What if, in a criminal investigation, the authorities find out who the culprit is, yet cover up that fact and spend an additional two years investigating innocent people – ostensibly in order to find out who the culprit is?
Once he finds out who did the wrongdoing, the prosecutor would stop his investigation, announce the findings, and have the wrongdoer punished. The investigation should stop.
Yet some years ago there was a prosecutor who continued his supposed investigation for two years, targeting people he allegedly knew to be innocent of the original wrongdoing.
And he didn’t even have the original culprit punished.
It was one of the grossest abuses of power in American history. Worse still, the prosecutor who carried out such antics never even was punished himself. No one ever prosecuted him.
The prosecutor in question was Patrick Fitzgerald. The case was the exposure of CIA undercover officer Valerie Plame to the press.
The consensus is that Fitzgerald knew all along who leaked her name to the press – State Department official Richard Armitage. Yet unbelievably, he continued with his two-year investigation of the Bush administration, an investigation set up to determine who leaked her name to the press.
According to his Wikipedia page, Fitzgerald has never addressed these allegations.
Where’s the outrage – especially among those in our criminal justice establishment? Shouldn’t they have conducted a special investigation of Patrick Fitzgerald for this apparent cover-up and gross abuse of power?
Yes, our system of justice has its flaws. Chipping away at trust in that system is a terrible thing indeed. Or, perhaps I’m missing something here. Perhaps Mr. Fitzgerald can offer an explanation as to why he did what he did. Or perhaps some legal scholar has offered up a good explanation somewhere. If you, reader, are aware of one, please contact me and I’ll set the record straight in no time.
But until that explanation comes, less trust and more skepticism in our criminal justice system will carry the day.