Obligatory Scooter Libby Thread

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Guilty on four of five counts. You can get caught up on the trial with Michael McMenamin's piece from yesterday and his examination of Judith Miller's role in the story from 2005.

Coming on January 19, 2009: The Obligatory Scooter Libby Pardon Thread!

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  1. w00t!

    Coming January 20, 2009: The Possible Will Un-pardoned Scooter Libby Rat Out His Old Boss thread!

  2. Who do you think will fare better in prison, Tom “The Hammer” DeLay or “Scooter” Libby?

  3. prison?

    honestly now.

  4. Always take the fifth, even if a cop asks you what time it is.

  5. It seems he was found guilty of two charges of perjury, one charge of obstructing justice, and one of the two charges of making false statements.

  6. “Always take the fifth, even if a cop asks you what time it is.”

    Can you do that in a grand jury?

  7. If only he’d had the sense to smuggle out top-secret documents in his pants and destroy them, instead, he’d be on track to get back his security clearance.

  8. Always take the fifth, even if a cop asks you what time it is.

    I always say “Yo! You wanna know what time it is? It’s time to bacdafucup, mofo!”

  9. “Always take the fifth, even if a cop asks you what time it is.”

    Can you do that in a grand jury?

    Sort of.

    “A grand jury witness can refuse to answer if he or she can invoke the Fifth Amendment as to a question, but the privilege must be claimed as to each question and the prosecutor can challenge a witness’ ability to invoke the privilege. And even if a witness shows that he or she is entitled to invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege, a prosecutor can deprive the witness of that right by giving the person immunity. Once the person has been given immunity, he or she has to answer the grand jury’s questions; if the witness still refuses to answer, the person will be incarcerated for civil contempt until he or she complies. People have been served up to eight years for refusing to speak when ordered to; Susan McDougall, who was subpoenaed by the White Water grand jury, served 18 months for civil contempt when she refused to cooperate with that grand jury.”

  10. Ten bucks says he never does a day.

  11. Too rich for my blood.

    Wealthy Republican? Noise machine in his corner? Republican president who knows the convict has the goods on him?

    Never sees the inside of a cell.

  12. 3…2…1….and let the blaming of other people begin.

  13. I’m torn between being happy about seeing a Bush administration official go to jail and being utterly apathetic about the “crime” of which he was convicted. It’s like Bill Clinton’s impeachment, the Watergate break-in, and, come to think of it, every inside-the-Beltway scandal ever.

    Franklin’s Law: Politicians are never convicted of real crimes, only petty ones. They don’t even hide the real crimes. They advertise them in Rose Garden signing ceremonies.

  14. And we have our weekly agreement between joe and R C, at 12:55 pm on Tuesday.

  15. This is like Martha Stewart’s crime. Only convictied of committing a crime after the investigation had already started.

  16. I’m with kwais. They only convicted him of perjury because they couldn’t get anyone on the real crime.

    Say it loud, brother: FREE ALGER HISS! FREE ALGER HISS! FREE ALGER HISS!

  17. Well, I’m waiting for all the Clinton supporters who used to tell me that nobody is ever convicted of perjury to come out in a massive wave of support for Mr Libby.
    I mean, if “lies about sex” were so inconsequential, how about “lies about beltway gossip”?

  18. “lies about sex” were so inconsequential, how about “lies about beltway gossip”?

    Lies about headjobs are now on par with lies intended to cover up a felony?

  19. “Beltway gossip”

    That must be why a half-dozen Beltway journalists testified under oath at the trial that they didn’t know Plame worked for the CIA until people in the White House called them and told them about it. Because it was such well-known gossip.

    But as for Clinton, if they want to give Scooter Libby a $90,000 fine and take away his law license, I’d be fine with that.

    Then again, outing a CIA agent is a bit more important than hiding a sexual encounter.

  20. “Well, I’m waiting for all the Clinton supporters who used to tell me that nobody is ever convicted of perjury to come out in a massive wave of support for Mr Libby.”

    That was rather different, being a civil suit, was it not? Which is kinda different.

    “I mean, if “lies about sex” were so inconsequential, how about “lies about beltway gossip”

    Cliff May says it was beltway gossip, but it sure seems like nobody knew until the Bush administration started leaking all over the place.

    And given that Cliff May hangs out with partisan ex-CIA heads, it’s not like PNAC gossip is quite the same as regular cocktail party gossip.

  21. “But as for Clinton, if they want to give Scooter Libby a $90,000 fine and take away his law license, I’d be fine with that.” – joe

    I agree. But what do you think should be done about Sandy Berger?

  22. Libby might well get a pardon. Bush’s past behavior on appointments suggests a pardon and appointment to be National Security Advisor, if not Intelligence chief.

    On the other hand, Rove and the GOP could see some political advantage for ’08 in making Libby the goat for Iraq and having Bush give him the cold shoulder.

    It’ll pretty much come down to who gets Bush’s ear. If it’s Cheney, there’ll probably be a pardon. Otherwise, it’s up in the air.

  23. Berger should lose his security clearance and pay a fine.

    I’m all about the fines today. I guess it’s the zoning enforcement officer in me.

    Each day a separate offense! Bwah hah hah hah hah!

  24. I’m not aware of anyone in the Bush administration losing a security clearance over the Plame thing, or Wolfy’s leaking of the NIE to the Wall Street Journal.

  25. joe,
    What’s your super-villain identity? End Zone?

  26. Actually, it’s “Deadly Bulb.”

    Remember, “Deadly Bulb.”

  27. “Cliff May says it was beltway gossip, but it sure seems like nobody knew until the Bush administration started leaking all over the place.”

    I thought it had been established that Richard Armitage was the one “Spreading it all over the place”, and that nobody cared about that because Armitage was doing it to support arguments AGAINST Bush policy. So if Scooter Libby is to be punished for obstructing investigation of a felony (and he should be) , surely the person who actually committed the felony should be the one we’re all gunning for, right? Because I haven’t heard any calls for that. The “outrage” over this case is clearly fake and partisan.

    And I’m with rob here: Don’t talk to me about leaking CIA agent’s names and risks to national security if you don’t want to see a full blown trial and jail time for Sandy Berger. We may never know what was in the documents he took/destroyed before he was caught, and nobody seems to give a shit, least of all those who are soooo concerned about what Scooter Libby did to obstruct the investigation of what Richard Armitage did.

  28. The (principled) reason Armitage isn’t being prosecuted is because disclosing Valerie Plame/Wilson’s identity was never a crime, let alone a felony. The so-noble special prosecutor KNEW it was not a felony before he ever had Libby interviewed — at that point the only hope was that someone would commit a NEW crime, or at least something that could be spun as one.

    Either Libby was stupid enough to oblige, or the “investigation” was brushing close to something the White House (probably Cheney) wanted to keep quiet so Libby was hung out to dry. If the latter, Libby’s more likely than not to be pardoned in Jan. 2008; if the former, it’s anyone’s guess.

  29. Dave,

    As a matter of fact, several different Beltway journalists testified during the trial that they first heard that Plame worked for the CIA from Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and Ari Fleischer. Armitage told Novak, but White House officials told Russert, Matt Cooper, and the others.

    It was also established, based on documentary evidence and testimony from Libby himself, that Cheney and the rest of the White House were working to discredit Wilson after the story came out, and that they agreed that the “his wife, who works for the CIA, got him the job” talking point should be spread among the media.

    In other words, they all conspired to blow her cover to the press, in order to discredit her husband’s attacks on Bush’s policy.

  30. Joe, you lay out a point by point presentation made from testimony and evidence, and you still wouldn’t change the opinion of those who fell for the game the Vice-President’s office played on the people via the media.

    They will continue to think Wilson is an incompetent scumbag who’s only qualification was that his wife was some low level nobody at the CIA, despite any evidence to the contrary. Seems like the Vice-President’s efforts were somewhat fruitful.

  31. I should have said, Joe, you could lay out…

  32. I know, Vic.

    It’s not the zombies’ minds I’m worried about, but people who could get the wrong impression if the zombies’ repetition of Cheney’s talking points are left unanswered.

  33. “In other words, they all conspired to blow her cover to the press, in order to discredit her husband’s attacks on Bush’s policy.”

    I’ve always thought this was bizarre reasoning. Is there anyone in the country who went “OH, his wife is in the CIA? Then what the hell does he know!?” If anything, that would seem to bolster his credibility.

    As far as discrediting Wilson goes, he discredited himself when he left out the fact that Iraq’s chief diplomat on atomic issues, a man MOST FAMOUS FOR NEGOTIATING IRAQI URANIUM PURCHASES FROM AFRICA the first time they almost built a nuke, was hanging around his old stomping grounds. Please explain to me how he has any credibility after that.

  34. “In other words, they all conspired to blow her cover to the press, in order to discredit her husband’s attacks on Bush’s policy.”

    I did’t think they were trying to discredit him so much as punish him. But I suppose all we know for sure is that Libby was protecting someone for some reason.

  35. “I’ve always thought this was bizarre reasoning. Is there anyone in the country who went “OH, his wife is in the CIA? Then what the hell does he know!?” If anything, that would seem to bolster his credibility.”

    “I did’t think they were trying to discredit him so much as punish him. But I suppose all we know for sure is that Libby was protecting someone for some reason.”

    The evidence from the trial – including testimony and notes in Dick Cheney’s hand – make it clear that their strategy was to use Plame’s volunteering of her husband for the trip to draw a picture of a buddy-buddy junket, to make Wilson look corrupt, and his trip look like a taxpayer funded vacation rather than the CIA intel assignment it actually was.

  36. I’ve always thought this was bizarre reasoning. Is there anyone in the country who went “OH, his wife is in the CIA? Then what the hell does he know!?” If anything, that would seem to bolster his credibility.

    This Bush administration and the CIA have not been getting along. They don’t like each other. By pointing out that Wilson’s wife was in the CIA, Bush’s people were trying to show that Wilson was not a neutral investigator.

    At least that’s the best theory I’ve heard.

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