Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Scooter Libby: Guilty on Four Counts

In these corrupt times, after years of corrupt behavior by Republicans, after years of lies, secrecy and outright illegal behavior and constitutional abuse by the White House, the Scooter Libby trial is, in the end, only one trial. Nevertheless, the verdict is in and Scooter Libby is guilty of lying and obstruction of justice. Here's the story from Richard B. Schmitt of the Los Angeles Times:
Former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted today on four counts of obstruction of justice and perjury.

Libby was found guilty of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury and one count of making false statements to the FBI. But he was acquitted on one count of making false statements to the FBI concerning his conversations with former Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper.


Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald said he was "gratified by the jury's verdict," but said the investigation was justified regardless of the verdict.

"It's not the verdict that justifies the investigation, it's the facts," Fitzgerald said. "Any lie under oath is serious (especially) in a national security investigation."

Fitzgerald said he does not expect to file any additional charges. "We're all going back to our day jobs," he said.

The trial, the first of a senior White House official in more than a decade, attracted considerable attention. Its backdrop -- the decision to go to war in Iraq -- is one of the defining issues of the Bush presidency. And the case highlighted the cozy interactions between high-ranking officials and big-name journalists, who paraded into court to expose the sometimes sloppy way that information is traded in the nation's capital.

It is good that Scooter Libby has been convicted. It is not good that the White House did not hold anyone accountable for outing a CIA operative. It is not good that Joe Wilson was smeared in an effort by the White House to cover up its lies. It is not good that for over four years Congress has held no one in the White House accountable for the lies that were used to justify war in Iraq. It is not good that Dick Cheney still remains in office despite having a direct hand in the smearing of Joe Wilson, the outing of a CIA operative, and lying to the American people. It is not good that Karl Rove still has his job. It is not good that George W. Bush does not accept responsibility for his behavior and that he seems to believe he is above the law. It is not good that millions of Americans still think Bush is an honest man. It is not good that the mainstream media has done a poor job of covering the Bush Administration and Congress; the media has repeatedly failed in recent years to understand its obligation to its viewers and readers. But the conviction of Scooter Libby is a step in the right direction, though only a small one.

There are still large issues left unresolved. The war in Iraq goes on and I can't help thinking of Wesley Clark on Democracy Now pointing out that Iraq was only one country of several in the Middle East that the Bush Administration was targeting in 2002 in an exercise of reckless overreach. Yes, there are many issues left unresolved but the Libby trial matters and the need to hold accountable Scooter Libby's immediate boss, Dick Cheney, also matters.

The evidence that Patrick Fitzgerald presented left no doubt that Scooter Libby was guilty. Libby's expensive defense team was not enough to get him off the hook. The defense team may still come through for Libby in the appeal process. It's possible that Bush in the final weeks of his presidency will pardon Libby. But the history books will record the facts and they will record Libby's guilt.

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Anonymous Sadie said...

That guy on the Libby jury had it right: where the hell is Karl Rove? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDaRFf7Cd6M

(Sorta brilliant, some dudes from Second City, via talkleft.com).


3:41 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

"It is not good that millions of Americans still think Bush is an honest man."

It's hard to imagine at this point that anyone believes Bush and Cheney are honest, ethical, honorable men. Not even the ardent supporters of Bush's diehard base.

Forgive my repeating somethng I've said here before, but I strongly believe what's at work here is a powerful underlying motivation that's responsible for the visceral-level political division in this country.

I'm referring to pure, damned spite — George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove as sharp sticks in the eyes of all the folks the people in Bush's political base not only oppose politically but hate.

It's the same motivation that makes Ann Coulter, Michele Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others of their kind financially successful icons of the far right/Christian fundamentalist right.

So, I will add that spite and hate are not good for the nation's social, economic and political health, or for that matter the nation's conscience and soul.

9:20 PM  

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