Libby becomes domestic diva of White House

Libby becomes domestic diva of White House

by Carl Benskin

The media has, again, been lying to the American public. They are withholding all the vital information that the public needs to be fully informed.

Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, the vice president’s Chief of Staff, was indicted for obstruction of justice, perjury and lying to investigators. I like to call this the “Martha Stewart” indictment: Martha was indicted on covering up a crime that she was never charged with. The same thing is happening to Libby right now. He is being charged with covering up the outing of a CIA agent while no one is actually charged with the leak.

When the indictment was handed down, Senators Charles “Chucky” Schumer, Patrick “Leaky” Leahy, Dick “Turbin” Durbin and Hillary “Stand by Your Man” Clinton rejoiced and called this an indictment against the war in Iraq – a point disputed by the prosecutor himself, but I will talk about him later. Let’s look at how we got to this point with all the facts.

Joe Wilson was sent by his wife, Valerie Plame – oops, I guess special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald will have to indict me now – to Niger to check out British intelligence that Saddam Hussein was attempting to buy yellowcake uranium. When he came back he wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times about how the claim was false. This was contradictory to his own report that he presented to the CIA.

Then Wilson claimed that he was sent by the Vice President. No one, including the Vice President, knew who Wilson was at the time. So the calls came into the White House about this piece. Then Robert Novak and Matt Cooper wrote articles that stated the Wilson was married to Plame, who worked for the CIA. Instantly this became a scandal. The charge was that Plame was exposed as a covert CIA agent in retaliation for Wilson’s piece.

In came the Grand Jury to investigate the claim. Something you won’t hear from the media is that Cooper called Karl Rove, a senior presidential adviser, to discuss Wilson. Basically Rove said not to believe Wilson too much, he wasn’t sent by the VP and the White House thought his wife sent him.

The original scope of the Grand Jury was to find out if anyone exposed a CIA agent under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. Under this act several different standards must be met. One of the most important is that the agent must be covert or have been covert in the last five years. Plame had been living happily in Washington, D.C., for over five years and it was well known to her friends and neighbors that she worked for the CIA.

Finally the day arrived for Fitzgerald to announce the indictment. In his press conferences he said this example will ensure future CIA agents’ safety because if they go undercover, their identities will be protected. What? Did I miss something? As I previously said, nowhere in the indictment is there the charge of outing a covert agent.

Schumer referred to Fitzgerald as a prosecutor’s prosecutor and called him apolitical. Now I don’t know Fitzgerald’s political leanings, but to be called apolitical by Schumer, one has to be far on the left. With this in mind, it was no surprise that Schumer praised the indictment.

I have one question for Fitzgerald: After two years and all that tax money, you still cannot tell us who Novak’s original source was? Surely, if he was as good as Schumer claims, he could answer that question.

Wilson and Plame’s lawyer cracked me up the most. He claimed this indictment knocked on the front door of the White House. When I heard that I couldn’t stop laughing. The vice president doesn’t work in the White House and neither did Libby. Their offices are both across the street in the Old Executive Office Building.

Every day we are confronted with spin and half truths or flat-out lying. But whether it is misleading you on the facts of a court case or editorializing about campus issues, I urge you all to seek all the facts and know the truth.