Monday, February 19, 2007

Scooter's Gonna Skate

Lewis I. "Scooter" Libby, the reprehensible little man who did whatever Vice President Cheney wanted him to do, is going to receive a pardon, guaranteed. The only thing that will stop the pardon is if the jury decides he's not guilty. The reason it's so obvious is former prosecutor Victoria Toensing's article on the Libby trial. That awful Patrick Fitzgerald, she is saying in essence, is picking on poor Scooter because he can't find anyone else to charge with a crime. Toensing's essay is a masterstroke of rhetorical fallacy and misinformation, and almost completely ignores what has actually been demonstrated in the trial. It's pretty clear that Libby lied multiple times during the investigation, and at least partly to obscure his own role in the exposing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA agent. The only hiccup I can see is that to convict Libby, the jury will have to place more trust in Tim Russert than I'd be inclined to do. Well, not really. They mostly have to trust him more than Scooter Libby, which I think I could manage.

If you're looking for serious rebuttal of the piece, I suggest you check out Jeralyn Merritt or Larry Johnson. Personally, I think "Are you freakin' kidding me?" is enough of a rebuttal, but much more is available if you disagree.

That Toensing is willing to write such nonsense tells me either that Toensing was exactly the person who should never have been given the power to prosecute crimes, or that she is just setting up Libby to be pardoned in case of a guilty verdict. After all, in a case where there is a clear motivation for the President to pardon someone, which is that he kept his mouth shut and didn't implicate his bosses, some other narrative needs to be used to cover up that motivation. The Bush Administration has shown that the only thing it's good at is convincing a certain segment of the public, we'll call it the lowest thirty percent, that they bear no responsibility for their screwups. The exposing of a covert CIA agent is, by any measure I can think of, a massive screwup for a government, particularly since none of the people involved have lost their jobs, or even their security clearances, without first being indicted. The Washington Post, where Toensing's article appeared, has been happy to carry the water for this administration, no matter how grievous the error they've committed, so even that part fits the pattern.

So, you read it here first. Well, probably not. This just occured to me in regard to Toensing's article. There are probably about a million other people who figured that out yesterday. But you can bet on it. The trick will be finding someone foolish enough to take that bet. I suppose you can find one if you ask enough people "do you think the Feds are picking on Scooter?" If the answer is yes, you may have found someone stupid enough.

By the way, looseheadprop has a great discussion of possible defense strategies up at Firedoglake. If you're a little behind on events in the Scooter trial, you might also want to check out this YouTube page, which contains many of the PoliticsTV videos of the ladies and Swopa discussing the case.

UPDATE: Murray Waas, probably the leading journalist on the Plame investigation, published a story today about what Libby told the Vice President at the time the Novak story broke:

At the time that Libby offered his explanation to Cheney, the vice president already had reason to know that Libby's account to him was untrue, according to sources familiar with still-secret grand jury testimony and evidence in the CIA leak probe, as well as testimony made public during Libby's trial over the past three weeks in federal court.

Yet, according to Libby's own grand jury testimony, which was made public during his trial in federal court, Cheney did nothing to discourage Libby from telling that story to the FBI and the federal grand jury. Moreover, Cheney encouraged then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan to publicly defend Libby, according to other testimony and evidence made public during Libby's trial.

The Libby-Cheney Connection

If you're not all that familiar with the stories surrounding this case, read this article from beginning to end. It's an excellent overview of the major point of contention in the trial. It also helps paint a picture of the fecklessness with which Cheney and Libby handled the secret of Valerie Wilson's identity.


Mary said...

I think so too Cujo. Good summary.

Cujo359 said...

Thanks Mary. How are things? It's been a while since we've crossed paths at FDL.