A 390-page report by the Inspector General is only a small step for mankind in bringing Karl Rove to justice for what he did to the Justice Department in the firing of the nine US attorneys, but it's a start.
The internal investigation finds political pressure drove the 2006 dismissals but that refusal of major players at the White House and the department to cooperate in the year-long inquiry has left significant “gaps” in understanding what happened.
Investigators' doubts have led Attorney General Michael Mukasey to appoint Acting United States Attorney in Connecticut Nora Dannehy, who led the conviction of a former governor for corruption, to continue the probe and decide if anyone should be prosecuted.
The "anyone" list starts with Bush's White House toadies, Karl Rove and Harriet Miers, and goes on to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who was overcome with memory lapses while testifying before Congress, and his cast of ideological helpers, including Monica Goodling and Kyle Sampson, who the report says "abdicated their responsibility" in supervising the firings.
After stonewalling Congress while Bush remains in office, this bunch will be facing possible prosecution in a new atmosphere next year, one in which the criminal politicizing of everything in Washington comes to an end, and Justice reverts to its original mission of discovering and punishing actual crime.
In that event, Karl Rove could be practicing his punditry for Newsweek and Fox News from a new venue that will give him plenty of time to think deep thoughts about the new American political scene.