Scripted Libby Trial Ends on Cue: What Can Happen Next?

“Time’s glory is to…unmask falsehood and bring truth to light.”

— William Shakespeare

Irving “Scooter” Libby, V.P. Dick Cheney’s ex-chief of staff, has been a very bad Neocon! He was convicted on March 6, 2007, by a federal jury, in Washington, DC, on four criminal counts dealing with perjury before a grand jury, lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice. Libby was at the center of a cabal based in the White House, which manipulated intelligence and deliberately lied the country into the Iraqi War. However, as a result of how the Special Prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, consciously chose to “limit” the focus of his probe, with no conspiracy counts, he wasn’t charged with that offense. Libby can now play out his assigned role of “sacrificial lamb.” Like another Neocon before him, Elliott Abrams, of Contragate infamy, a presidential pardon will soon be coming his way. Meanwhile, Libby’s cohorts in the White House, the State Department, etc., who could have possibly been indicted as coconspirators with him, are now breathing easier. Prosecutor Fitzgerald, who has failed the Republic, intends to close his file.

This was a case where the Special Prosecutor, as I have written, could have “potentially, placed the Bush-Cheney Gang in the dock for launching a war of aggression against Iraq, based on a pack of lies.” [1]. Instead, Fitzgerald chose to look the other way and gave Libby what amounted to a “traffic court citation.” Ex-diplomat, Joseph Wilson, the husband of Valerie Plame, a then CIA employee, (whose name Libby leaked to reporters, and then lied about it, in order to discredit Wilson, a war critic), said on hearing the verdict in the case: “This is like getting Al Capone on income tax evasion. It doesn’t mean ‘no other crimes’ occurred.”
The Wilsons have filed a civil law suit against Libby. [2]

Even members of the Libby jury have spoken out loudly on the absence of the other putative defendants, other supposed coconspirators in the case. They have asked: Where was Karl Rove? Where was V.P. Dick Cheney? What about the State Department’s Richard Armitage? And, how about that former White House mouthpiece, Ari Fleischer? Others have inquired: What did President George Bush know about this matter and when did he know it? Shades of Watergate and President Richard M. Nixon. [3]

By choosing not to include a conspiracy count or counts in the indictment against Libby, Fitzgerald, a protégé of ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, made sure that the spotlight during the trial would focus only on “Scooter” and not the rest of the boy-ohs. The idea of a prosecutor not using a conspiracy count, one of the prosecutor’s main tools in an investigation of this type, is mostly unheard of. [1] Fitzgerald chose to try the case with one hand tied behind his back. And, he almost lost it! It took 10 days for the jury to reach a verdict. Bottom line: The key players in the Bush-Cheney Gang, who may have been involved as much or more than Libby in this wrongdoing and cover-up, will now probably walk away untouched, while “Scooter” hangs–swinging in the wind.

Thankfully, at least one Democratic leader has spoken out on this verdict, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NEV). He said: “It’s about time someone in the Bush administration has been held accountable for the campaign ‘to manipulate intelligence and discredit war critics.’ The trial reveals ‘deeper truths about Vice President Cheney’s role in this sordid affair.'” [2] Reid is right on the money. But, the nation deserves to know all the “deeper truths” about Cheney’s suspected role in “manipulating intelligence.” All of the “deeper truths” need to see the light of day. As I write, over 3,188 of our finest sons and daughters, in the military, have paid with their lives in Iraq, fighting in a war that was based on lies and deceptions concocted by Libby, et al. Mega-billions of dollars of our national treasury has been wasted, too, in that conflict, and over 655,000 innocent Iraqi civilians have died. Justice demands that all of the truth must come out and come out, now! [4]

There can be little doubt from an evidentiary point of view that conspiring to “manipulate intelligence and [to] discredit war critics,” if proven, fits within the definition of “other High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” as set out under the U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 4. This particular provision of the Constitution deals with the impeachment of a President, Vice-President, or other “civil officers of the U.S.” I submit that there is more than enough prima facie evidence on the public record for the House’s Judiciary Committee, led by its distinguished Chairman, the Hon. John Conyers (D-MI), to launch an immediate impeachment inquiry into Cheney’s exact role in this “sordid affair.” [2]

If any serious charge of wrongdoing is sustained against Cheney by the House, which acts as a Grand Jury in the matter, then, he will be tried by the U.S. Senate. It sits as a jury in this type of proceeding. And, if Cheney is convicted by the Senate, he will then be removed from office and possibly, face criminal charges. In addition, any Congressional inquiry into this affair shouldn’t stop at just Cheney. The Congress has an obligation to follow the evidence wherever it may lead–even into the Oval Office of the White House itself. [5]

It’s crystal clear that Fitzgerald dropped the ball on the Libby case. In fact, it is fair to say that he never really intended to carry it. His part, I suspected, was to craft the case to protect the Bush-Cheney Gang. [1] He was successful in that effort, but the country has paid a terrible price for his failure to go to the mat on this one–to let it all hang out. The warmongers who got us into Iraq, save one Irving “Scooter” Libby, have gone undetected and/or unpunished. Some of these connivers have recently pushed for the “Surge” in Iraq and are now scheming for an attack on Iran.

Finally, it is time for the House of Representatives to lay all excuses to the side and to do its Constitutionallly-mandated duty: Begin an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of V.P. Cheney, arising out of his highly suspect role in the Irving “Scooter” Libby case. [6] Its duty to the Republic, and the solemn oath of office that each members has taken, requires that it take all appropriate and necessary action to serve the interest of the people and of our Republic. Bring V.P. Dick Cheney to the Bar of Justice!





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[6]. The Irving "Scooter" Libby’s criminal trial was conducted in the U.S. District Court House, a federal courthouse, in Washington, D.C. It’s named after E. Barrett Prettyman. See,