Some Thoughts on the Libby Trial
There's some great early analysis of the Scooter Libby case all over the place, in the New York Times, at Nation writer David Corn's site, and of course, on the blogs at Firedoglake.
I'm not going to be able to add anything more substantive. I will say that my initial thoughts are that when you see the intensity with which the OVP and the White House went after Joseph Wilson, even before his op-ed came out, when you see Libby pulling CIA officers out of meetings with George Tenet just to pump them for information (this came out yesterday in the trial), when you see are this focus paid to just one critic among many, you see the paranoid style of politics that has been at work in the executive branch the past six years. They were so consumed with this one chink in the WMD story because, IMO, they knew that the whole thing was untrue, and they wanted to delay that reaction in the public as long as humanly possible. It's the "methinks he doth protest too much" argument I'm making: the force of the pushback proves the initial point. They wouldn't go after someone who was as insignificant as the defense is trying to state, saying that Libby was very busy and he couldn't keep every conversation he had straight. That simply doesn't fly. There are documents, there are notes, there are meetings and phone records and on and on. All about Joseph Wilson and his wife. Anyway, it also came out yesterday that one of the important meetings Libby had on his schedule around this time was a meeting with TOM CRUISE and Penelope Cruz to discuss the treatment of Scientologists in Germany. Real important stuff.
And documents released yesterday in the trial show that Wilson was, in fact, absolutely correct about his trip to Niger:
So what did Joe learn? Here's the reader's digest version (you can read the full report for yourself below).
Former Prime Minister Mayaki told Joe he had rebuffed an effort in June of 1999 to arrange a meeting with the Iraqis he supported the U.S. sanction. He said, "if there had been any rogue state during his tenure, he would have seen the contract."
Former Minister of Enerty Manga said, "there were no sales outside of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since the mid-1980s". He went on to tell Ambassador Wilson that the uranium was tightly controlled and accounted for from the time it is mined until the time it is loaded onto ships.
There is nothing in this report to support the notion that Iraq had succeeded evading UN sanctions and purchased large quantities of yellowcake uranium. NOTHING! You can also see for yourself how the Republicans on the SSCI tried to mislead the American people in the July 2004 report. After you read the following report could you brief the President of the United States that Iraq had acquired yellowcake uranium and had restarted its nuclear program? No way in hell!
That's why Cheney and Libby were so intent on trying to shut up Joe Wilson. He told the truth.
The truth is exactly what needed to be tossed aside at that time. So they claimed Wilson was sent on a junket by his wife. And they outed a CIA agent working on WMD proliferation in, among other places, Iran. And when questioned about it, Scooter Libby had the knee-jerk reaction of covering it up. That's why he's on trial, and that's why I am confident he will be convicted.