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September 6, 2006
Even The Gray Lady Has Run Out Of Patience

The unmasking of Richard Armitage as the source for the leak of Valerie Plame's identity has brought about a hail of recriminations on independent prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Most people now understand the entire exercise as a waste of time and an example of prosecutorial malfeasance, given that the culprit confessed on the fifth day of a three-year investigation. Now even the New York Times editorial board -- which has some responsibility for stirring up the political firestorm that resulted in Fitzgerald's appointment -- says that the time has come for Fitzgerald to either show his cards or fold:

It’s conceivable that Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor, has evidence that suggests the information in the memo was used in some illegal manner. Or his investigators may have learned something troubling about the second, unknown, source cited in Mr. Novak’s column, or about some other illegal activity. But whatever it is needs to be made public. The Armitage story is mainly a reminder that this investigation has gone on too long. ...

It’s time for Mr. Fitzgerald to provide answers or admit that this investigation has run its course. Otherwise, he risks being lumped in with the special prosecutor who spent a decade investigating the former Clinton cabinet member Henry Cisneros, and wound up with nothing more than his conviction that he had yet to get to the bottom of things.

Well, it's a start, as is the Gray Lady's avoidance of Joe Wilson's lies in this latest editorial. For the first time in memory, it states that Plame did get Wilson his assignment, which they have not admitted until now, and they also stop themselves from claiming that Wilson found no evidence of an Iraqi attempt to buy uranium. Presumably, someone at the Times finally read the SSCI report from two years ago.

Armitage's role in providing the information to Novak has sucked the life out of the Times' jeremiad against Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. It has begun to dawn on the editors that the failure to indict either man on any charges, let alone anything related to the actual revelation of Plame's identity, strongly suggests that their assumptions about vendettas and conspiracies have been exposed as baseless. It also may occur to them that their lack of support for Judith Miller may reflect badly on them. Small wonder that they want Fitzgerald to come clean and get this story buried as quickly as possible.

The Times scolds Fitzgerald for his lack of response, but they still have not taken responsibility for their own role in this witch hunt. These men and women led the public charge for the investigation to be wrested from the DoJ and assigned to a special prosecutor accountable to no one except a panel of judges, also accountable to no one but themselves. They reversed their own stand on special prosecutors taken during the Clinton administration and demanded this appointment, and they made sure enough Democratic politicians spoke up to get it. Now that the case has utterly collapsed, the Gray Lady acts like a prim schoolmarm, wagging her finger at little Patrick for mischief she thoroughly endorsed.

As I said, it's a start for the New York Times. Let's hope it's an end for Fitzgerald, his witch hunt, and the entire notion of special prosecutors.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 6, 2006 5:38 AM

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» Even the Gray Lady has run out of patience: from Pajamas Media
Now even the New York Times editorial board -- which has some responsibility for stirring up the political firestorm that resulted in Fitzgerald's appointment -- says that the time has come for Fitzgerald to either show his cards or fold... [Read More]

Tracked on September 6, 2006 8:26 AM

» NY Times On Plame Debacle: Fitz Or Get Off The Pot from Ex-Donkey Blog
Even the Gray Lady sees the writing on the wall:Like most others, we saw Mr. Fitzgerald as a good choice. Now we fear he has succumbed to the prosecutors foot-dragging disease. He kept the case open after I. Lewis Libby, Mr. Cheneys chief of staff, w... [Read More]

Tracked on September 6, 2006 8:37 AM

» Web Reconnaissance for 09/06/2006 from The Thunder Run
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention. [Read More]

Tracked on September 6, 2006 9:11 AM

» Even the Gray Lady has run out of patience: from Pajamas Media
Now even the New York Times editorial board -- which has some responsibility for stirring up the political firestorm that resulted in Fitzgerald's appointment -- says that the time has come for Fitzgerald to either show his cards or fold... [Read More]

Tracked on September 6, 2006 9:57 AM

» Even The New York Times... from Dean's World

...is beginning to admit the truth?

Will wonders never cease?

[Read More]

Tracked on September 6, 2006 2:12 PM

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