In an unsigned editorial at the Wall Street Journal, Bush and Scooter Libby – The former White House aide deserves a full pardon
Mr. Libby didn’t leak Ms. Plame’s name to journalist Robert Novak; Mr. Armitage did that deed, though neither he nor his close friend, Mr. Powell, bothered to tell Mr. Bush or the world. Based on the trial record and our own long experience with Mr. Libby, we also don’t think Mr. Libby lied. As Mr. Fitzgerald’s prosecution circled back again and again, Mr. Libby’s defense that his memory faltered in recalling the details of long ago conversations is entirely plausible for a busy White House aide..
What would the Right do without Richard Armitage – Armitage has been and will remain a red herring in regards to Scooter Libby’s conviction. While it does matter who leaked what and when, Libby was not convicted of leaking Plame’s covert staus and identity, he was convicted of four felony counts – one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury and one count of false statement of facts. The WSJ rather then a memorial to the thousands of dead and maimed that resulted from the Bush White House disinfo campaign of which Libby was part, we’re all supposed to have a big cry over poor little Scooter. Who is alive, comes from a wealthy family, is not missing any meals, has a nice roof over his head and is not stationed in Iraq. Libby could have made a deal for immunity instead he lied and lawyered up. That was his choice, to fall on his sword out of some misguided zeal to protect Cheney and possibly Bush. The WSJ claims that the jury came to its conclusions on four felony counts because they were confused. A startling and unsupported accusation and not a too subtle way of calling that jury a group of morons that couldn’t understand the evidence.Now that things played out in terms of the legal system and being found guilty, the Right feels that conspiracy to commit treason is OK to protect the leaders of the Republican party – loyalty to party and Bush trumps loyalty to the rule of law, ethics and the Constitution. The triangulation of selectively leaking dubious intelligence information by the BushCo, using journalists to wage a disinformation campaign and the last desperate gasp of lying to a federal prosecutor didn’t work out. Now we’re supposed to take pity on one of the the cold calculating perps. Let’s be fair, maybe Scooter gets a pardon if he tells the truth about who said what, when they said it and gives a complete accounting of motivations. The wall of lies stripped away we most probably have Dick Cheney trying to play journalists and public opinion like a cheap violin. While Cheney and Libby no doubt believed in what they were doing part of the motivation was simply to punish those that dared question the neocon agenda, Exclusive: Cheney’s admissions to the CIA leak prosecutor and FBI
That Cheney, by his own admission, had revised the talking points in an effort to have the reporters examine who sent Wilson on the very same day that his chief of staff was disclosing to Miller Plame’s identity as a CIA officer may be the most compelling evidence to date that Cheney himself might have directed Libby to disclose Plame’s identity to Miller and other reporters.
This new information adds to a growing body of evidence that Cheney may have directed Libby to disclose Plame’s identity to reporters and that Libby acted to protect Cheney by lying to federal investigators and a federal grand jury about the matter.
Waas points to this report that Dan Froomkin filed just after the Libby verdict,
“I submit you can’t believe that nine witnesses remembered 10 conversations exactly the same wrong way,” Fitzgerald said.
Contrary to WSJ’s assertion, echoed by the Right for years at this point, that Libby just had a faulty memory. What an incredibily coordinated series of faulty memories. If the truth or truths couldn’t be completely uncovered – a sentiment glaringly lacking in the WSJ editorial- it is because Libby made it his mission to obscure the truth. Cheney issued talking points to his staff that by became contradictory. At one point Cheney issued talking points where knew nothing of Wilson’s mission to Niger, then later changed them since various officials at the CIA testified about Cheney knew at Libby’s trial. Change stories? People don’t change stroies mid stream about issues of national security unless they’re trying to obscure facts and in this case motives for revealing cherry picked information to favored journalists.
update: corrected some typos and grammar for clarity.