Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Plame investigation coming down to the wire

Patrick Fitzgerald is reportedly on the cusp of announcing his findings and/or indictments from the Plame leak investigation. The grand jury, which expires on October 28, is expected to meet today and possibly render its verdict.

The flurry of media reports, based on a mix of shady leaks, creative sourcing, and speculative reporting, continues unabated. The latest batch of note include:

  • UPI's Martin Walker reports that Fitzgerald has taken a look at "the forgery of documents on African uranium that started the investigation," which suggests he's examining "the broader question about the way the Iraq war was justified by the Bush administration."

  • The NY Times and Washington Post have run articles in the past few days also suggesting that Fitzgerald's scope is wider than initially believed.

  • The NY Times reports that Libby first learned of Plame's identity from Dick Cheney, a fact that appears "to differ from Mr. Libby's testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer...from journalists."

  • Raw Story reports that David Wurmser, one of Cheney's most important advisors on the Middle East and a hardcore neocon, also informed Libby of Plame's identity.

  • This analytic article from the Washington Post links the Plame leaking to the wider war pitting the hard-asses in the White House and the Pentagon versus the softies at the CIA and State Department.
The case Fitzgerald has been juggling is much more complicated than was first believed, obviously. There's a cottage industry of bloggers and observers who are trying to parse what this all means. I'm not one of them, though. This is all very interesting, but I'm personally finding it impossible to hypothesize where it all will lead. All I am trying to do is document the major articles and reporting.

In short, indictments are likely, yes, but I would be surprised if this probe takes out anyone beyond Rove and Libby. It would be wonderful if Fitzgerald decided to go deep into the Iraq war machinations, triggering additional indictments, resignations, or inquiries. However, at this point, that's just a pipedream.