Monday, October 24, 2005

Getting Charged, Getting Even

Bill Kristol's piece on Patrick Fitzgerald's decision was perfect. Joe Wilson and other Clinton lapdogs yapped furiously at Ken Starr when he brought charges against Bill Clinton as a result of statements under oath whose intent was to deceive. Discussions on the meaning of the word "is" are not held by one who innocently misspoke.

But the crime Karl Rove committed is the same one Tom DeLay committed--they both have worked to rip power from the hands of Democrats and through their efforts have dealt them what so far is an unbroken series of fairly embarrassing political defeats.

But what Fitzgerald has done is to complete the debunking of Joe Wilson's narcissistic book, the ironically titled "The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir. A bipartisan panel of the Senate Intelligence Committee began the job last year by disproving many of the allegations he made about false pretenses leading us to war in Iraq.

But if there is nothing to the claim that Rove, Libby, or anyone else made an effort to expose an operative whose identity the government was trying to keep secret, then the perjury/obstruction angle must go with it.

Neither Rove nor Libby nor anyone else for that matter entered the grand jury room uninformed of the law and its relationship to their actions in the Plame affair. Knowing that, and knowing what we know about this event, there would have been no incentive for them to lie. Knowing they didn't break the law, it would not have hurt them to give their account to the best of their memories. Differences in recollections will always happen, and it may help to realize that the people involved likely felt no need to commit any of the details of those events to memory.

But the real stench of this investigation comes from the aforementioned originator, Joe Wilson. Angry that it was he who was outed, as a beneficiary of nepotism, Wilson used his wife as a shield to deflect criticism directed at him. And while we know that civility is dead among the left, it appears that chivalry has joined it.

But political embarrassment of a liberal is not the indicia of crime by a conservative, and statements that don't necessarily agree with those made by others is not evidence of perjury, but of individual recollections and opinions that differ.

Joe Wilson began this mess by publicly uttering falsehoods. But it should not be ended with charges based upon those same incredible allegations from a discredited man who will say anything or use anyone, including his wife, to gain a political advantage.

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