The Libby Defense Starts with a Bank Shot

If I lived in Washington today I would sneak into the offices of The Washington Post and see if I could use all of the empty desks in the newsroom. Why? Because it seems like half the staff at the Post either is covering the I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby perjury and obstruction of justice trial or participating in it as witnesses. This morning, two venerable Post reporters, Walter Pincus and Bob Woodward, testified for the defense. And now, this afternoon, a venerable columnist whose column appears in The Post, Robert Novak, is doing the same.

So far, Libby's lawyers have not exactly blown away court observers with their first witnesses-- and of course you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Pincus told the panel that it was former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer who first told him about Valerie Plame Wilson, the CIA agent and wife of Joseph Wilson, the administration critic. Last week, you may recall, Fleischer testified that he was told about Plame Wilson by Libby. Meanwhile, Bob Woodward told jurors that he learned about Plame Wilson from Richard Armitage, now known to the world as THE original (and repentent and unindicted and official) leaker to the media of Wilson's identity. And Novak confirms Armitage as the leaker and says that Karl Rove confirmed the leak.

Interesting, sure. With gusts up to fascinating. But, you may resonably ask, what does any of this have to do with whether Libby lied to federal investigators and to jurors when questioned about Plame Wilson? And, so far, the answer is easy: not much. Libby's lawyers want jurors to understand that there were a lot of people aside from Libby who inappropriately knew who and what Plame Wilson was back in 2003. And then Team Libby wants jurors to stretch that understanding one point further: that since many White House people knew about Plame Wilson, and many people were talking about her, it is not unreasonable to believe that Libby could have forgotten, years later, how and where he first heard about Wilson Plame and who he may have shared that information with.

It's a bank shot-- a defense that is not straight-on and simple. Legal history suggests that such defenses rarely work and, when they do, it's because jurors like the defendant and want to believe his story. That's why the decision on whether to allow Libby himself to testify is growing more and more important as the trial drags on.

By Andrew Cohen |  February 12, 2007; 12:47 PM ET
Previous: Karl Rove Not Testifying for Libby: CNN | Next: A Hero in Every Sense of the Word

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it all boils down to how this administration cooked up the pre war intelligence and then tried to discredit the critics. put TRICKY DICK CHENEY on the stand and see whether he will be able to lie to the jurors and get away with it.

Posted by: psgowdar@hotmail.com | February 12, 2007 04:39 PM

If I were a juror I'd be looking for evidence that helps me find beyond reasonable doubt for the guilt of Libby. So far, I don't see that evidence. I'd be thinking that if Russert and other journalists, the highest paid in their fields, can't agree on who told whom details about the Wilsons, why should I hold Libby to a higher memory ability? If I'm a juror, I want overwhelming evidence before I ruin this man's life as well as his family. Fitz didn't come close in my mind.

Posted by: richardb | February 12, 2007 04:47 PM

It will be interesting to see if this becomes just a scapegoat issue and dissapears after the trial. Or, if the verdict comes up guilty: will anyone have the fortitude to pursue this further to the actual true source of the leak?

Will thgis trial really amount to anything? After all, it is Washington.

Posted by: Jack L | February 12, 2007 04:50 PM

Maybe it's the OVP that is going to lose. It's too bad that the next VP is going to be fair game for the courts.

Posted by: Ghty | February 12, 2007 04:50 PM

I do not know at this point if I believe Libby, but why would anyone believe those journalist?

Posted by: Marsha Duncan | February 12, 2007 04:55 PM

I just hope that fine features of this story make it to print:
The piece of the NIE that was declasified to bolster the Administrations assertions was a 'footnote' that are reserved in the NIE for unsubstianted claims... and that the President (or VP) declasified Plames position (to keep from breaking the law) just before leaking her identity to the world.

Posted by: Ed B | February 12, 2007 04:57 PM

Forget all of the intrigue. In the end, some years down the road when all of the books are written they will tell of a group of men, led by America's Ayatollah, George W. Bush, who decided to go to war even though they knew that the intelligence they possessed was bad at best. They were certain they would find a warehouse full of something that justified their cause. Cheney is the exact opposite of what his carefully manufactured public persona would suggest; beneath the taciturn facade lies a living breathing public relations machine intent on being the medium and the message. It is the end of the American Era.

Beltway Greg
WQMR 101.1

Posted by: Beltway Greg | February 12, 2007 05:01 PM

Interesting story, kind of like one of those murder mystery plays where any one of the cast could have done it. The real issue here is though did Libby commit perjury and with the intention to obstruct justice. To me that is a big "Yes". However, Libby may be able to plant that one seed of resaonable doubt to a juror, which of course gets him off the hook. Would love to see this play out and snag the real culprits, but that's not likely to happen.

Posted by: Juan | February 12, 2007 05:02 PM

I think the perjury has been proven, and the obstruction case also. The matter of which journalist knew first, and who told them, is what my mother told me to call a red herring.

Posted by: Jim H. | February 12, 2007 05:02 PM

All of this "extra" info is fine for us to finally learn who did the actual leaking. However, Libby is not being charged with leaking but "committing perjury". Russert seems to have shown that the main point of Libby saying that he found out from Russert, is now incorrect, and should be all it takes. Whether others leaked doesn't matter since they are not being charged. The only thing it shows to me is that Armitage, Rove, Fleischer, and Libby seemed to be on a path to destroy Wilson's credibility and it didn't matter how much damage it did to the US or to the WMD program. This "fog of forgetting because I was so busy" just doesn't cut it for me. If he was that incompetent and had a lousy memory, do you really think Cheney would have kept him around that long? I don't think so! I also find it so hypocritical listening to some saying that this lieing isn't such a big deal, however those same ones were those decrying how terrible it was and used it for impeachment.

Posted by: P.Cannon | February 12, 2007 05:05 PM

Surely it's all academic anyway because, even if Libby is found guilty, Cheney will ensure he gets a Presidential pardon?

John

Posted by: John Paterson | February 12, 2007 05:09 PM

Libby may have lied - or not. I don't know; but if we be honest he is a hapless bit-player. What is really under indictment here is the way we do government. Unfortunately that cannot go to prison.

Posted by: Ernie | February 12, 2007 05:10 PM

I'm not sure how the Woodward testimony is relevant. His interview with Libby occurred prior to Wilson's column, and it was only after that shot at the White House that Libby began talking in earnest to the press about Plame. It is interesting that Libby, who was supposedly so wrapped up in national security matters, had time to talk to a reporter for a book he was writing!

Posted by: Daniel Norrich | February 12, 2007 05:10 PM

Nice column, it clearly lays out the defense's strategy in getting Scooter boy off the proverbial hook. I just hope Senor "Puppetmaster" Cheney gets some mud on him, now that he's pretty much successfully hung Scooter boy out to dry.

Posted by: Kevin | February 12, 2007 05:13 PM

all the who-struck-john about other people knowing the spy's identity is irrelevant to whether libby lied to the grand jury. the defense has to do something to make the case appear less straightforward than it is. demonizing the press is a hitlerian tactic imported into this country by confederate segregationists outraged at network coverage of the white-inspired school desegregation riots in 1959-1962. they naturally slipped into demonizing the press for covering antiwar demonstrations and the increasing vietnamese quagmire 1966-1974. the invention of fox and other republican media outlets as counterweights to the fact-based press came along just in time to support the insane iraq war. but all karl rove's men can't put libby back together again. he may have committed perjury to order, but even that is no defense...

Posted by: guilty! guilty! guilty! | February 12, 2007 05:13 PM

Respectfully to Ghty - no one is above the law, not the President or the VP. They should be treated as you or I would be. We've had some questionable VPs before, for example Agnew. We do not have kings in this country, we have public servants, and government of the people, by te people, and for the people. OK, I'm stepping off the soap box now.

Posted by: Juan | February 12, 2007 05:13 PM

Cohen: "So far, Libby's lawyers have not exactly blown away court observers with their first witnesses-- and of course you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Pincus told the panel that it was former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer who first told him about Valerie Plame Wilson .... But, you may resonably ask, what does any of this have to do with whether Libby lied to federal investigators and to jurors when questioned about Plame Wilson? And, so far, the answer is easy: not much."

The information Fleischer passed on to Pincus sounds like it may have come from a source other Libby. The defense apparently will use Pincus' testimony to undermine Fleischer's testimony about his conversation with Libby.

See:

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2007/02/monday_trial_by.html#comment-60301332

and

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2007/02/monday_trial_by.html

Posted by: Serenity Now | February 12, 2007 05:22 PM

Libby is hardly a "bit player" in the Plame/Wilson affair.

Libby was groomed for power [Eaglebrook and Andover, Yale University (where one of his his profs was Paul Wolfowitz, later a mentor), Columbia Law School, staff lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Committee and finally Chief of Staff to the Vice President].

Only the President's Chief of Staff and Rove are more powerful unelected officials.

Bit player, my a**!

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 12, 2007 05:37 PM

Out here in the state of Washington we get confused about the doings in the DC Washington. It was my impression that an operational CIA agent was outed by a Novac guy in his column. That, being against the law, where did he go? Now a guy called Scooter is about to go to jail because his memory is bad. You folks in the DC must have more room in your jails than we do out here. We could use the trial money to help restore the salmon runs.

Posted by: Bellingham Boy | February 12, 2007 05:37 PM

The prosecution's evidence of perjury and obstruction has been very strong.

Also, irrelevant to the charges against Libby, but quite fascinating: the bevy of new information revealing just how malevolent, petty and scummy a person Dick Cheney is.

Also fascinating -- & scary -- is learning how many actions & orders came from Cheney without permission or approval from the President and without the Oval Office even knowing what Cheney and his minions were doing.

As others have noted, in Cheney we have had a shadow President for the past 6 years with his own agenda.

Posted by: tamu77 | February 12, 2007 05:41 PM

Fitz's case relies on the testimony of two people, Fleisher and Russert. If you believe Pincus, then Fleisher's testimony is discredited (not withstanding the dubious immunity deal he received from Fitz).

Russert's testimony that it was "impossible" for him to know of Plame's identity before he spoke with Libby is also dubious. Two of his subordinates (Gregg & Mitchell) knew of her identity before Russ spoke with Libby. Is Russert protecting his own sources? Why did he not tell his NBC bosses he already spoke to the FBI before putting up a challenge to his subpeona?

Posted by: Trinidad Paul | February 12, 2007 05:47 PM

And who leaked the secret to Armitage, or it just happened like that?

Posted by: Saeed | February 12, 2007 05:48 PM

THERE IS A COMMERCIAL ON TV RIGHT NOW. I'VE GOT PEOPLE, DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT. I'VE GOT PEOPLE. THE OUT COME OF THIS TRIAL DOESN'T MATTER MUCH. SCOOTERS GOT PEOPLE.

Posted by: HALO | February 12, 2007 06:00 PM

Hmmm. A man is on trial for lying to a grand jury and obstructing justice. Isn't that what our previous president did? And he's free to make millions of dollars.

Posted by: Annandale | February 12, 2007 06:07 PM

Libby is a small fry and nothing more. Cheney is the prize that Fitzgerald wants which makes this case a prelude to something bigger. Watch Libby flip when he contemplates hard time.

Posted by: erikvilius.blogspot.com | February 12, 2007 06:12 PM

Am I just getting older or does the thought of trying to remember the exact detail of a meeting or conversation I had over a year scare the pants off anyone else?

Doesn't look tlike the journalists involved like it any more than I would. Apparently, more than just a few people knew about this. As a taxpayer, I am wondering if there was additonal pay rec'd by Mr. Wilson due to what might be construed as nepotism or was it just another salary mans' business trip.

Sorry , this looks like much ado about not very much. Again, how much is this exercise costing the taxpayers???

Posted by: DJM0624 | February 12, 2007 06:14 PM

BIG LIE, little lie, It's still a lie, and it was sworn to under oath. The indictment is so simple to read and understand. Mr Libby attempted to obstruct justice, he committed perjury. It would have been a lot simpler for him to remember the truth if he wasn't so busy trying to bury it.

Posted by: Seeing clearly in Seattle | February 12, 2007 06:15 PM

Do you have any Grey Poupon?

Posted by: Pardon Me | February 12, 2007 06:15 PM

Even if Plame was a NOC prior to Wilson's New York Times article, it was not possible that she was afterwards. Wilson was investing nuclear issues for the CIA, according to Wilson. Plame was his wife, that was well known, they were on the cover of Vanity Fair together. The connection was already there, despite Novak's article. Even if we didn't know that she worked at the CIA and was a NOC, we did know that her husband was conducting nuclear investigations for the CIA. Any covert contacts she had would have already made the link, and her cover was blown. No one not on the level would have been willing to deal with her, knowing that her husband would be reporting it back to the CIA.

Posted by: Michael | February 12, 2007 06:17 PM

ven·er·a·ble
1. Commanding respect because of great age or impressive dignity; worthy of veneration or reverence, as because of high office or noble character.

Care to explain how Bob Woodward and Robert Novak deserve the adjective "venerable" unless, that is, you are relying solely on the age clause in the definition?

Posted by: | February 12, 2007 06:22 PM

In the wake of the Armitage mea culpa, the WaPo published an editorial entitled "End of an Affair" that unquestioningly bought-into the Armitage "explanation" and confidently dismissed PlameGate as much ado about nothing.

Today we learn that Armitage not only provided Novak with Plame's identity, but also furnished it to Bob Woodward during a profanity-laced conversation.

This revelation leads to the question: did Bob Woodward have any hand in authoring the "End of an Affair" editorial? Was Woodward complicit in the Administration's attempt to recast the PlameGate Conspiracy as simply a slip of Armitage's tongue?

Posted by: Tin Man | February 12, 2007 06:22 PM

In this maze of leaks and accusations, it's hard to assess the relative culpability of individual players. What emerges, though, is a picture of a government where no principle stands in the way of political gamesmanship.
Maybe this has always been par for the course, but it is disturbing, even stomach churning.

Posted by: Laimdota | February 12, 2007 06:25 PM

I wonder what makes Mr. Novak 'venerable.' By all accounts, he is a right-wing hack posing as a journalist - who has the dubious distinction of writing the story outing Valerie Plame, at best aiding and abetting (if not committing) a felony.

Posted by: km | February 12, 2007 06:29 PM

GET CHENEY TO TESTIFY AND LIE....HE IS THE KILLER TO HANG....TWISTING IN THE WIND OF HIS DECEIT...

Posted by: JOSEPH 396 | February 12, 2007 06:35 PM

NOVAK ALWAYS CAREFULLY COVERS HIS ASS...

Posted by: jvs150 | February 12, 2007 06:37 PM

I'm still waiting for an answer from Fitzgerald on how Libby could be accused of "obstructing" justice when Fitz knew from the first day of his investigation that Libby had nothing to "obstruct". He wasn't the source of the leak, and Fitzgerald knew that when interviewed Libby.

Posted by: workindev | February 12, 2007 06:43 PM

Laimdota wrote, "In this maze of leaks and accusations, it's hard to assess the relative culpability of individual players. What emerges, though, is a picture of a government where no principle stands in the way of political gamesmanship."

I think you forgot to mention the press's role in this gamesmanship. As vile as this administration's actions were, equally vile was the press's willingness to serve as pawns for this administration.

I, like a previous poster, would like to know what role, if any, the three clowns at the WaPo had in crafting the "End of the Affair" editorial. Clearly there was a strong incentive at the newspaper to pack this story into the memory whole.

Posted by: Mac | February 12, 2007 06:45 PM

Team Libby is in a corner.
Their "I forgot" defense depends 99.44% on the jury going with Libby's claims. They now must believe that Libby under oath would come off like Haldeman or some other cuddly GOP COS meaning, he's dead if he does or does not testify.

Posted by: olo | February 12, 2007 06:46 PM

All these crooks should be hanged as traitors. Libby, Armitage, Rove, Novak, and the rest of the hooligans. They betrayed our nation's intelligence agents during a time of war. Let them hang for it.

Posted by: DC | February 12, 2007 06:48 PM

Bill Clinton lied to a grand jury. In fact, he clearly made statements he knew were not true or hoped would be interpreted in accordance with his own selective definitions of "sex" and "is." Memory was in no way a plausible issue. Now arguably, a grand jury should not even have been impaneled for that particular investigation. Just the same, they were, he appeared, and he lied under oath despite being the chief law enforcement official in the country. However, he was never charged with perjury. With that as precedent, no one should be charged with perjury for lying to investigators or anyone else when charges are not brought for any crime the perjury may have attempted to hide or deny. (And, yes, this means Martha Stewart should never have been tried or sent to jail.)

Politicians should not lie--though lies intended to confuse, misdirect, or otherwise coerce the enemy during a time of war are another matter (e.g. D-Day during World War II). However, they do. Unless you want to build more prisons and can figure out how to form a system of justice that does not include and cannot be influenced by politicians, you are best off leaving it to voters to decide what to do with the most egregious liars.

Move on...

Posted by: Ned | February 12, 2007 07:00 PM

The ONLY thing that matters in this trial is whether Libby lied to the FBI (obstructing the investigation) and lied to the grand jury (perjury). It doesn't matter who leaked Plame's name first. Libby is NOT being charged with the leak. He is charged with lying about what he did when he found out. So far, the defense hasn't shown anything except other people also leaked her name. That's not the point and that's not the charge.

Posted by: windrider | February 12, 2007 07:02 PM


its sad how all some people care about is having Libby found guilty, regardless of how the evidence plays out. certain people have already come to the determination he is guily, for partisan reasons obviously, or--far worse-- don't care whether Libby is in fact guilty of what he is charged with they just see the trial as an opportunity to grind a political axe. it was stupid when it happened to clinton, why can't the party in power (right now I consider that to be the Democrats considering Bush's lame duck status) and thier base supporters ever take the moral high ground and stop the vicious cycle. within months of an election where the democrats talked about cleaning up government and purging DC of pointless partisan battles this trials tells me the democrats are no more interested in really doing so than were the republicans. just a handy campaign message

Posted by: | February 12, 2007 07:31 PM

If the "Bill Clinton got away with it" defense is the best you guys can come up with, Libby is doomed...

Posted by: Rusty Austin | February 12, 2007 08:38 PM

Your blog indicates that Libby's defense is that "it is not unreasonable to believe that Libby could have forgotten, years later, how and where he first heard about Wilson Plame and who he may have shared that information with." The trouble is that it was not "years later." Libby's FBI interviews took place on Oct 14 and Nov 26, 2003, according to the Post's timeline. The first therefore took place less than four months after Novak's column. Libby's Grand Jury testimony took place (again according to the Post's timeline) on March 5 and 24, 2004 -- six months later. It defies belief that he just "forgot," given the high intensity of the White House attack on the Wilson Op-Ed piece that even Libby's testimony revealed.

Posted by: Kiran Mehta | February 12, 2007 08:47 PM

I want to thank all my loyal supporters for finding Scooter Libby innocent of all charges despite indisputable evidence to the contrary.

p.s. Your checks are in the mail :)

Posted by: G W Bush | February 12, 2007 08:48 PM

The Libby trial has nothing to do with the Democrats being in power. They couldn't stop it if they wanted to. It's a Federal thing and i still believe that "Federal" means non-partisan, no thanks to the Bushies. From what i understand, Mr. Fitzgerald is a Republican anyway.

Posted by: John | February 12, 2007 08:56 PM

Can any of us imagine ourselves standing in front of the VP when he is suggesting that we protect him. Libby is guilty of loyalty and doing what his big boss wants done. Stupid? Yes. But, who has resigned or protested all the other lies from high up. They all have received medals and promotions to quiet jobs.How many in the military are guilty of carrying out orders and doing wrong? and Fitzgerald has made the error and the big guns, like Iran-Contra, will get off and be consultants or
board chairman.

Posted by: ijayess | February 12, 2007 09:08 PM

Memory? This guys claim to fame is his famous memory! It is obvious that his full time job those days was to discredit Wilson's story in any way he could! To think he doe not remember is clearly cock and bull. If we can send poor Martha to jail for 6 months about fibbing to the FBI; surely we can send Scooter to the slammer for 6 years for lying to the Special Prosecutor and his Grand Jury. I assume he is already disbarred and defrocked and not yet tar and feathered.

Posted by: Leo | February 12, 2007 09:09 PM

It would be great if this whole Libby thing thing turned into another Watergate for the present warmongers in the Whitehouse.I knew Bush would take us to war if he got elected.I just never dreamed he'd have the audacity to steal,outright the election.To do it twice shows you what sad shape this country is in.To not IMPEACH the wrecking crew of Bush,Cheney,Wolfowitz,Rove,et al is pure insanity,rampant ignorance or just no bull-backbone,if you get my meaning? How ironic that while we try to keep the poor,hard-working,family-value Mexicans who admire our way of life and aspire to the American Dream out of our country.Our own home-grown,banditos in the white house emulate the worst examples of corruption in government in Latin American countries.

Posted by: being bear | February 12, 2007 09:09 PM

I'm disappointed by the author's lack of understanding regarding the Libby defense strategy. At this time the charges against Mr. Libby are related to conversations Mr. Libby had with two reporters. Those reporters are Matt Cooper and Tim Russert. There was another obstruction charge related to conversations with Judith Miller but those charges have already been thrown out.

The defense against the charges related to a phone conversation with Tim Russert is that Mr. Libby is remembering correctly and Mr. Russert is misremembering the conversation as well as the knowledge that he had during the conversation.

There is no question,at this point in the trial, that Mr. Russert does indeed have the worst memory based on the evidence.

The defense in regards to the Matt Cooper conversation is that one or the other is, or maybe both are misremembering who said what.

The witnesses today demonstrated that Mr. Libby did not have the motive that Mr. Fitzgerald ascribed to him. History shows that it is very hard to prove perjury without a motive!

Posted by: Mike Sorensen | February 12, 2007 09:35 PM

In all this baloney it seems to be forgotten that it was Joe Wilson who publically lied when he said there was no evidence of Iraqt rying to buy yellow cake uranium. His documented verbal report, confirmed by host country officials, shows he told U.S. government officials otherwise. It was he who politicized the whole affair.

Posted by: GeneP | February 12, 2007 10:43 PM

The Libby apologists on this page would make me laugh if the outcome of all this wasn't so tragic; over 3,000 dead US soldiers and 100s of thousand of Iraqis. Because let's not forget what was at the heart of all these lies and cover-ups: the exaggerated evidence that was used to justify an immediate invasion of Iraq. Cheney / Libby knew that discrediting the 'uranium from Niger' story might start a 'domino effect' resulting in all the other bogus claims (such as the 'centrifuge tubes' that were actually missles and the 'mobile bio-weapons labs' that were actually used for making weather balloon helium) being disputed and withdrawn and eventually toppling their rationale for immediate action against Iraq. Congress may likely have decided not to give Bush the authority to attack Iraq if that had been the case, but it wasn't, in no small part due to Libby's actions.

Later Libby knowingly lied to the grand jury about his actions and dreamed up a ridiculous alibi ('I forgot') to protect not only himself but also to protect Cheney, Rove & Bush, all of whom lied to the American people both about their involvement in efforts to discredit Wilson and out his wife and about the real threat that Iraq represented.

So to all those apologist out there I say this; think about what you're saying. By condoning or defending Libby you are complicit in the understanding that no one in this Republic can, in good conscience, publicly contradict the Executive branch or present a contrary viewpoint, regardless of the evidence, and to do so means that that person or the people close to him will see their careers ruined and their lives put in jeaopardy.

Now if that's the case I just want to know what the hell is the difference between us and Putin's Russia?

Posted by: Steve | February 12, 2007 10:46 PM

I am still vewildered by your readers who say that identifying Valerie Plame Wilson was a crime.There was no crime. She was not an agent within the meaning of the statute. Why don't you just publish a 36 point two line editorial saying so?

Further, since a jury trial to determine Libby's guilt or innocence is in progress, why don't we wait for them to decide?

Posted by: REJMcNulty | February 12, 2007 11:05 PM

Today, on the first day of defense, team Libby admitted it has no defense for the charges of lying and obstruction. The trial has devolved into a theatrical farce about the sick freaks in the White House. The judge should cut to the chase and send this thing to the jury for conviction. It will be nice to see a neocon swing for something, and hopefully there will be more. Get to it and hang Libby now.

Posted by: MaryLou Harper | February 12, 2007 11:05 PM

All of these (diversionary) issues are very interesting, but at the end of the day we have to believe that (1) Libby forgot what he knew when, and (2) He didn't realize he forgot. That seems somehow unlikely.

I can believe he might have forgotten a few things -- we all do -- but when testifying the proper response in such situations is: I don't recall.

Assuming Libby invented testimony to describe things he didn't actually remember, he crossed a line. To me that makes him guilty.

Posted by: John Holmes | February 12, 2007 11:05 PM

Good to see that the defense appreciates the art of leading with the chin. On the first day of the defense for Libby they scored a TKO on their own client. This is funny, only in Washington DC can trash like this be considered real. Send Scootie to jail, fine him and put this thing to rest.

Posted by: Stanley Morgan | February 12, 2007 11:10 PM

I just want to reiterate what Steve said. There are incredibly important principles at stake here about the law and about the importance of checks and balances in our system of government.

Cheney, with his view of imperial presidential power, seeks to put the office of President and Vice President above the law. Fitzgerald is prosecuting this case because the facts are strong and because he wants the Executive to know they are not above the law.

We are in the worst war in a generation that has caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and damaged American interests and credibility around the world. If we are lucky, the damage caused by Cheney and his henchmen will take a generation to fix. If we can repair the damage that has been done, (a big if) it will be because American institutions were strong enough to withstand a frontal attack by the neocons.

I am sure that Cheney et al will be viewed by history in the way that Senator McCarthy is now viewed - as a real threat to our Republic and our democracy who fortunately was not able to destroy the checks and balances that have preserved our liberties. But my faith in our government has been irrevocably damaged because of the actions of men like Libby and Cheney - something for which I will never forgive them.

Posted by: guy | February 13, 2007 12:34 AM

traitors. hypocrites. liars. criminals.

Posted by: sugarmoes | February 13, 2007 08:58 AM

The Libby trial is merely the first in a series of investigations and disclosures - the stink of this Administration cannot be disguised or masked, no matter what sweet-smelling perfumes are applied by their brainless cult followers.

Moronic references to Clinton "getting away with it" in lying about a blow-job suggest that HIS mendacity (for which, by the way, impeachment proceedings WERE undertaken, just in case anyone forgets) is somehow comparable to the deliberate destruction of a critic's reputation with innuendo and false accusation... another post above states that Joe Wilson LIED about Iraq not attempting to buy yellowcake - a convoluted argument if ever one existed, especially as we KNOW that this piece of yellowcake "evidence" was a complete fabrication...

It won't be long before we are told (sorry, perhaps we're already being told) that actively seeking the truth about waste and corruption within the Bush Administration or asking hard questions about the run-up to war is "unpatriotic" and "aids the enemy".

Of course, in this context, there is truth, for the "enemy" is truth itself - and, as long as we allow felons and warmongers to decide WHO the enemy is, the enemy will always remain "truth".

Posted by: Incredulous | February 13, 2007 01:37 PM

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