Wednesday, February 21, 2007

talk left's take. . .

jeralyn merritt -- clearly showing her
estimable defense lawyer stripes
morning -- writes that, in part, fitz has
charged, and brought, a too-narrow case:

". . .The dumbest thing the Government did
was charge too narrow a case, and not
indict Cheney
along with Libby. . .

In other words, Fitzgerald missed the
forest for the trees. . .

As much as I might prefer it otherwise,
this case [u.s. v. libby] was about memory
and reasonable doubt, not about the
conspiracy that was proven to exist at
the Administration's highest levels of power. . ."

personally, i think fitz was very wise.
i think he brought -- and more pre-
cisely, proved -- a multiple-count-felony
case against the vice president's chief of staff.

once he secures a conviction, there is a least
some logical predicate to believe he could
charge the vice president with directing his
chief of staff's actions -- especially given
the october 3, 2003, jackson hole note, written
in the vice president's own hand
, no less. . .

but without the libby conviction, charging
the nation's sitting no. 2 with a crime -- a felony,
to boot -- seems a bit of a fool's errand. i
write this even though the opinion polls indicate
we'd have to scour history, beyond even spiro
agnew's stint in that office, to find a more
widely-reviled veep. . .

no, i think the office just weighs too heavily in
the minds of the jurors -- it makes the case,
premised on a "beyond a reasonable doubt"
standard of proof -- unwinnable, without the
prior conviction of cheney's underling.

so. . . i think fitz has been deliberately
conservative -- playing his hand one card
at. a. time. . .

will scooter libby agree to testify, in return
for a reduced sentence on what looks to be four
felonies? i am uncertain about that.

but, in my view, that is not a compelling enough
reason to bring a far-flung, perhaps meandering,
multi-level, multi-office, multi-tasked, administration
conspiracy case -- all in one ball of wax, against libby,
rove and cheney. my hunch is that those sorts of
cases usually lose the jurors in all-those-invariably
weedy details. . .

and so, i do think fitzgerald's days prosecuting
plame-gate actors will not end with the
verdict in the next few days -- no, his efforts
will next point north, into the office of the
vice president's chain of command.

and there is only one person
north of libby in that office.

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