May 19 2006

Armitage To Be Indicted?

Published by at 8:34 pm under All General Discussions,Plame Game

Where to begin. I have been really hard on Patrick Fitzgerald because his indictment of Scooter Libby was based on the flimsiest of evidence and assumed, for the basis of the charges, that Scooter Libby did lie to reporters in attempts to not confirm Plame’s role at the CIA or her efforts to get her husband to Niger. In other words, Libby did not pass on what he knew to the media.

But I may have underestimated Fitzgerald. I know some ex-prosecutors and I just couldn’t believe he was in the same league as these people. But what I am seeing now may explain why Fitzgerald led with such a pathetically weak case. I think he is on the verge of an indictment, but it may not be Karl Rove as we all expected. It may be Richard Armitage – long rumored to be the first person to leak the Plame details to the media. Follow the logic here.

First off, the Karl Rove case is weaker than the Libby case. Libby apparently jumbled a lot of the timeline and tried to say he actually first heard of Plame from reporters. That may be true, but even if it was not the case it seems to be a failure to prepare and recollect details totally irrelevant to Fitzgerrald’s case. I find it hard to believe Fitz would throw away his career on so little (and the hearing transcripts appear to support the premise he actually is willing to do so).

But let’s give Fitz back a modicum of credibility and review some articles. First is this Washington Note article where the reporter confirms multiple instances of former NSA director Admiral Bobby Inman stating Armitage is the prime suspect in Fitzgerald’s investigation:

What Inman shared with some of us — and this was a repeated assertion from comments that I have confirmed that he made in Austin — is that the person in Patrick Fitzgerald’s bull’s eye is Richard Armitage.

While the left is lamenting this proposal, and possibly ready to go into denial, this makes absolutely perfect sense. The prime leaker is being protected from disclosure by Fitzgerald. It has been presumed because of protection. But Fitz is also withholding evidence because he has an ongoing investigation. And Armitage is being quiet until the investigation is over – like Rove and Libby and others who seem quite intimidated by Fitzgerald. Here is Armitage’s response to the reports regarding Inman’s comments:

Armitage International, where Armitage currently employed, declined to comment.

“We’ve had no comment until the investigation is over,” a man who answered the phone at Armitage’s firm said. “And that still stands.”

Amazingly, Armitage is the only person who has never denied being Woodward’s and Novak’s source. And speaking of Novak, he apparently has been back to the grand jury, according to Clarice Feldman:

Armitage is also believed to be Novak’s source. And Novak just appeared again before the grand jury.

Not being a prosecutor, I am not sure which order is best to follow, but I am sure there could be an argument to send your lesser priority case first to trial to ferret out the weaknesses and get some practice in on some of the points you want to make. I also find it interesting that there have been rumors of an impending indictment against Rove, but Karl seems singularly unphased. So I can see a scenario where UGO (the Unidentified Government Official who leaked Plame’s details to the press) was not key to the ongoing investigation, but IS the investigation.

Now why woul Inman say these things? I could see Inman knowing Armitage well enough to be one of his confidants and has information from Armitage. We need to look at Inman’s and Armitage’s careers:

Admiral Inman’s career began in the U.S. Navy, where he served from 1951 to 1982, retiring with the permanent rank of Admiral. While on active duty, he was Director of the National Security Agency and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.

Armitage graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1967. Upon graduation, he joined the United States Navy, initially holding the rank of ensign. He served on a destroyer stationed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War … Armitage was made a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, a very high-ranking post in The Pentagon. He served in this position from 1981 to 1983. In June of 1983, he was promoted to Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security.

There were also many hearings where the two men testified on the Hill. My guess these two old Navy guys knew each other and might have been on good terms. If not, then it is possible Inman knows someone who is close to Armitage. I just cannot see Inman making these claims (a) without a sound basis and (b) without some indication from Armitage or whoever it was a subject he could discuss publically. Or maybe Inman is honestly still upset about the Plame leak as he was in 2005 (here and here). Who knows. Maybe it will become clearer next week.

More at Just One Minute (lots more here too!)

Addendum:  Well, I guess we can confirm that Armitage is UGO from all these comments from ‘lawyers close to the case’ at Raw Story (which means lawyers close to the Wilsons:

Late yesterday, Clemons received a barrage of responses from others closer to the case, including a lawyer to one who has testified, Clemons told me. These individuals vehemently disputed claims that Armitage was in legal jeopardy, saying that the erstwhile Powell aide had been nothing but cooperative in his appearances before the grand jury.

According to Clemons’ latest, Armitage testified three times before the grand jury. Those familiar with his testimony say he was “a complete straight-shooter” and “honest about his role and mistakes.”

“That said,” he adds, “I have learned from several other sources that Richard Armitage was neck deep in the Valerie Plame story. According to several insiders, as soon as Armitage realized mistakes he had made, he marched into Colin Powell and laid out ‘everything’ in full detail.”

Well, now we know who UGO is, thanks to the rabid left and their desperation to keep the story alive!

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Armitage To Be Indicted?”

  1. Carol_Herman says:

    I’m not impressed. IF the Grand Jury system was designed to be a checks and balance where out-of-control-prosecutors could not function … You’ve ended up with a system where a prosecutor can badger a victim till the “required” discreptancy shows up. And, then the jerks on the jury – some of the illiterate – give the prosecutor the results to these staged events.

    For Justice it stinks. And, now the story is old. Does anyone remember Labor Secretary DONAVAN, after he was vindicated? On Appeal the bogus charges against him were dropped. And, he said, “tell me where I go to get back my reputation?”

    This won’t end until enough Americans stand up and demand a real house cleaning. I’d start by offering that NO JUDGE COULD HAVE A LEGAL DEGREE. But a CIVILIAN, with a computertized network to COMMON SENSE laws. Laws that have past the test of Supreme Court reviews; sit in judgement. And, jurors can talk up at any time and ask questions.

    That way you wouldn’t have these faked, set pieces in play. Many judges are just bench warmers. Who rise to their seats by being a gravy train to lawyers. Who are the only ones who provide them with money to run their campaigns so they get elected.

    Justice isn’t served. And, Appeals courts refuse to unseat the incompetent. Very rarely will you get justice served, anyway.

    But Fitzgerald’s gone too far. Even Ken Starr didn’t. Though the public lambasted him. This time the penalties ahead may fall to the democraps? You just never know.

    But if you want justice rebuilt you’ve got to get out of the business of indicting ham sandwiches.

    Americans are about as “shocked” as that line in Casablanca.

    Who knows? Maybe, the Milberg Weiss case will have the sharks fighting it out?

  2. WWS says:

    I’ve been in a JP court where the Judge was an ex-deputy, popular enough to win election but had no law degree. (Don’t know if he even had an undergrad degree in anything) What a farce that was! But it’s an example how the system could be so so much worse than you can even imagine.

    Since he didn’t know any of of the law he was applying, he was very easily swayed by whatever attorney sounded the most convincing – but the worst part was that, since he couldn’t write opinions very well, he simply asked the winning attorney to write the opinion, and then he signed it and turned it in as his own! It’s pathetic, and yes, he’s still on the bench doing that same thing every day. Luckily its just JP court so no very big cases are getting screwed up by him. But I can guarantee you he doesn’t understand 99 of the last 100 decisions that he’s put his name on.

    But gawd – the idea of a judge who doesn’t know the law is a nightmare. The ones who DO know the law screw it up enough as it is!

    And the idea 0f letting jurors speaking up anytime would turn every case into a 3 ring circus. May sound good, but you don’t know what kind of idiots get on juries.

    btw, I do agree that the Grand Jury system is a pathetic joke, and should be abolished. Much more efficient and honest to let the prosecutor indict anyone he wants for any reason he wants, since that’s what’s happening now anyways.

  3. crosspatch says:

    he simply asked the winning attorney to write the opinion

    That is actually pretty standard practice. The winning side gets to write the order/opinion and the judge reviews it. I can give you some instances with some recent high profile cases (involving some pretty well know lawyers, internationally known corporations, and deeply detailed technical litigation) where this is true as well.

    As for the grand jury system, yeah, there are some flaws. Like when a certain Texas prosecuter shopped a case around to 5 different grand juries until he found one that would issue an indictment against a certain Speaker of the House.

  4. Mike says:

    Why should it be any more of a crime with Armitrage(SP) than it “WASN’T ” with Libby??

    She was NOT Covert!!

  5. DubiousD says:

    As a sidenote, Bobby Inman’s comments about Armitage weren’t the only interesting things he had to say this week.

    On Wednesday, Inman was interviewed by Lou Dobbs on CNN. When asked what he thought about the NSA phone database “scandal”, Inman stated confidentally that the NSA phone database didn’t exist. He based this not on inside knowledge per se but rather on his own experience at the NSA.

    The entire notion of the NSA compiling such a database, he said, didn’t even make sense. What would they need it for? Further, he predicted that when the media searches for this fabled database, they’ll have no better luck than the weapons inspectors in Iraq searching for WMDs.

    Seems to be Inman’s week for puncturing holes in the Left’s hot air balloon.

  6. crosspatch says:

    If you intercept a person here in the US communicating in some way with a known terrorist overseas, it shouldn’t be an issue to obtain a court order for that specific person’s billing history and that’s about all I am willing to say on the subject.

  7. MerlinOS2 says:

    Carol it looks like if you go beyond Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman
    and see it for the deeper implications as you flesh out the situation.

    Investors Business Daily as usual hit it right on the head in thier Issues and Insights column.

    Trial lawyers such as those at Milberg Weiss, of course, give many millions to the liberal Democrats who then pass laws making it easy to sue companies and who appoint judges that use the courts to redistribute income.

    Putting Milberg Weiss’s lawyers on the stand will help expose this whole racket. It may also lead to the kind of tort reform in Congress that will end this longtime abuse.

    They also point to the fact that Elliot Spitzer is falling all over himself to return “tainted” contributions, and fairly much point out that Mr. Spitzer is in effect the governmental domain clone of the same type of shakedown operation.

    Some would also suggest that the Jesse Jackson tactics that even many of the liberal media have grudgingly characterized as race card shakedowns , thus being the third leg of the Trifecta.

  8. crosspatch says:

    The Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman thing is more than meets the eye. Milberg Weiss is a Fenton Communications client and they performed legal services for other Fention “cells” such as the “Environmental Working Group” have a look here. Click on that chart that shows the connections and ask yourself if maybe the other two law firms noted there might be involved in the same monkey business.

    This is more than just being a litigation cash cow. This is about being pretty specific in what litigation is done in order to further a wider agenda and then plowing the proceeds back into political campaigns for candidates that are friendly to that wider agenda. Remember, Fenton is very picky about who they take a clients. They also tend to use their client base in keiretsu fashion with then all working with each other whenever possible.

    In fact, I would be fairly suspicious of all the legal firms that show up on Fenton’s client list.