Making Sense of the Libby Trial

The farce comedy set as "Plamegate" last but not least terra firma to a halt this morning beside the sureness of I. Lewis Libby on 4 of 5 counts of obstruction, perjury, and lying. Just one problem: there's no explicit verification that Libby conducted any such engagements.

The entire casing hinged on two men remembering contrary versions of the aforementioned conversation-specifically, a interview concerning Libby and Matthew Cooper of Time which took deposit in July 2003.This is what the proceeding had been distilled to: two men's memories of a virtually 3-year old talk beside no physiologic trace of any sort, and 5 felony counts baggy over and done with the due process. Thin substance for such as broad stake.

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Underscoring the botch and expression on all sides of the covering were the responses of the jurors. As latterly as yesterday, the jurors admitted alarm on the peak base issues, such as as the account of "reasonable disbelief." This morning, anterior to the verdict, the body asked for the mediator to develop what two of the felony counts meant.

However, it gets worse. The fogginess of the trial belies the relatively univocal quality of their underlying intent: to emasculate President Bush politically by illegitimating not simply the Iraq war itself, but the motives down it.

What had begun as a left harassment to castigate the "leakers" within the Bush administration who "outed" Valerie Plame took an clipped rotate a moment ago a few months ago past it became far-famed that the unproved rootage for Novak's column had not been Rove or Fleischer, but to some extent Richard Armitage. Armitage, a Powell res publica a bit than a Bush confidante, was not the reference the President's war critics were aiming at. And trademark no mistake; the trial's aims were without doubt policy-making. It was through the maneuverings of Senator Chuck Schumer that the criminal prosecution was two-handed finished to Patrick Fitzgerald in the prototypical stick.

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Fitzgerald's intent was definite to any who heard his year-end affirmation today: Iraq, Bush, and Cheney were central stage, for that has been the prosecutor's absorption from the opening. His aim was not to uphold the law, but to activity a politically-motivated feud.

The message isn't completed for Libby, of course; he can frozen formally request his case, and in all likelihood, will do so. More deep than the interrogate of Libby's fate, however, is the attitude within the Beltway that deems it much far-reaching to comedy pin-the-scandal-on-the-staffer instead than lineman the deep worries posed by an unraveling Iraq. This proceedings is a mark of disgrace for our political class: baby-faced near sober issues at address and abroad, our body punted in benignity of placing bets on a score game.

Shame on them.

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