The waiting game


With charges expected as early as Wednesday, federal officials investigating the exposure of CIA operative Valerie Plame conducted last-minute interviews with her neighbors and associates of Karl Rove and other top White House aides, lawyers said on Tuesday.

Marc Lefkowitz, who lives across the street from Plame, told Reuters two FBI agents asked him on Monday if he knew about Plame’s CIA work before her identity was leaked to the press in 2003. Lefkowitz said he told them: “I didn’t know.”

Two lawyers involved in the case said such questioning could indicated that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald intended to charge administration officials for the leak itself, in addition to possible charges for easier-to-prove crimes like perjury and obstruction of justice.

If you’ve followed this story as reflected in the crazy funhouse mirror world of the right wing we-create-our-own-reality circuit, you know that everyone already knew that Valerie Plame was married to Joe Wilson, why it’s in Who’s Who for chrissakes.

In other words, as I’ve mentioned a time or two, the righties have been trying to conflate knowledge of Valerie Plame’s existence on the planet Earth with knowledge of her status as a CIA agent since this whole story first broke. I actually noticed one of the inexplicably popular Yoostabee bloggers bringing up the Who’s Who canard as recently as a week or two ago. All of which brings us back to the Eternal Question–are they lying, or simply so stupid that it’s a wonder they manage to get up out of bed in the morning without hurting themselves?

We’ll find out how this all plays out soon enough. But one of the delights of watching it unfold has been the obvious extent to which Patrick Fitzgerald is umimpressed by–or, more accurately, oblivious to–the fantasy worlds of the right. Try to pretend that “everybody knew she was married to Joe Wilson” = “everybody knew she was a CIA agent”? Well, our wonderfully plodding prosecutor will send agents out to ask the neighbors if they did in fact know of her true employment. And as it turns out, they didn’t.

What an astonishing surprise.