USA: will Bush pardon ‘Scooter’ Libby for perjury?

Scooter Libby and Iraq war, cartoon

By Patrick Martin:

Is there a Bush pardon in Lewis Libby’s future?

Cheney aide abruptly ends defense in perjury trial

15 February 2007

Attorneys for I. Lewis Libby, the former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who is facing perjury charges, rested their case Wednesday after declining to call either Cheney or Libby himself as defense witnesses.

The result was a nearly uncontested prosecution case demonstrating that Libby repeatedly lied to the grand jury investigating the leak of the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.

The decision not to have Libby take the stand in his own defense and not to call Cheney as a character witness represents an abrupt abandonment of the trial strategy which Libby’s attorneys had made public over the past year.

They had repeatedly suggested that Libby’s defense—given the overwhelming evidence that he had given false testimony to the grand jury—was that he had forgotten the details of the Wilson affair because of the press of high-level national security work in which he was engaged.

Cheney’s testimony was critical both as a character witness and to support the portrayal of Libby as an overburdened aide with many more important concerns than whether Valerie Wilson, wife of Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson, was employed at the CIA.

Libby himself would have to take the stand to substantiate the “forgetfulness” defense, as Judge Reggie Walton made clear in a series of rulings before the start of the trial.

Update: here.

7 thoughts on “USA: will Bush pardon ‘Scooter’ Libby for perjury?

  1. WHOA ! Bush’s press conference was a genuine treat
    Posted by: “steve erickson” wake911up
    Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:45 pm (PST)

    I happened to catch today’s press conference and recorded it too. I
    was so moved by the president’s incoherent, rambling diatribes that I
    was compelled to contact Pelosi’s office, my two Senators and
    Congressman to get this man on the couch. He and Mr. Dick need to be
    out of there. One positive note though is this should make for great
    satire on The Daily Show tonight!

    Bush’s scowl and warning when a gutsy reporter inquired about old
    Scooter’s debacle was priceless. To wath chucklenuts try to explain
    away the inconsistencies of reports associating Iran with troop deaths
    was amazing. Say What??????????

    Overall the press corps dullards did manage to appear a bit less cowed
    and a little bit feisty this morning. Now if they could only keep Bush
    on point and actually answer a question, sorry no one could accomplish



  2. Posted by: “hapi22” robinsegg
    Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:30 am (PST)
    It is important to keep in mind the fact that Ambassador Joseph Wilson
    was the perfect person to send to Niger to determine if Saddam Hussein
    had tried to buy uranium yellowcake from Niger..

    Joseph Wilson had been our Acting U.S. Ambassador in Iraq in 1990, and
    had served as our ambassador to Gabon (in Africa). Wilson was
    well-acquainted both with the government officials in Niger AND the
    issue of the uranium mines in Africa. Incidentally, those uranium mines
    are NOT under the sole control of the Niger government, they are under
    UN control. Niger’s uranium industry is controlled by a consortium of
    foreign companies monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency

    Furthermore — and most importantly, as Valerie Plame Wilson testified
    to under oath, on March 15, 2007 — not only was Joe Wilson’s conclusion
    correct (that the Iraqis had NOT sought or bought uranium from Niger),
    but two other US government officials had earlier debunked the same
    rumor. U.S. Ambassador to Niger, Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, and Four Star
    Marine General Carlton W. Fulford, Jr., deputy commander of the U.S.
    European Command (EUCOM) had both reported their negative findings back
    to the State Dept. and Pentagon, respectively.

    MORE information is available at:


    And, just for the record, here is what Robert Novak wrote about Joe
    Wilson (Acting U.S. Ambassador in Baghdad) in 1990:

    * Robert Novak article on Wilson re: Gulf War I.

    “The chief American diplomat, Joe Wilson, shepherds his flock of
    some 800 known Americans like a village priest. At 4:30 Sunday
    morning, he was helping 55 wives and children of U.S. diplomats
    from Kuwait load themselves and their few remaining possessions
    on transport for the long haul on the desert to Jordan. He shows
    the stuff of heroism.”

    – – – – – – – – – – –
    AND, a short story from a Bechtel employee: “As we were leaving Iraq on
    the 9th of December, 1990, the first ten Bechtel employees to enter the
    Baghdad airport were pulled aside and made to sit on the floor in a room
    by themselves. Of course, I was at the head of the line. It seems there
    was an arrest warrant out for all Bechtel employees. We sat there all
    day while everyone else was issued their boarding passes. Joe and the
    American lady that had joined the embassy staff fought like tigers with
    the Iraqi officials. We could hear them yelling and arguing with the
    Iraqis for hours. Finally, just as the plane started to load we were
    given our boarding passes. I don’t think we would have been allowed to
    leave if Joe hadn’t fought so hard.”

    –Correspondence of Richard Biaseti, former Bechtel employee

    – – – – – – – – – – –
    AND, from President George H. W. Bush: “It is relatively easy to speak
    out from the safety and comfort of Washington; what you are doing day in
    and day out under the most trying conditions is truly inspiring. Keep
    fighting the good fight; you and your stalwart colleagues are always in
    our thoughts and prayers.”

    –President George H.W. Bush, from a November 29, 1990, telegram to
    Acting Ambassador Joseph Wilson in Baghdad


  3. Posted by: “hapi22” robinsegg
    Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:32 pm (PST)
    I think the following rightwingers — the Washington Post editorial:
    board, Mort Kondracke, Sean Hannity, Robert Novak, Brit Hume, Jonah
    Goldberg, Victoria Toensing and, of course, Rush Limbaugh and Bill
    O’Reilly — should be forced to write 500 times:

    *”Valerie Plame Wilson WAS A COVERT CIA OPERATIVE working to
    keep nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists. Her
    affiliation with the CIA was CLASSIFIED.”

    If you have their e-mail addresses, you might write to tell them so.

    Here is Valerie Plame Wilson’s statement to the House Government and
    Oversight Committee today:
    **Valerie Plame Confirms Her Covert Status Prior To Novak Leak** [March
    15, 2007]

    My name is Valerie Plame Wilson, and I am honored to have been
    invited to testify under oath before the Committee on Oversight and
    Government Reform on the critical issue of safeguarding classified

    I am grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight.

    I’ve served the United States loyally and to the best of my ability
    as a covert operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency.
    I worked on behalf of the national security of our country, on
    behalf of the people of the United States, until my name and true
    affiliation were exposed in the national media on July 14th, 2003,
    after a leak by an administration official.

    Today I can tell this committee even more.

    In the run-up to the war with Iraq, I worked in the
    Counterproliferation Division of the CIA, still as a COVERT
    OFFICER whose affiliation with the CIA was CLASSIFIED. I raced to
    discover solid intelligence for senior policymakers on Iraq’s
    presumed weapons of mass destruction program.

    While I helped to manage and run secret worldwide operations against
    this WMD target from CIA headquarters in Washington, I also
    TRAVELED to foreign countries on SECRET missions to find vital

    I loved my career, because I love my country. I was proud of the
    serious responsibilities entrusted to me as a CIA covert operations
    officer. And I was dedicated to this work.

    It was not common knowledge on the Georgetown cocktail circuit that
    everyone knew where I worked. But all of my efforts on behalf of the
    national security of the United States, all of my training, all the
    value of my years of service, were abruptly ended when my name and
    identity were exposed irresponsibly.>>

    Read this and more at:


  4. *Waxman letter to White House: Bush did NOT investigate CIA leak*
    Posted by: “hapi22” robinsegg
    Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:48 am (PST)
    Absolutely shocking.


    — from:
    March 16,2007

    The Honorable Joshua Bolten
    Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    Dear Mr. Bolten:

    Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a
    hearing to examine the disclosure by senior White House officials of the
    identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson. The hearing raised
    many new questions about the how the White House responded to an
    extraordinarily serious breach of national security. It also raised new
    concerns about whether the security practices being followed by the
    White House are sufficient to protect our nation’s most sensitive secrets.

    James Knodell, Director of the Office of Security at the White House,
    testified at the hearing about White House procedures for safeguarding
    classified information. During his testimony, Mr. Knodell made some
    remarkable statements about how his office handled the disclosure of
    Ms.’Wilson’s covert status. Specifically, Mr. Knodell testified:

    >> The Office of Security for the White House never
    conducted any investigation of the disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s identity;

    >> Under the applicable executive order and regulations,
    your senior political advisor, Karl Rove, and other senior White House
    officials were required to report what they knew about the disclosure of
    Ms. Wilson’s identity, but they did not make any such report to the
    \White House Office of Security; and

    >> There has been no suspension of security clearances
    or any other administrative sanction for Mr. Rove and other White House
    officials involved in the disclosure.

    According to Mr. Knodell, the explanation for the lack of action by the
    White House Security Office was a White House decision not to conduct a
    security investigation while a criminal investigation was pending. Mr.
    Knodell could not explain, however, why the White House did not initiate
    an investigation after the security breach. It took months before a
    criminal investigation was initiated, yet according to Mr. Knodell,
    there was no White House investigation initiated during this period.

    Mr. Knodell also testified that it would be inappropriate to allow an
    individual who was a security risk to retain his or her security
    clearance while a criminal investigation is pending. As members of the
    Committee pointed out, a criminal investigation can last years, and it
    would jeopardize national security not to investigate the officials
    implicated in the leak and suspend their security clearances if there
    were reason to suspect their involvement. Mr. Knodell did not
    dispute this point.

    The testimony of Mr. Knodell appears to describe White House decisions
    that were inconsistent with the directives of Executive Order 12958,
    which you signed in March 2003. Under this executive order, the White
    House is required to “take appropriate and prompt corrective action”
    whenever there is a release of classified information. Yet Mr. Knodell
    could describe no such actions after the disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s

    Taken as a whole, the testimony at today’s hearing described breach
    after breach of national security requirements at the White House. The
    first breach was the disclosure of Ms. ‘Wilson’s identity. Other
    breaches included the failure of Mr. Rove and other officials to report
    their disclosures as required by law, the failure of the White House to
    initiate the prompt investigation required by the executive order, and
    the failure of the White House to suspend the security clearances of the
    implicated officials.

    To assist the Committee in its investigation into these issues, I
    request that you provide the Committee with a complete account of the
    steps that the White House took following the disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s
    identity (1) to investigate how the leak occurred; (2) to review the
    security clearances of the White House officials implicated in the leak;
    (3) to impose administrative or disciplinary sanctions on the officials
    involved in the leak; and (4) to review and revise existing White House
    security procedures to prevent future breaches of national security.

    I look forward to your response and hope you will cooperate with the
    Committee’s inquiry.


    Henry A. Waxman, Chairman
    Tom Davis, Ranking Minority Member

    Read this at:
    I had the photocopy of the letter but cannot find it now.


  5. *Victoria Toensing is a liar*
    Posted by: “hapi22” robinsegg
    Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:52 am (PST)
    Victoria Toensing is a liar.

    She purported to quote from the law (the “Intelligence Identities
    Protection Act”) she had helped to write, in 1983, and claimed that
    according to that law, the definition of a COVERT agent meant the person
    had to have RESIDED abroad. That is NOT correct when defining COVERT in
    the subsection that pertains to EMPLOYEES of the CIA or other
    intelligence agencies. In their case, it requires only that the agent
    “has within the last five years SERVED outside the United States;”

    The bit about “who RESIDES and acts outside the United States as an
    agent” pertains ONLY to American citizens who are NOT regular employees
    of the CIA.

    Valerie Plame testified yesterday that she DID travel and work — SERVE
    — abroad for the CIA within the past five years,

    Plame also testified UNDER OATH that she was a COVERT agent in the CIA.

    Not only that, but current CIA Director Hayden (recently appointed by
    Bush) stated to Rep. Waxman — for publication — that Ms. Plame was
    COVERT until Bob Novak divulged her identity in his July 2003 column.

    Gen. Hayden also stated, unequivocally, that Plame’s status in the CIA

    Here’s the relevant section in the law Victoria Toensing was referring
    to during her testimony yesterday:
    *United States Code/Title 50/Chapter 15/Subchapter 4

    *This chapter contains the “Intelligence Identities Protection Act.”

    *§ 426. Definitions *[excerpt]

    (4) The term “covert agent” means—

    (A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence
    agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces
    assigned to duty with an intelligence agency—

    (i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member
    is classified information, and
    (ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within
    the last five years served outside the United States; or

    (B) a United States citizen whose intelligence relationship to
    the United States is classified information, and—

    (i) who resides and acts outside the United States as an
    agent of, or informant or source of operational assistance
    to, an intelligence agency, or
    (ii) who is at the time of the disclosure acting as an agent
    of, or informant to, the foreign counterintelligence or
    foreign counterterrorism components of the Federal Bureau of
    Investigation; or

    (C) an individual, other than a United States citizen, whose
    past or present intelligence relationship to the United States
    is classified information and who is a present or former agent
    of, or a present or former informant or source of operational
    assistance to, an intelligence agency.

    (5) The term “intelligence agency” means the Central Intelligence
    Agency, a foreign intelligence component of the Department of
    Defense, or the foreign counterintelligence or foreign
    counterterrorism components of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


    Read this at:

    FULL TEXT of the “Intelligence Identities Protection Act” at:

    MORE on the “Intelligence Identities Protection Act” at:


  6. Pingback: Australians oppose Dick Cheney’s visit | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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