The Long Weekend Begins
Did you know that Jet Blue officials have been working for years to assist the U.S. government in its efforts at extraordinary rendition? Don't like that one? Okay, how about this one. Who was held in captivity without rights longer-- those poor Jet Blue passengers the other night, stuck in a plane on the tarmac for 10-plus hours or the terror detainees at Guantanamo Bay? I hope the airline gets the pants sued off it. And I hope that the latest Congressional effort to prevent airlines from treating their customers this way doesn't also include some sort of industry-friendly protection from such lawsuits.
But I digress. While I am travelling a bit this weekend-- thankfully not on Jet Blue-- lawyers in the I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby perjury and obstruction trial will be preparing their summations for jurors, who no doubt will be spending the weekend themselves trying not to think about their tough job ahead. I suspect the weekend will feel longer to the jurors than to the attorneys. The former have to sit and wait and think about the evidence they have already heard and what it means. The latter will be scrambling around all weekend to try to figure out ways in which they can frame that evidence in the best possible light for their clients.
For the feds, this means figuring out a way to eloquently tell jurors that this is a simple case of a man who did not tell the truth when he had the opportunity to do so. And the message will go something like this: Lewis Libby should not be excused or forgiven for what he did just because he was a busy man and may have had a bad memory. For Libby's lawyers, on the other hand, they have to choose a delicate way of telling jurors that their client's lifetime of sacrifice and dedication to the government shouldn't be tossed away because of a few bad moments before a grand jury. And their message will go something like this: Lewis Libby made a mistake. He pretended to know things that he didn't and in doing so was not accurate and honest. That's bad judgment but not crime.
Let's just all agree, then, that we are happy we are neither the lawyers nor the jurors (nor Libby) this weekend. Have a safe and happy one whatever your plans are. And if you end up getting stranded on a plane for 10 hours waiting to take off, don't call me.
By Andrew Cohen |
February 16, 2007; 8:30 AM ET
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