Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Libby Conviction

After a very long time deliberating, the jury finally came in with a verdict in the case of U.S. vs. Lewis Libby, convicting him on four of five counts.

1) two counts of perjury
2) one for lying to the FBI
3) one for obstruction of justice

First, congratulations to Patrick Fitzgerald. Second, the most interesting thing about this is that Lewis Libby was just the middleman. If anyone came off as the likely source, it was probably Dick Cheney.

Yesterday, it was revealed that the vice president was being treated for thrombosis. Fortunately, members of the executive branch have better health care plans than the rest of us. It's certainly better than what veterans get. I do wish the vice-president a quick recovery. The last time I heard anyone talk about thrombosis was when Richard Nixon came down with phlebitis in the midst of Watergate. Nixon also went to Egypt during the scandal where his press secretary told the press that Nixon's approval rating was extremely high at the time.
The vice-president's thrombosis may have been brought on from having to spend so much time on planes on his recent trip to Afghanistan where events suggested that his approval rating was not terribly high at least with some people. For whatever reason, Dick Cheney was out of the country right at the end of the Libby trial and now that there's a guilty verdict he happens to be in the hospital.

In the meantime, the president's reaction to the verdict is going to be interesting. Judith Miller's reaction should be pretty interesting too. In the meantime, thisis a quote from one of the jurors.

"There was a tremendous amount of sympathy for Mr. Libby on the jury. It was said a number of times, 'What are we doing with this guy here? Where's Rove? Where are these other guys?'" Collins said. "I'm not saying we didn't think Mr. Libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of. It seemed like he was, as Mr. Wells put it, he was the fall guy."



At 3/06/2007 06:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Scooter Libby, (or Looter Scibby as I like to call him), is the unprotected fall guy. Hopefully the Cheney connection comes out right before the election in 2006.

At 3/06/2007 06:57:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I hope you mean 2008 not 2006....Otherwise, we're in some sort of weird time warp thing.

Well, on second thought, I hope we are in a weird time warp. Maybe we can go back to 2000 and undo the election. George W. Bush would have an academy award winning documentary about his efforts to give veterans a fair shake....

At 3/07/2007 02:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's ghastly to think that a key reason we got into this benighted war was Ms. Miller's Freud-baffling need for expensive lunches and flattery. She's never shown the slightest remorse for drinking the Chalabi & Cheney's Cabal koolaid.

Tho I like your spoonerism, atul, I go with Looter Fibby or BooHoois Fibby. It's the casual arrogance of Fibby et ilk that gets me as much as anything. The assumption that the rest of us are lemmings or sheep and that you can tell a hasty lie and we'll just shrug. Luckily Fitz is a long distance runner.

John Dean's very brave conversion to truth back when is one of the heroic highlights of my political life. I wish Mr. Libby could see such a light.

At 3/07/2007 05:18:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Mr. Pogblog,
I wish someone could be such a light.

I don't know what the odds are that Scooter Libby will ever spend a day in jail, but the verdict did restore some of my faith in the system. It's a small thing in some ways, but at some level the system has finally said whatever was done to the Wilsons was criminal.

At 3/13/2007 08:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate to break it to you guys, but it came out in the trial that Colin Powell's Deputy at State, Richard Armitage, was the "leaker".

And the "leak" was hardly intended to damage war critic Wilson or his wife, as both State Men were opposed to OIF, particularly Armitage.

The verdict also said nothing about the criminality of the supposed "leak". The judge made it clear that the trial did not establish whether Ms. Plame was covert in her status at the Agency; without establishing that as fact, there is no establishment as fact that the leak of her name was criminal.

BTW Chancelucky - your AI writeups are awesome!

At 3/13/2007 06:06:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Thrifty Scot,
thanks for reading and commenting.

I think the Richard Armitage bit is quite different than it's been played by some. The identity of the leaker per se matters less than the question of whether there was a concerted effort to discredit Joe Wilson. Both those things came out in the trial. In particular, reading between the lines of the Libby defense, the defense more or less admitted as much.

The only time I know of the existence of an actual underlying crime being relevant in an obstruction perjury case was with Bill Clinton and there were certainly those who considered his definition of "is" to be a major criminal event rather than a crime against the English language.

If you interview the jury, the prosecutor, and most of the mainstream media the perception was that there was indeed a serious crime whose investigation LIbby obstructed.

That's a very different matter than whether or not the prosecutor has enough to prosecute any individual for the underlying crime.

Ken Starr never found any evidence of a crime in Whitewater iirc.

At 3/13/2007 09:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pleasant greeting.

The fundamental flaw in the public case against the Administration is in assuming that there was something unlawful about trying to discredit Joe Wilson. He had no legal protection against political pushback. And from the facts in evidence, neither did Ms. Plame.

That Fitzgerald thought there was a crime isn't surprising; it's also not particularly relevant. That's the mentality of guys in his line of work - career advancement is built on convictions, not necessarily the administration of justice.

The perceptions of the jurors and the media are easily dismissed; they possess no special insight.

At 4/30/2007 04:27:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Thrifty Scot,
I missed your comment. Need a better way to get notices of recent comments.

We probably just disagree on virtually everything about this. Certainly Joe Wilson opened himself up to criticism. That's very different from expressing it by having your wife's covert status "outed".

I've seen a lot written in places like Free Public about Valerie Plame's alleged role in choosing Joe Wilson for the trip to Niger. The thing I've never seen is any kind of documentation to support it. I do find former agents like Larry Johnson very credible on this matter and they uniformaly support both Plame and Wilson.

I actually do believe in both the media and juries. My experience has been that juries do strike out from time to time, but by and large the jury trial system when it gets verdicts gets surprisingly accurate and thoughtful results.

The Libby jury heard all the evidence. I certainly didn't. At this point, I have no reason to doubt the mainstream press's take on what the jurors had to say after the verdict.


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