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Friday, October 28, 2005

Scooter indicted


I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury investigating the public unmasking of an undercover CIA operative. Charges included making false statements, obstruction of justice, and perjury, court documents show
These are serious charges, and Libby should be tried, and if convicted, punished for them. Of course there are some interesting angles here. No indictments about the actual unmasking of Plame. Rove, while still under investigation hasn't been charged, and I would bet probably won't be. That makes this a minor, not a major scandal and means it probably won't have much electoral effect at all. From a larger perspective, the whole mess is troubling. To begin with, it seems pretty clear to me that Wilson and Plame crossed the line from providing unbiased information to trying to control policy. They did so by being fairly dishonest and used some unethical, although probably not illegal, tactics. It is also pretty clear that the Whitehouse, while perhaps avoiding illegality it outing Plame, did potential damage to our intelligence service because of this fight. NOCs are important, and all they really have is trust that the government won't 'burn' them, or at least won't burn them unless it is really important. The Plame affair damages that trust, and the fact that Plame brought it on herself to an extent only slightly minimizes that damage.


Blogger The probligo said...

News this morning (Saturday, Friday US time) is that Rove is to face indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice.

How close is the heat getting to the kitchen?

10/28/2005 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger The probligo said...

Sorry, Dave. This "misread" featured on the radio stations weekly flubs slot.

It was only Scooter. Not Rove as well.

Yeah, the media down this way do (well some anyway) do have daily in the case of the Herald and weekly in the case of Radio NZ corrections, misprints and general flubbits features. They can range from the quite major (like having GWB's photo captioned with "Helen Clark") to a misspelt word that has changed the meaning of a sentence just a little or a misspelt name.

Sorry. I put ya crook.

10/29/2005 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

The uranium claims had never been significant to career analysts -- Iraq had plenty already and lacked the means to enrich it. But the allegations proved irresistible to the White House Iraq Group, which devised the war's communications strategy and included Libby among its members. Every layman understood the connection between uranium and the bomb, participants in the group said in interviews at the time, and it was the easiest way for the Bush administration to raise alarms.

It was all Republicanesque spin and propaganda. Scooter took the bullet this time, let's see if he keeps taking them.

10/30/2005 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Iraq had plenty of uranium, and was looking for ways to enrich it. The problem with the uranium Iraq had though was that it was known to the U.N. Using it would be dangerous, especially before you had a ready enrichment program and nuclear weapons to deter any response.

We still don't know for sure if, or how much, Saddam tried to aquire Uranium from Nigeria and/or other African nations. British Intelligence still stands by that claim (last I checked anyway) and while the CIA hasn't been able to confirm it, they can't be sure. The famous 'Nigeria letters' were of course forgeries, but the mere fact that that was a useful (and successful) scam tells us that the premise was believable.

Obviously people understand Uranium and Nukes go together. Obviously when one is trying to 'sell' something you use your most successful and easiest to understand arguement. It is a ways from that to deliberately misleading and there is no evidence that we have yet seen that the Bush administration didn't believe that Iraq was working on covert WMD programs and had WMD stockpiles. Pretty much the entire worlds intelligence services believed that.

Scooter was of course indicted for lying to a grand jury. He was not indicted for lying about WMD, or even outing a covert agent.

10/31/2005 06:32:00 AM  

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