White House Indicted in Plamegate Scandal

Washington, D.C., April 11, 2006 -- In a move veteran Washington and Justice Department analysts call "really rare", the White House itself has been indicted in the mushrooming series of scandals surrounding the Bush Administration.

Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who has been leading the now two and half-year investigation into "Plamegate", the smear and cover-up operation initiated by the leaking by Bush administration officials of the identity of then-covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose married name is Valerie Wilson, to the press in retaliation for negative information revealed by Ambassador Joseph Wilson in the run-up to the Iraq war, said that after concluding his investigations the scope of the corruption and malfeasance uncovered is so extensive that he has no choice but to indict the entire building.

The first indictment handed up in the investigation charged then Vice President Dick Cheney's then Chief of Staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, with five serious crimes including two counts of perjury, two counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice. The crimes carried a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and fines of over $1.3 million, should Libby have been convicted.

A short time later, presumably thanks to evidence uncovered with the help of Libby in a plea-bargain arrangement, Special Advisor Karl Rove was charged with several counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy.

More names swiftly followed, culminating in the indictments of Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush on numerous charges ranging from impersonating a rancher, to perjury and conspiracy, to leading the country into war under false pretences.

"The thing just never stops," said Special Counsel Fitzgerald at the press conference held this morning to announce the latest round of indictments. "The deeper I dug, the more names I uncovered. Every new guy I indicted couldn't roll over quickly enough on the next guy. It was like the world's fastest game of tag, with each crook running a few steps uphill to tag the next crook. The only way to put a stop to it was to indict the whole building."

Legal scholars indicate that inanimate objects such as buildings have been indicted only rarely in the course of American jurisprudence, but that the action is not entirely unprecedented.

"In, for example, the Teapot Dome Scandal back in the early 1920s, Albert Fall, then Secretary of the Interior under President Warren G. Harding, was convicted of and served time for conspiracy and accepting bribes, while his eponymous domed teapot was sentenced to three years probation and 200 hours of community service as an accessory," said Ann Rutherford, a professor of American history at Georgetown University. "So, while it certainly doesn't happen all the time, this isn't a first by any means."

Special Counsel Fitzgerald said he has indicted the White House as an accessory to the multiple crimes of which Libby, Rove, Cheney, Bush and others whose indictments are still pending have been accused.

"In any conspiracy case in particular," said Fitzgerald, "you've got someone or something that facilitates the conspiracy by providing material comfort; in this case, the meetings and the phone calls that lay behind all these crimes couldn't have happened without the structure and physical plant of the White House. Furthermore, I intend to prove this was done with the full knowledge, intent and approval of the White House, and that that knowledge and intent is conclusively documented."

A team of builders will shortly visit the White House with cranes and transport vehicles to remand it into custody. No bail has been set for the structure.

"Frankly, even though it's a pretty large and unwieldy building, we wouldn't put it past the White House to try to flee the country, given its record," said Fitzgerald. "I wouldn't trust that thing as far as I could throw it."

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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