Chris's Rants

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Libby May Have Tried to Mask Cheney's Role

In today's WaPo, Carol D. Leonnig and Jim VandeHei explore the $64,000 question:
In the aftermath of Libby's recent five-count indictment, this curious sequence raises a question of motives that hangs over the investigation: Why would an experienced lawyer and government official such as Libby leave himself so exposed to prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald?
Why, indeed.
But when Libby was called to answer Fitzgerald's questions under oath before the grand jury on March 5 and again on March 24, 2004, he stuck to the story he had given in October. He repeated that he believed he had learned the information from a reporter and had forgotten Cheney had told him about Plame. He explained that he had not thought the material was classified because reporters knew it. But Fitzgerald pressed Libby -- and not so subtly raised the specter of a coverup. 'And let me ask you this directly,' Fitzgerald said. 'Did the fact that you knew that the law could . . . turn on where you learned the information from affect your account for the FBI -- when you told them that you were telling reporters Wilson's wife worked at the CIA but your source was a reporter rather than the vice president?' Libby denied it: 'No, it's a fact. It was a fact, that's what I told the reporters.'

After lengthy court battles over journalists' duty to testify in the case -- including several contempt citations by a trial court judge, appeals to the Supreme Court and one reporter's jailing -- Fitzgerald got all the reporters' testimony that he had sought. Russert, Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller of the New York Times all testified about their conversations with Libby. All contradicted Libby.
It is inconceivable, to me, that Libby had any other intention than to cover for Dr. Evil. To suggest that Libby, and Rove (let's not forget that Rasputin is still under investigation), both of whom have been caught in a lie... the same lie, could have had any other motivation than to bamboozle the investigation such that there could be no charge of intentionally outing a covert operative of the CIA. Frankly, the WH lies don't pass the smell test. Unfortunately, because the law requires proof of malicious intent, aside from the obstruction charges, their nefarious scheme may indeed have succeeded in its objective; to protect BigTime.


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