First, it was clear from very early in the investigation that Ms. Wilson qualified under the relevant statute (Title 50, United States Code, Section 421) as a covert agent whose identity had been disclosed by public officials, including Mr. Libby, to the press. (p. 12)
Here are some other tidbits of interest.
It's All About Dick
First, there are the several times when Fitzgerald suggests that Libby's lies served to protect Dick. First, this mention, where he doesn't name Dick.
First, they made impossible an accurate evaluation of the role that Mr. Libby and those with whom he worked played in the disclosure of information regarding Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment and about the motivations for their actions. [my emphasis]
This one where he points out that Dick may be behind the whole thing.
Moreover, in assessing the intent of these individuals, it was necessary to determine whether there was concerted action by any combination of the officials known to have disclosed the information about Ms. Plame to the media as anonymous sources, and also whether any of those who were involved acted at the direction of others. This was particularly important in light of Mr. Libby’s statement to the FBI that he may have discussed Ms. Wilson’s employment with reporters at the specific direction of the Vice President.
This one where he suggests Libby and Cheney coordinated Libby's story.
The evidence at trial further established that when the investigation began, Mr. Libby kept the Vice President apprised of his shifting accounts of how he claimed to have learned about Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment.
And my favorite, suggesting "coordination." You know, as in conspiracy...
To accept the argument that Mr. Libby’s prosecution is the inappropriate product of an investigation that should have been closed at an early stage, one must accept the proposition that the investigation should have been closed after at least three high-ranking government officials were identified as having disclosed to reporters classified information about covert agent Valerie Wilson, where the account of one of them was directly contradicted by other witnesses, where there was reason to believe that some of the relevant activity may have been coordinated, and where there was an indication from Mr. Libby himself that his disclosures to the press may have been personally sanctioned by the Vice President.[my emphasis]
Given all those mentions who do you think Fitzgerald was thinking of when he wrote this?
Peremptorily closing this investigation in the face of the information available at its early stages would have been a dereliction of duty, and would have afforded Mr. Libby and others preferential treatment not accorded to ordinary persons implicated in criminal investigations. [my emphasis]
See also, "Shorter Fitz: No One Is Above the Law."
Then there's the bit where Fitzgerald gives Comstock her due. (Doo? Doo doo?) He doesn't mention the standing ovation Libby's shills gave him last week. But he does note the tripe posted on the Libby Defense Fund website.
These arguments mirror comments made by the defense’s public relations team and posted on the defense website, www.scooterlibby.com, before, during and after the trial. The submission of these arguments on Mr. Libby’s behalf is well known to Mr. Libby and his attorneys, and while they have not to date explicitly embraced these arguments, neither have they disavowed them. The government submits that these arguments are completely at odds with the kind of contrition that normally is a pre-condition to leniency.
As I sit here, Jane's working on a post on this passage. And no one--no one besides Digby, anyway--does Comstock justice like Jane does. So look for that post. Oh, here it is.
Why Armitage and Rove Didn't Get Charged
And for wingnuttia, Fitzgerald provides this explanation of why Armitage and Rove didn't get charged:
Finally, it remained to be determined whether the accounts of various persons who disclosed the information to the media were truthful, and, if not, whether any false statement made could be proven to be intentionally false.
Huh. You mean a lawyer isn't going to charge something he doesn't have a lot of confidence he can prove? Go figure.
Judy's Success Story
Finally, this passage deserves some close reading.
While not commenting on the reasons for the charging decisions as to any other persons, we can say that the reasons why Mr. Libby was not charged with an offense directly relating to his unauthorized disclosures of classified information regarding Ms. Wilson included, but were not limited to, the fact that Mr. Libby’s false testimony obscured a confident determination of what in fact occurred, particularly where the accounts of the reporters with whom Mr. Libby spoke (and their notes) did not include any explicit evidence specifically proving that Mr. Libby knew that Ms. Wilson was a covert agent.
Here, Fitzgerald is coming as close as he ever has to commenting on whether he believed that Libby violated the IIPA statute. In the guise of explaining why Libby wasn't charged with the IIPA (Fitzgerald makes no mention of the difficulties in prosecuting an IIPA case given Libby's ready access to one of the best greymail specialists in the country), he says that "the accounts of the reporters with whom Mr. Libby spoke (and their notes) [that would be Judy] did not include any explicit evidence specifically proving that Mr. Libby knew that Ms. Wilson was a covert agent."
"Explicit evidence specifically proving."
In other words, there was a good deal of evidence suggesting that Libby knew Plame was covert. Like the way he met Judy offsite and called her on a safe line and so on, not to mention his description to Ari that it was "hush hush" and his attempt to shush David Addington while he was inquiring about paperwork relating to Joe Wilson's earlier Niger trip. But Judy's testimony and her notes did not include any "explicit evidence specifically proving" that Libby knew Plame was covert.
That WINPAC ruse sure worked like a charm, didn't it?
Congratulations, Judy. In addition to helping drum up the biggest foreign policy catastrophe since the Greek expedition to Syracuse, you succeeded marvelously well at protecting your buddy Scooter.