Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Subject: Good job on Libby/Fitzgerald in CounterPunch

----- Original Message -----

From: "Thomas Maguire"
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2005 5:53 AM
Subject: Good job on Libby/Fitzgerald in CounterPunch


That was a good column in CounterPunch.

One constructive criticism - you seem to have a surplus of motives. If, for example, telling the truth would have exposed Libby to a charge under the IIPA or Espionage Act in 2004, that might in itself have been motive for him to lie; saving the election or protecting Cheney would be secondary to staying out of jail. I believe academics toss around the term "overspecified" in this context, relying on a mathematical metaphor.

My two cents, which explains why we saw no substantive indictments - the testimony to Fitzgerald is that Libby lied to Fleischer and Rove (Official A) about the reporter buzz around Plame. Fleischer was Novak's primary source, Rove was secondary. Fitzgerald can't bring himself to charge Fleischer for misuse of classified info, or under the IIPA, because the "Libby lied" defense makes it hard to establish that Fleischer was knowingly outing someone. (Sidebar - there were reports that Fleischer read the INR memo on Air Force One, but who knows, and who knows what pages?)

And we can ask Scott McClellan whether press secretaries get lied to. However, Fitzgerald is stuck on Rove - he can't believe Libby lied to him, but can't shake their story. And he can't charge Rove as long as Libby sticks to his story. Leaving us here - Libby for perjury/obstruction, and the leakers to Novak protected by his cover.


Tom Maguire
The MinuteMan

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