Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Why it Matters...

In reading about the recent Libby trial, Howling Latina has to confess it's been a bit of a snooze. By now the Democrats are safely in power in Congress and demanding accountability out of the White House for taking us to war in Iraq sometimes seems oh so yesterday.

Nevertheless, in reading a post by Murray Waas of the National Journal, one thing is for sure. Cheney was up to his eyeballs 'en el asunto de Plame.'

You see, Libby testified to the FBI that he learned of Plame's identity from NBC journalist Tim Russert on July 10, 2003, "[b]ut notes of Libby's entered into evidence during his trial indicate that Libby learned that Plame was a CIA officer from Cheney during a June 12, 2003 telephone conversation, almost a month before Libby spoke with Russert."

Libby later told very much the very same story he told Cheney during two FBI interviews in the fall of 2003 and later during two appearances before the federal grand jury hearing evidence in the CIA leak case on March 5, 2004 and March, 24, 2004.
What's amazing is that Libby also told Cheney the exact same tale in the fall of 2003 when he complained to the vice president that White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan had cleared Rove to reporters but not him.

The even more amazing breathtaking aspect is that Cheney obviously knew that Russert had not been the first person to tell Libby about Plame since he'd disclosed the information a whole month beforehand.

Here are portions of the Libby transcript:

"I told the vice- you know, there was- the president said anybody who knows anything should come forward or something like that... I went to the vice president and said, you know, I was not the person who talked to Novak.

"And he [said] something like, 'I know that.' And I said, you know, 'I learned this from Tim Russert.' And he sort of tilted his head to the side a little bit and then I may have in that conversation said, I talked to other -- I talked to people about it on the weekend," Libby said in apparent reference to his conversations with Cooper and Miller.

Now did Cheney immediately disabuse Libby of this inaccurate assertion and go into action to make sure the aide corrected the record?!?

Well, why no. Instead Cheney went into immediate action to make sure the White House was "[n]ot going to protect one staffer + sacrifice the guy who was asked to stick his neck in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others."

And around the same time, Bush was busy telling White House reporters that he doubted anyone would ever find out who leaked the name of a CIA operative from his administration to the press, because you know, "how many sources have [reporters] had that's leaked information, that [they've] exposed or...been exposed?" In sync, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan also gave Libby a clean bill of health.

"Must happen today," Cheney had earlier written on a scrap sheet of paper about publicly absolving 'Big-time' Junior.

Sure appears a bit astonishing...a whole lot of planets coincidentally aligning at the same angle and at the very same time.

UPDATE: Raw Story reports that a top Libby court blogger thinks Cheney is the next fish on the menu of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. To make her point, Marcy Wheeler noted that Fitzgerald had not called as a witness during Libby's trial his former deputy, Eric Edelman, or former Cheney spokeswoman and Libby aide, Jenny Mayfield.

Savings them for next Fitzmas, perhaps...?

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