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Andrew Sullivan Favors Impeaching Cheney


Why The Perjury?
By Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic

Just because the Republican blogs are steadfastly ignoring this is a good reason to stay focused. Matt's question remains foremost in my mind:

If there really was no crime - then it seems we ought to get some kind of explanation from Libby as to why he lied.

Quite. Or from Libby's defenders. If you go back and read my archives on this, you'll find I was simply puzzled from the start. None of it made much sense to me back then. In retrospect, it makes much better sense today, after all we have found out about how this administration functions. My best guess is that the explanation for Libby's perjury is pretty obvious. For Libby and Cheney to take the risk of outing a CIA operative's cover (and even if there was some doubt about the law and her status, it was still a risk), they must have had a very pressing reason. It may be that they were just engaged in aggressive press manipulation to keep their own story out here. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt, shall we? But why so aggressive as to risk law-breaking? Why the risk for a careful lawyer like Libby? Why not just write another op-ed refuting the claims? I still have no explanation unless Libby had something major to hide and Cheney something major to fear.

Like the fact that he and Cheney knew the WMD evidence was weak, misled us, and then, busted more brutally than they ever expected, tried to cover their tracks. We can't know this yet for sure. But it surely remains the most plausible explanation for the entire affair.

It means of course that they knowingly exaggerated the causes for war. That's why this story still rankles, because it's the closest the outside world has really gotten to the real nexus of decision-making on Iraq that obviously took place in Cheney's circle. I can still just about believe that Bush thought the WMD case was sound. I can't believe, given all that we now know, that Cheney did. He's too smart. The data he read, we now know, was far more equivocal than the data the public was provided with. He's not new at this. He probably never wanted to make the WMD argument anyway, put it in to appease the UN crowd, and certainly wasn't going to query its validity. We may never know, of course, because Cheney will have destroyed the evidence, but if I had to guess, I'd say it's obvious Cheney knew all along that the WMD line was a cover, not a real threat, but realized by the summer of 2003 that any hint of this leaking (even from a two-bit blowhard like Wilson) needed swift and brutal rebuttal. They were embarrassed enough by the WMD bust, but if it was revealed that they had ignored all the caveats beforehand, it could get really dicey. One has to assume that Libby and Cheney are indistinguishable in their knowledge and involvement. Miller was also trying to cover her tracks that, in retrospect, had begun to look shady. Hence the weird Cheney-coordinated hit on Wilson and Plame. Hence Libby's clumsy perjury. Has Libby ever done something as clumsy in his entire life? Sometimes, even the smoothest cannot escape their own lies.

That's not just worth 30 months in jail. It's worth impeachment. At this point, I think the weight of the evidence suggests they did all this. Maybe the deception crept in after the fact. But I know from the torture debate that they are all capable of bald-faced lies to hide embarrassment and advance their agenda. Why would they not have deliberately deceived us about WMDs before the war?

Well, it worked. I believed them. Many of you did as well. We trusted them. And they got away with it. The one man whose perjury did threaten to hold him, in some minor way, accountable has been reprieved by the man at the top of the decision-tree for war, and given every incentive not to get bitter and start talking. Is there a simpler explanation?

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It just boggles my mind all the people who originally supported the war and are now claiming ignorance with statements like "I believed them".

Well I did not believe them, not for a nano second. It's true that i did not have all the air tight proof of there lies that we have today; but i did not believe them because there basic argument was flawed, that Iraq was an imminent threat to the United States. All you had to do was look at the facts, here was country we had easily defeated in Bush War I, there army was devestated and not rebuilt to anything it was before which even then was not much, our fighters and bombers were flying over Iraq every day bombing anything they wanted whenever then wnted and Iraq was powereles to stop them, we literaly had this country surrounded, UN inspectors were going anywhere they wanted and finding nothing, zip, nada. There is no way this miserable little country could be threat to the United States, if they were we had a lot bigger problems if a stinking shitty couintry like Iraq could threaten us. The only threat from Iraq existed only in little George's wet dreams. It was all bogus, bull shit, a pile of horse maneur; and it did not take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

So I am sick and tired of congressmen, journalists, Hillary Clinton, other leaders and ordinary peopel claiming they were deceived, that they believed the lies; what they really are saying is that the are stupid, they were sold a bill of goods, they were snookered; and that they, especially Hillary Clinton, have no right to claim to be leaders of this country if they are that gulliable.

I was not deceived then or now! I was not deceived by little George Stupid then and I am not now deceived by Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Rudy Giulliani, Jon Kyle, Harry Mitchell, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, et all; a bunch of liars every last one of them!

I get tired of all this, "We were deceived" business. I wasn't deceived. Why was the Congress?

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