I’m trying to figure out this Scooter Libby conviction, so here’s what I’ve got so far… I think…
Joe Wilson was content to let the whole world think that the White House was masochistic enough to send him on an African fact-finding mission to prove that the Executive Branch is filled with intelligence-manipulating, war-mongering liars. Also to show that Wilson is smarter and more capable than British intelligence, but mostly to prove that the White House is inhabited by intelligence-manipulating, war-mongering liars.
And the notion that Wilson had actually been sent by the White House heaped even more delicious humiliation upon the Bush administration.
But when Wilson’s report turned up – not in a White House intelligence briefing but in the New York Times – mouths dropped open all over the executive mansion, because apparently nobody there even knew about the trip to Niger.
That was because Wilson was sent to Africa by the CIA at the insistence of his wife Valerie Plame.
Now Scooter Libby, Chief of Staff to the Vice President, is facing up to 25 years for perjury and obstruction of justice for ratting out Plame to journalist, Robert Novak. His motive? To kick sand in Wilson’s face for embarrassing the president of course!
Actually, that’s not quite correct. Scooter Libby didn’t tell Novak about Plame. It was Richard Armitage. Mean, jealous, vindictive Richard…. Wait. Hold on. Richard Armitage is a vocal Bush critic and probably wouldn’t care if Wilson embarrassed the president.
Enter Federal Prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald. Obviously somebody was out to get revenge on Wilson. Armitage didn’t fit the description, so Fitzgerald kept looking until he found Libby.
Libby knew that Plame cooked up the African mission to prove Bush a liar and Saddam Hussein a pussycat who would never ever think of trying to purchase uranium from anyone. (Incidentally, Saddam Hussein did try to buy uranium from Niger, but that’s not the issue here.)
Libby knew about Plame, because by then everyone kinda did, and he mentioned it to a couple reporters, but not to some other reporters, almost as if he didn’t know it was a big deal, but Fitzgerald knew that was a crock, and he was on Libby like a tan until he finally caught him in a lie.
But first he indicted Libby for blowing Plame’s cover as a CIA spook on a covert, top secret mission overseas.
Actually, that’s not true. Plame had a desk job in Washington and was not covered by the Secret Agents Identity Act. Maybe that’s why Fitzgerald never went after Armitage, the guy who really blabbed Plame’s name to Novak.
So, let me see if I understand… Fitzgerald indicted Libby for something he knew Armitage did and, by the way, wasn’t illegal in the first place?
Then Libby told the grand jury he learned Plame’s identity months ago from one guy, then he told another guy, and then a little later told another guy. And then Fitzgerald got all those guys to testify, and they said that Libby heard it from another guy, then mentioned it to a different guy, and then to the first guy. Voila! Perjury!
I hate to belabor this, but if what Libby told the guys was legal, why did it matter who he told it to first, and incidently why was he under grand jury indictment in the first place?
Maybe for being part of an evil White House plot to punish Wilson by outing a woman who wasn’t outable?
Or maybe for being part of an evil White House plot to defame, slander, and abuse Wilson and teach him never ever to make them mad again?
Or maybe for saying something legal to a couple guys, but stating who he told it to a year later in the wrong chronological order?
I’m getting a headache.
There are lessons to be learned here. Never allow yourself to become consumed by jealousy and vindictiveness that festers, boils, and builds inside until one day you snap, blurt the name of a CIA desk jockey to a couple guys and then claim under oath not to remember which guy you told first a year later.
I know, I know… He had other things on his mind. He was helping to run a war. I don’t care. It was despicable.