Tuesday, March 06, 2007

libby libby libby guilty guilty guilty

lewis "scooter" libby, former chief of staff to vp cheney, has been found guilty on four counts of perjury and obstruction of justice. back in 2003, libby was involved in leaking the name of valerie plame, a covert CIA agent, in order to punish her husband, joe wilson, for his criticism of the intelligence that led to the invasion of iraq. but as is often the case, it's not the crime that gets you, but the coverup: libby was convicted not of leaking plame's name, but of impeding the investigation into who did.

The former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney sat expressionless as the verdict was read in a packed Washington courtroom. He was acquitted of just one of five counts in the probe and faces a maximum of 25 years in prison.

Defense attorney Theodore Wells said Libby would seek a new trial, and if denied, would appeal the conviction.

part of scooter's defense during the trial was that he was being scapegoated to protect karl rove. there's probably a lot of truth to that, and some of the jurors agreed:
One juror, Denis Collins, said many jurors felt that other officials who leaked Plame's name to reporters, such as senior White House aide Karl Rove, should have been on trial instead.

"There was a tremendous amount of sympathy for Mr. Libby on the jury," Collins told reporters. "It was said a number of times, "What are we doing with this guy here? Where's Rove, where's -- you know, where are these other guys?"

there was not enough sympathy, however, to find libby innocent.

things now look quite bad for cheney, whose former #2 is now a convicted felon (and presumably, cheney instructed libby to commit those felonies), though the investigation is over, so cheney himself won't land in jail. not that cheney had a good public image to begin with. there's speculation that cheney could resign (and just as much skepticism; this is the bush white house we're talking about, and they're not known for accountability). and bush naturally has the power to pardon libby if he so chooses, not that it would be a good idea politically.

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