19 June 2006

Pardon Me?

Newsday (6/17/06):

WASHINGTON -- Now that top White House
aide Karl Rove is off the hook in the CIA leak
probe, President George W. Bush must weigh
whether to pardon former vice presidential
aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the only one
indicted in the three-year investigation.

Speculation about a pardon began in late
October, soon after Special Counsel Patrick
Fitzgerald unsealed the perjury indictment of
Libby, and it continued last week after
Fitzgerald chose not to charge Rove.

"I think ultimately, of course, there are going
to be pardons," said Joseph diGenova, a
former prosecutor and an old Washington
hand who shares that view with many pundits.

And why not? From the war to the economy to Katrina
disaster relief no one in the Bush Administration has
ever been held responsible for their actions (legal or
otherwise). So why start now?

Of course, the real story is that Turd Blossom is no
longer in Fitzgerald crosshairs. And as Arianna rightly
notes in this post, he has Viveca Novak to thank.

For those of you who don't remember this blip
on the Plamegate radar, Novak was the Time
magazine reporter who, over drinks with her
old pal attorney Robert Luskin in the summer
or early fall of 2004 at Washington's Café
Deluxe, let it slip that his client Rove had been
one of the sources who'd leaked the lowdown
on Valerie Plame to Matt Cooper.

By the time Novak spilled the beans to Luskin,
Rove had already appeared before the grand
jury once and had told federal investigators
he had no recollection of talking to Cooper.
Novak's unconscionable blabbing about a
colleague's source led Luskin to thank her and
to do an email search which turned up a
noting that Cooper and Rove had
indeed spoken...


After loosening her lips to Luskin, Novak
zipped them shut, saying nothing to her
editors at Time
while continuing to cover the
Plamegate story. Making matters worse, in
the fall of 2005 she appeared before
Fitzgerald and still did not tell her editors at
Time and still continued to cover the case.
Eventually she acknowledged to her editors
and Time's readers that she had played a key
role in Rove's defense. Earlier this year, she
quietly took a buyout at Time and now works
for the Annenberg Center assessing, of all
things, the honesty of campaign ads.

The sad truth is that Novak's perfidy did more
to stymie the indictment of Karl Rove than
anything else, and while it would be nice to
believe that Rove may yet face criminal
justice for his actions, it's unlikely that he