Tuesday, October 25, 2005
- My webhosting service has been balky or completely down for the past 20 hours or so. If my friends there don't get it up and running pretty soon I'll be tempted to tell you what company they're with... This would be the morning I wanted to toss a couple of quick Iraq-related posts into the blogsphere, eh? So it's lucky I can at least get them up here... The first one is:
Cheney as Agnew?
- I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.
The NYT reporters write that Fitz "is expected to decide whether to bring charges in the case by Friday." So I guess we'll know soon enough.
From what these reporters' sources have told them, there so far seems only a small possibility that a threat of imminent indictment might force Cheney to follow the example that Spiro Agnew set in 1973--also, in October-- and become only the third vice-president in the history of this republic to resign from office.
But who knows? Thus far, Fitzgerald's staff has done a good job of holding their cards remarkably close to their chests. (There is no indication that this latest leak to the NYT people came from them.) So we did not know about this new twist in the case until now. What more might we learn in three days' time?
Anyway, the newly disclosed information about the Cheney-Libby conversation, certainly seem to make matters harder for Libby. The reporters write:
- Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby's testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.
The notes, taken by Mr. Libby during the conversation, for the first time place Mr. Cheney in the middle of an effort by the White House to learn about Ms. Wilson's husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV.
... The notes help explain the legal difficulties facing Mr. Libby. Lawyers in the case said Mr. Libby testified to the grand jury that he had first heard from journalists that Ms. Wilson may have had a role in dispatching her husband on a C.I.A.-sponsored mission to Africa in 2002 in search of evidence that Iraq had acquired nuclear material there for its weapons program.
But the notes, now in Mr. Fitzgerald's possession, also indicate that Mr. Libby first heard about Ms. Wilson - who is also known by her maiden name, Valerie Plame - from Mr. Cheney. That apparent discrepancy in his testimony suggests why prosecutors are weighing false statement charges against him in what they interpret as an effort by Mr. Libby to protect Mr. Cheney from scrutiny, the lawyers said.
It is not clear why Mr. Libby would have suggested to the grand jury that he might have learned about Ms. Wilson from journalists if he was aware that Mr. Fitzgerald had obtained the notes of the conversation with Mr. Cheney or might do so. At the beginning of the investigation, Mr. Bush pledged the White House's full cooperation and instructed aides to provide Mr. Fitzgerald with any information he sought.
- (1) The Democratic Party leaders are still nowhere in terms of being out there, advocating a compelling alternative to the cabalists' view of the world (or even, apparently, able to any significant political profit from the cabalists' escalating discomfiture, at all.)
(2) There are numerous "wag the dog" scenarios being feverishly discussed around Washington right now. Ludicrous those each of these scenarios might appear on its own merits-- Syria? Iran??-- the fact that there are no adults (from either party) on the scene in Washington DC means we need to be very concerned indeed that even the most childish and incendiary scenarios may get played out over the weeks ahead as a desperate attempt at a "wag the dog" diversion...
Human equality now!
The JWN permalink for this one will be this, but it might not work for a few more hours...