End Evil

Lewis ´Scooter´ Libby

Lewis ´Scooter´ Libby

Lewis ´Scooter´ Libby has the dubious honour of being the first member of staff at the White House to be indicted for acts in office in 130 years (the last was Orville E. Babcock, who served as the private secretary for Ulysses S. Grant).

However, he also has a good republican pedigree. He was taught political science at University by Paul Wolfowitz (the former deputy defence secretary and present World Bank president), helped him draft the 1992 document "Defence Planning Guidance". The highly controversial report emphasized the notion of the pre-emptive strike (a.k.a attacking without provocation) to prevent the emergence of "a new rival to the United States" and stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction to other countries (while developing more of their own).

Libby was apparently annoyed that Saddam had been left in charge of Iraq at the end of the first Iraq war, and so he applied pressure to the CIA to investigate allegations that Saddam was buying uranium from Nigeria. The CIA obligingly sent Joseph C. Wilson IV. However, not only did Wilson confirm that he found no evidence of any plot to buy uranium, he also spoke out about his doubts concerning the documentation behind the claim. The documents were suspected to be forgeries as early as 2002, and some have even suggested that they were concocted by the "White House Iraq Group" (a task force chaired by Karl Rove and involving Libby and Condolezza Rice, amongst others, whose purpose was to "sell" the Iraq War to the US).

Lewis ´Scooter´ Libby

Eight days after his article on the Bush administration's use of the infamous "yellowcake" documents was published, his wife (Valerie Plame Wilson) was revealed to be a CIA "operative" in a newspaper column by Robert Novak (aka "the prince of darkness"). Wilson claims that Novak had conspired with the Bush administration to expose his wife´s identity in a vindictive act of retribution. This is a federal crime as, for rather obvious reasons, CIA operatives work under cover.

In July 2005, Matthew Cooper (Time magazine) accused Libby and Karl Rove (George W. Bush´s deputy chief-of-staff) of disclosing Plame´s identity. According to "The American Prospect" magazine, Libby met with Judith Miller on July 8, 2003 and leaked Plame´s position in the CIA to her. Miller was jailed for contempt of court when she refused to testify to the grand jury about this meeting, despite a signed blanket waiver from Libby allowing journalists to discuss their conversations. Miller argued that Libby´s waiver to all journalists was coerced and that she would only testify if given an individual waiver. She received this waiver along with a statement which appears to confirm what the journalist was supposed to tell the grand jury. He stated "Because as I am sure will not be news to you, the public report of every other reporter´s testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame´s name or identity with me, or knew about her before our call".

Libby then, rather strangely, added "You went to jail in the summer. It is fall now. You will have stories to cover - Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats, bird flu and the Iranian nuclear program. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work-and life. Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers." Eh? Is that some kind of weird republican code?

On 28th October 2005, Libby was indicted on five criminal felony charges including obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury. Libby resigned from his position in the White House a few hours later. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $1.25 million in fines. Karl Rove is still under the shadow of investigation by the "Plamegate" prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. It is also likely that many powerful figures in the Bush administration (eg Cheney) will also have to testify about their involvement in this shabby affair

Posted 1st November 2005

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