Sunday, October 30, 2005

Memo to pundits

A lot of the Sunday talk shows featured people, including some level-headed folks, claiming that the fact that only one person was indicted by the Special Counsel means that only one person will be indicted, that Karl Rove is off the hook, and that no evidence emerged that IIPA or the Espionage Act were violated.

It's true that only one person has been indicted and that the indictments were not under IIPA or the Espionage Act. There is still a grand jury, and Fitzgerald wouldn't convene a new grand jury if he didn't have people he still was thinking about indicting. We don't know who those people will be, if they exist, or what they'd be charged with.

He did, however, lay out most of the evidence he'd need to convict someone under IIPA or the Espionage Act, and he had no obligation to lay out evidence for crimes he didn't indict yet.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The fact that Rove wasn't indicted doesn't mean he won't be. This isn't vindication for anyone yet.

As Billmon notes, this first set of indictments probably lays the groundwork for further deals with Libby, "Official A" aka Karl Rove, or others.

If pundits were capable of feeling shame, I think that one way to cause that emotion would be claiming that Rove is scott-free only to have him be indicted next week, next month, or next year.

Update: Ditto for conspiracy charges. "None have been filed yet" does not imply "none will be filed".