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Criminal Prosecution and Accountability
By Rory O'Connor, AlterNet
Scooter Libby faces up to 25 years in prison for obstructing the investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's identity, but he didn't do it alone ...
''It was said a number of times, what are we doing with this guy here?" Denis Collins recalled his fellow jurors asking, as he spoke to the press immediately following the pronouncement that Scooter Libby was guilty on four of five felony counts. "Where's Rove? Where are these other guys?
By Jane Hamsher, Huffington Post
It was cold as hell outside the Prettyman Courthouse when Patrick Fitzgerald was giving his statement and answering questions, and as I was shifting back and forth from one foot to the other I saw the courthouse's Sheldon Snook talking with Dennis Colins, the juror who had formerly worked with Bob Woodward of the Washington Post.
By Larry Johnson, www.Noquarter.typepad.com
Guilty! Four out of five. Now what? Let's see. Will Scooter Libby be a hot
date on Sadie Hawkins day once he's in the pen? He took such delight in
screwing political foes, perceived and real, that he is about to discover an
ancient Indian truth--Karma can be a bitch.
Then there is the civil suit Joe and Val filed against Dick Cheney, Scooter,
Karl Rove, Richard Armitage and others (John Does one thru nine) for
The vice president's former chief of staff faces jail time. But his boss, Dick Cheney, becomes a political liability as never before.
By Howard Fineman, Newsweek
March 6, 2007 - The stunning, vehement verdict in the Scooter Libby trial—that he lied, repeatedly, big time—isn’t really about Scooter Libby at all. It is about how and why we went to war in Iraq, and about how Vice President Dick Cheney got us there. Loyalty is everything to President George W. Bush, and I don’t expect him to march into Cheney’s office to demand a resignation. But the veep is a liabiity as never before, and even Bush has to know that.
From Institute for Public Accuracy
ROBERT PARRY: "Criminal trials are imperfect vehicles for
discovering the full truth about a political or a national security
crime. The Libby case is an example. Special prosecutor Fitzgerald's
evidence offered only a glimpse at the larger picture of how the Bush
administration fought relentlessly to protect its false story for
invading Iraq and how the White House punished war critics who
NEW YORK Former White House spokesman Scott McClellan said tonight that if he was still advising the president he would urge him and his team to drop their policy of not talking about the Libby/CIA leak case.
"I would advise the White House to find a way to get out there and talk about it and answer some of the questions," he said on Larry King's CNN show tonight. He said it would be "interesting to see" if the White House can sustain its refusal to say anything through the appeal process.
"I welcome the jury's verdict. It's about time someone in the Bush Administration has been held accountable for the campaign to manipulate intelligence and discredit war critics. 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."
No, Senator, what follows from the Cheney revelations is that Congress must now investigate and impeach Dick Cheney.
By Dave Lindorff, www.thiscantbehappening.net
So Scooter Libby has taken the fall.
Three and a half years and a long bloody war after he and a gang of war-mongers in the White House and Blair House, including President Bush and Vice President Cheney, set out to undermine and trash the reputation of an Iraq war critic, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, Libby has been found guilty of perjury, lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice by a Washington jury.
Libby Verdict Puts Focus on White House - WASHINGTON (AP) - Campaigning in 2000, George Bush promised he would swear on the Bible to restore honor and dignity to a sullied White House and give it "one heck of scrubbing." The conviction of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby gave the White House a scrubbing - but not the one Bush had in mind. The case laid bare the inner workings of a presidency under siege and the secretive world of Vice President Dick Cheney. It showed the lengths to which Cheney went in early summer 1973 to discredit administration critic Joseph Wilson. The former ambassador's assertions had cast doubt on the administration's justification for having taken the country to war. And the Libby case showed the president assisting Cheney in the leaked attacks on Wilson....
By David Swanson
I'm in icecold DC outside the courthouse, and Patrick Fitzgerald just came out and spoke to the media. He said that Libby had lied and that the significance of his lie derived from his having learned the information from Cheney. Asked if he would go after Cheney, he refused to comment, although he described Libby's obstruction of justice as having failed to remove a cloud from the White House, not as having put it there. Everyone knows the serious crimes have not been looked at yet. Fitzgerald did say that he does not expect to charge anyone else with anything. Asked if he would cooperate with a Congressional investigation (the media still thinks Congress exists and acts!) he said he would do whatever was appropriate.
WASHINGTON - Former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted Tuesday of obstruction, perjury and lying to the FBI in an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative’s identity.
Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was accused of lying and obstructing the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity to reporters.
A US federal appeals court on Friday upheld a refusal to hear the case of a Lebanese-born German man who says he was tortured by the CIA, citing national security reasons.
Khaled el-Masri claims was detained by the CIA for several months in 2004 on suspicion of links to terrorism.
Masri, 43, filed suit in December 2005 saying he had been snatched while on a trip in Macedonia, taken to Afghanistan, jailed, beaten and harassed before being set free without charge after five months.
Brussels - The United States will reject any request by Italy to extradite CIA agents for the first criminal trial over controversial U.S. "renditions" of terror suspects, a U.S. government lawyer said on Wednesday.
A Milan judge earlier this month ordered 26 Americans, most of them thought to be CIA agents, to stand trial with Italian spies for kidnapping a Muslim cleric and flying him to Egypt, where he says he was tortured.
The U.S. government and military has undergone a series of jolting expansions in the Bush years. We got, for instance, a second Defense Department called the Department of Homeland Security. We got a military command for North America called United States Northern Command. More than anything else, however, while we already had an "imperial presidency," we also got an add-on -- an imperial vice-presidency, a new form of shadow government in the United States, a startlingly unbound, constitutionally unmandated new institutional power.
By Ewen MacAskill in Washington and Michael Howard in Baghdad, Guardian Unlimited
A US soldier was sentenced to 100 years in prison yesterday for one of the worst known cases involving US troops in Iraq - the gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl and the killing of her father, mother and sister.
The horrific slaying of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and her family happened in Mahmoudiya, around 20 miles south of Baghdad, on March 12 last year.
From ABC News
Justin Rood Reports:
Could a guilty verdict for a former aide bring further criminal scrutiny of Vice President Dick Cheney?
"Yes," said Sol Weisenberg, a former deputy independent counsel to former Whitewater special prosecutor Kenneth Starr.
As a federal jury deliberates the fate of former Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, several watchers agree. If the jury decides Libby knew he was lying to investigators, it could spur investigators to explore further whether Cheney was involved in conspiring to obstruct justice, they believe.
By Larry C Johnson
Boy, what a difference six years makes. The Wall Street Journal online edition shed crocodile tears today over the suffering of poor Scooter Libby. The Journal lamented:
The trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is the closest version of a Red Queen trial this country has had in a long time. One says that knowing it might start a stampede from past defendants laying claim to the most upside-down prosecution. . . . The trial of Scooter Libby in Washington, the national capital of illogic, has been exemplary. In December 2003, the prosecutor purports a crime has been committed by revealing a "covert" CIA agent's identity to the press--despite knowing then what the outside world learned nearly three years later--that the revealer of the agent was a State Department official, Richard Armitage. With the "whodunnit" solved on day one, the prosecution follows the Red Queen's script by taking the nation on a useless, joyless ride through the opaque looking-glass of Washington journalism.
In his final argument in the Scooter Libby trial, the prosecutor charged that there was a cloud hanging over the vice president.
By Sidney Blumenthal, The Guardian
On Tuesday, I observed the closing arguments at the federal courthouse in Washington in the case of United States v I Lewis Libby. The prosecution's systematic presentation of the evidence supporting the five-count indictment of perjury and obstruction of justice did not foreshadow the dramatic accusation about Vice President Dick Cheney that was to come at the day's end. "This case is about lying," deputy prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg dryly began. It was, he explained, about how Scooter Libby learned that former ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a covert CIA operative, and about whom Libby spoke with about the revelation and what he said.
By Agence France-Presse
US officials failed to sideline dozens of domestic spying lawsuits on Tuesday as a federal judge ordered the war on terror-connected cases to proceed despite a pending appeal.
San Francisco District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker issued a brief written ruling that allowed evidence-gathering to commence conditionally despite protests by government lawyers.
By Jason Leopold, www.truthout.org
For the first time since the investigation into the leak of a covert CIA operative began more than three years ago, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has suggested that Vice President Dick Cheney was behind the effort to unmask the officer, the wife of a vocal critic of the administration's Iraq policy.
During closing arguments Tuesday in the obstruction of justice and perjury trial of former vice presidential staffer, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Fitzgerald told jurors that "there is a cloud over the vice president. ... a cloud over the White House over what happened," according to a copy of the transcript of Fitzgerald's statements.
By Murray Waas, National Journal
In the fall of 2003, as a federal criminal probe was just getting underway to determine who leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame to the media, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the then-chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, sought out Cheney to explain to his boss his side of the story.
The explanation that Libby offered Cheney that day was virtually identical to one that Libby later told the FBI and testified to before a federal grand jury: Libby said he had only passed along to reporters unsubstantiated gossip about Plame that he had heard from NBC bureau chief Tim Russert.
By Larry C Johnson
Sorry to again beat what some of you may believe is a dead horse, but a reporter from a major news organization told me today that they are still arguing in his/her newsroom about whether Valerie Plame was covert. The journalist who told me this is a talented, smart person but is still confused about the terms "covert", "cover", and "non-official cover". So here's my gift to confused journalists.
By Brian Beutler, www.rawstory.com
This weekend, RAW STORY interviewed Marcy Wheeler, one of the blogosphere’s most tireless observers and analysts of the CIA leak investigation and the I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Trial.
In the interview, she revealed that she believes that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will press forward with his investigation, and that his ultimate target is Vice President Dick Cheney: "I’m not entirely convinced that Fitzgerald’s done. I used to be conservative on that, believing that he was done. But there are little snippets of hints that he’s not."
From Brent Budowsky
February 18, 2007
To: Robert Kaiser, Washington Post
Mr. Kaiser, I am forwarding below the note I wrote to Messrs. Graham and Hiatt about Outlook's Victoria Toensing piece today.
With all due respect, I have long admired your work, but that piece today was the most egregious attempt at jury tampering that I have ever seen in this or any other town.
I spent six years at the core of the group writing the CIA Identities Law with its original sponsor, Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Setting aside my great differences with both Editorial and Op Ed pages at the Post on this case and Iraq in general, this piece was different. It was a clear attempt to influence the jury, after the defense rested and before the jury is given the case.
Published on Thursday, February 15, 2007
by the Associated Press
by John Heilprin
A House committee will investigate and request documents on a real estate deal involving the government's top environmental prosecutor and ConocoPhillips' top lobbyist, and legal agreements between the government and the oil company.
The inquiry by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was announced hours after The Associated Press reported that the prosecutor, Sue Ellen Wooldridge, bought a $1 million vacation home on Kiawah Island, S.C., with ConocoPhillips Vice President Donald R. Duncan, nine months before agreeing to let the company delay a halfbillion-dollar pollution cleanup. It was one of two proposed consent decrees Wooldridge signed with ConocoPhillips just before resigning last month.
The Associated Press
Thursday 15 January 2007
The FBI is investigating whether Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons failed to properly report gifts or payments from a software company that was awarded secret military contracts when he was in Congress, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Investigators are looking at whether federal contracting rules were violated or whether gifts or payments were offered in exchange for official acts by Gibbons, the newspaper said.
By Colleen Barry, Associated Press
Milan, Italy - A judge Friday indicted 26 Americans and five Italians in the abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect on a Milan street in what would be the first criminal trial stemming from the CIA's extraordinary rendition program.
The judge set a trial date for June 8, although the Americans, who have all left the country, almost certainly will not be returned to Italy.
CAMP PENDLETON (Reuters) - A U.S. Marine offered a guilty plea to conspiracy charges on Tuesday in connection with the April 2006 killing of a 52-year-old Iraqi grandfather in the village of Hamdania.
Lance Cpl. Robert Pennington, 22, entered the plea at a hearing and became the fifth man to plead guilty in the death of Hashim Ibrahim Awad. His plea must still be accepted by a military judge during a two-day hearing at Camp Pendleton that will conclude with Pennington's sentence.
Civilian Sentenced in Afghan Beating
By ELIZABETH DUNBAR, Associated Press
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The first American civilian to be charged with mistreating a detainee during the wars prompted by the Sept. 11 attacks was sentenced Tuesday to nearly 8 years in prison for beating a man in Afghanistan who later died.
Former CIA contract employee David Passaro, 40, was accused of hitting Afghan detainee Abdul Wali with a flashlight and kicking him in the groin during a two-day interrogation at a remote military base in July 2003. Wali died within 48 hours of the interrogation, after complaining of abdominal pain and an inability to urinate.