Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Wait Is Over

Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been found guilty on four of five counts. The only "not guilty" verdict was on the Micheal Cooper/lying to the FBI count, which most folks who follow this thing thought was the weakest case. Inevitably, there will be appeals, but considering how carefully Judge Walton handled this case, it doesn't seem likely there will be much to appeal. Of course, Firedoglake has the play-by-play (just keep clicking the next article) and some commentary. Taylor Marsh has a news flash as well, but you already know the basics. If you don't, check out this summary by Time. As Taylor wrote:

But know this, the juror[s] found Scooter Libby did lie. I'm beyond thrilled for Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson. And let's get something clear, this may be about lying to reporters, but this is really about LYING ABOUT HOW WE GOT INTO IRAQ.

Today, a little justice happened in America. Sadly, the instituation that's been responsible for that justice is under seige. Eight U.S. Attorneys, including the one who convicted Rep. Randall H. "Duke" Cunningham of bribery, were summarily fired last December after the Republican Congress passed the new "Patriot" Act. This Act, yet another piece of heinous legislation from those tools, had a provision allowing the Attorney General to fire U.S. Attorneys at will. Alberto Gonzalez, slimey little hack that he is, took the opportunity to get rid of some of the better ones. I wouldn't be shocked if Patrick Fitzgerald, the Libby trial prosecutor, were on that list someday, but thanks to this win he may be untouchable for now. Lynn Allen of Evergreen Politics has more on John McKay, the Seattle U.S. Attorney who was among those dismissed. The House is holding hearings on this today, and McKay is supposed to be one of the witnesses.

UPDATE: Christy Hardin Smith has a live blog of Patrick Fitzgerald's post-trial news conference. Perhaps the most important part is this:

Is your investigation over now? Fitzgerald says that he does not expect to file any further charges. If information comes to light or if new information comes forward that warrants further investigation, we will do that. The case is now inactive. We are going back to our day jobs.

In all likelihood, Plamegate is over.

UPDATE 2: Larry Johnson, a former CIA employee and a classmate of Valerie Plame Wilson's at Quantico, may have had the last, best word on Scooter:

Guilty! Four out of five. Now what? Let's see. Will Scooter Libby be a hot date on Sadie Hawkins day once he's in the pen? He took such delight in screwing political foes, perceived and real, that he is about to discover an ancient Indian truth--Karma can be a bitch.

Next Steps in Plamegate

I can't quite bring myself to wish him any more ill than he's likely to encounter already, but if anyone in his position ever deserved a big load of karma to be dumped on him, it's Lewis Libby.


shoephone said...

Cujo - this may sound the utmost in wishful thinking, but let's imagine -- for just a moment -- that there exists in the White House someone with brains. Someone with an eye on 2008 and the goal of keeping a Republican in the White House. With that goal in mind, would it seem advantageous to issue a pardon to Libby? The president and his V.P. and the entire administration are so tainted and so reviled by the Ameican people now. Bush's JAR is stuck at 30% and I don't see it going any higher for the rest of his term. Pardoning Libby, who lied about outing an undercover CIA agent (a crime that Bush Sr. said was unforgiveable), would be death-by-suicide by the Republican party. A move like that could solidify the Dems (no, not Lieberman, the others) and disgust enough traditional conservatives to find them sneaking over the fence to our side on occasion.

Now I fully realize that my theory banks on there actually being such a thinking person in the WH, so I'll divorce the president from one patch of isolated decidering, and ponder whether the Bolten we never hear from, or one of his steady counselors, might attempt a desperate plea for temporary sanity from the president. They might have to offer him something shiny as a diversion -- say, another quid pro quo with his friends in Saudi Arabia -- but it's just hard to believe that they'd deliver the 2008 election to us quite that easily.

Cujo359 said...

I'm probably mired in whatever the opposite of wishful thinking is (if it's not based on reality, at least). One thing I've noticed about the last few years is that the times when I'm the most cynical and pessimistic are the times when I'm best able to predict the future.

I'm quiet certain that Bush doesn't care about what's good for the Republicans. Can't explain why, other than that I just don't think he possesses the capacity for self-sacrifice. Is there something Bush has to fear from the Republicans? Perhaps, and if that's so then they might have something to bargain with. If not, I think that from Bush's perspective the Republicans can pound sand. If Libby can say things that Bush wouldn't want made public, he'll pardon the guy no matter what.

I'm sure there are at least a couple of thinking people left in the White House somewhere, but how they could influence their boss on this one is beyond me. It is certainly not in the Republicans' interest to have this pardon happen, but how many of them realize that, and how much it's really going to matter twenty months from now is anyone's guess.

Of course (to quote a comedian who used to be funny) that's just my opinion and I could be wrong. Heck, it's not even an opinion really, as much as it's a feeling.