Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Leaky Prosecution Convicts Libby

Scooter Libby, former aide to VP Dick Cheney, found guilty of perjury in the Joe Wilson-Valerie Plame leak case.

Not real surprising -- Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was hellbent to convict someone of SOMETHING in this, and Libby is the fish.

Before the pundits and shriekers spool up, a couple things to keep in mind:

-- Libby was not the one who leaked Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak, -- former Deputy Defense Secretary Richard Armitage (an opponent of the Iraq war) was. And Fitzgerald knew that from the start.

-- Libby was not charged with leaking Plame's identity.

-- Plame's identify was essentially the most talked about thing in Washington, according to the testimony at the trial, and Libby never denied that he participated in those discussions.

-- The substance of the charges was that Libby's notes indicated he had conversations about Plame's identity earlier that he said he did while testifying. So he was essentially accused of forgetting when he had specific conversations about something everyone was talking about.

-- Whether Libby is a liar or not is not clear. But it's clear that Joe Wilson is-- he wrote in the New York Times that he found no evidence Iraq sought uranium in Niger, but he told the CIA the exact opposite (as documented in the Senate Intelligence Committee report on prewar intelligence).

So while Libby's guilt is shaky at best, the bona fide leaker Armitage and the confirmed liar Wilson remain uncharged.

Libby's conviction will be overturned on appeal.

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