Jonah Goldberg

During the long, dramatic lead-up to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's anticlimactic indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the left was getting electric with anticipation. On some of the more prominent Internet sites, liberal bloggers even started calling the expected thunderclap of justice "Fitzmas" - as in Merry Fitzmas, Fitzmastime is here, and so on.

After Fitzgerald's press conference, however, the prosecutor's office ought to have handed out official "All I Got For Fitzmas Was This Lousy T-Shirt" apparel. That way, Sen. Reid could have handed them out for his closed-door hissy fit on Tuesday.

One does not want to proclaim, with John Kerryesque gravity, that the future is still unknown. (Yes, that's why they call it "the future.") But it sure looks to me like this investigation is going nowhere. And judging from Senate Democrats' desperate attempt to make every day Fitzmas, they think so, too.

Let's go over the indictments as quickly as we can. First, Scooter Libby, the vice president's chief of staff and an aide to the president, allegedly lied to investigators and the grand jury about phone conversations he had in response to the Fitzgerald investigation. Libby claims he's completely innocent.

Second . oh wait, there is no second. That's it. The five indictments are all variations of the same charge. Fitzgerald claims Libby lied on multiple occasions, requiring multiple indictments. Libby claims he told the truth on multiple occasions. If Libby's lying about that, he should go to jail.

But whatever the truth may be in Libby's case, it offers absolutely nothing by way of corroboration that Bush "lied us into war." It reveals nothing about who the original leaker of Valerie Plame's identity was. The indictments provide no foundation for the preening martyrdom Joseph Wilson is wrapping himself in.

Let's take these one at a time. This saga begins when former Ambassador Joe Wilson took to the pages of the New York Times in 2003 to lambaste the administration for saying Iraq had sought uranium "yellowcake" in Africa. Wilson had been sent to Niger by the CIA to investigate the matter and came to conclusions at variance with the administration's yellowcake story. After peddling his opinions to journalists on background, Wilson picked up his own pen and attacked Bush for citing the Africa connection in his State of the Union address.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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