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Scooter Libby found guilty on four counts

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Ragusa, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Shaman,
    to quote from the indictment for the original Grand Jury investigation from October 31, 2003:
    Means that Fitzgerald by October 31, 2003, when he called him to the Grand Jury, already knew Libby was dirty and had perjury and obstruction of as a fallback option if he would not get sufficient testimony to prove disclosure of the identity of covert intelligence personnel.

    As a sidenote to Darkwolf: Before Fitzgerald included Title 50, United States Code, Section 421 in this indictment he had to check for the applicability of the law, which required that Plame was a covert operative. Evidently he came to the conclusion that she indeed was. That means he was able to determine that Title 50, United States Code, Section 421 had been violated. Fitzgerald was described by the judge as the most scrupulous prosecutor he ever met. I find that very persuasive.

    When Libby then indeed obstructed the determination of who leaked Plames identity, he could be charged with the perjury and obstruction of justice. That's what Fitzgerald then did in the second indictment on October 28, 2005.

    From a prosecutor's standpoint charging Libby in the original indictment with both disclosure of the identity of a covert operative and perjury and obstruction of justice was a smart move.

    Obstruction of justice carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, while the charges of perjury and making false statements have maximum terms of 5 years. Each of the five counts can also be punished with a $250,000 fine. Perjury is lying under oath, to a jury or other investigative body, while making false statements consists of lying to investigators while not under oath. Disclosure of the identity of covert intelligence personnel carries a penalty of up to ten years. The punishment is equivalent with perjury and obstruction of justice.

    Fitzgerald pretty much made sure he would win the case two years before. Impressive work.

    [ March 08, 2007, 23:00: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
     
  2. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Hmmm, no explain this one:

    Armitage

    Ooops, Armitage is a moderate who opposed much of the Bush Administration's policies. Of course there is the claim that he didn't know that Plame was covert...right. Fact is that they could have prosecuted Armitage for exposing Plame (ignorance of the law is no excuse), but he wasn't close enough to the Bush Administration to be attractive. Of course then there is also the question of how Armitage even knew of Plame? If Plame was covert, why was she advertising her position by lobbying to get her husband the job of investigating Iraq's alleged attempts to source yellow cake in Africa? That certainly was a poor decision for someone who needs to keep a low profile to make. Of course Tenent was an idiot for listening to Plame. :doh:

    Sorry, it is still a witch hunt, they still haven't indicted anyone for exposing Plame, and they got Libby on a technicality because they knew that charging him with outing Plame would never stick. This isn't Eliot Ness using a brilliant move to take down Al Capone...this is more like Barney Fife arresting a minor for consumption of alcohol while investigating the rape of a prostitute at a Duke Lacrosse party. They missed their marks by a kilometer. Lets be honest, the targets were Rove and Cheney, and all they get is Libby...I don't think that fish is big enough to keep, and you certainly can't make a meal out of a guppy that size.

    In the grand scheme of things this doesn't accomplish anything, no matter how much Joe Wilson trumpets it as a "great victory". They got a nobody on a charge that the Republican spin machine will twist around until the majority of Americans feel sorry for Libby. No one learned a lesson, and politics will go on as usual. :aww:
     
  3. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Bill Clinton was judged by a jury of his peers (the Senate), which was a legal court, under the rule of law, and found not guilty. However, Libby was judged by a jury of his peers as well, those who actually sat in the courtroom, listened to the evidence, and then rendered a verdict, again under the rule of law. Sorry if the outcome was not to your satisfaction. And you are certainly entitled to your opinion and to express your "outrage" at the jury.

    Whether or not you view either of them as witch hunts is academic and not really worth arguing over. What is, of course, is whether or not it is OK to lie to a grand jury. On both sides it was nothing more than an elaborate game of "gothca." In that respect I agree with you. I believe that Bill Clinton did lie in that instance, but that the questions he was asked had nothing to do with the investigation into the White Water real estate deal, (which was the real witch hunt), and that no one has ever explained how Ken Starr began an investigation into a real estate deal, then went to investigating Paula Jones accusations and finally began an investigation into Bill Clinton's affairs with Monica. It was entrapment - One starts with an unfounded accusation, finds an excuse to dig into someone's private life until he hits something that may damage that individual and his family and then springs it on them in a court. Neither Clinton nor Libby should have lied, but should have had the courage to face up to their actions, and take "responsibility" (I think you may have used that phrase a few times yourself).

    I think Bill Clinton should have been punished for lying in a court of law, but not removed from office for it, even though he was not found guilty of any crime under the Rule of Law. But in fact, he was disbarred from practicing law for a period of time for his actions (like he rally cared anyway). Libby was found guilty, and will probably never do any time, or a meager amount of time, for his crimes.

    Bill Clinton was also hounded by many for his dirty little affair, which dragged him, Monica, and both their families through the media for years, which was very ironic because:


    See? And now no one gives a crap. It's nothing more than the state of politics in America, which has become nothing more than a glorified circus, with its unseemly sideshows. But for those, like you, and the rest of us who take the state of our government, our country and its princples seriously, its really quite pathetic. We just have to wait for the better times - whatever they may be.
     
  4. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Of course nobody gives a crap. There is a HUGE difference. One was a sitting president the other is a retired fat guy. If you think for a minute that this wouldn't have been as large of a scandal if he had been caught while he was speaker of the house, you are crazy. The major difference is if he had been caught, he probably would have been forced to step down by the members of his own party, as opposed to fighting the legal defintion of "sex" and the word "is".

    Now back to the present. Will this hurt Newt if he tries to run in 2008? That is a tough call, the people who hate him it will just add fuel to the fire, for his potential supporters I'm sure it will cause some to think twice. On the other hand, time heals all wounds and his coming out and admitting something that happened ten years ago, may cause the electorate to not care.
     
  5. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    I have no issue with the outcome of the Libby verdict...he committed perjury and obstructed justice. It was stupid on his part because there was no reason to do it as evidenced by the lack of indictments for "outing" Plame. Regardless of whether or not some want to consider it a witch hunt, if the only results that can be shown are the Libby conviction it was undeniably a waste of millions of dollars of taxpayer's money.

    Besides my issue with the wasted money, I have an issue with people thinking this is some great victory, or that this somehow is proof of anything other than the fact that Libby was stupid.

    To put another analogy on this, again using our friend Ness, this would be the equivalent of Ness putting Capone's body guard in jail for perjury and obstruction while Capone ran free...somehow I don't think that Ness would have been trumped up as a hero or brilliant investigator if that had been the case. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Bion Gems: 21/31
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    Merry Fitzmas everyone!
    And, if the Dems are worth their salt, it's only the beginning. Let's have a good look at what the most corrupt and incompetent US White House in recent memory has been up to over the last 6 years, now shall we?
     
  7. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    So let's see - we have a fat guy who is "retired" but wants to be president, but was Speaker of the House, who "led the chase" after another president, while he was cheating and lying to his own family and his party. Now he is being interviewed by the "family values" guy, Mr. Dobson (I guess they can be "family values" guys together), so that he can be a "trustworthy" future president. It all makes perfect sense to me. I'm glad you clarified the "huge difference" in this situation.
     
  8. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Darkie,
    I think you miss the forrest for trees here. It is because Libby obstructed the determination of who leaked Plames identity, that Fitzgerald finally charged him with the perjury and obstruction of justice. That caught Libby in the proverbial place between a rock and a hard place, as severity of punishment in this case would be just like for disclosure of the identity of covert intelligence personnel. That said, there was a way out for Libby all along, a plea deal as a reward for cooperation. Libby, however, was uncooperative.
    It is rather easy to see why - he wouldn't have gained much by admitting that he outed Plame; he would at best face a somewhat milder punishment for confessing - but only on top of the perjury and obstruction of justice he had already been found to have comitted, ouch. By stonewalling on the question of outing he avoided that. And had he told Cheney ordered him to, he would drag Cheney down with him, which he would not do.

    That means to me he indeed covered up for somone and in effect chose to be sentenced for perjury rather than getting a plea deal for telling who did it or ordered it. Libby was a loyal soldier and went into the fire to protect his general. One has to say that at least the discipline in the Bush administration is highly remarkable.

    [ March 09, 2007, 17:45: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
     
  9. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    The guy who "outed" Plame stepped forward and admitted it, and he isn't beholden to the Bush administration or in a high position in the administration, hence the reason he wasn't indicted.

    You can spin this anyway you want...but it was a wild goose chase from the beginning. The fact is that the entire thing was politically motivated from the time Plame put her husband's name up to go to Aftica right on through the "investigation" of who revealed Plame's employer (other than Wilson and Plame herself to their neighbors).

    Did the Bush administration go after Wilson for his report? Of course they did. Heck Wilson admitted before Congress that he lied and exaggerated in his report regarding the administration's claim that Iraq was attempting to acquire yellow cake in Africa. When you politicize your assignment you are going to get some political fallout. Did Cheney or Rove do anything illegal in regards to Plame? No evidence of it has been presented, and the excuse that Libby is falling on his sword to protect them is weak...getting to the truth was Fitz's job, and either he failed or Rove/Cheney didn't do it.

    There are plenty of other things to pin on Rove and Cheney without having to go after them for something involving a discredited individual (Wilson) and his wife who shouldn't have been using her position in the CIA for political purposes. Even if Plame hadn't already blown her own cover (supposing she really still had/needed one), using her position to grind a political axe invited her exposure. Everyone has the right to confront their accusers, even the Bush administration.

    I know this feels like a great victory to some, but it is small potatoes and will amount to nothing in the long run. Libby won't end up doing the time, and it won't change anything in the Bush administration. It won't even impact the '08 elections as the majority of Americans see this as a bunch of political grand standing, and to be honest, the Republicans almost always either win or at least marginalize the impact of these types of scandals in the aftermath's spin contest.
     
  10. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
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    Political administrations of all colors get away with myriad bits of nefariousness, all in the name of "business as usual." Every now and then, someone has to take the fall to keep up the illusion of checks and balances, and restore some modicum of faith in the system among the populace. Boo hoo for Scooter, he drew the short straw this time around.

    Get over it and move on. Nothing to see here, folks.
     
  11. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    I don't even have any idea who this person is. It amazes me how you guys can have full on pages long discussion about things I've never even heard of!
     
  12. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Glad to help out :D

    Seriously, as of right now it isn't a big deal. Newt, currently is a nothing except a private citizen. Should it be a big deal if he decides to run for office, I personally believe it should be. However, I don't think you should be surprised that people aren't marching on Washington DC about this. If he was still in office, I guarantee you this would have been as big if not bigger than Slick Willie. You have to remember, people always knew Bill was a bit of scumbag, Newt was supposed to be perfect.
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Actually, I have to agree with Darkwolf here. :eek:

    I mean, could they have actually got a less important person to take the fall here? When I first heard about the Libby case a few years back, the first question I had was, "Who the hell is Scooter Libby?" Which was followed shortly thereafter by the question, "Why in the hell would a full-grown 50-something year old man go by the name of Scooter?"

    I never heard of Scooter before this investigation. He may be a good soldier but ultimately, he's a nobody. There were bigger fish to fry. If this investigation had netted Rove or Cheney - and let's face it that's who they really wanted - it would have meant something. This mean nothing to me. Someone who wielded minimal power and influence who will no longer be able to use what little he has makes no difference to the state of politics in this country.

    Fitzgerald bet that Libby would not fall on the grenade to pretect Rove and Cheney - wrong bet.
     
  14. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Aldeth,
    I had heared of Libby well before the investigation, quite a lot actually. That was because I was interested. To call him a nobody is simply false. He was the guy who ran circles around Condi and Powell after 9/11, a very capable player if one cared to look. Minor point.
     
  15. khazadman Gems: 6/31
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    The whole trial was a scam perpetrated by a dem party hitman. Fitzgerald knew on the first day of that grand jury who leaked Plame's name. But it turned out to be one of their allies in the state department, so they couldn't use him. Instead they went on a witch hunt for what, two or three years? And all they came up with was a guy with a bad memory? Give me a break!
     
  16. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    khazadman,
    the admittedly alien idea that public servants might have an ethos of integrity and being impartial and honest hasn't ever occured to you?

    There was this little episode about Fitzgerald: He registered to vote as an Independent in New York, only to discover, when he began receiving fundraising calls, that Independent was a political party. He re-registered with no affiliation.

    You're 'Dem hitman' has been appointed as an independent counsel by then Deputy Attorney General James Comey, a Republican, after then Attorney General John Ashcroft, another Republican, laudably, recused himself for conflict of interest. Indeed, it would have asked a little bit too much from Ashcroft to lead investigations of his department into the cabinet in which he was serving. However whacky Ashcroft was, that he did so suggests that he had a degree of professional integrity that I see entirely absent in his successor Alberto Gonzales. He deserves credit for that.

    Considering the background: To portray the emergence of this independent counsel as a Dem attack is hilarious, to say the least ... :nuts:
     
  17. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Update about Valerie Plame aka Wilson being covert. This is the statement directly from Gen. Hayden, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as read by Rep. Waxman in the hearing today:
    That comes from the CIA director himself. And forget the 'partisan hack' excuse. Hayden was twice appointed by Bush to top positions.

    Her status as 'covert' is now an established fact. To state the obvious: Hayden goes down the list of factual criteria for Title 50, United States Code, Section 421 -- the crime of 'disclosure of the identity of covert intelligence personnel'.

    With Plame being covert, her outing constituted a crime. Period. Whatever folks write and babble to the contrary, it's wrong.

    That Libby hasn't been indicted under Title 50, United States Code, Section 421 is a result of him successfully obstructing the investigation into that crime, and no evidence for the absence of a crime.

    Amusing sidenote of the hearing today: The Whitehouse never investigated an involvement in Plame affair, despite Rove being dragged in front of the Grand Jury for questioning. Does that count as 'taking the fifth'?
     
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