I haven't been posting political stuff lately, simply because one of two outcomes is now inevitable: either it's too late for things to get better, and that'll shortly become obvious...or the grown-ups are about to reassert themselves, and while things won't be swell, they'll definitely improve. This post is about what strikes me as (finally!) a serious sign of improvement.
Patrick Fitzgerald would appear to be one spookily-effective prosecutor, judging from the indictment returned yesterday, and his stellar press conference. Much as I understand the unhappiness of both (some) Bush supporters, and (some of) the folks who wish Karl Rove would at long last pay for a lifetime of sins, Fitzgerald is doing what a career prosecutor is supposed to do: investigating and seeking to punish serious crimes, period.
Much as he's the designated fall-guy (and may be more so soon, if he takes a swift plea), I do not feel sorry for Irving Lewis "Scooter" Libby. He knew what he was doing -- indeed, according to Andrea Mitchell he once joked that he'd be working for Dick Cheney "forever, or until I get indicted"...maybe not striking him so funny today. Truth to tell, I find nothing very funny about any of this. I'm just grateful somebody cared enough to act.
I will always feel, btw, that this is what cost John Ashcroft his job: he recused himself in this case, and allowed his deputy to appoint Fitzgerald to investigate, thereby removing the total immunity from prosecution his bosses thought they enjoyed. Good for him. Hell, good for all the clean people in public service, particularly those who've chosen to stay and fight in FBI and Justice (a lot of people have quit)...not to mention the independent judiciary (and the average citizens who serve it!), and the Agency itself. Such honor is too damned rare, and I believe that the survival of this Republic depends on such men and women now more than ever before.
Not all of our "troops" are in the military I've praised so often here. Everybody knows a lot of the bad stuff, over the years, that's come from both FBI-DOJ, and the clandestine services. Most people don't think about all the good stuff they do, without recognition, year in and year out -- among them those working without official cover to stop the spread of WMDs. It would appear that some political types decided, at the very least, to put their own goals ahead of that crucial task. I hope they pay fully for that.
93 93/93 -- AJ
P.S. Of all the things I've really disliked out of this administration, this case may be the worst: the enormity of it is beyond me. Contrary to popular opinion, wars nearly always start over lies; attacking your own clandestine service is in a whole different league. I do recall my first reaction when I heard about this two years ago, though: "The last American Presidents who went up against the Agency were John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter. Let's see how these guys fare." :P