emotional I had the same reaction to Fitzgerald press conference as Hilzoy. That is my gut told me to trust him, and I certainly hope our guts are right, but parsing his language closely I have some second thoughts.
In a way I agree with the Republicans here Fitzgerald should have brought charges of espionage.
Excerpted from the transcript at:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/28/politics/28text-fitz.html?pagewanted=all
QUESTION: The indictment describes Lewis Libby giving classified information concerning the identify of a CIA agent to some individuals who were not eligible to receive that information. Can you explain why that does not, in and of itself, constitute a crime?
FITZGERALD: That's a good question. And I think, knowing that he gave the information to someone who was outside the government, not entitled to receive it, and knowing that the information was classified, is not enough.
FITZGERALD: You need to know at the time that he transmitted the information, he appreciated that it was classified information, that he knew it or acted, in certain statutes, with recklessness.
(The problem with this is that Fitzgerald's own inditment shows that Scooter was well aware the information he was leaking was classified.)
But at the end of the day, I think I want to say one more thing, which is: When you do a criminal case, if you find a violation, it doesn't really, in the end, matter what statute you use if you vindicate the interest.
(Republican talking points demonstrate that just isn't so. A lot of people rolled over and went back to sleep, because they were not alerted by a sexy charge like espionage. That contributes to the damage done our national security, by encouraging Republicans to continue to demonstrate that they value the lives of intelligence sources abroad at less than nothing.)
If Mr. Libby is proven to have done what we've alleged -- convicting him of obstruction of justice, perjury and false statements -- very serious felonies -- will vindicate the interest of the public in making sure he's held accountable.
(As I pointed out above that aint necissisarily so. Also a pardon is likely to wipe out any benefit attending putting Scooter in jail might have.)
It's not as if you say, Well, this person was convicted but under the wrong statute.
(Reference to the Espionage act)
So there are people who should argue that you should never use that statute because it would become like the Official Secrets Act.
I don't buy that theory, but I do know you should be very careful in applying that law because there are a lot of interests that could be implicated in making sure that you picked the right case to charge that statute.
Me: I noticed that I didn't understand that phrase at the time he said it but looking at it in print I agree with Bilmon; its gibberish.
I also believe Bilmon when he says that based on the case Fitzgerald already has there is a better case for conviction under the Espionage act than some cases other prosecutors have already won. I hope Fitzgerald plans to bring such charges, but I am afraid he is going to take a dive.