Sunday, November 13, 2005

Go Cheney Yourself

There's an interesting piece in the Washington Post today, suggesting that the Fitzgerald investigation has had Dick Cheney in its sights from the very beginning:
... In the aftermath of Libby's recent five-count indictment, this curious sequence raises a question of motives that hangs over the investigation: Why would an experienced lawyer and government official such as Libby leave himself so exposed to prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald?

Libby, according to Fitzgerald's indictment, gave a false story to agents and, later, to a grand jury, even though he knew investigators had his notes, and presumably knew that several of his White House colleagues had already provided testimony and documentary evidence that would undercut his own story. And his interviews with the FBI in October and two appearances before the grand jury in March 2004 came at a time when there were increasingly clear signs that some of the reporters with whom Libby discussed Plame could soon be freed to testify -- and provide starkly different and damning accounts to the prosecutor.

To critics, the timing suggests an attempt to obscure Cheney's role, and possibly his legal culpability. The vice president is shown by the indictment to be aware of and interested in Plame and her CIA status long before her cover was blown. Even some White House aides privately wonder whether Libby was seeking to protect Cheney from political embarrassment. One of them noted with resignation, "Obviously, the indictment speaks for itself."

In addition, Cheney also advised Libby on a media strategy to counter Plame's husband, former ambassador Wilson, according to a person familiar with the case.

"This story doesn't end with Scooter Libby's indictment," said Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), giving voice to widespread Democratic hopes about the outcome of Fitzgerald's case. "A lot more questions need to be answered by the White House about the actions of [Cheney] and his staff."
Not only am I glad to see Harry Reid once again pressing the case aggressively -- and can I say one more time how wrong I was about Reid? -- but I also think he's right.

Libby's too smart and too experienced to get caught so easily. I think he's falling on his Halliburton-crafted sword to protect his boss. Such a scenario makes the already unlikely prospect of Libby ratting out his overlords even more unlikely, but perhaps Fitzgerald doesn't need to flip Libby to make the case. We'll see.

In any case, revelations like these can't be good news for Big Time. According to this recent Newsweek poll, only 29% of Americans believe that Dick Cheney is "honest and ethical." Even the hardcore supporters are fading away, with 26% of registered Republicans saying that even they don't trust Cheney. Ouch.


S.W. Anderson said...

When he talked on the day of Libby's indictment, Fitzpatrick said his investigation couldn't get beyond Libby, the blocker.

I don't for a moment think Libby outed or orchestrated the outing of Valerie Wilson all on his own. If Cheney didn't put him up to it in the first place, he would've known about it and probably would've had to give his blessing.

I'm quite sure that when it became obvious Fitzpatrick wasn't playing wiffle ball, heads were put together at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and it was decided Libby was most explendable and vulnerable. If he'd serve as the blocker, Cheney, Rove, Bush — any and all others involved — would probably be off the hook. And if Fitzpatrick were to actually win a conviction, Libby would be assured a pardon bye and bye.

Thrillhous said...

Yeah, your scenario sounds right to me, S.W. Libby will carry on as other national traitors have, such as G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North, and get sweet radio gigs and guest appearances on Fox news. This could be the best career move Libby's ever made.

grandpaboy said...

Just look at the picture of Cheney. Why isn't he dead yet? Seeing that face, you can understand how peasants in bygone eras ascribed sacrifices and other unnatural acts to their despots. There doesn't seem to be any natural explanation, and no supernatural explanation that doesn't challenge the idea of a benevolent God.

Oh, and S.W. is right about Libby.