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Friday, October 28, 2005

Libby's Unnecessary Foolishness

When all the evidence is in scope, we know the following:

  • Valerie Plame's position with the CIA was NOT covert.
  • The “outing” of Plame as a CIA employee was NOT a crime.
  • Joe Wilson misled the 9/11 commission and the public by claiming that President Bush mislead that nation regarding Saddam’s effort to acquire yellowcake in Niger.
  • President Bush accurately stated that British intelligence believed that Saddam attempted to acquire yellowcake in Niger.
  • There was an apparent effort by Joe Wilson (and possibly others) to undermine the President’s reasons for war in Iraq.
  • Lewis Libby, Vice-President Cheney's Chief of Staff, tried to get to the bottom of the effort to undermine the war in Iraq with phony claims regarding yellowcake.
  • In stark contrast to the previous administration, President Bush ordered full cooperation with the investigation.

It is disappointing that Lewis Libby apparently tried to mislead the investigation over who "outed" Plame. Acknowledging Plame's position at the CIA was not a crime for she was not a covert CIA agent.

If the charges against Libby are true, perhaps he believed the mainstream media's false reports that Plame was a covert agent. The media tried for two years to convince the public that whispering Plame’s name was therefore an act of treason. Still, Libby was in a position to know better. Until he appeared before the Grand Jury, he committed no crime – nor did anyone else in the White House.

Libby's apparent attempt to cover-up a non-crime was foolish and did the President a disservice.

However, the actions of this White House are to be commended for they are openly cooperating with the investigation. There was no effort to prevent it. There were no endless denials for access to potential evidence. And no surrogate of the White House practiced the politics of personal destruction against Fitzgerald and his staff. If only the previous administration was so dedicated to this high standard of ethics.

The President ordered the truth to be found and encouraged a full accounting of his staff.

Again, if the charges against Libby are true, it is a disappointment. Should he choose a plea bargain agreement, one wonders if his penance will rival that of Sandy ‘Sox” Berger.

By the way, where are all those silly media stories regarding the benefits of lying? You know them, they aired ad nauseam during President Clinton's impeachment.


Anonymous rrd said...

Whatever the truth may be, I suspect that like sharks the President's enemies smell blood in the water. They'll just say "why did he resign if he's innouncent?".

10/28/2005 8:07 PM  
Blogger Right Hook said...

Good point, rrd, though one that is easily answered.

The Republicans have self-imposed standards of ethics. In Congress if a member is indicted for a crime, even if they maintain they are completely innocent, they are obligated to resign from leadership positions. This is to avoid any "appearance of impropriety" largely because it is an unfortunate fact of life that if the indicted person is a Republican the mainstream media colors the story as "guilty" and if it is a Democrat it's "dirty tricks" or "uproven allegations".

It's interesting, and quite telling, that the Democrats do not have this self-impostion. Actually, as a practical matter, if it did half of the Clinton administration would have had to resign!

This is why Tom Delay resigned from his leadership position and why I suspect Mr. Libby did the same even though an indictment is theoretically supposed to have no bearing on a person's guilt to the charge.

10/30/2005 8:53 AM  
Blogger cosmosis said...

Hold on now. Your personal opinion as to whether Plame was a "covert agent" is not the issue. "covert agent" is a legal term of art defined in the US code. Please see Title 50 USCA sect. 426. The crime itself of "outing" a covert agent is covered by section 421. The critical question in defining whether she was a covert agent for purposes of imposing criminal culpability on those who leaked her name is whether she served outside the US between 1998 and 2003. There is ample evidence that she made frequent trips to foreign countries in connection with her cover business "Brewster Jennings" of Boston, MA. Whether those trips were for CIA business or not is something I don't know, but I'm sure Mr. Fitzgerald has that information. It certainly would shed light on why he persisted with the investigation for such a long time.

11/06/2005 1:34 PM  

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