Uncle Sam is looking for a few good men and women to serve on the jury for the Scooter Libby perjury trial. So far, it hasn't been easy. It seems all sorts of potential jurors already have opinions about Dick Cheney and his loyal staff. Dozens of informed citizens have been summarily dismissed, and more are likely as the trial gets underway. This is a disturbing trend, especially in a great nation once known for its political ignorance and civic indifference.
As a young man, I watched proudly as Los Angeles County prosecutors and defense attorneys picked from among thousands of California residents who had never heard of O.J. Simpson. Those days may be gone, but the good news is with a little bit of coaching, any one of us should be able to land on the Libby jury and serve our country.
Attorney: Were you for or against the war in Iraq?
You: For it. Iraq had no right to invade Kuwait.
Attorney: No, that was the Gulf War.
You: There was another Iraq war?
Attorney: Yes, it's going on right now. Do you know who Scooter Libby is?
You: Sure. The Scooter was the greatest Yankee shortstop ever. Except for Derek Jeter.
Attorney: Not Rizzuto. Scooter Libby. He was chief of staff for Dick Cheney.
Attorney: The Vice President.
Attorney: Do you have an opinion about Vice President Cheney's catering to the needs of the oil industry from the inception of his first term in office?
You: Well, I have been paying less at the pumps lately.
Attorney: Getting back to the Iraq War. . .
You: The new one?
Attorney: Yes, the new one. Do you believe the Bush administration believed Iraq had any weapons of mass destruction?
You: I believe they believed whatever they believed for as long as they needed to believe it.
Attorney: Do you know what yellow cake is?
You: Of course.
Attorney: Do you believe Niger sold yellow cake to Iraq?
You: I don't know. Who cares? It's just cake. It's not like it's radioactive.
Attorney: Do you know who Joe Wilson is?
You: Wasn't he in the Beach Boys?
Attorney: How about Robert Novak?
You: Yeah. He used to play with the Dead.
Attorney: How about Valerie Plame?
You: That's a beautiful name.
Attorney: She's a CIA agent.
You: Isn't that kind of stuff supposed to be secret?
Attorney: Yes. . . uh. . . What do you think of the notion of outing CIA agents?
You: I think what a couple of spies do in the privacy of their own bedroom is their own business. That's why they call it undercover.
Attorney: Do you recall what former Secretary of State Colin Powell said in his address to the United Nations in February 2003?
You: That's not fair! I wasn't even there that day! And who is Colin Powell?
Attorney: Do you know who George W. Bush is?
You: Yes I do. Dana Carvey used to play him on TV.
Attorney: I think we found ourselves a juror.
Rich Herschlag is the author of Lay Low and Don't Make the Big Mistake (Simon & Schuster, 1997), The Interceptor (Random House, 1998), and Women Are From Manhattan, Men Are From Brooklyn (Black Maverick, 2002). Also an engineer, he runs a consulting business, Turnkey Structural, that specializes in the rehabilitation of residential and commercial buildings. Visit him at RichsRant.com.