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Criminal Prosecution and Accountability
Bush should go ahead and pardon Libby -- and Americans should focus their ire on the bigger fish and bigger outrages.
By Terence Samuel, American Prospect
I am firmly in favor of a pardon for Scooter Libby; the sooner the better. It's not that I think perjury and obstruction of justice are insignificant crimes, but clearly we have bigger fish to filet, and I am actually persuaded by the argument that at the bottom of this is a political confrontation that the American people need to resolve politically.
By William Rivers Pitt, www.truthout.org
I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been convicted by a federal jury of two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice. He faces, due to federal sentencing guidelines, a term of between one and one-half and three years in prison.
There will be an appeal, of course, and the potential for a presidential pardon - recall the slew of convicted Iran-Contra characters pardoned by Bush Sr. way back when - remains ever-present, leaving open the possibility that Libby will serve no time at all. Even so, this conviction "culminated the seven-week trial of the highest-ranking White House official to be indicted on criminal charges in modern times," according to the Washington Post.
By Amy Goldstein and Elizabeth Williamson, Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The jurors who huddled around two pushed-together conference tables for 10 days, meticulously filling 34 pages of facts from the trial on a large flip chart, believed that Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff had been "pilloried" for a CIA leak that other top White House aides had committed along with him, according to one member of the panel.
It's Libby's Time to Tell All
By John W. Mashek, US News and World Report
Vice President Cheney has become the most marginalized figure in the Bush administration. Even among many Republican loyalists, he has lost his already fading influence.
Even before the verdict in the Scooter Libby trial, Cheney was losing any heft with GOP-ers in Congress. Don't expect him to be a star fundraiser for Republicans up for re-election next year.
By William Hughes
“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.
By Robert Parry, www.consortiumnews.com
Fred Hiatt’s Washington Post editorial page and George W. Bush’s presidency have a lot in common – most notably an arrogance of power so extreme that they believe their very words can alter reality.
With Bush, that record has been well established, from asserting that Saddam Hussein never let the U.N. inspectors in to hyping progress in the Iraq War. But editorial page editor Hiatt – in league with Post publisher Donald Graham – is not far behind.
War Resisters' International, London, 07 March 2007
USA: Conscientious objector Agustin Aguayo sentenced to 8 months imprisonment
Yesterday, US conscientious objector Agustin Aguayo (US14915) was sentenced to eight months imprisonment by a US court martial in Würzburg, Germany. Aguayo had been charged with desertion and missing movement of his unit. Besides being sentenced to eight months imprisonment, the court martial also ordered his degradation and a dishonourable discharge.
For almost three years, Aguayo tried to be recognised and discharged as conscientious objector - without success.
Hollywood, CA: The highly acclaimed new book, U.S. V. BUSH by prosecutor, Elizabeth de la Vega, published by Seven Stories Press, has been optioned by writer/director Robert Boris, (Blood Feud, Oxford Blues.) Calling it a great courtroom drama,and a powerful piece of modern political theater, Boris plans to film the hypothetical attempt to indict George W. Bush and the Bush Administration for conspiracy to defraud the United States into waging the Iraq War. According to Boris, the dramatic Grand Jury Hearing, detailed in the book, will give Americans the three things they will never get from their politicians...closure, accountability, and answers. Filming to begin before summer, 2007.
By DEMOCRACY NOW!
Vice President Cheney¹s former chief of staff Lewis ³Scooter² Libby is
facing up to 25 years in prison following his conviction on Tuesday in the
CIA leak case. Jurors found Libby guilty of four felony counts of making
false statements to the FBI, lying to a grand jury and obstructing a probe
into the leak of Valerie Plame¹s identity. Libby is the highest-ranking
White House official to be convicted of a felony since the Iran-Contra
By Robert Parry (A Special Report)
Criminal trials – especially relating to national security scandals – are an imperfect way of learning the larger truth. As with the four-count conviction of former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the charges are often structured narrowly to avoid long battles over classified secrets or inherent presidential powers.
Irv Lewis Libby is a convicted liar and perjurer, guilty of obstruction of justice.
Unfortunately, he was not convicted of revealing to the public the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert operative at the CIA, who was working against Iranian development of nuclear weapons.
It is time for the Democrats in Congress to step up and impeach Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney. Enough came out in this trial to make it clear that Cheney was deeply involved in the operation to smear Wilson. The vice president of the United States should not be in the business of outing CIA operatives! This was a high crime, and Congress could impeach if it desired. A conviction in the House of Representatives could, I believe, easily be gotten. The Senate would be more difficult, given the strength of the Republicans there. But Republicans would have voted to impeach Nixon. Why not Cheney?
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times
Washington - In legal terms, the jury has spoken in the Libby case. In political terms, Dick Cheney is still awaiting a judgment.
For weeks, Washington watched, mesmerized, as the trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr. cast Vice President Cheney, his former boss, in the role of puppeteer, pulling the strings in a covert public relations campaign to defend the Bush administration's case for war in Iraq and discredit a critic.
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.