Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, as the lead prosecutor and investigator.

That was 846 days ago.

Facts
Mr. Fitzgerald was given no independent budget, and his work was overseen by the office of Mr. Comey, a political appointee.

Irving Lewis LibbyMr. Libby, who served as an adviser to Vice President Cheney, was indicted on five counts in October of last year. Not one of those charges involved the disclosure of the name of Valerie Plame; all were instead because, as Mr. Fitzgerald said upon announcing the indictment, "[Libby] lied about it [the disclosure of Plame's name and status] afterwards, under oath and repeatedly."

To date, in the matter of the disclosure of the name of an American spy—a non-official cover (NOC) operative working through a front company tracking global trafficking in weapons of mass destruction—Mr. Libby is the only individual who has been indicted, and his indictment, again, had nothing to do with the disclosure of Ms. Plame's name and work.Judith Miller To date, the only individual to have served jail time was an employee, Judith Miller, of The New York Times, who was found in contempt of court for declining to reveal her journalistic source to a grand jury. In this latter side story, Mr. Fitzgerald's work has been to the entirely successful effect of ending the long-standing presumption among reporters that they had at least some affirmative defense against being compelled to violate confidentiality agreements with the sources for their stories, particularly with respect to government wrongdoing.

U.S. District Judge Reggie WaltonMr. Libby will not go on trial until January of next year, and when he does, that trial will be before U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, perhaps best known for dismissing the case brought by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. Judge Walton in that case agreed with then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, representing the United States in defense against Ms. Edmonds' suit, that the need of the FBI to protect 'state secrets' superceded Ms. Edmonds' right to redress through the courts. This, of course, explains Mr. Libby's recent motions to compel discovery on literally thousands of government documents: should Judge Walton agree that a document critical to Mr. Libby's defense cannot be subpoenaed because of a government claim of state secrets privilege, the defense can immediately move for dismissal of charges.

From only months after Mr. Fitzgerald's appointment, the litany of rumors about indictments of senior Administration officials came and went. In the wake of the Libby indictment, the rumor mill began anew with fresh and fertile vigor: media outlets were speculating that Karl Rove might be soon be indicted, despite U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald's own statement that, "[T]he substantial bulk of the work of this investigation is concluded." The fact that Mr. Fitzgerald has subsequently brought matters related to this investigation before a new grand jury should not be interpreted as any indication that he plans to bring further indictments: Mr. Fitzgerald predicated his declaration that the bulk of the investigation had concluded by stating flatly, "[V]ery rarely do you bring a charge in a case that's going to be tried in which you ever end a grand jury investigation." In other words, the prosecutor was pointing out that, during a federal trial, it is standard procedure for the prosecution to have a grand jury readily available should the need arise during the course of the legal proceedings.

The speculation rages on to this very day, with major focus on Karl Rove, who was supposedly the subject as recently as last week of evidence presented by Mr. Fitzgerald to a grand jury.

Analysis
The criminal justice system of the United States is motivated by three fundamental goals: certainty, severity, and celerity (swiftness). In plain English, if you break the law, you're definitely going to get punished, it's going to hurt like Hell, and you're going to get it right now. Failure in practice to achieve any one of these three goals corrodes the case under consideration and, more deeply, the confidence in and reliability of that system of criminal justice. That, at least in the United States, is why we allow prosecutors what sometimes appears to be abusive leeway (particularly in grand juries), why we legislate prison sentences that constitute significant percentages of human lives, and why we strive for speedy trials. Whether or not this is a good system is irrelevant: this is what we strive for in this country, and this is what we achieve every day of every year as we prosecute and punish thousands upon thousands of Americans.

Alleged crimes committed against the United States in the outing of Valerie Plame happened well more than a thousand days ago. Subsequently, further crimes may have been committed in covering up the principal crimes. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby will stand trial nearly thirteen hundred days after the commission of the principal crime alleged by the CIA in its original complaint submitted to the Justice Department. Almost thirteen hundred days. This is the celerity of geological processes more so than that of an effective criminal justice system.

And yet, somehow, some mainstream media outlets and a number of bloggers still stand ready to declare with every court filing by Mr. Fitzgerald that further indictments are just days or hours away; and some of the attendant analyses have become increasingly at odds with basic reasoning. Perhaps the most stunning example of hope trumping forensic integrity in journalism was offered on April 19, 2006, by Sydney Blumenthal, writing for the Guardian Unlimited. Beginning in earnest with near-Armageddon terminology, Blumenthal launches into hopeful speculation about "...events that could truly shake the Bush White House to its foundation." Mr. Blumenthal moves on with that premise, starting with praise for Fitzgerald's recent conviction of former Illinois Governor George Ryan on 18 counts of corruption, a prosecution that ended the globe-threatening scourge of selling commercial driver's licenses to unqualified people. The fall of ex-Governor Ryan was attended by the return to power of the Illinois Democratic machine and its union allies, who together made systemic, massive corruption forever the world-renown landmark of Chicago. Current Governor Rod Blagojevich has already become embroiled in scandal the scale of which dwarfs that of his predecessor, as the Democrats sink their teeth ever further into one of the state's few remaining pools of money, the state's teacher retirement fund, giving every indication that they plan to suck it down to insolvency. Excellent prosecutorial work: nail a small-time corruption scandal and leave in its wake sleaze on stilts. And as an aside, little media attention ever came of the violent harassment of the lone dissenting juror in Ryan's trial, a woman who was eventually—perhaps because she wasn't going along with the Fitzgerald's pre-determined script—dismissed by the judge because she had previously had "brushes" with the law for which she was never convicted, but which she didn't note in a prospective juror questionnaire. Is that outrageous and unfair jurisprudence? Certainly not: it's Chicago jurisprudence; and the point is that a U.S. attorney can run an investigation, drag powerful politicians into a maelstrom of media lynching, and secure convictions at will when he wants to. God help anyone who ends up in the earnest gun sights of a federal prosecutor. The odds of surviving as a non-convict are truly miniscule.

That, of course, must be taken in the context of expenditures by the U.S. Attorney under consideration: in the first 15 months of Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation of the Valerie Plame scandal, he was reported to have spent $723,000. That works out to a daily burn rate on funds of about $1,600, which would cover a couple of attorneys, a handful of paralegals and other investigators, photocopying, and some meal expense vouchers at Mabel's 2Go Burger Trough. It does not work out to an Earth-shattering federal investigation of the Executive Branch of the government of the world's most powerful nation.

Karl RoveBlumenthal is undeterred by where the facts on the ground actually point: he hinges a possible impending indictment of Rove on Fitzgerald's recent filings in the Libby case, which reference Rove as a 'subject' of the on-going inquiry. Being a 'subject' in a criminal investigation is one step short of being a 'target' of investigation. Rove is not one of those unfortunate souls with the label 'target' on his forehead; and it is altogether disingenuous not to point out that prosecutors are more than willing to label anyone a 'subject' whose testimony might eventually be required. That's how law enforcers keep useful citizens compliant; but noting breathlessly that Rove is a 'subject' does not point the way to some pulsating beacon of hope for his immediate, or even eventual, indictment. It just doesn't.

More in-depth analysis by such journalistic resources as Editor & Publisher seems to indicate that Fitzgerald is building a case against Rove and perhaps others based upon grand jury testimony given by none other than I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, himself. The filings Mr. Fitzgerald has delivered to date are genuinely unclear with regard to his intentions beyond the prosecution of Libby. It is entirely reasonable to hope, however, that a seasoned federal prosecutor would not be seeking the conviction of an indictee on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury while at the very same time be planning to use that person's testimony in a case against others. Perjury is the express lane to eviscerated credibility in a court of law, and a convicted perjurer is completely and utterly destructible by opposing counsel. Fitzgerald may be gaming the media and the anti-Bush crowd, but he is most decidedly not stupid. Even so much as associating Libby with accusations against others could come back like an explosive boomerang were subsequent prosecutions to include allegations that a convicted Mr. Libby had made.

Conclusion
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is not the salvation of America from the Bush Administration, one of the few Presidencies in U.S. history that drifts perilously close to being a criminal enterprise. Mr. Fitzgerald has secured a five-count indictment against a man whose name three years ago would have been unfamiliar to all but the most serious policy wonks. That's all Mr. Fitzgerald has measurably accomplished in 846 days; and even if Mr. Fitzgerald were tomorrow to announce indictments of far better-known officials of the Bush Administration—men such as Karl Rove and Dick Cheney—along with a far lesser known host of minor, shadowy neo-conservatives, thugs, and common liars within the White House, the history of the future would not change materially. The war in Iraq has already become a part of the American experience for years to come, and some 2,500 American soldiers will not suddenly come back to life. The federal budget surpluses of the Clinton Administration have been squandered, and the national debt, instead of being paid down as it could have been, now threatens to push against a mind-numbing ten trillion dollars. A phony "debate" about the future of the Social Security Pension Fund prevented prudent, actuarially sound adjustments that would have ensured solvency of the Trust well into the second half of the century. The federal judiciary has been filled with judges some have described as a frightful cabal of Dominionists who will ensure that, generations after the current minions of neo-conservativism and theocratic enlightenment have been hanged, their policies will still be shaping the rule of law in the land. And the Supreme Court now has a density of extremists sufficient to guarantee that the civil rights and liberties long assumed to be a progressively more expansive part of the privileges of American citizenship will vanish over the coming years.

In other words, the rule of law was in the end no vanguard against the onslaught of those with a new vision of America, that shining beacon of liberty now and after this era the pious and corrupted land of the less-than-free, a nation felled by men and women no force on Earth could stop before they had wrought their destruction.



In the gathering and permanent night of America, the Dark Wraith has spoken.


Other articles by the Dark Wraith on this topic:
The Valerie Plame Scandal:  Part I   Part II   Part III
The Color of Whitewash

<< 55 Comments Total
 isabelita blogged...

Ah. You have given articulate form to my dread, or part of the dread or one of the dreads swirling darkly in my mind.
Nothing for it but rebellion.

Tue Apr 25, 01:37:36 AM EDT  
 SB Gypsy blogged...

Good morning Dark Wraith,

The rule of law in this country has ever been a target and goal, but I thought we were getting closer and we all valued that. Then SCOTUS destroyed it for us.

So, how do we get rid of all those bushco-appointed judges??

Tue Apr 25, 10:50:08 AM EDT  
 Father Tyme blogged...

Morning Dark Wraith,
Well, you really know how to get my morning started! Good thing I don't drink coffee. I might have to be up all day thinking about this and then do something radical.
Ah, but the day is young.

Tue Apr 25, 10:59:08 AM EDT  
 charliepotato blogged...

Hello Dark Wraith,

Ominus! No apparent solution. Beginning to feel claustrophobic from the pressures of this admin. We must stop them from bombing Iran, but how?

Tue Apr 25, 06:45:33 PM EDT  
 Kathleen Callon blogged...

This has to be one of the best posts I have ever read. Very impressed with how thorough and informative you are.

Thanks for the timeline and commentary.

Tue Apr 25, 08:42:23 PM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good evening, CharliePotato.

You and I both know that we cannot change history. Processes exist that, once they have passed a certain point, simply cannot be stopped. It could very well be that in our time—in this time—all we are now seeing is the fulfillment of history.

Such an awful thought.

Not that we are doomed now by fate, mind you, but rather that we are now condemned to a task of such a proportion as derailing destiny, itself.


The Dark Wraith had rather hoped it would be somewhat easier.

Tue Apr 25, 08:45:27 PM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good evening, Kathleen. Welcome to The Dark Wraith Forums.

I just went over to your blog, Kat Callon, and I was nearly dumbfounded by the picture you have in your current post. I have been working for hours on a graphical post (something I do every now and then) using that very same image.

Good Lord, that's strange.


The Dark Wraith is feeling way too much paranormal stuff for his rather realism-oriented soul.

Tue Apr 25, 08:51:44 PM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good evening, Father Tyme.

You really should be drinking coffee, you know. Lots of it, in fact.

We have work to do, and there's no time for naps.

Okay, maybe short naps are fine. But no snoring.



The Dark Wraith will not countenance snoring while the world is headed for Armageddon.

Tue Apr 25, 08:53:58 PM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good evening, SB Gypsy.

We cannot get rid of those judges. All we can do at this point is anticipate that their influence will be watered down over the coming years by appointments to the federal bench of another breed of jurists.

Also, although many of the judges Bush has appointed are ideological rocks who will never change, some will. I have seen it go both ways, but I do know that a few men and women appointed in the Reagan Administration have since developed an unexpected judicial temperament far more in keeping with the mainstream. This doesn't happen all the time, mind you: the U.S. District Judge to whom I refered in this article is a man who is still obviously willing to stand down in the face of executive dominionism. I have read opinions of other judges who, although they railed or otherwise condemned the evisceration of their judicial powers, nevertheless conceded that they had no power to stop Mr. Bush.

Unless another round of neo-conservatives and their allied intellectual rejects sustain power in 2008, we shall see if the next President is willing to allow Congress to strip the Presidency of the power this Administration has grabbed. I am not altogether sure that the next President, though, will be willing to surrender the enormous, nearly dictatorial privileges now vested in the office.

I think that worries me greatly. It could be the case that the only way this era of the "unitary executive" will end is in a constitutional crisis pitting the legislature and the parts of the judiciary against the executive.

As attractive as revolution might sound, such periods are generally attended by great and terrible stress upon a nation.

Then again, a substantial part of the citizenry of this nation would have no one to blame but itself should we come to that melancholy and possibly even bloody resolution.


The Dark Wraith will, of course, be available to rabble-rouse with the best of 'em.

Tue Apr 25, 09:16:01 PM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good evening, isabelita.

It concerns me sometimes that what I am saying has no resonance among readers, so it does me some good to hear that others are having, at least in the backs of their minds, thoughts similar to what I am expressing.

I see no end of cheer for Fitzgerald. Do you remember how, in December, there was talk of "Merry Fitzmas" in anticipation of the imminent indictment of Karl Rove? Nothing came of it, just like nothing had come of previous waves of rumors.

In my judgment, at this point it's too late. Rove, Cheney, Feith, Wolfowitz, Bolton, Wurmser, Hadley, Hannah, Abrams, Rice, and the rest of them have already done their incalculable damage to the Republic, its fisc, and its reputation.

And Fitzgerald did not put Bush under oath!

God!

It's enough to make a preacher cuss.


The Dark Wraith is often glad he's not a man of the cloth.

Tue Apr 25, 09:23:12 PM EDT  
 PoliShifter blogged...

Hi Dark Wraith,

I am not even going to pretend to meet your intellect for my pea brain is 1/100th of the size of yours.

I will say I think I understand what you are saying in your post.

But the only way I feel I can explain to you that I understand is by drawing a parallel to Enron.

Now I know the Enron case is not exactly related to outing CIA operatives.

But it does involve our legal system, right?

Well, at the time of Enron I was an investor in stocks, a subsricber to the Wall St Journal, and a subscriber to Investors Business Daily.

I read the articles day after day after day about Enron.

And here we are now what? 5 years later? And these bastards are just now standing trial? And the likes of Skilling, Fastow, and Kenneth Lay all want to tell us how innocent they are?

I realize there is no material similarity. But there is the legal system. One thing is certain to me. The more time that spans between an indictment and conviction, the better off the defendant.

Enron who? Libby what? Valerie who? Rove what?

By the time this case is settled we will be well in to the next Presidency and NO ONE will care.

In that regard, Fitzgerald has failed the American People as so many Prosectutors do.

Is it their fault or the system?

After all, the systme is made of people, people like Fitzgerald.

Wed Apr 26, 12:30:42 AM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good evening, PoliShifter.

You do, indeed, have the idea. One of the principal differences, however, between the Bush White House and Enron was that the prosecutors in the Enron case did not feel that the Enron CEO was above being forced to provide testimony under oath.

Mr. Fitzgerald apparently didn't want to offend Mr. Bush by insisting that he swear that what he said was the truth.




The Dark Wraith certainly understands and hopes prosecutors will soon extend that courtesy to all other upright citizens of this law-abiding nation.

Wed Apr 26, 12:59:28 AM EDT  
 ballgame blogged...

Well, I guess it's pretty clear why you're not called the Cheerful Wraith.

While most of your points seem valid, and overall your post provides salutary ballast against unrealistic hopes regarding the ultimate outcome of Fitzgerald's court filings, I do think you're excessively negative about Fitzgerald's impact on derailing the criminal enterprise now running the country.

Fitzgerald's investigation was the first tangible event which suggested that something concrete might block the Bush juggernaut. It punctured the media-fueled myth of Bush invulnerability, and gave journalists working for the corporate media a vital opening to present a somewhat more realistic portrait of 'the nice President you'd like to have a beer with'.

You can look at the likely outcome of Fitz's investigation (the conviction of a no-name for perjury) as trivial, or you can view it as one of the first holes that ultimately led to the flat tire of 30% approval ratings. You can view the slow pace of Fitz's proceedings as a caricature of justice, or you can enjoy the Chinese water torture of the resultant press coverage the admin has been subjected to.

You might respond that the Iraq war by itself would have led the public to the same Bush rejectionist mood, but I don't think that's a foregone conclusion. Before Fitz, all too many people were willing to trust the Great Decider and dismiss putative consequences to our Constitution or national standing as the ravings of overwrought Bush haters. For these people, Fitz's investigation provided the first true window This is no way for them to come to maturity. A couple of them are in boot camp now. The one absolutely convinced he can game the system while I just nod my head and say nothing of my real fears to him.
Don't get me wrong.. they ALL know how I feel about this administration. What I don't say is how convinced I am these people have so successfully infiltrated much of what runs this country as is evidenced by the courts. And how much it scares me.

I would get the " oh, you take things too seriously" retort.

And they all thought Clinton was absolutely great! Of course they were barely teens then. Think it had more to do with him playing an instrument ( not his, the sax!!)then helping the country amass a surplus budget!

I have a picture I cut out of the morning paper a few years ago. It is of two women, one older sitting on a chair and the edge of a bed neither looking at the camera. Taken in Bosnia, the artistry of it just captured me but it was the haunting look on their faces that made me keep the photo and put it in a frame. Their expressions seemed past the point of tears.

Maybe it is because I am getting older but it seems this is how so many women look after time and I am just beginning to truly understand why.

Wed Apr 26, 10:24:18 PM EDT  
 Father Tyme blogged...

Dark Wraith,
Not that it's that important but does anyone know when W told his first official lie? I mean as president. Someone's gotta have it on tape or print.

Wed Apr 26, 10:44:57 PM EDT  
 oldwhitelady blogged...

Good evening, Dark Wraith.

I read the article and the comments. After reading, I was just a bit down. It seems as though we should never let our expectations raise.
However, as I clicked on the link in this sentence:

You are right on the money about people not even knowing anymore who Karl Rove is. This article at CNN.com was just published within the hour. It points to the emerging situation where Rove's indictment, although damaging to the President, wouldn't be some Earth-shattering destruction of him. Not anymore, anyway.

I found a smile because... The URL is for http://elisabeth.com/graphics/promo/eliz/ELIS_125X125_NewArr.jpg which doesn't seem to be CNN. That cheered me up.. just a little.

Wed Apr 26, 10:57:36 PM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Thank you, Old White Lady! That'll teach me to multi-task on information and advertising content at the same time.

Let's try the comment to Mr. Goat one more time, now that I've deleted that original mess of a comment.

------------------------------
Good evening, Mr. Goat.

You are right on the money about people not even knowing anymore who Karl Rove is. This article at CNN.com was just published within the past couple of hours. It points to the emerging situation where Rove's indictment, although damaging to the President, wouldn't be some Earth-shattering destruction of him. Not anymore, anyway.

The picture of Rove accompanying that CNN.com article, by the way, is one of a man who doesn't look at all terrified of what happened in that grand jury session today. Perhaps the boy is bluffing, but that's not the look I would expect from a man who had been taken through the wringer in front of a prosecutor.

Again, however, maybe the man just has a poker face.

Note in that CNN.com article how Condoleeza Rice's star is rising. This goes right into what I was talking about in my post about optimal Bush Administration strategy going into the November elections.

Strange times in which we live.



The Dark Wraith could do without quite so much strangeness.

Wed Apr 26, 11:26:59 PM EDT  
 My Pet Goat blogged...

Not that it's that important but does anyone know when W told his first official lie? I mean as president. Someone's gotta have it on tape or print.

When he took his swearing in oath.

Thu Apr 27, 12:33:00 AM EDT  
 PeterofLoneTree blogged...

"Not that it's that important but does anyone know when W told his first official lie?" -- Father Tyme

Wasn't there something back in Jan. of '01 when he swore on a bible: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Thu Apr 27, 08:45:01 AM EDT  
 Anonymous blogged...

Actually DW, I wasn't thinking about the awkwardness of Fitz's paycheck, I was more wondering about things like Fitz having the authority in the first place to prosecute the Chief Executive when he himself is a subordinant member of the Executive Branch (the rationale behind creating special prosecutors in the first place).


Taken in Bosnia, the artistry of it just captured me but it was the haunting look on their faces that made me keep the photo and put it in a frame. Their expressions seemed past the point of tears.

I have noticed a few times before in my life a particular visage on the faces of those who have been systematically oppressed by their life circumstances. It's a pensive, resigned, depressed, and sometimes haunted look that lingers long in my mind after I've seen it.

Those in Bosnia would have good reason to wear such a face.

- oddjob

Thu Apr 27, 08:46:53 AM EDT  
 Anonymous blogged...

OT:

DW, yet another killer bumper sticker idea.

- oddjob

Thu Apr 27, 12:00:21 PM EDT  
 Anonymous blogged...

Today's Non Sequitur (in its backhanded way) honors the blogosphere....

- oddjob

Thu Apr 27, 12:31:42 PM EDT  
 Stephen Benson blogged...

good morning dark wraith:

i have gone through your series on the valerie plame case and, sir, i must begin with an expression of admiration for both scut work and style. outstanding research, organization, and delivery. i agree with your analysis. in cases like this, we have moved on to the next debacle, the next scandalous outrage, the next shameless deceit with such A.D.D.ish speed that, when justice comes, it is by its very delay, thus denied. if ken lay is convicted, his role as a "bush pioneer" and good buddy, and most generous campaign contributer will be lost in the shuffle. his involvement in the formulation of current energy policy will never be known. i also remember that when leo ryan took his unpopular, and politically disasterous stand against the unfair application of the death penalty in illinois, bush (as governor) simply took steps to make the appeal process harder. i don't know where we are going to end up with all of this. it is becoming harder and harder to avoid gloom. again, sir, i salute your work. thank you.

Thu Apr 27, 12:52:40 PM EDT  
 blackdog blogged...

Good afternoon, Dark One. I had been thinking for longer than I like that Fitz was working on the "big picture" that might be the keystone that could unravel the entire piece of crap that we suffer under. Now after reading your post I'm not so sure, but I can hope. It may be all I have left. There is no doubt that justice deferred is no justice at all, seems like someone greater than I stated that a long time ago. In some ways you remind me of EP who has a very good post today on the SC.

Dark One, please continue on your mission, some of us like continuing education and need a little help to see the truth in a complicated situation.

That is my plea.

Woof.

Thu Apr 27, 04:39:16 PM EDT  
 Blackdog blogged...

We can only hope, check this out.

Click here.

Hope it's got a corncob up it's butt, which would explain it's "poker face".

To the Dark One.

Thu Apr 27, 07:00:28 PM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good afternoon, blackdog.

Thank you for the link, and I repaired your original comment so it wouldn't do the frame-buster routine, so you can come back now.

There's nothing you can do here that I can't fix. Now, there really are things I can do here that I'm not sure I can fix. Right now, I'm about losing my cool with the slow loading of this site, and everything I'm doing is making the problem a little worse, it seems.

Anyway, that's my project tonight: get this place spruced up a bit. We've had quite a few visitors from Washington Monthly, so I really need to get this site to load more quickly.

I should also do some dusting, and maybe straighten up the furniture. The sofa really needs to be replaced, but I had my heart set on buying that faux wall-mount of Karl Rove's head (the one with the full antler rack). Maybe I can get a good deal on eBay.

Then again, if I could find a manufacturer, I'll bet I could sell some of 'em myself in my own eBay store.

Yeah. That'll work.


The Dark Wraith needs to call those guys in China and see if they could do a rush order on a couple hundred.

Thu Apr 27, 07:09:26 PM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good evening, OddJob.

You're right: there simply has to be a good bumper sticker in there somewhere.

And thank you for mentioning bumper stickers. I forgot to say anything about returning to the "Had Enough, Yet" bumper sticker in the e-store. The sales of that one were better than any other I had done, so I wanted to give it a little more run time while I came up with a fresh series.

The national debt idea should get me started.


The Dark Wraith needs to get his creative side back in gear.

Thu Apr 27, 07:14:03 PM EDT  
 Eric A Hopp blogged...

Hello Dark Wraith,

Excellent article on Patrick Fitzgerald and the Valerie Plame scandal. I'll say that as much as I would love to see Karl Rove indicted, the longer this case continues dragging on, the less chance there is in nailing Rove. If we don't see any more indictments from Fitzgerald within the next couple of months, say until September, you can pretty much conclude that "Fitzmas" is over.

This case has gone beyond what Fitzgerald can investigate. Valerie Plame is just one link in a never-ending chain of corruption and scandal that has been coming out of the Bush White House. You've listed some of those links yourself--the war in Iraq, the non-existent Iraqi WMDs, the national debt, Social Security, the neocon's take over of the federal judiciary. And there are so many more scandals--Katrina, Cheney's energy task force, Big Oil and the rising gas prices, Portgate, deregulation and the constant siding of Bush with corporate interests. These are scandals that Congress needs to look into--not Patrick Fitzgerald. So while Fitzgerald's investigation may be concluding, there is still so much more that has to be revealed through a strong, congressional investigation and oversight into these White House transgressions. The Republicans are not willing to lead this oversight.

We better hope and pray that the Democrats can gain control of one or both houses in Congress so that we can finally have some oversight into this corrupt administration. Otherwise, we are going to be really screwed!

Pardon my French.

Thu Apr 27, 07:27:52 PM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good afternoon, Stephen, and thank you for the kind words.

Although I haven't received any hate mail, I have gotten a pretty notable silence from other bloggers concerning this entire arc of articles on the Valerie Plame scandal.

If Karl Rove is eventually indicted, I shall be more than happy to have good friends point out to me that I was completely wrong. But as more and more time passes, it's as blackdog pointed out: justice delayed is justice denied. And perhaps more disturbingly, this entire investigation is stunning in comparison to the one carried on by Ken Starr.

My God, that little toad navigated a brilliant President into a corner in sworn testimony before a grand jury (where you can't have your lawyer hold your hand), forcing him to answer questions about a woman fellating him; and yet somehow Mr. Fitzgerald negotiates with George W. Bush a non-custodial, unsworn meeting with Mr. Bush's attorney present?!

It stinks to High Heaven.

I would really, really love to know what Bush told Fitzgerald in that nice visit. Did Bush actually tell Fitzgerald, 'Yes, I authorized the leak of the National Intelligence Estimate', or did Bush mislead him as he did the American people at the time?

Lord! but it's grim when a little toad like Starr was willing to do things to a stellar President while the handsome Fitzgerald goes for indictments on a guy nicknamed "Scooter."

Forgive me, good people. This whole thing smells like a skunk; and given that I grew up in the country, I shall be convinced to my dying day that, when you smell a skunk nearby, that means there is a skunk nearby.

Unless, of course, it's your cousins from up the road who take a bath maybe once a year. But that's another story, and they don't come around as long as the dogs aren't on leashes.


The Dark Wraith slips slowly into digressionary excess.

Thu Apr 27, 07:43:29 PM EDT  
 blackdog blogged...

I sacrifice small creatures such as fleas on the blackdog's back to the Dark One who is so beholding to those lesser than he. Thanks for such a great site where all who are not idiots have some say and are accommodated so well. I go now to roll in the grass and get new fleas. Thank you, Dark Wraith.

Thu Apr 27, 11:45:05 PM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good evening, blackdog.

This is one of the wettest Springs in recent memory in this part of the country. That means the fleas are going to be bad this year.

That would explain, of course, all the Republicans coming out of the ground offering hundred dollar checks to make people happy with the high gas prices.


The Dark Wraith reaches for the Hartz Mountain Flea & Republican collar.

Thu Apr 27, 11:54:43 PM EDT  
 My Pet Goat blogged...

...I have gotten a pretty notable silence from other bloggers concerning this entire arc of articles on the Valerie Plame scandal.

Good evening Mr. Wraith,

Nobody likes learning there is no Santa Claus. The Dark Grinch that stole Fitzmas you are to some.

Fri Apr 28, 12:13:12 AM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good evening, Eric. I am indeed glad you stopped by.

Your comment that this matter has gone beyond what Fitzgerald could investigate is the troubling conclusion I have reached. The Watergate scandal, although there were sidestreams to it, was a compact matter in that it was a single crime leading to a relatively straight-forward cover-up.

In the matter of the outing of Valerie Plame, the disclosure of her name to outsiders was only a small component of an overall scheme of deception, disinformation, and manipulation in the run-up to a war. Making the present situation even worse is that, as I note at several points in my original series, the disclosure of Plame's name might not, in and of itself, be readily prosecutable under existing statutes related to the security of the identities of agents. That does not mean that outing her was legal: in my judgment, the crime was a complicated and criminal conspiracy, and her outing was only a single act within that conspiracy. In fact, the vast majority of the actions the Bush Administration and its officials took, each in and of itself, would be difficult to prosecute. It is only in their aggregate, as an overall plan or scheme, that the criminality emerges clearly.

I'll tell you this, Eric: no sixteen hundred dollar a day investigation is going to come even close to dealing with something like that.

Neither, though, is a Democrat-controlled Congress if its majority is anything like the fearful cabal that's been the Democratic minority there for the past five-plus years. Being afraid they're going to offend a national-security minded electorate, being afraid they're going to be accused by the media of making waves, acting like saying something a little hurtful calls for an immediate, groveling apology: this does not bode well for these cats if they take over the doghouse.

(No offense, there, blackdog.)

Once—just once—I would like to hear one of the august greybeards of the Democratic Party say once and for all, "The Bush Administration is corrupt, and it has been corrupt from its very beginnings. Its failures began on September 11, 2001, and its failures continue to this day. Is this what you really, really want, America?"


Geez, would I like to hear that.

Then again, someone in the Republican Party might be offended.

God, where's Ike Eisenhower when you need a general to slap the crap out of a Republican Party gone stupid?



The Dark Wraith is now rambling.

Fri Apr 28, 12:14:48 AM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good evening, Mr. Goat.

'The Dark Grinch who stole Fitzmas'.




Mr. Goat has just made the Dark Wraith's night.

Fri Apr 28, 12:17:30 AM EDT  
 Anonymous blogged...

I like your rambling and agree with it wholeheartedly!

I also agree with your assessment regarding the size of ShrubCo.'s criminal enterprise and that something of this magnitude really does require the efforts of a Congress that fully embraces its oversight duties instead of enabling the White House simply because they believe duty to party matters more than duty to the country.


Oh, and while you're having one of the wettest springs we're having one of the driest. (We haven't had a goodly amount of precip. since January.)

I hate abnormally dry weather; it shoots the gardens to hell!

- oddjob

Fri Apr 28, 08:46:52 AM EDT  
 PeterofLoneTree blogged...

"Neither, though, is a Democrat-controlled Congress if its majority is anything like the fearful cabal that's been the Democratic minority there for the past five-plus years." -- DW

And how many Democrats are "in for a piece of the action"? "Silent partners", so to speak? Or, in some other way, compromised?: "Hey Congressman, remember the photos we took of you bleeping the bleep last year when you got so shit-faced"?

Fri Apr 28, 10:43:32 AM EDT  
 Anonymous blogged...

Peter, I think if you go here and scroll down to the April 26 cartoon you'll get a feel for how your question could be best answered.....

- oddjob

Fri Apr 28, 10:58:01 AM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good morning, Peter of Lone Tree. On another blog, I got a rather chilly reception when I pointed out that the good Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is married to Richard Blum, a director and major stockholder in URS Corp., which is sucking wildly and beneficially at the teat of everything from Homeland Security through its EG&G and URS Divisions to our military adventurism through its EG&G Division, while Feinstein, herself, seems to prefer not to comment on this rather amazing conflict of interest situation.

Gawd.

It's bad enough when the foxes are in charge of the henhouse, but it's really gotten out of hand when some of the confounded chickens, themselves, have acquired a taste for poultry.


The Dark Wraith crows for a new morning in America.

Fri Apr 28, 11:10:41 AM EDT  
 My Pet Goat blogged...

It's bad enough when the foxes are in charge of the henhouse, but it's really gotten out of hand when some of the confounded chickens, themselves, have acquired a taste for poultry.

Chickens still have genes for teeth, so the idea of acquiring a taste isn't that far fetched. What's scary is that chickens look alike in the flock, whereas a fox you can tell a mile away.

Fri Apr 28, 12:41:22 PM EDT  
 elf blogged...

Afternoon DW,

I have a request to make. I would like a new bumper sticker saying:

'The Dark Grinch who stole Fitzmas'

Mr.Goat cracked me up with that one!!

And I have packed away my Fitzmas teeshirt in a little hidey hole for future archeologists to discover and ponder.

Fri Apr 28, 02:28:52 PM EDT  
 Kathleen Callon blogged...

I'm looking forward to that post. Coincidences and synchronicity often excite me, too.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Fri Apr 28, 04:19:08 PM EDT  
 Anonymous blogged...

truthout is blogging interesting info. (which I obviously have no way of verifying). (Hat tip, Buzzflash.)

- oddjob

Fri Apr 28, 10:58:21 PM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good evening, OddJob.

Jason Leopold had an article a couple of days ago predicting this.

I'm not sure of whether to take any stock in it or not. There was talk quite some time back that Fitzgerald was about to submit a request to the first grand jury for indictment of Rove, but nothing came of that. This time, it seems a little meatier, given that Rove just completed his testimony.

I don't know, though. Leopold's article earlier in the week stated that Rove's attorney had been sent a letter by Fitzgerald giving notice that Rove's status had changed from 'subject' to 'target', but Rove's attorney is still hotly denying that he has received any such letter.

This could be real, or it could be a gambit by Fitzgerald. In fact, it could even be a gambit by Rove, himself.

God! I hate this non-linear universe.

If I were to guess, I would say Fitzgerald is going to ask the grand jury to vote for indictment. Grand juries usually do exactly what they're asked to do by U.S. Attorneys, but that might not be the case this time.

We'll just have to wait and see.

Again.


The Dark Wraith will not be holding his breath over the weekend, though.

Sat Apr 29, 12:06:14 AM EDT  
 blackdog blogged...

To the Dark One and all of his minions, good afternoon.

Very consise article that pretty much sums up the entire debacle.

Did anyone see the Steven Colbert routine at the National Press Club deal on C-Span Saturday? C-Span has been replaying it and in my opinion, I think the first shot against the ship of state has been shot over the bow. The shrub actually sat there and must have been mortified.

I hear creaks and groans from the structure of the ship of state as it attempts to wallow into a close-hauled course, mostly to cover it's arse.

The Plames were there and seemed to be having a better time than most of the others, but with your head up your arse it's difficult to laugh at the obvious, as most of the stolid non-questioning crowd seemed confused and afraid to laugh.

Hat's off and a blackdog bow to Steven Colbert.

Sun Apr 30, 03:11:06 PM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good evening, blackdog.

I have seen the re-cast of that Colbert routine. In part, I am amazed that it took this long for someone to pin that little Presidential toad to the ironing board and straighten him out; on the other hand, the longer Bush was allowed to run amock without anyone directly confronting him, the harder it was to actually do it.

In a way, Colbert might very well have just broken a logjam, although I thought it was most interesting that CNN.com had as one of its lead stories all day today that the highlight of that affair was Bush's own light-hearted self-deprecations. Little was said of Colbert's flame-thrower enema into the heart of Bush's thinking nexus.

I was also quite delighted that Colbert didn't spare the mainstream media. That's been a long time in coming. The major news networks have spent no small effort pretending that Blogosphere Left doesn't exist, especially Blogosphere Left 2.0, the non-KOS/non-Americablog part of it. Now, the mainstream media is being eaten by its own comedians.

That's cool.


The Dark Wraith hears the sound of gallows being prepared for the neo-cons and their appeasement-minded, coiffed news anchors.

Sun Apr 30, 11:42:43 PM EDT  
 Anonymous blogged...

"You know -- fiction."

Just priceless.....

- oddjob

Mon May 01, 01:06:09 AM EDT  
 SB Gypsy blogged...

Good Morning Dark Wraith,

Little was said of Colbert's flame-thrower enema into the heart of Bush's thinking nexus.


heh heh heh - good one!

Sun May 07, 10:17:22 AM EDT  
 Dark Wraith blogged...

Good morning, SB Gypsy.

Frustration can breed literary creativity.


The Dark Wraith should then be getting better at writing with every day that passes.

Sun May 07, 10:36:46 AM EDT