The Libby Trial, Two Weeks In

Now that the perjury and obstruction trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is two full weeks in, and in case you haven't been following it from pregnant moment to moment, it's time to identify a few kernels of truth about the case.

1. It's now obvious why Libby's lawyers intend to focus on a "faulty memory" defense on behalf of their client. Witness after witness, several of them eminently credible, have come forward to tell jurors that Libby knew about Valerie Plame Wilson, the covert CIA agent, before the time frame he later disclosed to grand jurors and federal investigators. If jurors have to choose only between Libby's statements at face value and the testimony of all those other witnesses, Libby will lose and be convicted. But if jurors come to believe that Libby merely made a mistake, he has a chance.

2. In order to make it harder for those jurors to be willing to give Libby the benefit of that doubt, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is doing a masterful job of introducing evidence, through testimony, that paints Libby in a shoddy light. Prosecution witnesses, taken together, have characaterized him as a slimy bureaucratic operative who was more interested in his own political survival than the good of the nation. Libby's lawyers will have to counter this when their witnesses take the stand-- one reason why Vice President Dick Cheney is still expected to be a prime defense witness.

3. Media coverage of the trial so far has been decent but not spectacular. Too many journalists have failed to distinguish for their audiences the distinctions between what has been legally relevant in the trial and what some might consider to be politically or historically or even journalistically relevant. For example, you would have thought from the coverage that it was a huge deal when former New York Times reporter Judy Miller was unable to remember precisely during cross-examination by Libby's lawyers any other conversations she may have had about Plame-Wilson. But, apart from the fact that it might have undermined Miller's credibility in general, it wasn't a big deal at all since it didn't undermine her timeline as it related to what and when Libby had told her about Plame-Wilson.

4. Judging from the questions I have received from radio hosts over the past two weeks, people still expect the trial to produce some sort of bombshell, or even more indictments against more administration officials, before it is through. It 'ain't gonna happen, folks. Sure, and unfortunately for the White House, we will continue to see embarrassing news nuggets drip out, day after day, about the inner workings of the Bush Team. And, sure, we will learn things we did not know. But this testimony, this evidence, is not going to suddenly change Fitzgerald's mind and prompt him to indict, say, Karl Rove.

5. Despite what you may think from afar, the jurors in this case are actually quite lucky. No, I don't mean I would want to change places with them (perhaps I would). I mean that compared with other perjury and obstruction trials these folks have it all in the bag. Instead of unknown witnesses trudging to the stand, Libby's jurors almost every day get to hear from a celebrity of sorts talking about some of the most important issues of our time. Just this past week, for example, they got to hear from former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, the aforementioned Miller and Time magazine's Matthew Cooper. Next week? Perhaps Tim Russert and Bob Woodward. Not too shabby.

By Andrew Cohen |  February 2, 2007; 9:30 AM ET
Previous: Here Come the Investigations | Next: After "Cully" Sullies, he Quits-- and Good Riddance

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It's interesting, and even a bit entertaining to see the inner clock-work of this ethically compromised administration whose players perceive chronic scheming and lying as a valid political model.

Posted by: Crystal Mac | February 2, 2007 12:55 PM

There may not be another indictment
from Mr Fitzgerald, but it is possible that enough damning facts
about Cheney will come out in the
trial that the House of Representatives will vote to impeach
him.

Posted by: rk | February 3, 2007 01:16 AM

While it may be true that Mr Fitzgerald will not be indicting anyone else, if Cheney is found to be behind the leak of Ms Plame, the
House of Representatives may vote to impeach him.

Posted by: rk | February 3, 2007 01:21 AM

Isn't the same this the same Administration that said they would be "More Ethical & MORAL" than the last Administration. It's turning out to be "More Scandalous & More Sinister".

Posted by: TRACI | February 3, 2007 01:30 AM

This trial ha been turned into another diversion for the Bush-Cheney Junta, to keep our minds off their more serious CRIMINAL activities:
- ENRON Collaboration (remember ENRON)
- Kidnapping and Torture (rendition, right)
- Killing innocents via their illegal War
- Lying to God and the World
- Election Tampering

Congress is still a one-party-pretending-to-be-two Dog & Pony Show with a pretty lady dancing out front now;
Can you say "Impeachment is off the table"?

I'm no Mr. Rogers, but I'll be DAMNED if IMPEACHMENT is off the table. Wake up (the) Congress and make this a credible government. IMPEACH THE BASTARDS! They're CRIMINALS !!!!!

Posted by: Steve Meiers | February 3, 2007 01:32 AM

The notes of VP Cheney mention this president as involved in the leak, but have not seen this commented on in the press other than by Mark Ash, from truthout.

Posted by: dhyan | February 3, 2007 01:54 AM

IMPEACH BUSH/CHENEY NOW..

Posted by: Linda S. Seibert | February 3, 2007 01:55 AM

THIS ACT IS TREASON IMPEACH BUSH FOR THIS.

Posted by: GILBERT WILKERSON | February 3, 2007 01:58 AM

Libby, fill your pockets with jam and butter because you are TOAST. No juty will ever believe your lame a$$ defense. Oh yeah and IMPEACH BUSH CHENEY.

Posted by: katman13 | February 3, 2007 02:01 AM

Several more points are in order.

First, Libby's "scapegoat defense" won't work. Mrs. Wilson was the scapegoat, not Scooter Libby.

Second, it is implausible that Libby forgot who told him about Mrs. Wilson. If a journalist such as Tim Russert tells you Mrs. Wilson works for the CIA, you can't take that to the bank. But if VP Cheney tells someone in Libby's position that she's with the CIA and was involved in her husband's trip, Libby would deem that reliable. When Libby spoke with other government officials, such as Ari Fleischer, he treated the knowledge as if it was bankable. So whoever told him was a very important detail to someone in Libby's position -- so much so that he treated the information as gospel truth.

Posted by: Dan O'Day | February 3, 2007 02:02 AM

I fail to see the relevance in this article to the Nintendo Wii.

Farewell my friends!

Posted by: THONDOR | February 3, 2007 02:22 AM

The big story lurking here is: Who produced the documents purporting to prove that Iraq had, or had tried to, purchase Uranium from Niger?. If this turns out to be Mossad, it will be bad news for Joe Lieberman. If it turns out to be someone in the White House, it will be bad news for Cheney. And perhaps Bush. Let's hope Fitzgerald asks Cheney the question. An honest (or evasive) answer to this question would indeed be a bombshell. Why is the American press ignoring this question?

Posted by: Roger | February 3, 2007 03:01 AM

Why haven't "WE The People" gotten rid of Vice President Dick Cheney, by now, as we got rid of Vice President Spiro Agnew? Even Senator McCain blames Cheney for the "witches brew" of the Iraq folly. He
can't be more indicted than that!

Posted by: John Ripandelli | February 3, 2007 03:04 AM

This trial shines the light of day on this Administration. Witness testimony after witness testimony shows that contrary to public statements and marketing hyperbole, they were actively involved in outing the CIA agent they claimed they didn't. It shows that publicly while they claimed no involvement, they were obsessed and extremely involved in doing just what they claimed they didn't. This undercuts the one unshakeable cornerstone of this administration for the public, thier credibility and honesty.
It also details that they never really attacked Wilson's message, just the messenger. It leads the public to question why. It lends creditability to Wilson's claims that this Administration did twist the facts to take the country into a war of choice. The next indictment to come down the pike from this just could be immpeachment!

Posted by: James Lyons | February 3, 2007 03:05 AM

Day after day the blood continues to flow in Iraq, and day after day President Bush continues to insist that he's right and the majority of Americans is wrong. Then there's Scooter. And his boss, the Vice President, who insists great progress is being made. One lie upon another, an endless stream. And apparently no one is able to do anything about it. Not Congress, not the courts. Where will this lead?

Posted by: John Palcewski | February 3, 2007 03:21 AM

An opportunity has presented itself that is such a gift to all those that truly despise the Bush Administration, that it almost seems as though it is a gift from a divine being.
As the facts come out in the Scooter Libby trial, it becomes obvious that The Office of the Vice President was directly involved in the outing of a CIA operative. Dick Cheney's office, it would seeem, initiated the operation and instructed Libby to carry it out.
The Democrats need to start a full scale investigation into possible violations of the Law related to this incident. The reason this is such a gift is because it gives opponents of this administration an opportunity to remove Cheney first. Bush would have to nominate a replacement that according to the 25th Amendment would have to be approved by the Democratic Congress. Once that step is completed, they can go after Bush.
Now I should say, I wouldn't do this. It would just get too messy and there is only two years left. But if someone felt it was necessary. I'd say go for it

Posted by: James Sherman | February 3, 2007 03:43 AM

The other night on Charlie Rose's show Ken Duberstein [Reagan's chief of staff] intimated that he'd heard chaney might be an unindicted co-conspirator

Posted by: USNA | February 3, 2007 04:12 AM

it does not matter, bush will pardon libby in the end, just as pappy bush pardoned the iran-contra miscreants.

Posted by: inedal | February 3, 2007 04:39 AM

Today's lack of any passion about any of these things on the part of journalists, educators, and students is going to earn the saddest commentary from future historians.

We have a President and practically an entire cabinet teetering on the edge of trials for war crimes. And the Scooter Libby case is the litmus test, the touch stone if you will, of how the Bush presidency is going to play out.

The fact of the matter is that we are all afraid to say or write anything: we are afraid of our own shadows. Gitmo awaits us all. Trust me - I know what I am talking about.

(Robert J. Koenig is a writer, presently developing www.true-v-usaa.com. Koenig has actually spent 7 incommunicado days in jail so far for simply trying to writing a book about the United Services Automobile Association - USAA; and not one page has even yet been published. USAA, the insurance company, does not want Koenig to write his book.)

Posted by: Robert J. Koenig | February 3, 2007 06:04 AM

It is now clear why the Democrats must wait for Fitzgerald to finish raking libby over the coals..

This will eventually lead to Cheney's impeachment, which will then place impeaching the person occupying the whitehouse, safley back on the table. Making it much safer for the country..

Its amazing that we are all living under a coup, in which the real President has just been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize... Just proof, that real leaders still lead, even when they have been cheated... History will eventually correct the record, and show how much courage and strength the real President of our nation at this time had.. Everytime you see him on TV, admire him... He is your real President!

Posted by: The People Of the United States of America | February 3, 2007 06:58 AM

the failure of the press (other than chris mathews) to cover this from the beginning is appalling. The pretrial documents laid out a clear criminal conspiracy by bush, cheney, libby, rove and other top staffers to discredit and punish wilson by leaking his wife's covert cia status and selective;y declassifying and leaking misleading parts of the national intelligence estimate yellowcake analysis. the trial is highlighting parts of this, and most of the press sleeps. The WP is right. Fitzgerald will not indict the group because no one seems to care. Perhaps the new congress will take up the cause. Will the press still duck it?

Posted by: jim tobin | February 3, 2007 07:31 AM

The media coverage of this case reminds me of the early days of Watergate. It took almost two years after the break-in for Big Media (led by The Post) to focus on it. One outrageous disclosure piled on top of another, until at last Big Media had no choice but to look at what the Nixon White House was doing. This time, Big Media focused on Judith Miller, the least credible witness in this case, because she's a reporter. Focusing on her helps Big Media maintain its denial of culpability for the Iraq War. Meanwhile, a majority of Americans knows this war is a disaster, the president and vice-president have committed impeachable offenses, and that Big Media muffles every attempt to face the truth: Bush and Cheney are war criminals. But as long as Big Media lets the real story slide, front pages and websites tout Celebritology and the Super Bowl instead. Who needs Nero to fiddle while Rome burns, when Big Media can make money fiddling instead?

Posted by: Josh Thomas | February 3, 2007 07:40 AM

This trial is a farce and an outrage. Despite knowing that Armitage was the principal leaker, Fitzgerald plowed on, calling Karl Rove and Libby to the grand jury again and again -- causing the media to salivate.

Fitzgerald spends hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on an investigation, interviews every famous name in Washington journalism and politics and sends reporter Judith Miller to jail for 12 weeks. The prosecutor accepted Wilson's "retaliation" theory from the start, looking for a White House conspiracy to harm Wilson. Fitzgerald tamely followed this line despite learning later that Wilson lied about how he was chosen for the mission to Niger (contrary to Wilson's hot denials, it was his wife's suggestion, according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report), lied about what he found there (his report actually tended to confirm, not deny,
Iraq's uranium shopping) and lied about discrediting certain forged documents (they did not even appear until months after Wilson's trip). Yet Wilson's word was good enough for Fitzgerald.

Posted by: seth1066 | February 3, 2007 07:58 AM

Impeach Bush/Cheney? Illegal war? You people are dillusional. FYI:

Nancy Pelosi - December 16, 1998 "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."

Bill Clinton - February 17, 1998 "If Saddam rejects peace, and we have to use force, our purpose is clear: We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."

Chuck Schumer - October 10, 2002
"It is Hussein's vigorous pursuit of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, and his present and future potential support for terrorist acts and organizations that make him a danger to the people of the united states."

Madeleine Albright - February 1, 1998 "We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and the security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction."

Posted by: Jack Kent | February 3, 2007 08:04 AM

This is a witch hunt and everyone knows it. Everyone in Washington knew who Joe Wilson's wife was. She wasn't covert for years. The Bush administration was not the original leak and this is ridiculous. How can any news agency with a shred of crediblity cover this in a serious manner. If this were a democrat there would be no trial and no investigation on such trivial matters. At least give yourself a little honesty and report this story like you were neutral. I don't like Bush much myself, but don't go through life being so hateful. It is destructive to yourself and others.

Posted by: Robert | February 3, 2007 08:05 AM

the real story in the Libby case...is that of the incompetent and corrupt WashingtonPost...and the rest of the mass media...You talk of tidbits of what might embarrass the White House....And isn't the Post embarrassed by its own incompetence?
Engaging in journalistic fraud and moral cowardice?...The WashingtonPost engages in behavior that it accuses others of engaging in.....By its incompetence and corruption,,, the WashingtonPost has inflicted upon itself irreparable harm that has left it with little or no credibility....resembling more "Comedy Central"....with its wide cast of clowns and baffoons....claiming to be reporters of facts.....Indeed, it is the WashingtonPost that should be the most embarrased institution in the country for not recognizing its on incompetence and corruption, and mistakes....Will the WashingtonPost apologize to its readers for its lies and for its mistakes?....

Posted by: John Castillo | February 3, 2007 08:17 AM

The President promised to fire anyone involved in this leak.

I know that the leak itself has nothing to do with the trial, but I'm wondering when Mr Cheney's last day with the administration will be.

Posted by: Fairfax | February 3, 2007 08:35 AM

Bush and his administration are the source of, or a primary contributor to, most of current array of our problems. They have lied and intentionally manipulated all they could to grab and hold power and imposed a destructive and naive world-view on at least half of the voting public of this country. Add to this that they also have been completely incompetent in most of their (ab)use of this power, and most clearly in the execution of this divisive and futile war, and it becomes obvious that the first way to make things better is to get rid of Bush and his cabal. Alas, rather than Bush being made irrelevant by our election, it seems that the Congress, the Senate, and the American People are irrelevant. What a pitiful bunch of cowards, liars and criminals we have running this country. They dishonor us.

If we wanted to truly be good and responsible citizens of our planet, we would hold them accountable. We should be talking about impeachment and prosecution for war crimes and treason against our constitution. What right do we have to kill people to spread our ideology? And even if this were just through some natural law, when did our culture decide that ill-means are justified by good ends? Let's start doing the right thing, and show the world we are not of this ilk. Let's hold these criminals accountable for their crimes. Fitzgerald may be the only real hero on the stage by the time history tells its tale.

Posted by: Brad Erlwein | February 3, 2007 08:55 AM

Am I missing something here? I thought it was settled early on that Ms. Plame was not a covert agent at the time of her socalled 'outing'. If true, then there was no 'outing'. Is this reporter just another partisan hack?

Posted by: PJBahan | February 3, 2007 08:57 AM

Mr Cheny & Mr Bush have done us more harm than good .They have been great for big buisness& not for common people.Am i & COUNTRY BETTER OFF TODAY THAN SEVEN YEARS AGO ? NO. I live on a limited income & i have felt it all by Bushes policies.They have made sure they have lined the pockets of their friends & oil buddies at the exsense of us common people.Over sight has not been so of any he has did. Imeachment is what should be for both of them.They have lied missled enough . Enough is enough

Posted by: ROBERT FLAGG | February 3, 2007 08:59 AM

Fairfax -

I think Richard Armitage (former asst. Sec. of State) already quit - your source for the leak. A fact known by Fitzgerald very early in the case, yet he pressed on and kept interviewing people (for what purpose?).

Perhaps Libby mixed up his stories for the primary purpose of getting indited so that Fitzgerald would get his scalp and stop the investigations. Helluva risk to run for your country. This nothing for nothing - Clinton got away with far more with his perjury - its alot tougher to argue that you didn't recollect the staff intern working your johnson...

Posted by: Rico | February 3, 2007 08:59 AM

Good reporting on the Libby trial would include a precise review of the specific charges and what evidence has been presented to support them. The personalities and summaries are interesting, but the jury will have to analyze each count and whether the evidence proves each beyond a reasonable doubt.

Posted by: Arthur B. Cunningham | February 3, 2007 09:29 AM

Please remember that there are two "kinds" of media/press in the USA these days. Corporate media, whose purpose is only their bottom line, read $$$$; and independant media, much harder to find but out there. Try spending half your time with independant media, print, and radio. I haven't found much on TV and your world will be broader. Don't expect corporate media to either "inform" or acknowlegde what is really going on.

Posted by: julie | February 3, 2007 09:41 AM

It was indeed Richard Armitage that outed Plane and Fitzgerald knew that Armitage did the deed just a few days into his investigations. That should have been the end of it point.com. Why Fitzgerald continued on after that needs to be explained. The bigger sadder story is why did the american taxpayers have to fund his witch hunt.

Posted by: Henry | February 3, 2007 09:56 AM

If jurors are willing to believe Libby merely ,,forgot,, then we have some swampland where they can find the fountain of youth unlimited goldmines and free champagne for life all in one place.

Posted by: PerversityinAmerica.com | February 3, 2007 10:04 AM

I continue wonder how,who and what were people thinking when they voted for Junebug & Cheney twice..

It proves the American public is easy to fool. All you have to do in most cases is wave the flag of patriotism and they will come running. Prior to 911 Junebug was on the skids, along with that ex New York Mayor, Giulani.

They waved the flag. Put one in their lapel and they only looked back to check how big the crowd was that was following them.

The American public is the most gullible in the world. I dare those who are posting here to share whether they voted for Junebug once or twice. "...and the truth shall set you free."

Posted by: Teddebare | February 3, 2007 10:08 AM

I'd have to say the real bombshell is that journalists are even more narcissistic and naive than we thought. Mix that in with a little bit of CYA and they are a dangerous bunch to trust with the job they have to do fo rthe good of the country.

Posted by: flounder | February 3, 2007 10:53 AM

I wonder if any of these corrupt Republican White House cronies have figured out a way to make any big money off this. Speaking of Nintendo Wii, couldn't there be an I.Libby Scooter ride? I wonder if inventing games doesn't pay more than book deals.

Posted by: | February 3, 2007 11:09 AM

Impeachment of Bush/Chaney, while a wonderful idea who's time has clearly come, will, unfortunately, never work. This is because the same do-nothing, sit-on their butt neo-con senators who rolled over and played dead in the face of six years of Bush/Chaney atrocities (e.g., lying to force us into an insidious and unbelievably stupid war in Iraq, violation of the Geneva convention with their torture policy, warrantless spying, detainee policy with its deprivation of habeas corpus, Katrina inaction, one sided energy policy favoring their major contributors, etc.) would refuse to convict under any circumstances - - even were there to be unrefutable evidence that Bush committed murder,which he basically did by invading Iraq (3,000+ Americans dead because of this nightmare). Just the impeachment would, however, send a clear and unmistakable message to the rest of the world that the past six years of Bush policies and actions do not really represent America,and that we are trying to make things right.

Posted by: Stanley Suser | February 3, 2007 11:18 AM

Jack Kent, perhaps it is you that is delusional.

Three of the four Democratic quotations you provide correspond to or predate Desert Fox, the Clinton Administration's air campaingn that been shown to be the absolute end to Saddam Hussein's quest for NBC weapons (just like the UN Inspectors claimed). The fourth quotation is Shumer trusting the cherry-picked data provided him by the Bush Administration.

Next time, try to consider context before you start bandying about quotations.

Posted by: J. S. A. Brown | February 3, 2007 11:28 AM

I feel the head or heads of this Medusa are Cheney, Rowe and Bush in that order. I don't understand why Mr Fitzgerald is pussyfooting with the real culprits and it seems ignoring the facts. Why did he give Karl Rowe a free pass? Does the "No impeachment" from Nancy Pelossi had anything to do with obvious violations to the law? Mr Fitzgerald seems as trying to enfoce the law, when at the same time giving free passes to the obvious culprits.

Posted by: Jorge I. Gomez | February 3, 2007 11:47 AM

I believe that some of the effect examination and cross-examination have on the witness and jury will be lost if Vice-president Cheney is allowed to testify anywhere except in open court, in person, and in front of the jury.

Posted by: R. Borders | February 3, 2007 11:57 AM

Several comments above repeat the Libby/Cheney talking point that Wilson was not a covert agent. This is obfuscation and here's why--

Point 1- The CIA doesn't wants you to know who is or isn't a covert agent-- Think about it.

Point 2- The investigation into the leak was requested by the CIA.

Posted by: r. Millman | February 3, 2007 12:11 PM

I disagree about the importance of Ms. Miller's memory lapses. How can the prosecution say, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Libby did not simply forget when its own witnesses have unexplainable memory lapses? This isn't a matter of law, but of persuading the jury.

Posted by: Frank Smithson | February 3, 2007 12:37 PM

I will bring Dick Cheney to his knees.

http://patrickjfitzgerald.blogspot.com

Posted by: Fitzmas | February 3, 2007 12:55 PM

Actually, there have been SEVERAL bombshells. Have you seen Cheneys handwritten memo with the words THIS PRES crossed out? The one which directly links Bush to this sleazy disinformation campaign? Nixon was brought down over less. But then again, Bush is such a sc*mbag that it seems like just another day's work for the king of the Grand Old Perps. And Fitzgerald is doing a masterful job of exposing the sleaze, lies and corruption of the Filth Administration. Unfortunately, most of this crap is not illegal.

Posted by: Dave | February 3, 2007 01:09 PM

Why yes, it is right here:

Cheney's Smokin' Gun Pointed At Bush...

Cheney's Handwritten Notes Implicate Bush in Plame Affair

http://patrickjfitzgerald.blogspot.com/2007/01/cheneys-smokin-gun-pointed-at-bush.html

Posted by: | February 3, 2007 01:16 PM

mr cohen's 'few kernels of truth' are not particularly nourishing or insightful and i think he does a truly awful job of putting himself in the jury's place,,,,he grotesquely misunderstands the impact of all the 'faulty' and 'contradictory' memory testimony taking place under oath...the defense has done an admirable job of showing that people's recollections - with and without notes - on timelines and disclosures and discussions are pretty bad...are all these people lying or committing perjury? of course not...but the seed has been planted in that why - of all the people with demonstrably flawed memories and contradictory recollections - is mr libby the one singled out for indictment? why not matt cooper? why not ari fleisher? why not judy miller? (migosh, she testified that she wasn't at a meeting with libby that, in fact she was!)

...mr libby may, indeed, be a perjurer; he may have lied and lied and lied again under oath about what he learned and when he learned it...he may even be - as mr cohen condescendingly asserts a 'slimy' bureaucrat....but it's laughable to suggest that the prosecutors have demonstrated through the testimony of their witnesses beyond a reasonable doubt that libby committed perjury...indeed, if you think so, then virtually every one of the prosecution witnesses themselves could be indicted for perjury...after all, didn't they 'knowingly' misrepresent details of the testimony to the grand jury and others...?

...the most annoying thing about this cohen blog - its smug tone aside - is the intrinsic hypocrisy of of claiming that orchestrated, anonymous 'leaks' are bad even as the newspaper the employs him depends on those kinds of leaks for the very stories that populate its pages...

....

Posted by: michael schrage | February 3, 2007 01:29 PM

Why has no one questioned the method the VP's staff choose to try to discredit Wilson's report? To say Wilson's report was not correct because his wife sent him makes no sense and is completely highschool logic (huge red flag no. 1). FYI - the report was correct; no yellow cake was exchanged. The VP & crew would have been better off saying the report was not accurate because it was written on a MAC (their un-American). Speaking of saving taxpayers money (Henry), if the admin listened to the CIA, Wilson, European intel agencies; we could have been saving about 600 billion now.
The war is something they have wanted for years, and stil messed it up. Can't blame this one on the politicians. Two thumbs way up!
http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm

I cannot wait to have a president (R or D)that does not make me feel that I am smater then they are (very unsettling).

Posted by: dbucks | February 3, 2007 01:59 PM

Despite the way Fitzgerald has proceeded with the trial, the truth of the shallow, venal nature of those White House insiders, with their personal vendettas & their shabby "sale" of the Iraq War (those of us who knew George Bush as governor down here knew he was motivated, not by care for the country, rather by personal animosity toward Iraq's leader & by desire to get control of the oil fields) is coming out. Our soldiers will not be relieved of this onorous duty until the Carlysle Group & Halliburton have sated their gluttony with money from Iraq's oil fields. Where is the accounting for the sale of Iraq's oil to fund their reconstruction? What about the waste of billions with corrupt "no-bid" contracts? Whatever that can be done to slow or stop the strangling of the American economy with this fiasco must be done. This trial is sampling the tip of a massive iceberg. Thank God for public servants like Ambassador Wilson who suffered for the effort he made to stop this stupidity. His wife's career is a casualty just as much as any soldier sent out on Iraqi roads in a Humvee not properly armored.

Posted by: Judy Allen, Beaumont, TX | February 3, 2007 02:16 PM

I'm not holding my breath until Mr. Cheney is brought to his knees, nor am I sure that Mr. Libby will be convicted, or arrange a plea bargin.

Democratic politicians can say what they want, but it was obvious in 2002 that the administration was trying to rush the U.S. into an unnecessary war with Iraq. Votes were cast for political reasons without regard for the good of the country. That still doesn't justify the unnecessary war or the incompetence of the occupation, nor the torture of not only suspected terrorists but also the American citizen Jose Padilla; nor does it excuse the fiscal irresponsibility, assumption of dictatorial powers, failure to govern, degrading of federal agencies, and all the other stupidities that have taken place in the last six years.

Posted by: Aslan365 | February 3, 2007 02:27 PM

Some of the multiple despicable acts of the secretive Bush-Cheney administration are at long last being subjected to the light of the law and examination by We the People. Mr. Libby may be a fall guy, BUT he was also one of the chief proponents for the illegal war in Iraq; he, along with his boss, the Veep Creep, were the architects behind the illegal outing of a covert NOC CIA agent; finally, in the last analysis, Mr. Libby has acted as a willing agent for the worst administration in the country's history.

This administration has desecrated our beloved Constitution, our reputation in the world for truth, honesty, and justice, and, indeed, the very concept of America as envisioned by our Founders. This so-called "morals and values" administration and its followers possess neither of those virtues, and Americans, in ever increasing numbers, are now coming to realize that "the King has no clothes". Bush and Cheney, along with their lackey, AG Alberto Gonzales and a mostly compliant, silent Republican House and Senate over these past six years are beneath contempt and deserve only our collective opprobrium.

So I say "Let the House hearings begin at long last", and let the law and the facts follow their inexorable course. If the end result is impeachment, trial, and removal from office, then so be it. I for one will cheer the demise of these fear-mongering, freedom-robbing despots.

But in the last analysis, it is Justice that must be served. We the People cannot allow the will of those few at the top, who have tried mightily to subject Justice to their own perverted views of reality and law go unpunished for their egregious transgressions.

Posted by: thebigswede | February 3, 2007 02:36 PM

The exact same people who are now demanding prison for Libby for not remembering who told him about Plame are the ones who told us it was perfectly plausible for Bill Clinton to forget that Monica Lewinsky repeatedly performed oral sex on him in the Oval Office. Even if chubby Jewish brunettes aren't your type, be honest: Which of the two events would stand out more in your memory?

Perjury is intentionally swearing to something you know to be untrue -- not misremembering what later appears, on balance, not to be the truth.

Here are some simple illustrations. If Clinton had been asked how many sexual encounters it took for him to remember Monica's name (six) and he got the answer wrong, it would not be perjury since, like Monica's name, it's an easy thing to forget.

If Clinton had been asked whether he talked to Rep. Jim Chapman and then to Rep. John Tanner (news, bio, voting record), or to Rep. Tanner and then to Rep. Chapman while Monica was performing oral sex on him in the Oval Office and he got the answer wrong, that would not be perjury because it's not relevant to the investigation. (Correct answer: Chapman, then Tanner.)

But when Clinton was asked under oath -- in a case brought by Paula Jones under the law liberals consider more sacrosanct than any passed in the 20th century, Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act: "Mr. President ... at any time were you and Monica Lewinsky alone together in the Oval Office?" and he answered, "I don't recall," that was perjury.

Now take the question: "Who first told you fantasist Wilson was sent to Niger by his wife?" Unless it actually was Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise -- the answer to that question is not going to be perjurious. No matter how many witnesses swear they told Libby first, if Libby honestly believed it was Russert, he didn't commit perjury.

So why is there a trial? Because there is no penalty for using the threat of imprisonment as a political weapon against conservatives. Ask Tom DeLay or Rush Limbaugh.

If Libby were a Democrat, we would know the sexual proclivities of everyone in Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's office, Judith Miller would be portrayed as a "stalker," Tim Russert's cat would be dead, and the public would know about every toupee at MSNBC.

Posted by: Nna Retluoc | February 3, 2007 03:00 PM

In the absence of any such assertion or allegation, one must be forgiven for wondering what any of this gigantic fuss can possibly be about. I know some apparently sensible people who are prepared to believe, still, that a Machiavellian cabal in the White House wanted to punish Joseph Wilson by exposing his wife to embarrassment and even to danger. So strong is this belief that it envisages Karl Rove (say) deciding to accomplish the foul deed by tipping off Robert Novak, one of the most anti-Iraq-war and pro-CIA journalists in the capital, as if he were precisely the pliant tool one would select for the dastardly work. And then, presumably to thicken the plot, Mr. Novak calls the CIA to confirm, as it readily did, that Ms. Plame was in the agency's employ.

Meanwhile, and just to make things more amusing, George Tenet, in his capacity as Director of Central Intelligence, tells Dick Cheney that he employs Mr. Wilson's wife as an analyst of the weird and wonderful world of WMD. So jealously guarded is its own exclusive right to "out" her, however, that no sooner does anyone else mention her name than the CIA refers the Wilson/Plame disclosure to the Department of Justice.

Mr. Fitzgerald, therefore, seems to have decided to act "as if." He conducts himself as if Ms. Plame's identity was not widely known, as if she were working under "non official cover" (NOC), as if national security had been compromised, and as if one or even two catch-all laws had been broken. By this merely hypothetical standard, he has performed exceedingly well, even if rather long-windedly, before pulling up his essentially empty net.

However, what if one proposes an alternative "what if" narrative? What if Mr. Wilson spoke falsely when he asserted that his wife, who was not in fact under "non-official cover," had nothing to do with his visit to Niger? What if he was wrong in stating that Iraqi envoys had never even expressed an interest in Niger's only export? (Most European intelligence services stand by their story that there was indeed such a Baathist initiative.) What if his main friends in Niger were the very people he was supposed to be investigating?

Posted by: Chris | February 3, 2007 03:09 PM

What might just be THE BOMBSHELL is when Cheney testifies under oath about his handwritten note to Libby; if that doesn't make news, then we have a media subservient to this inept govt.

Posted by: SPENCER | February 3, 2007 03:18 PM

Perhaps, Mr. Fitzgerald simply did not LIKE Mr.Libby, because their paths had previously crossed.

Perhaps, the CIA did not want the Administration blaming them for bad info (WMD's). Conspired to rebut?

Perhaps, Dick Cheney had no right questioning why news media was lying about who sent Wilson. "Freedom" of the press, ONLY.

Perhaps, the CIA leaked to the news media.
covert mission.

Perhaps the left wing media conspired/are conspiring against the Republican Administration.

Perhaps, the terms "Fitzmus and "Nifong'd" will make Webster's.

Nancy Moody
Point TX

Posted by: Nancy Moody | February 3, 2007 03:40 PM

Question,does any one know if Bush can legally pardon libby before he does any jail time.Or does he have to wait untill he is leaving office,like Clinton did for the criminal Marc Rich.I like many others would like to see Libby go to jail.The crimes of Libby and his cohorts is beyond stealing candy from a baby.Inmates in america should be preaching to the young criminals of today,if you want to make money with out doing time,get invoved in inside trading and scrupulous hedge funds.Better yet,know a politician or two.Behind every powerful man a crime has been commited.

Posted by: geronimo | February 3, 2007 04:04 PM

This admnistration has failed at everything, they can't do a simple coverup, except enriching the rich. They are like an incompetent but supremely confident magician. He keeps doing juvenile and transparent tricks, but amazingly he manages to makes fools of one third of the audience.

Posted by: hduckson49@hotmail.com | February 3, 2007 08:09 PM

Dear Nancy Moody of Point Texas,

Perhaps Santa Claus is coming to town...

Perhaps your comments are part of the Barbara Comstock kool-aid op-ed machine...

Posted by: Fitzmas | February 3, 2007 10:47 PM

Nancy:

Perhaps you are an idiot which is not meant as a personal attack but rather, perhaps it is meant as an observation that you are overly concerned with their own self-interest and ignored the needs of the community.

Posted by: Wally | February 3, 2007 11:34 PM

I haven't read any comments yet, but I want to say it while I'm thinking it: The defense in this case will, as sure as anything can be counted on, try to make as many of the jury as possible as confused as possible, thereby causing the one (or more) who becomes confused enough to equate their inability to follow and order all temporal paths with the coherence necessary to discern what so far seems clearly to be perjury on the part of old Scooter - and others -resulting in the reasonable doubt some jurors will feel is the proper expression of their inability to order things correctly. Scooter et al truly have no peers when it comes to obfuscation I fear.

Posted by: dnels | February 3, 2007 11:42 PM

Rico and Henry -

You have both missed my point.

The President said he would fire anyone who was involved in the leak (this administration is soooooo ethical, don't you know).

So, why is Mr Cheney still employed?

Posted by: Fairfax | February 4, 2007 09:38 AM

Cohen

You are a pathetic hack.

Just for starters post proof that Plame was covert.

Posted by: | February 4, 2007 12:01 PM

Fitzgerald is a brilliant attorney, and a frugal one. Anyone who thinks he has gone overboard with this investigation doesn't understand the basic tenets of the Constitution. I join the chorus of people who salute him.

Posted by: maddie | February 4, 2007 02:18 PM

nna retluoc (clever by half ms. ann coulter, and hardly genius),

George W. Bush lied.
And thousands of U.S. soldiers died,
and thousands more innocent Iraqis died.
Clinton lied; nobody died.

The phony patriotism stirred up in the weak minds of neo-conservatives such as yourself, by a President and VP who went AWOL and refused to serve respectively, is exceeded only by your pathological obsession for President Clinton, who, by the way, has been out office over 6 years.

How much blood will be enough for you and your ilk? When will you and this administration at long last find a sense of decency? When will you begin an honest search for the truth? There is sickening violence and death wrought every day by a corrupt and inept administration bent only on trying to preserve their increasingly bloody legacy.

I urge you to please get over President Clinton. The issue is the Bush-Cheney administration, Bush's War, and the lies perpetrated by all of them and their staffs to promote it. Your argument is not only not germane; it's pathetic and so very yesterday.

Posted by: thebigswede | February 4, 2007 04:45 PM

FREE THE FITZGERALD ONE!

Posted by: Coulter Rules!!! | February 5, 2007 07:59 PM

So, thebigswede admits Clinton is a proven LIAR and PERJURER. Conversely, you have no proof Bush lied or went AWOL. I'm really sorry that your pal Rather got outed for using modern day fonts for documents from the 1970's. BTW, Gore lost fair and square... get over it.

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