Thursday, October 13, 2005

Surprise surprise surprise! I agree with Richard Cohen! [link]

I rarely stomach the writings of leftie Richard Cohen. But, I always take a glimpse at what he has to say because sometimes there is wisdom in his columns. Today he writes that the alleged scandal over the "outing" of Veronica Plame-Wilson is a non-event, that no real crime was committed, and that Patrick Fitzgerald should wind up his special prosecutor unit and head back to Chicago. Here here! A round of applause, please!

Today's column makes the point that the leaking of hostile information in Washington, DC is not a crime. Cohen speculates that while a crime might technically have been committed, there was no intent on anyone's part for actual physical harm to befall Mrs. Wilson. Actually, a crime probably was not committed because, from the media reports I have read, it appears that the technical requisites for a violation of the relevant criminal statute were not present.

From what this not-so-humble writer has seen, it is highly unlikely that Fitzgerald will be able to prove that the principal targets on the White House staff (Karl Rove and Lewis Libby) were aware that Mrs. Wilson was in a protected category of CIA employees. Indeed, it is possible that at the time that her name was allegedly leaked, Mrs. Wilson may have no longer been in that protected category. The absence of the requisite intent OR lack of protected status for Mrs. Wilson would preclude the possibility of a criminal violation. Period. End of story.

Maybe Mr. Fitzgerald can come up with a creative interpretation of the statute that can be used to convince a grand jury to issue an indictment. But...jurors in criminal trials HATE these kinds of prosecutions. How can you find that a person is guilty of a crime "beyond a reasonable doubt" when the prosecutor needs to play "cute" in order to describe the defendant's behavior as criminal?

Food for thought. And speaking of food, it is time for my morning oatmeal.


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