Libby Trial Found No Underlying Crime

Did the Bushies endeavor to diseminate the role of Plame in Wilson's trip to Niger? If they did, would that have constituted a crime? Did Plame's employment at the time qualify for umbrage from the "spy identity protection law"? Did Libby tell anybody about Plame's employment?

According to Robert Novak, who wrote the column that triggered the hysterical accusations of "outing" that initiated this investigation, the answer to all of these questions is: NO. Novak learned about Plame's role and identity from a Bush policy opponent Richard Armatidge, who did not get indicted.

"In fact, her being classified -- that is, that her work was a government secret -- did not in itself meet the standard required for prosecution of the leaker (former deputy secretary of state Armitage) under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. That statute limits prosecution to exposers of covert intelligence activities overseas, whose revelation would undermine U.S. intelligence. That is why Fitzgerald did not move against Armitage. Superlawyer David Boies said Fitzgerald never should have prosecuted Libby because there was no underlying criminal violation. Boies scoffed at Fitzgerald's contention that Libby had obstructed him from exposing criminal activity. Boies, who represented Al Gore in the 2000 election dispute, is hardly a Bush sympathizer. But neither is he a Democratic partisan trying to milk this obscure scandal."

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