I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Jr. has been convicted and sentenced. The debate rages over the propriety of the prosecution, the severity of the sentence and the probability of a pardon. I wince at those who belittle the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. But I do agree that the failure to indict as to the underlying charge of "outing" Valerie Plame as a CIA operative requires some explanation.
Federal grand jury presentments are no longer in favor for reasons too complicated to discuss here, but in view of the length and expense of this investigation and the public interest involved, it would seem that the special prosecutor should issue some statement or report as to the result of that investigation, unless there is some prohibition against his doing so. In view of the obvious thoroughness of Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation, he, more than anyone else, has the knowledge of what actually transpired. Here are some of the questions that should be answered:
1. Was a crime committed in the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson? If so, why was no one indicted?
2. If not, what elements were missing?
a. Is it because she was not "covert" as many have claimed?
b. Is it because of the geographic location of her station?
c. Is it because of some time period?
d. What other reasons were there for not prosecuting?
3. Who were the persons responsible for the disclosure of the information regarding her?
4. Was an agreement reached between the prosecution and Robert Novak? If so, what were the terms?
5. Did the prosecutor make any recommendations or referrals for actions (other than criminal) such as disciplinary, to be taken against any individuals other than Mr. Libby, and if so who and what? Would he recommend any now?
Some of these matters were or may have been presented during the course of the Libby trial and reported in the media. However, the country deserves the details in a formal presentation from the official in charge, when it appears that the power of the administration was utilized and abused for the sole purpose of discrediting a critic on an issue relevant to our going to war against another country.