March 7, 2007
He is GUILTY. The man they like to call “Scooter” has been found guilty as charged on four counts by a jury of his peers. Justice for him has come but for Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson it remains elusive. Just mere hours after justice was delivered upon I Lewis Libby, the republican right was bellowing about pardons and anything to distract America from the inescapable fact that he is GUILTY.
What is this man guilty of? Obstruction of justice and perjury. You remember perjury don’t you? Perjury is the crime that the republican right whined abut for two years as they were impeaching Bill Clinton. Of course in Clinton’s case, he had lied under oath about a person sexual indiscretion, not about treasonous activities. Treason? You got it. You see this investigation was about the felonious outing of a CIA covert operative as political payback. It doesn’t get any more treasonous than that… wait, I forgot that the agent’s job at the time was to protect this country from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. I stand corrected, it CAN be more treasonous than that and it certainly was.
In fact, George Bush Senior perhaps said it best, “I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are in my view, the most insidious of traitors.” Amidst the crocodile tears and calls for pardons, let us not lose sight of what this is really about. Prosecutor Fitzgerald was investigating who leaked the covert identity of Valerie Plame. The leak was done to discredit her husband Joseph Wilson, who has an unimpeachable record of bipartisan public service. Wilson was dispatched at the behest of the Office of the Vice President, despite the lies being spread by the right, to investigate the claim that Saddam Hussein had tried to purchase yellowcake from the country of Niger. The documents in question were poor forgeries and Wilson knew that. The name on the documents of the Mines Official was someone who hadn’t been in office for years. Wilson went anyway and came back assuring everyone that there was no validity to the story. Unfortunately for him, our government wanted the story to be true to justify the war. The story made it into the State of the Union address and Wilson put two and two together. After trying to get them to come clean about the error, he published an op-ed in the NY Times where he told the truth to the American people. His reward for his decades of public service? A vicious smear campaign was launched against him by the White House, including the willful outing of his wife, Valerie Plame, who was a covert CIA operative, despite the lies being spread by the right.
What does all of this mean? It means that the White House sold this country into war, resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 soldiers, on lies that they knew were lies. This was not a case of bad intelligence; it was a case of selective intelligence they knew was false. When Wilson had the temerity to set the record straight, someone betrayed this country by outing his wife, pure and simple. The republicans will whine that Fitzgerald never actually indicted anyone for the outing of Valerie Plame and they are correct. What they refuse to acknowledge is that the reason Fitzgerald could not indict anyone is because Lewis Libby lied to him under oath and obstructed justice. That is what this case is about. That is why perjury is a serious offense.
But the right-wing echo chamber is having none of it. The same people, who bemoaned the lies of Bill Clinton, now seem to think it is not a serious matter. They have portrayed Libby as a loyal servant. HE LIED UNDER OATH AND OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE. They have tried to claim the jury was “confused”, - shut up. They said clearly that they felt Libby was the fall guy, but that he clearly was a LIAR. George W. Bush, who is supposed to serve the interests of the citizenry of this country, said in response to this verdict that he was “sorry for Mr. Libby and his family.” Excuse me? Bush feels badly for the convicted felon, not the injured party? He feels badly for the man who obstructed an investigation into treasonous activities but does not have a word of remorse for what people in his administration did to two patriotic citizens? Lewis Libby is not the injured party here, he is the perpetrator. The spinning being done on the right may be dizzying at times but do not lose sight of the fact that Libby was CONVICTED of obstructing justice and perjury in a federal investigation into treason against the United States of America.
Republican spin machines such as the Weekly Standard and the National Review have already called for a pardon, clearly showing that they put party before country and think the rule of law is strangely outdated. Since Libby lied to protect this president and his lies that started a war, Bush should recuse himself from any possibility of a pardon. That of course is highly unlikely based upon the president already expressing his remorse that a jury of his peers has found Libby guilty. The truth obviously does not matter to this administration. Maybe I am too harsh but I generally do not have a lot of sympathy for people who betray their own country. That is what I Lewis Libby did, and was convicted of yesterday. Maybe I just like the idea of seeing how well the name “Scooter” goes over in prison, but this verdict does not sadden me as it does our president.
Let the right wingnuts cry as loudly as they like. Scooter Libby is a convicted felon who put his party before his country. There is nothing they can say to change those facts. They can try and minimize the investigation or spin yarns about how Wilson and Plame are somehow to blame, but in the end, the justice system worked and a jury of his peers has found Lewis Libby guilty as charged. Nothing is sacred anymore to the anti-American spinmeisters of the right wing. So what if a woman whose job was to protect Americans from WMD had her career ruined. So what if that made us more vulnerable because in destroying Plame, the Bushies also destroyed her cover, Brewster-Jennings, who was responsible for preventing WMD proliferation. Only in the mind of the right-wing nut can this not be seen as blatant hypocrisy. Only in their twisted version of America is the person who obstructs justice in a treason case, the victim. See you later Scooter; hope you look good in orange.