by CODY LYON
Now that Scooter Libby’s name change to “Patsy” is complete, the perfect opportunity has arisen for Democrats to wake up, take a shot of testosterone, and open a real, binding investigation as to why the United States was led into the quagmire of Iraq.
Mr. Libby’s guilty verdict on four of five counts, including perjury and obstruction of justice is certainly good to see. Hopefully Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson will sleep better at night now that it’s clear Libby was carrying out dirty deeds for higher ups in the White House. But ultimately, Libby’s trial will probably go down in history as a simplistic, un-ambitious but certainly entertaining Washington soap opera. Players from journalists to lower level White House officials stole this show, as the focus of the event changed quicker than the day’s top stories at CNN. Unfortunately, the trial of Scooter Libby was a diversion from where the real digging should have been taking place, which is in the halls of Congress, a dig for real truths about what has proven to be a tragic turn of events, on view for all Americans to see.
The Libby trial was a diversion from the more serious questions that still need to be answered and aired before the public. In the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, was the White House angry that its intelligence assessment was being challenged, and if so, why?
Today, Congress, a body with subpoena power, has a wide opening of noble but difficult opportunity. Members on both sides of the aisle could eat humble pie, take a deep breath and dive right into what could prove to be a national epiphany. A complete investigation of the actions by players in the White House, could turn out to be a very valuable lesson for the most important players of all, the American people. But, understandably, a number of those in Congress continue to wallow and whine in a sea of denial, blame and embarrassment tainted by self-serving politics regarding the decision to follow the Pied Piper to Iraq.
As it stands now, come January 2008, Libby will get his pardon, and the current crew in the White House will scurry off into their private financially secure lives, leaving behind the mess they led us to in Iraq. And, the administration also leaves behind, several thousand maimed, blinded, limbless souls, another several thousand dead sons and daughters, who, God only knows, what they may have contributed to this world, had they lived and not been sacrificed in a war that was based on arrogance, manipulated intelligence and fear, sold to a people shattered from an attack carried out by individuals who had absolutely no connection to the country called Iraq.
Scooter Libby’s trial spelled out the obvious, that Vice President Cheney was upset the Bush Administration message of fear was being challenged. Without fear, the White House didn’t have a case for the invasion of Iraq. Congress, afraid of constituent reaction for challenging a popular White House, fell for, or at least went along with the message, as did a large portion of the media, and hence, the public, the rest is history.
But painful as it may be, it would be nothing short of sinful for Congressional leaders, here and now, to not seek out all facts and come clean on the allegedly lie filled road to Iraq. In the same way that individuals learn from their mistakes, so too do governments.
And, Congress has a duty to the men and women of our armed forces to prove that the system of checks and balances has more meaning than a simple sound bite. Sticking one’s head in the sand and carrying on as if looking back and airing the truth stifles progress or corrupts morale, will in the end, only grow the putrid distrust that many Americans now feel about Washington.