Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dark Day for Democrats

It’s a dark day for Democrats and liberals; Karl Rove isn’t going to be indicted for not committing a crime in the “Valerie Plame Never Was a Covert Agent” case the way Lewis “Scooter” Libby was indicted for not committing a crime. Just why Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor who spent two years investigating people over a crime that didn’t happen, gave up on Karl Rove we don’t know, except that maybe he couldn’t prove that Mr. Rove got mixed up about facts that have nothing to do with criminal activity the way Mr. Libby did.

There is something wrong with our criminal justice system when people like Lewis Libby can be indicted for either purposely or accidentally misstating facts to federal investigators when there wasn’t a crime for them to be investigating. Mr. Libby’s professional life is ruined; he’s undoubtedly spent a fortune on legal advice defending himself from nothing. The same with Mr. Rove, who had the good fortune to apparently not get confused about facts that have no legal significance the way Mr. Libby did.

Martha Stewart, who also committed no crime, found out about the low standards that prosecutors have to meet to get indictments. Under these standards, if the FBI comes to your door and asks if you have ever misspelled a word and you answer “no,” and the FBI produces a letter you wrote to your mother three years ago with a misspelled word in it, you have “lied” to government investigators and could be indicted. You would have done essentially the same thing that Ms. Stewart and Mr. Libby did: commit no crime, but misstate facts in answer to questions from federal investigators. It may be, as in the case of both Ms. Stewart and Mr. Libby, that you simply forgot that you had misspelled a word in your letter, or it may be that you never knew that you had misspelled a word, in the eyes of people like Patrick Fitzgerald you are subject to grand jury action.

It gets worse. Ms. Stewart was convicted and did jail time for “lying to federal investigators” and unless Mr. Fitzgerald gets a fit of conscience, Mr. Libby may suffer the same fate. Imagine that: In the United States of America it is possible to be indicted, tried, convicted and put in prison and never have committed a real crime. Is this a great country, or what?

But back to the original point: It’s a Dark Day for Democrats and liberals because Mr. Rove won’t be indicted, the “culture of corruption” fallacy can’t be used (unless the Democrats are willing to say that being investigated equals being corrupt, which wouldn’t be totally without precedent) and the second most hated man in America (George W. Bush tops that list) will continue working in the White House.

If you see liberals with their heads hung low, say something nice to pick up their spirits.

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