Will the Madoff case ever really be settled?

The phrases "Bernard L. Madoff", "settled", "Securities and Exchange Commission" and "without admitting or denying and wrongdoing" certainly look odd strung together in one sentence. But that's the news the SEC announced today regarding its civil fraud charges (Madoff had already pleaded guilty to fraud earlier this year).

Truth is, the case against Madoff will never really be settled. Historians will be debating for decades what the SEC knew about Madoff's $65 billion fraud and when it knew it. For instance, why did it ignore for nine years credible reports that the celebrity-schmoozing financier's returns were too good to be true?