Friday, March 16, 2007

Why There Was No Indictment On The Underlying Crime Of Outing Valerie Plame

March 16, 2007

Re: Why There Was No Indictment On
The Underlying Crime Of Outing Valerie Plame.

From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel

To many, the vict’ry of Fitzgerald
Will almost surely one day herald
Fordian fruit of Nixonian tree.
A pardon: I. Lewis will scoot scot free.
Happy will be his destiny
For lying in service of evil.

It is widely thought
His silence was bought
When Libby threatened that he
Would call the evil Cheney (a nasty and cowardly swine)
To testify on what went down
In meetings in airplanes and in town
To discredit Wilson for writing truth.
Libby has the goods on Cheney
And on (his fellow cowardly swine) Bush.
Their administration might collapse in a rush
If Cheney had had to testify,
Or if Scooter hadn’t protected their lie
By himself staying off the stand
And thereby avoiding cross exam.
And insuring the fall guy would to prison go.
But for a Fordian pardon as quid pro quo.

DCers say lying’s no big deal
If there’s not an underlying crime,
Or the lie is not material,
Or does not to a material issue relate.
These are views one should hate:
They treat truth as a dispensible commodity,
As subject to political (and legal) relativity.
With such views there should be no compromise.
Compromise would be unwise
Because it inevitably would lead to more and more lies.
Hiding behind claims of supposed noncriminality
And purported immateriality.

One has heard such claims about Scooter:
He was not charged with a substantive crime, it is claimed.
Therefore, it is said, he should not have been tried
Just because dirty tricks he would hide,
And, doing so, to a grand jury lied.
Fitzgerald, of course, would have none of this.
Stressing the need to learn what is true
About Plame’s criminal outing, he would pursue
Libby because truth is plangent;
Not to be elided by a D.C. tangent
That undermines democracy’s diapason.

Yet a question remains.
We were often assured the outing was a crime.
But there was no indictment along this line.
How did assured criminality
Escape scot free?
Where was truth’s avatar --
Was a charge simply a bridge too far?
What I mean is this:
Let us assume,
As I think all presume,
That outing a CIA agent is a crime (one Fitzgerald thought quite dangerous).
Then Libby and Cheney and Armitage --
An unholy triage --
All committed a crime, did they not?
Yet there was no indictment for the outing,
For an important law flouting.
How can this be?
Well there is a way, you see.
It’s one that sounds phony to me,
But here it is:
The President has a right to declassify.
He can do it on the spot -- and orally.
There need be no formality,
No papers, no findings, no reason of state, nothing.
He can do it with venality or mendacity.
He can do it in whole or partially,
So that only a sentence or a phrase is declassified.
While other parts which show he lied
Remain in utter secrecy.
Which is, it seems, what happened here.
Because truth was a thing they had to fear,
Bush orally ordered on the spot, partial declassification
To disclose classified information
That Plame worked for the CIA,
So that it would no longer be a crime
For Cheney, Libby (and others) to drop a dime
On Plame to reporters for the administration’s purposes
Of discrediting truth and shielding its own lies.

Could Fitzgerald, the avatar of truth,
Have agreed that the law allows this?
Have accepted such conduct horrendous?
Have accepted that the President, for selfish purposes,
Can legally declassify on the spot, orally, partially,
Selfishly, purely politically, without any formality?
The mind boggles at the thought
That this is what the law wrought.
I can’t believe for an instant
That this is what Congress for a moment meant.
Can it really be Fitzgerald does not agree,
And he instead thinks Congress
Permitted declassification done so evilly?
The mind reels at the thought
That he thinks Congress wrought
Such unmitigated evil.
Yet why else could there be no indictments here
For the underlying crime that we are told to fear:
The outing of those who are under cover,
The dangerous revelation causing
Usefulness, and maybe lives, to be over.
If there is some other reason
For no indictments on the underlying crime,
I’d sure as hell like to hear it --
To know the why.
As would the Congressional Committee before which
Fitzgerald refuses to testify.

Yet there is one group that will not pursue this question, this mess,
It’s the self anointed guardian of freedom, the press,
The press doesn’t care about
Partial, on the spot, oral, purely political
Declassification done informally.
All it cares about is getting a story.
And will fear that following
The law regarding declassification
Might make it a lot harder to get one.
As evidence, just think:
Dick and Scooter, lest they end up in the clink,
Would never have talked had Bush not acted
And from important classification subtracted
The name Plame.
The press prates of freedom and liberty
But doesn’t grasp that to continue free
It cannot allow the President to be
A king, who does whatever he wants,
Whenever he wants, to whomever he wants
Without being brought to book.
The press is mainly concerned, you see,
Strictly with its own popularity
(And often is guilty of stupidity),
And freedom, right and justice be damned.

As for truth’s self announced avatar
Indictment for underlying crime was a bridge too far,
Or so it seems.
For he would have had to indict Bush and Cheney.
Whereas any fool knows they are above the law --
Just ask John Yoo.*

*This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel. If you wish to comment on the post, on the general topic of the post, or on the comments of others, you can, if you wish, post your comment on my website, All comments, of course, represent the views of their writers, not the views of Lawrence R. Velvel or of the Massachusetts School of Law. If you wish your comment to remain private, you can email me at

VelvelOnNationalAffairs is now available as a podcast. To subscribe please visit, and click on the link on the top left corner of the page. The podcasts can also be found on iTunes or at

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home