I have been following the Fitzerald investigation in the last few weeks. As much as can be followed by the prosecutor that has so far not done any public appearances nor said a word about his findings or his strategy.
Following the investigation has thus been limited to reading the various speculations based on who is being subpoenaed and the public statements done afterwards. An other interesting source of information in this puzzle is the PR campaign from those targeted by this opaque investigation.
A few interesting links on the subject:
A Cheat Sheet to get acquainted with the participants.
In other words, instead of blowing sky high, the volcano may simply snore loudly, roll over, and go back to sleep. And as Dean points out, since all the testimony Fitzgerald has collected is covered by the grand jury secrecy laws, we may never know what he found.
One can easily imagine the howls of protest on the left, and the smug satisfaction on the right, should this come to pass. It would be particularly bitter finale for those of us who all along have regarded the Plame outing as a proxy for the more fundamental crimes committed along the march to war in Iraq.
Unlike some (see Justin Raimondo's last two columns, for example) I've never had more than a forlorn hope that Fitzgerald would delve into the Niger forgeries, the Chalabi connection, the Office of Special Plans, the Downing Street Memos or any of the other investigative leads into the heart of the neocon conspiracy. Nor have I seen any evidence -- or even plausible speculation -- that would lead me to believe Fitzgerald has expanded his probe beyond the immediate matter at hand: the leak of Valerie Plame's identity and CIA affiliation. But, like most hardcore Cheney administration haters, I've been content with the busting-Al-Capone-for-tax-evasion metaphor. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld: You go to war with the indictments you can prove, not the ones you'd like to prove.
But there's a special reason this scandal is so personally satisfying to me as a media critic. It's because elite journalism is on trial. Powerful journalists are playing the role usually played in these scandals by besieged White House operatives. They're in the witness dock. It's a New York Times reporter who is failing to recall key facts...mysteriously locating misplaced documents...being leaned on to synchronize alibis.
Elite journalism is at the center of Weaponsgate, and it can't extricate itself from the scandal. Because, at its core, Weaponsgate (or, if you're in a hurry, "Wargate") is about how the White House and media institutions jointly sold a war based on deception -- and how the White House turned to these media institutions to neutralize a war critic who challenged the deception.
A particularly cute quote from Billmon:
Of course, everybody’s free to indulge in their favorite theories about Whose Behind It All. After all, we are talking about the era of "dark actors playing their games," to quote the conveniently dead David Kelly. Like Watergate, this is one of those cases where paranoid conspiracy theories are simply alternative rough drafts of history.
Posted on 26 Oct 2005