Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Scooter Libby, VP Cheney's former chief of staff, was found guilty on four of five felony counts.

Fitz said this after the verdict:

The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, said he had done what “any responsible prosecutor” would have done. “It’s not the verdict that justifies the investigation,” he said. “It’s the facts.”

“Any lie under oath is serious,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “The truth is what drives the justice system.”

As we know from many of the wingnuts who have appeared on cable television over the last few years to talk about this case, it's NEVER serious when a Republican lies under oath about a serious matter like, say, national security or the outing of a covert CIA agent. It is, however, very serious when a Democrat lies under oath about, say, getting a blowjob.

Unlike these wingnut apologists for the Bush administration, I am under the opinion that lying under oath, whether in a serious matter like national security or a less serious matter about getting a blowjob, is still a crime.

POSTSCRIPT: Zachary Roth at Kevin Drum's blog has a rundown of all the wingers who thought Bill Clinton should be jailed for lying about the blowjob but Scooter Libby was perfectly in his right to lie to federal officials and prosecutors about outing a covert CIA agent:

GOP Rep. Lindsey Graham (now Senator) on Clinton, 1998: "I believe it is a crime--it's a high crime that should subject any president for removal." Graham also served as one of the GOP's managers of the impeachment case.

And on Libby, 2006: "When it came to the grand jury, he gave false testimony allegedly about his interaction. But the underlying charge that started this investigation never materialized. So you have to put it in that perspective...It's a bad story but it's a different story than the way it started."


Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes on Clinton, 1998: "It's going to be hard not to impeach the president for prejury."

And on Libby, 2006: "Fitzgerald should terminate his probe immediately. A correction--perhaps the longest and most overdue in the history of journalism--is in order."


GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, on Clinton, 1998: "Something needs to be said that is a clear message that our rule of law is intact and the standards for perjury and obstruction of justice are not gray."

And on Libby, 2005: "I certainly hope that, if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollar."


GOP Sen. Don Nickles on Clinton, 1998: "In my opinion, President Clinton is guilty of perjury. He is guilty of obstruction of justice."

Nickles now serves on the Libby Defense Board

Let's see, what word or phrase am I looking for to describe Lindsay Graham, Fred Barnes, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and Don Nickels?

Oh yeah, I know - hypocrites.

SECOND POSTSCRIPT: Andrew Sullivan on the meaning of the Libby verdict and what should happen now:

Something is rotten in the heart of Washington; and it lies in the vice-president's office. The salience of this case is obvious. What it is really about - what it has always been about - is whether this administration deliberately misled the American people about WMD intelligence before the war. The risks Cheney took to attack Wilson, the insane over-reaction that otherwise very smart men in this administration engaged in to rebut a relatively trivial issue: all this strongly implies the fact they were terrified that the full details of their pre-war WMD knowledge would come out. Fitzgerald could smell this. He was right to pursue it, and to prove that a brilliant, intelligent, sane man like Libby would risk jail to protect his bosses. What was he really trying to hide? We now need a Congressional investigation to find out more, to subpoena Cheney and, if he won't cooperate, consider impeaching him.


As Sullivan says in a second post on the Libby matter, "There is no graver issue than sending a country to war. If it emerges that he knew there were strong doubts about WMD intelligence and over-ruled them, he must be held accountable."

Dems need to star the hearings soon. Let's get to the bottom of the matter.

I was listening to one of the jurors on NPR today. He was saying it really felt to them, that though Libby was guilty, he was clearly acting at someone else's behest. "Where's Rove?" they wondered.
I saw the same clip on MSNBC. It's a good question. But Fitz only went for the indictment he could win in court. The Congress will have to take up the investigation from here. Of course, had there not been a rubber stamp GOP Congress at the time, perhaps somebody would have looked into some of these allegations already. But now at least Dems can do it. I think they will.
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