RUSH: Here’s an interesting piece from the Wall Street Journal. I’ll just read you a couple of excerpts from this editorial today entitled: ?The Libby Travesty — Mr. Bush Owes the Former Aide a Pardon, and an Apology — Mr. Libby did talk to some reporters about the Administration’s case for war in 2003, and he did mention Ms. Plame in some cases. So the jury apparently decided that, when asked about those conversations by the FBI and grand jury, he had lied about his own sources of information about Joe Wilson and his wife. In other words, he has not been convicted of lying to anyone about the case for war in Iraq, or about Mr. Wilson or his wife. Rather, he has been convicted of telling the truth about Mr. Wilson and Ms. Plame to some reporters but then not owning up to it.?
Heays he learned of it from Russert, and Russert says, “No, I never talked to him about it.” Nobody in this case disputed anything that has been said about Wilson and Plame and so forth. This is a key point. Scooter Libby has been convicted of telling the truth about Wilson and Plame to some reporters, but then not owning up to it to the grand jury and to the FBI. He told the truth about them, and that’s what’s being made criminal: telling the truth about critics. You can’t do it, apparently. The administration cannot respond to its critics.
?One tragic irony is that if Mr. Libby had only taken the Harold Ickes grand-jury strategy and said ‘I don’t recall,’ he probably never would have been indicted. But our guess is that he tried to cooperate with the grand jury because he never really believed he had anything to hide. This may also explain why Mr. Libby never retained an experienced Beltway attorney until he was indicted. None of this has stopped critics of the war from trying to blow this entire case into something far larger. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hailed the conviction as proof that the White House tried to ‘manipulate intelligence and discredit war critics.’ But the charges against Mr. Libby had nothing to do with intelligence, and Mr. Wilson was himself so discredited by summer 2004 that the John Kerry campaign dropped him as a spokesman once the Senate exposed his deceit.?
I had forgotten that. Giant lightbulbs went off in my brain and my head when I read this today in the Wall Street Journal. Wilson was so discredited by summer 2004, all these lies he’d been out there telling, that even the Kerry campaign dropped him as a spokesman once the Senate exposed his deceit. Now, moving on to the prosecutor, Mr. Fitzgerald, this is from the JustOneMinute blog. ?Some comedy classics from Too-Special Counsel Fitzgerald. From the Times: ‘It?s inconceivable that any responsible prosecutor would walk away from the facts that we saw in December 2003 and say, “There?s nothing here, move on,”‘ Mr. Fitzgerald said. ‘We cannot tolerate perjury,’ he said, adding: ‘The truth is what drives our judicial system. If people don?t come forward and tell the truth, we have no hope of making the judicial system work.’
?Let’s see – Richard Armitage read about Ms. Plame in a document marked ‘Top Secret’ and leaked it to Bob Woodward and Robert Novak. After the Novak column came out, Armitage confessed to that but ‘forgot’ to mention the Woodward leak, and kept on forgetting until the term of the grand jury had expired and Libby had been indicted. At Woodward’s urging he then came forward, secretly. Not indicted. Not even investigated – the AP filed a Freedom of Information Act request and found the Woodward appointment right there on Armitage’s calendar for June, but Fitzgerald apparently never did. Walk on by,? He wasn?t interested. Armitage was not part of the administration they could nail Cheney with, and that’s what Fitzgerald wanted.
?When FBI investigators came calling former Presidential press spokesman Ari Fleischer took the Fifth and held out for a ‘use immunity’ grant, which he got in Jan 2004 from Fitzgerald. He then confessed to leaking to John Dickerson and David Gregory but denied leaking to Walter Pincus; he also claimed to have learned about Ms. Plame during a lunch with Libby, as well as on Air Force One a few days later while paging though some classified documents. Pincus contradicted Flesicher’s claim, as did Libby; Dickerson contradicted it in print, but was never asked to testify; Gregory has not been asked to testify and has been silent on his role,” and yet here’s Fitzgerald saying: We can’t tolerate perjury! The truth is what drives our judicial system. There’s a lot of truth out there he ignored, such as who leaked her name! This investigation should have never begun, once that was known. But for reasons that we’ve discussed, he couldn’t afford for it not to go forward. From his press conference yesterday, Fitzgerald said this:
?It’s not the verdict that justifies the investigation. It’s the facts. And if people would step back and look at what happened here. When the investigation began in the fall of 2003, and then we got appointed to the special counsel at the end of December 2003. What is now clear is what we knew at that time. By that point in time we knew Mr. Libby had told a story. That what he had told reporters has come not from other government officials, but from reporter Tim Russert. It’s also now public that by that point in time the FBI had learned that in fact Tim Russert did not tell Mr. Libby that information. In fact, Tim Russert didn’t know it, and Tim Russert could not have told him. In Jan 2004 Fitzgerald learned from Ari Fleischer that David Gregory had received a leak on the morning of July 11, which certainly gave Russert time to chat with Gregory and then with Libby.? And Gregory works for Russert. Russert’s the bureau chief. ?Did Fitzgerald call Gregory to verify Fleischer’s testimony? No. Why not? Ask Fitzgerald. But my guess is that he figured that Gregory would only undermine the case he was constructing against Libby, and building that case was more important than learning the truth.”
This is, again, from JustOneMinute blog. Fitzgerald didn’t want any information in court that would discredit his effort to get Cheney, Libby, Rove, whoever he was really trying to get. But it boils down to the fact that Libby ends up being guilty for telling the truth about Joe Wilson and then not being honest about who he told and what. It’s maddening, and it’s absurd and is a discredit to the criminal justice system. All this talk about, “We can’t suborn perjury! The criminal justice system can’t survive lies.” I don’t know whether they’re lies, but there are so many people who had facts to blow this case out of the water that were totally ignored — and they didn’t come forward until after the grand jury’s term had expired and the indictment had come down against Libby — such as Armitage. Armitage today is a hero in Washington, along with Joe Wilson and his wife. They’re going to get rich. They’re probably going to have a movie about Wilson and his wife. Hollywood will eat this up. Meanwhile, a decent guy’s life is destroyed and his family destroyed, and he is facing 25 years in prison. Now, the federal guidelines for this sentencing indicate 18 months to three years will be the likely term if he’s sent to jail at all. It could be house detention. Who knows what’s going to happen? This is up to Judge Reggie B. Walton, who is also not a bright light in this whole affair.
RUSH: On Tuesday we played audio sound bites for you of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi saying essentially that this was nothing. We need to get further! It’s about time somebody in the administration was found guilty of all this. It was really, really shameless. A guy’s life has been destroyed and he didn’t do anything. He didn’t do anything! His life has been destroyed. That is forgotten in all of this. Even in Washington, even among Republican, everybody is talking about the process here, including me. We’re talking about the process. A guy’s life has been destroyed. A harmless, unassuming, loyal guy. I first heard about Scooter Libby back in the early nineties. I’ve never met him, but everybody I’ve talked to about him just loves the guy. He’s funny. He’s engaging. He’s a hard worker. It’s just an injustice. Libby never did anything to anybody. He never went out and said anything about anybody. He was just out there trying to defend his administration against a bunch of lies being told by an absolute pathological liar: Joe Wilson and his wife.
So the guys, the editors at National Review today have a nice editorial on Dingy Harry. They write that Reid’s, ?reaction to the Libby verdict perfectly illustrates the fantasy version of events that has marked the Valerie Plame Wilson leak investigation since its earliest days. Reid railed, ‘It?s about time someone in the Bush administration has been held accountable [sic] for the campaign to manipulate intelligence and discredit war critics.’ If that?s what Harry has been waiting for, the Libby verdict shouldn?t satisfy him. Libby was charged neither with manipulating intelligence nor with discrediting critics of the Iraq War.? Libby told the truth about critics! This is nothing to do with what the Democrats think that it’s about. They’ve all succumbed. They’re all living a huge lie, they and all of their supporters.
?Libby?s conviction followed from two sentences he uttered in two conversations with two individuals, and neither sentence had anything to do with manipulating intelligence or discrediting a run-of-the-mill war critic. When the words ‘Valerie Plame’ passed the lips of White House aides, it was only to set the record straight after a dishonest partisan accused the Bush administration of lying.? That would be Wilson, who claimed the office of the vice presidency sent him to Niger. His wife recommended him. George Tenet knew this. George Tenet had an axe to grind. He could have ended all this, but he was lazy and wouldn’t get the truth out from the CIA about who actually sent Wilson, but it even came out in the trial that the vice president’s office didn’t send Wilson. Wilson comes back, writes this op-ed full of lies, and the White House says, ?Who is this guy?? and they set out to find out.
?Because Bush?s stubbornly ill-informed political opponents persist in basing their attacks on discredited statements from the discredited Joe Wilson, a brief recounting of the facts is necessary yet again. New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof wrote on June 13, 2003, that President Bush?s claim that Saddam Hussein had sought uranium in Africa ‘had already been flatly discredited by an envoy investigating at the behest of the office of the Vice President.’ In fact, the claim wasn?t discredited by the envoy, who wasn?t sent at the behest of the vice president. These two old, false assertions form the basis of the accusations Harry Reid leveled yesterday. Reid doesn?t have to take our word for it.
“At the recent trial it was revealed that Valerie Plame recommended that her husband be sent to Niger before the vice president even inquired whether there was any additional intelligence about the uranium claim. As for manipulating pre-war intelligence, Senator Reid should run his poisonously partisan version of events past his former colleague, Sen. Chuck Robb. In its March 2005 report on pre-war WMD intelligence, the Silberman-Robb commission wrote, ‘The United States government asserted that Saddam Hussein had reconstituted his nuclear weapons program, had biological weapons and mobile biological weapon production facilities, and had stockpiled and was producing chemical weapons. All of this was based on the assessments of the U.S. Intelligence Community.’?
They didn’t “manipulate” anything! The Democrat on the committee makes this point and Dingy Harry is ignoring that. ?The commission found no evidence that policymakers pressured intelligence analysts, but did find that the unpressured analysts poorly served policymakers. According to the commission, the intelligence community failed to explain to policymakers ‘how much its assessments were driven by assumptions and inferences rather than concrete evidence.’ In his closing statement, Patrick Fitzgerald talked darkly about ‘a cloud over the vice president.’Fitzgerald has his weather patterns wrong.” The cloud is over Joe Wilson.