Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - Poll: Few doubt wrongdoing in CIA leak

Now this is interesting.

Only one in 10 Americans said they believe Bush administration officials did nothing illegal or unethical in connection with the leaking of a CIA operative's identity, according to a national poll released Tuesday.

Thirty-nine percent said some administration officials acted illegally in the matter, in which the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative, was revealed.

The same percentage of respondents in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll said administration officials acted unethically, but did nothing illegal.

The poll was split nearly evenly on what respondents thought of Bush officials' ethical standards -- 51 percent saying they were excellent or good and 48 percent saying they were not good or poor.

The figures represent a marked shift from a 2002 survey in which nearly three-quarters said the standards were excellent or good and only 23 percent said they were fair or poor.
This actually surprises me -- I thought the whole Plame outing was still an inside the Beltway thing, and that middle America didn't know or care yet. The good news is that the "move along -- nothing to see here" MSM spin has not kept the story fromo creeping into Joe Sixpack's consciousness.

The bad news: it seems to me that the actual handing out of indictments will not have as dramatic an effect on the numbers as I expected. Perhaps it is analagous to the efficient market hypothesis way of looking at the stock market -- folks have already factored Plamegate into their view of Bush. Think about that: nearly forty percent of our fellow citizens know about it and still support him. Church of Bush and all.

The other interesting thing in the article was this:

With the grand jury investigating the leak set to expire Friday, FBI agents interviewed a Washington neighbor of Plame for a second time.

The agents asked Marc Lefkowitz on Monday night whether he knew about Plame's CIA work before her identity was leaked in the media, and Lefkowitz told agents he did not, according to his wife, Elise Lefkowitz.

Lefkowitz said agents first questioned whether the couple was aware of Plame's CIA work in an interview several months ago.

If Fitz is only persuing perjury/obstruction, I don't think Plame's covert status is going to be terribly relevant. So this line of questioing suggests to me that Fitz is still at least considering bigger game.

Update: others agree.


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