Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Libby waste o time

As usual, I find myself in complete agreement with myself:

“The understanding between Libby and the White House seems to be that Libby can do whatever he can to get off on a technicality.  If he is convicted anyway, Bush will pardon him.  All Libby’s lawyers have to do is manage the timing of the case so that Libby doesn’t actually have to report to a jail before Bush pardons him in December 2008.”

In spite of much wishful thinking from Democratic camp followers about the implications of the trial, the Bush White House got away with everything.  Libby didn’t turn against Rove: it was part of the deal that if Libby was the fall guy he could use any defense he could to get off, including the usual multiple defendant excuse of blaming the other crooks, as long as he kept Bush and Cheney out of it (that’s why it was incumbent on Fitzgerald to charge everybody, and try everybody together, and his failure to do so led directly to the disastrous result).  Rove didn’t have to testify.  Cheney didn’t have to testify.  Libby, in fact, wasn’t even guilty of the crime of outing Plame, and Fitzgerald somehow managed to find a way to immunize the guilty parties while appearing to be on the attack.  Fitzgerald is moving on to Conrad Black, a more politically agreeable target, as well as a slam-dunk win.  The jury took so long to decide as they ended up seeing Libby, one of the greatest villains in the world, as some kind of saint.  All we have now that we didn’t have before is more evidence suggestive of Cheney’s supervisory role in the matter, but having more evidence that Cheney is slime doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

Libby had to lie to ensure that the Plamegate matter, and the much more important wider implications of the lies told to fool the American public into attacking Iraq, didn’t become an election issue in the 2004 Presidential election.  His lies worked, and the matter of being convicted is a slight embarrassment.  All he has to do is drag out the appeal so the timing is right for Bush to pardon him at the end of Bush’s term.  Libby will end up a very rich man at the end of all this, as the Republicans always make sure that no act of criminality goes unrewarded.

The only good thing about the trial is that it removed one of the main instruments of the Cabal from the White House.  It is easy to underestimate Libby, as he appears to be unaggressive and unthreatening.  In fact, he was one of the most dangerous men in the world.  It is not a coincidence that the White House lost its track at the same time that Libby was forced to leave.