RUSH: The big news. “A new court filing by CIA leak defendant Lewis Libby suggests that Libby has testified that vice president Cheney never told him to reveal the identity of Valerie Wilson, the CIA employee. This filing also suggests that Libby, the vice president’s former chief of staff, testified that neither President Bush nor anybody else told him to discuss Valerie Wilson, either. The filing [was] released shortly before midnight [last] night and it has a footnote which says, ‘Consistent with his grand jury testimony, Mr. Libby does not contend that he was instructed to make any disclosures concerning Ms. Wilson by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, or anyone else.’ “
Now, what is going on here? We had the New York Times finally corrected the tsunami of hysteria that they started last week, but they put the correction on page A-17. They call corrections “Editors’ Notes” at the New York Times. Now, what’s really going on here, I think, is this. You’ve got lawyers, Libby’s lawyers, say that the prosecutor’s trying to have it both ways by playing up President Bush and Vice President Cheney’s role in leaking intelligence on Iraq to reporters, but he is refusing to turn over evidence in the case. Libby’s lawyers continue to file motions, “Hey, we’re in the discovery phase here. Let me see what you got. Let me see the evidence,” and Fitzgerald says, “Nope, I’m not. This is classified. I’m not showing you this stuff.”
So he’s filing all these motions, Fitzgerald is, and I thought this was a perjury case. You know, what’s going on here? I think that the special prosecutor, Mr. Fitzgerald, wants his case to be much bigger than just a process case. I think he wants his case to be bigger than just somebody lying to him during a grand jury testimony, when he doesn’t file any charge based on the original investigation. He’s trying to make this case, for whatever reason, more than lying before a grand jury about a crime that never happened! This is what’s mind-boggling about this. You’ve got Libby charged with lying before a grand jury about a crime that never happened and so really all you’ve got there is a process case, but the independent counsel keeps releasing these motions that bring prewar intelligence and what did the White House know?
It’s almost as though it’s a foregone conclusion that trying to refute the lies told by Joe Wilson is a crime! And who was involved in this? And that’s not what this case started out to be. It looks to me like that this is an attempt here to take this case into a matter of prewar intelligence and politicize it, because, I mean, you’re independent counsel, you’re Patrick Fitzgerald. Who wants to preside over a perjury case? You know, I mean big deal. I mean the original investigation pointed up no evidence that was worthy of pointing to anybody that might be guilty, so there was no charge on the original investigation, and now look what we’re doing! We’re putting all this gobbledegook out in the news media that is wrong, and it’s incorrect, and it creates the usual drive-by media hit.
You know, they come in, they lob their bullets in, and they start tearing things up, and then they head on down the road after awhile, and a week later other people have to come in and clean up the mess, including Mr. Fitzgerald himself. “Well, wait a minute, I had a sentence in there that was wrong.” [He] corrects it a week later, but the damage is done. So Libby’s people are responding by saying, “Hey, look. This guy, the prosecutor, is trying to have it both ways. He’s playing up in all these court filings what Bush and Cheney did in leaking intelligence on Iraq to reporters, while whatever evidence he’s got, he won’t share with my client and us.” And then the next thing you know we’re looking now at something way beyond what was intended.
I don’t know. Byron York writing about this today suggests that the independent counsel may be losing control of the case. I don’t think that’s what’s going on. I think he’s trying to make it bigger than it is. I think he wants it to be historic. The thing about this that is flummoxing to me is with all the evidence there is that’s out there and as widely read as Mr. Fitzgerald’s is reported to be, you have to know that Joe Wilson is a liar. The 9/11 Commission has refuted his lies. They’ve pointed them up, his newspaper columns. These things that he said about yellow cake in Niger, he actually came back with evidence that there actually was an attempt to purchase yellow cake by Iraq. Christopher Hitchens is doing some great work in this in documenting the efforts that Iraq was making.
The idea that the independent counsel has chosen sides with Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame and that there is no question of their honesty and veracity. It’s one of the things in this case that has always confounded me. Now, I know there are people that know a lot more than we do about this. We’re prisoners to whatever these court filings say. We’re prisoners to however they’re treated by the drive-by media. We can go talk to lawyers and experts and try to analyze what’s put out there, but I still don’t understand how you can just embrace Joe Wilson, as the prosecutor, and assume that he is the victim, he and his wife are the victims here, and you’re on an appointed mission here to avenge the wrong that was done to them. Here you had a guy who was purposely trying to undermine the administration’s war in Iraq, and the administration knew it. He was telling lies about it, and so the administration decided to fill some reporters in on where he was wrong, and that now is becoming a crime. If this case is headed where it looks to me like it’s headed, we’re going to have a political trial on the prewar intelligence and, is there a crime there. I mean, that’s how I see it. Somebody out there knows more than I do about it’s going to have to clue me in.
RUSH: You know, I’m watching what’s happening with Scooter Libby here, and you have no evidence in the original charge; the original purpose of Pat Fitzgerald is to go out there and find out if somebody leaked the name of a CIA agent who was covert. After all those two years of investigation, zilch, zero, nada, and Fitzgerald in his press conference said, “I didn’t even really look at that, whether she’s covert or not.” The bottom line is, gotta have somebody pay the price for this two years, and poor old Scooter because he’s in there lying during the grand jury during the process of the investigation. Now, I’m not defending lying or perjury, don’t misunderstand, but in terms of the original mandate versus where we’re going with this now, it looks like a big trial on prewar intelligence. We’re going to politicize it, we’re going to find out if the administration, the big, bad federal government was targeting poor old innocent Joe Wilson and his innocent, loving, devoted wife. And if that happens — it’s just crazy to me.
It just seems way off base. Now, you say, “How can this happen?” Well, it can happen because the independent counsel, Mr. Fitzgerald, was given this wide latitude by the acting attorney. I think it was James Comey who’s a very good friend, and Comey said, “Do what you have to do here.” So the universe was there for Fitzgerald to choose from, and it’s clear he just doesn’t want to be presiding over a perjury trial in a case where there was no crime. It’s gotta be bigger than that, and so he’s attempting to make it.
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