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The Gross National Debt

Friday, October 28, 2005

So many of us have been so caught up in the CIA leak investigation, and I think rightfully so. I saw CNN doing a series of "on the street" interviews of Americans in seven different cities, all of whom seemed to have different opinions as to whether or not the CIA leak investigation and subsequent indictments are important. The ones who feel that it isn't that important most commonly cited those issues they felt were more important - specifically, the more important issues were the Iraq war and the deaths of American soldiers in that war. They are the same thing. The leak investigation, if carried through to its true fruition, will answer many questions about why we went, how long we were planning to go, what was real in our reasons for going, and what was manufactured and by whom. They are the same.

So now that my editorial comment is out of the way, it is not news to anyone that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted by special prosecutor Patric Fitzgerald today on five criminal counts. They are as follows:

For the legally impaired:

Obstruction of justice - refers to the crime of offering interference of any sort to the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other officials. [Source]

Perjury - lying or making verifiably false statements under oath in a court of law. Perjury is a crime because the witness has sworn to tell the truth, and for the credibility of the court, witness testimony must be relied on as being truthful. It is seen as a very serious crime as it seeks to usurp the authority of the courts, because it can lead to miscarriages of justice. [Source]

Making false statements - In the context of this charge, a statement that is willfully untrue. [Source]

All of these charges are felonies. They are not small charges, either. The glaring absence of any allegation that Libby was the leaker should not take away from how much legal peril he is facing, particularly with the charge of obstructing justice. Remember also that former President Clinton was impeached on the basis of perjury. I saw one news commentater who talked about the Republicans having hoisted themselves on their own petard with the perjury issue - given that it was of supreme moral and leadership importance in the case of Bill Clinton and given also that the whole Bill Clinton event was in the very recent past, Republicans can't really back away from the charge or wave it off as being somehow not a serious offense.

The broader issue, really, is why. If you just sit back and as yourself:

"Why did anyone in the White House think it was important to leak Valerie Plame Wilson's name to the press?"

Work backwards from there. And, if you're tempted to fall back on the idea that White House officials didn't know Ms. Plame's status was covert, you should read this, from Talking Points Memo:

Overlooked in the current discussion.

Go to page 5 of the indictment. Top of the page, item #9.

On or about June 12, 2003, LIBBY was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilson's wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation Divison. LIBBY understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA.

This is a crucial piece of information. The Counterproliferation Division (CPD) is part of the CIA's Directorate of Operations, i.e., not the Directorate of Intelligence, the branch of the CIA where 'analysts' come from, but the DO, where the spies, the 'operatives', come from.

Libby's a long time national security hand. He knows exactly what CPD is and where it is. So does Cheney. They both knew. It's right there in the indictment.

Don't be fooled.

Related, Karl Rove's lawyer confirms that he continues to be under investigation. This isn't even close to over.

posted by RenaRF at 4:17 PM 5 comments links to this post


Blogger : JustaDog said...

Lying to the investigators was wrong. But it must be a sad day for liberals that were hoping for some actual criminal indictments against Rove.

Too bad, lol.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

It sure is sad that the millions of dollars and 2 years was wasted and no indictment for the original claim of leaking a CIA operatives identity

7:26 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

Well I see "justadog" is doing Rove's bidding by going around to all the reality-based sites and complaining about the poor, persecuted Goppers. It's a particularly sad day when we see wingerbots jumping through hoops to find some way, somehow, to obfuscate, redirect, deny. Do these people not want better for the country? Do they not decry criminality anymore? It seems to me a few years ago they were turning over every rock to find evidence of wrongdoing.

That they have joined the religion that worships a buffoon is their own doing-why then do they get so mad when the truth is exposed about their icons?

12:43 AM  
Blogger RenaRF said...

To JollyRoger - I give you major snaps for just using "obfuscate", one of my favorite words. ;-) justadog may be on the talking point - but moderate Republicans seem to realize that the Emperor has no clothes. I do see that a lot. There's always going to be that 35-38% who comprise "the base". If you look at the poll numbers, "the base", which peeved over the Miers nomination, never actually left Bush from a support perspective. They can have them as far as I'm concerned. And that leaves 62-65% who are NOT the base and I think they see things a bit more clearly today than they did in January of this year. Hope springs eternal - I don't hate the amn. I just think he's dangerous. Big difference.

As to Rove, I have to say that while he would have been the cherry on the whipped cream on the banana split, he was never the point. The point is Cheney and the WHIG and Bolton and Rice. THAT is the justice I'd like to see done.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. ;-)

7:46 AM  
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8:25 PM  

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