October 25, 2005 [LINK]

Tick, tock... Will Fitzgerald indict?

The stakes are escalating in the Plame-CIA leak case, as the climactic moment of truth approaches. It is now rumored that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is investigating the allegedly forged documents concerning Iraq's attempt to purchase uranium ore from Niger, linked to the Italian intelligence services. See truthout.org. The possibility that Fitzgerald's legal case concerns not just a breach of security, but is at the very center of the fundamental policy dispute over the war against terrorism is troubling. If there is substantial truth to those allegations, it would be a "whole new ball game," on par with Watergate. In a radio interview yesterday, meanwhile, Michael Barone noted, "Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are apparently in trouble because they told the truth about somebody who was telling lies." (See radioblogger.com, via Instapundit.) Barone predicts that Fitzgerald will not indict anyone this week.

So, is it all a bluff? Today's Washington Post scrutinizes the partisan machinations of Plame's flamboyant husband Joseph Wilson, whose credibility continues to erode. It also includes an op-ed piece by Robert Kagan, who explains why the left's line of argument against Bush and against the war is so absurd: Editorials in the New York Times and Washington Post during the latter years of the Clinton administration explicitly declared that Iraq was on the verge of deploying weapons of mass destruction, and had to be stopped. (To anyone who has been paying attention, this is hardly news, but it is worth repeating, anyway.) Kagan concludes:

As we wage what the Times now calls "the continuing battle over the Bush administration's justification for the war in Iraq," we will have to grapple with the stubborn fact that the underlying rationale for the war was already in place when this administration arrived.

Three-way race in Staunton

CORRECTION: In my October 20 piece on the commissioner of revenue race in the upcoming Staunton elections I focused on the contest between incumbent Ray Ergenbright and challenger Maggie Ragon, noting in passing, "There is a third candidate, Rick Johnson I believe, in the former race." Mr. Johnson contacted me to make sure that everyone knows that there is a third alternative in the [race for treasurer -- not the commissioner of revenue race. I was confused by the fact that there were originally three candidates in the commissioner of revenue race, but one of them dropped out.] See Mr. Johnson's campaign Web site at johnsontreasurer.com