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Libby Guilty - Will the Leak-Gate Investigation Continue and go Farther up the Chain?

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Does anyone think the conspiracy ends with Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby? How much additional investigation will be conducted of the effort to punish Joseph Wilson by going after his wife Valerie Plame and outing her as a CIA agent?

Wilson, in case anyone forgets, exposed the prewar lie that Iraq was attempting to obtain Uranium from Africa. This earned him the undying hatred of the Bush administration and thus the effort to get at him using his wife's career. Wilson had served as ambassador to Gabon in the first Bush administration and later helped direct Africa policy for President Clinton's National Security Council. 

The investigation unearthed much in the way of evidence suggesting that  Cheney was directly involved in the efforts to out Plame. Handwritten notes by Cheney showed he had a high level of interest in Joseph Wilson's revelations and that he knew the vocation of Wilson's wife and spent a fair amount of time thinking about all of the above and discussing them with aides.


Much has also been made of Rove’s involvement in Leak-Gate. Rove’s involvement was significant enough to earn him two trips to the Grand Jury investigating the case. Wilson himself has indicated that he has been given information that causes him to suspect Rove and in August 2003 said:


"I have people, who I have confidence in, who have indicated to me that he (Rove), at a minimum, condoned it and certainly did nothing to put a stop to it for a week after it was out there. Among the phone calls I received were those that said 'White House sources are saying that it's not about the 16 words, it's about Wilson and his wife.' And two people called me up and specifically mentioned Rove's name”


To sum up where we are, the facts are that Libby is guilty and we know Cheney and Rove were involved. Rove’s involvement is important, because with Rove’s involvement, we have a senior official who reports directly to Bush, and is one of Bush’s most trusted advisors and confidants. Since Rove was involved, I think the chances that Bush did not know are slim. If Bush knew, he lied repeatedly to the public when asked whether he knew about the leak and whether he authorized the leak.


If Bush were involved, most people would agree that it would be an impeachable offense. It would mean the President of the United States was intent on going to war regardless of the truth behind the reasons justifying said war. It would mean that to punish those who exposed the incorrect information his administration was distributing to the public, he willfully and deliberately attacked the CIA career of the spouse of someone exposing that information.

One of the questions that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and his team must answer is ‘Who was involved’ and they have to answer that question as completely as possible. If Fitzgerald and his team clear any of the people I mentioned, Cheney, Rove or Bush, they must supply the reasoning why they have cleared them. They would owe that both to the people under suspicion and to the public. Until they have the evidence to clear or indict more of the principals, the investigation should continue.

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A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)
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