Friday, October 28, 2005
It Ain't Over Till Its Over: Fitzgerald's Press Conference
by Bill Spier
Patrick Fitzgerald's press conference this afternoon may have put others on notice that it ain't over till its over. As Sherlock said, the "game is afoot" and today the prosecutor's tone was real serious. Fitzgerald masterfully handled questions from the press and only spoke to the "four corners" of the Libby indictment. He said that the investigation is not over. He did not say that witnesses could publically discuss their testimony; something he asked all witnesses to honor during the term of this grand jury.
Fitzgerald said Libby was central to the case at hand: the outing of a secret agent. But Libby "threw sand in the face" of the grand jury with his lies; something that subverted the grand jury's ability to decide if Libby (and others) knowingly outed an agent they knew had cover. Mr. Fitzgerald did say that Ms. Wilson's "cover was blown" and was very serious when referring to the crime, which he said damaged national security. Fitzgerald made it clear to everyone that the five charges were not mere technicalities, but crimes that strike a blow at the heart of a nation governed by laws. The people are served when witnesses tell the truth. Libby lied over and over again, Fitzgerald said.
One other thing before you go off and read the press conference tanscript: Mr. Fitzgerald said, "Well, why is this a leak investigation that doesn't result in a charge? I've been trying to think about how to explain this, so let me try. I know baseball analogies are the fad these days. Let me try something." He goes on to make a very good analogy to a beaning in baseball. What is telling about the analogy is not the analogy itself, but how he ends the analogy. " In this case, it's a lot more serious than baseball. And the damage wasn't to one person. It wasn't just Valerie Wilson. It was done to all of us."
This last sentence should weigh heavy on all Americans tonight. This modest man has said the most profound sentence anyone has said in public on this great tragedy. Again-
It was done to all of us.
Hopefully, the indictment of Libby on charges that could send him on a long state paid vacation will really shake up Rove and others this weekend. Meanwhile, President Bush was off giving a canned speech on terrorism when the dark veil on his presidency began its draw.
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