WASHINGTON (CNN) — Jurors in I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s perjury trial were certain of the former vice presidential aide’s guilt, but they also harbored sympathy for him as a “fall guy,” one of them said Tuesday after the verdict.
Denis Collins, a Washington resident and self-described registered Democrat, said he and fellow jurors found that passing judgment on Libby was “unpleasant.”
But in the final analysis, he said jurors found Libby’s story just too hard to believe.
“It was just very hard to believe how he could remember it on a Tuesday and forget it on a Thursday and then remember it two days later,” Collins told reporters outside U.S. District Court. “Having said that, I will say that there was a tremendous amount of sympathy for Mr. Libby on the jury.”
“It was said a number of times, ‘What are we doing with this guy here? Where’s [Karl] Rove … where are these other guys?’
“We’re not saying we didn’t think Mr. Libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of, but it seemed like … he was the fall guy.”
Collins said the jury believed Libby was “tasked by the vice president to go and talk to reporters.”
“We never even discussed whether Cheney would have told him what exactly to say,” Collins said.
Alright. Everyone’s talking about it, and I’m adding my tuppence.
I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was found guilty yesterday on all but one of the charges of lying his slimy little ass off to a grand jury. Good. He was a public servant and his job by definition was to serve the public. By lying to a grand jury (and rather badly, I might add) he was lying to us, the people that were paying him.
He deliberately outed CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to reporters, and that offense should put him behind bars for treason.
But what really irks me is what’s to follow.
That’s right. Absofuckinglutely nothing. Sworn testimony clearly indicates that his outing of Mrs. Wilson was in retaliation for her husband’s revelation that the President of the United States of America was lying his ass off to the public when he was telling us about WMDs being sent to Iraq.
A related CNN story gives a little background:
Federal officials began an investigation in December 2003 into how the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame was divulged to reporters in the weeks before Robert Novak named her in a July 14, 2003, column. Libby was not charged with the actual leak.
Novak attributed his information to “two senior administration officials” — later identified as President Bush’s political adviser, Karl Rove, and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Neither testified in Libby’s trial.
Plame’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had openly questioned part of Bush’s basis for invading Iraq. He wrote a controversial New York Times op-ed piece that was published July 6, 2003.
Prosecutors argued Libby lied about how he learned of Plame’s CIA role to protect his job. Her role, they said, was deliberately released in retribution for her husband’s report.
Ambassador Wilson publicly announced that His Holiness the Glorified Houseplant was full of shit when he made his case for invading Iraq. That same testimony also clearly indicates that Libby was acting on orders given by Vice President Dick Cheney. This is more than just political mudslinging and tit-for-tat crap in the political arena.
This is about the deception of the American people by the people who were elected to support and defend the Constitution in order to stage an illegal, illogical, and immoral invasion of another sovereign state.
By any definition, that makes the top two officials of this country war criminals, along with anyone (including Libby, Rove, and Armitage) who was complicit in this deception.
Yet Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in this case, has said that the case is closed. What? Closed? This should be the beginning of the process, not the end. George Walker Bush and Richard Bruce Cheney should be in handcuffs, on their way to The Hague, but instead the case is closed.
“The jury worked very long and hard and deliberated at length,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor who led the leak probe. “The jury was obviously convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had lied and obstructed justice in a serious manner.”
“I do not expect to file any further charges,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re all going back to our day jobs.”
Excuse me? Getting a blow job in the White House and then lying to cover it up is an impeachable offense, but lying about intelligence, starting an illegal and unjustified war, outing a CIA operative to silence a whistle-blower, and then lying about the whole thing again is just peachy?
What country did you say this was? I’m a little confused, because that sure as hell sounds a lot more like the now defunct Soviet Union in Stalin’s time than it does my beloved United States of America.
And what are the members of Congress, who should be checking and balancing the executive branch doing about this?
“It’s about time someone in the Bush administration has been held accountable for the campaign to manipulate intelligence and discredit war critics,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“Lewis Libby has been convicted of perjury, but his trial revealed deeper truths about Vice President Cheney’s role in this sordid affair. Now President Bush must pledge not to pardon Libby for his criminal conduct.”
Well, that’s a start. What about prosecution of the source of the cancer?
Added House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “This trial provided a troubling picture of the inner workings of the Bush administration. The testimony unmistakably revealed — at the highest levels of the Bush administration — a callous disregard in handling sensitive national security information and a disposition to smear critics of the war in Iraq.”
Lovely rhetoric, Speaker Pelosi, but what about impeachment proceedings?
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said the investigation should go deeper.
“There’s a lot more going on here than just this,” Dean said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
“We know that the president was not truthful with the American people when he sent us to war,” he said. “We don’t know if the president committed a crime or not; it would be interesting to find that out.”
Now we’re talking! Lay it on us, Chairman!
However, Dean did not recommend appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Bush.
The leading Democratic presidential hopefuls, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, weighed in as well.
“While justice has been served in the Libby case, the real lesson to come from it is that we must be vigilant in ensuring that the intelligence on burgeoning threats to our nation is beyond reproach,” read a statement on Clinton’s Web site.
Obama said in a statement that Libby’s conviction “underscores what happens when our foreign and national security policies are subverted by politics and ideology.”
That’s all well and good, BUT WHAT ABOUT PROSECUTION OF THE OTHER CRIMINALS? Where are the calls for impeachment? What happened to the long arm of the law? What’s all the bullshit about “No one is above the law”?
I guess all that crap we learned in grade school is just that. Crap.
Will somebody please blow the president in the Oval Office so we can bring reality back to the country? First one on their knees before the Big Leather Chair gets my vote to be the next one to sit in it.