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Waiting for Fitz

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Message Stephen Pizzo
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Where's the Paris Hilton judge when we really need him? Remember? When LA's soft-headed sheriff sprung the developmentally retarded heiress the judge who sentenced her to a month in the slammer hit the roof, called everyone into his court, and sent little miss weepy back to a cell.

The sheriff tried to justify his decision to commute Ms. Hilton's sentence to home arrest by noting that he felt the original sentence was too severe. The judge disagreed, as did normal people everywhere. 

On July 2 Mr. Law-in-order, George W Bush, commuted Scooter Libby's 30 month sentence, for the same stated reason -- too severe.  (This from a guy who, when governor of Texas, felt that executing retarded murderers was just fine.)

Of course I understand that this the judge can't reinstate Libby's sentence, because the Prez is like the Pope in such matters, infallible and un-reversible.

But there's still one person who can remedy this outrage –- prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. During closing arguments in the Libby perjury case Fitzgerald noted that Libby's lies and evasions had "left a cloud  over the office of the Vice President." Okay. Well, now is the perfect time to either dispel that cloud or let lightning strike where it will.

How? As simple as this:
  1. Impanel a new federal grand jury.
  2. Grant Libby full immunity, meaning he could not take the Fifth, and if he tried he can be jailed for contempt –- just as reporter Judy Miller was for trying to protect her source –- Scooter Libby.
  3. This time call Dick Cheney and put him under oath.


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Simple as that. What crime is being investigated? No piddling perjury this time. No sir. This time Fitzgerald should be investigating is conspiracy to obstruct justice. It's just a suspicion. But that's what grand juries do for a living –- investigate suspicion that a crime or crimes have been committed.

So, let us list the circumstantial evidence that might lead Fitzgerald to be suspicious that Bush's commutation of Libby's prison sentence was the culmination of a conspiracy to obstruct justice -- that the fix was in for Libby from day he was charged: "Keep your mouth shut and you'll be taken care of."
  1. We know that Dick Cheney was at the center of administration efforts to discredit former US ambassador, Joe Wilson after Wilson blew the whistle on the administration's uranium from Niger fraud.
  2. We know that Libby met with Cheney the day before he started leaking like a rusty bucket to Judy Miller and other select lap dogs in the media.
  3. We know Libby lied like a rug when he testified before the grand jury, refusing to implicate the vice president, or any other administration officials in what was clearly a concerted, pedal to the metal effort to discredit Wilson by outing his CIA operative wife.)We know that administration friends circled the financial wagons around Libby, paying the millions required to pay his legal team, and raising money to pay his $250,000 court fine.
  4. We know that through all that, Libby has remained as silent as the Sphinx.
  5. We know that the same day a Republican appointed appeals court panel refused to stay Libby's prison sentence during his appeals, the president commuted that sentence.

If that series of events had happened, not within the Bush administration, but within the John Gotti crime family, you gotta know the feds would be hauling associates before a grand jury -- like tomorrow.

So? Hello Mr. Fitzgerald. We're waiting to see some "nation of laws, not men" action out of you.

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a Pulitzer.

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