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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

 
Whoa

Richard Sale is not an idle nobody conspiracy blogger like me. He is a seasoned intelligence coorespondent with impeccable sources. And he is writing some amazing, amazing stuff today, which, if true, is going to blow the lid off this government:

Although most press accounts emphasized that Fitzgerald was likely to concentrate on attempts by Libby Rove and others to cover-up wrongdoing by means of perjury before the grand jury, lying to federal officials, conspiring to obstruct justice, etc. But federal law enforcement officials told this reporter that Fitzgerald was likely to charge the people indicted with violating Joe Wilson's civil rights, smearing his name in an attempt to destroy his ability to earn a living in Washington as a consultant.

The civil rights charge is said to include "the conspiracy was committed using U.S. government offices, buildings, personnel and funds," one federal law enforcement official said.

Other charges could include possible violations of U.S. espionage laws, including the mishandling of U.S. classified information, these sources said.

That Vice President Cheney is at the center of the controversy comes is no surprise. Last Friday, Fitzgerald investigators were talking to Cheney's attorneys, and detailied questionaires, designed to pin down in meticulous sequence what Cheney knew, when he knew it, and what he told his aides,, were delivered to the White House on Monday, these sources said.

The probe is far from being at an end. According to this reporter's sources, Fitzgerald approached the judge in charge of the case and asked that a new grand jury be empaneled. The old grand jury, which has been sitting for two years, will expire on October 28.

Thanks to a letter of February, 2004 which Fitzgerald asked for and obtained expaneed authority, the Special Prosecutor is now in possession of an Italian parliament nvestigationi into the forged Niger documents alleging Iraq's interest in purchasing Niger uranium, sources said.

They said that Fitzgerald is looking into such individuals as former CIA agent, Duane Claridge, military consultant to the Iraqi National Congress, Gen. Wayne Downing, another military consultant for INC, and Francis Brooke, head of INC's Washingfton office in an effort to determine if they played any role in the forgeriese or their dissiemination. Also included in this group is long-time neoconservative Michael Ledeen, these federal sources said.


First of all, the fact that there have been recent contacts with Cheney suggests that something really big is up. Second, the fact that he is going to empanel a new grand jury is also huge.

I have long believed that this investigation was going to be rather narrow. It seemed to me that Fitzgerald would have explicitly asked for permission to expand the scope of his investigation into areas that did not touch upon the Plame leak.

But if this is true, all bets are off. There is little doubt that the Niger forgeries are becoming salient all of a sudden. It may be a coincidence and it may not be. But, if someone could possible put that nutball Micael Ledeen in the crosshairs it would be a beautiful thing to see.

Gird yourselves for shrieks coming from the right so cacophanous that you will have permanent hearing damage if Fitz files civil rights charges. Their heads will start spinning like Linda Blair's and the words "criminalization of politics" are going to be bursting forth like green pea soup. Richard Cohen and Nick Kristoff will sit shiva around Robert Novak's decaying corpse.

I have serious doubts that Fitz will do it, but if he does I'll say a silent prayer that somebody, somewhere has finally noticed that character assassination is wrong.


Update: To clarify, when I say character assassination is wrong, I'm speaking here of
using the pwoer of the government, as the Republicans did with their partisan hearings and bogus impeachment and now with the official smearing of Joe Wilson, should not be tolerated. Also, using dirty tricks, lies and ratfucking to portray someone dishonestly is also wrong.

Using hot rhetoric --- even name calling, openly and above board --- is protected free speech and a common part of political argument. It's not always pretty, but it falls under the rubrik of opinion. There are magnitudes of difference between that and disseminating lies to damage someone's reputation.



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