Questions For Fitzgerald, Armitage and Powell

Bob Novak, the columnist who “outed” the supposedly covert CIA agent Valerie Wilson, gets to the heart of the matter:

Even before he began his long investigation, Fitzgerald was aware that the leak to me that started the case was made by then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. No proponent of the Iraq intervention, Armitage did not neatly fit left-wing conspiracy theory about Iraq policy. Consequently, he disappeared from the Internet blather about the CIA leak constituting treason. Armitage was not indicted because the statute prohibiting the disclosure of an intelligence agent’s identity was not violated. But Fitzgerald ploughed ahead with an inquiry that produced obstruction of justice and perjury charges against Libby though there was no underlying crime.

At the time, I found it hard to believe that Bush did not know Armitage’s identity as the leaker. But his is a strange presidency, and nothing is stranger than the way he handled the CIA leak case. While on Tuesday Bush would not rule out an eventual pardon, what he said Monday makes that very difficult.

At any point prior to Monday, Bush could have engaged the case by publicly posing questions: Why did Deputy Atty. Gen. James Comey name Fitzgerald as special counsel when the identity of Armitage already was known at the Justice Department? Why did Fitzgerald pursue the investigation when he knew Armitage was the leaker and had determined no evidence of a crime committed? Why did Armitage, Secretary of State Colin Powell and the Justice Department fail to notify Bush about Armitage’s culpability?

I hope someone in the media is working to answer the questions asked in the preceding paragraph. The non-liberal media should pressure Fitzgerald, not to mention Armitage and Powell, to provide answers. So far, they’ve gotten a free ride.

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