Why Now?
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Billmon needs to take some criminal justice courses. He wonders: Why Did Fitzgerald Throw Judy in Prison?

The story that Libby was spinning for the investigators and grand jury had multiple elements, but it was essentially an attempt to distort how and when he learned of Plame's identity. Fitzgerald was answering the classic Watergate questions: "What did he know and when did he know it?"

Judy Miller was crucial because she was the first journalist that Libby talked to about Plame and the conversation took place in June, well before the Novak column. Miller's testimony showed that Libby lied about when.

Tim Russert was important because Libby had identified him as the source of Plame's name, and Russert denied that the discussion took place. Russert's testimony directly contradicts Libby's.

Matthew Cooper's testimony is related to Libby's motive for lying: he was smearing an opponent by leaking to journalists.

Fitzgerald systematically pulled Libby's story apart. The interviews with Plame's neighbors were just a final clean up and cover for any defenses that Libby's team might attempt. It was a small peripheral detail, but Fitzgerald's team covered it.

Fitzgerald's decision not to go with an espionage charge was a reality-based decision. Everyone knows what lying is, but you have to do a lot of explaining to a jury when you try an espionage case. It isn't certain that a jury would understand that Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA operative, because she lived in Virginia, not some foreign country. Trying an espionage case would involve getting some of the information needed for trial declassified by the current administration, not a sure thing. There are a lot of openings for "reasonable doubt" in an espionage case and not much return for a prosecutor.

In the "criminal justice system" it isn't what you know, it isn't what would be just, it's what you can make a jury believe beyond a reasonable doubt that counts.

If more information comes out at another time, Libby can still be indicted on espionage charges.


<< Home

On-line Opinion Magazine featuring annoyed rumblings from the leading edge of the Baby Boom firmly tied to a reality-based world.

A press entity IAW: FEC AOR2005-16

Established: 21 November 2004

My Photo
Location: Cinco Bayou, Florida


bryan at dumka dot com

My Military

West Florida

Home on the 'Net

Previous Editions
November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / July 2006 / November 2006 /

The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.

Terry Pratchett

Disaster Assistance

Red Cross

Salvation Army

Noah's Wish

Friends Disaster Service

Habitat for Humanity

Legislature in Session

Click for Fort Walton Beach, Florida Forecast

On-Line Magazines

Alley Cat Allies
All Hat and No Cattle
Roger Ailes
The American Street
And Then...
Baghdad Burning
Bark Bark Woof Woof
Beast of Sound
Michael Bérubé
Beaumont Enterprise
Blog Amy
Blonde Sense
Bohemian Mama
President Boxer
A Brooklyn Bridge
The Carnival of Bad History
Wes Clark
Collective Sigh
Culture Ghost
Cute Overload
The Daily Howler
The Daily Kitten
Dark Bilious Vapors
Democratic Veteran
Dependable Renegade
Dohiyi Mir
Easter Lemming
Echidne of the Snakes
Elayne's Journal
Exit Stage Left
Facing South
Fanatical Apathy
First Draft
The Fulcrum
General J. C. Christian
Bob Geiger
Grumpy Forester
Gulf Coast Progressive
Ignorant Hussy
Informed Comment
Interstate 4 Jamming
The Invisible Library
It's morning somewhere
Molly Ivins
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Ezra Klein
Lab Kat
Lean Left
Legal Fiction
The Liberal Coalition
The Liberal Oasis
Madeleine Begun Kane
Main and Central
Make Me A Commentator
Making Light
MercuryX23's Fantabulous Blog
The Modulator
Morning Martini
Musing's musings
National Archives
The News Blog
No More Mister Nice Blog
Nuke Free Zone
Old Fashioned Patriot
Olduvai George
1 Boring Old Man
On This Day
Open Source Politics
Opinions You Should Have
The Otter Side
Outside the Tent
Out, Standing in Her Field
Pacific Views
Pensacola Beach Blog
People's Republic of Seabrook
Political Animal
August J. Pollak
Rittenhouse Review
Rook's Rant
Rubber Hose
Rugo's Rambling
Ruminate This
Sadly, No!
Seeing The Forest
Shakespeare's Sister
Sisyphus Shrugged
skippy the bush kangaroo
Suburban Guerrilla
That Colored Fella
3 Old Men
The Times-Picayune
Unclaimed Territory
Under the News
Joel Veitch
Vestal Vespa
Voice of a Veteran
War and Piece
Whiskey Bar
Oliver Willis
Trish Wilson
James Wolcott
Words On A Page
World O' Crap
WTF is it now?
Yellow Doggerel Democrat


Operation Yellow Elephant

August J. Pollak

Howard speaks for me

Get the Brand Democratic gear

Click to Feed a Friend

Get the Firefox browser

Ad-Aware SE


Flying Spaghetti Monster

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

Blogger Buzz

Blogger Status

Powered by Blogger