"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously."Thomas Sowell

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Plame Game Continues

I was very shocked to receive a letter today from a friend who posits that Scooter Libby is taking a fall for the Administration and will be pardoned later by Bush. Reform Club readers will recall that I made a joke to that effect in an earlier post, where I said: "When I heard that Scooter might be going to jail to protect George, I was surprised to hear that Rizzuto was still that loyal to Steinbrenner."

But beyond the joke, to offer this as a serious contention is trumped by logic in every relevant detail.

1) Libby did not admit to being the leaker of Plame's name. On the contrary, he is being prosecuted for denying that fact.

2) If Libby was taking the fall and hoping for a pardon, he would have plea-bargained and pleaded guilty. Coming to court and loudly proclaiming his innocence is not being helpful to the Administration.

3) If Libby believes that this Administration operates by this type of corrupt loyalty system, then he must know that by pleading Not Guilty he is THROWING AWAY ANY CHANCE OF A PARDON.

4) Since Libby is not admitting being the leaker, he is leaving OPEN the possibility that somebody else is, exposing the Administration to further suspicion and investigation.

Bottom line, you do not deflect blame from anybody by denying blame, only by accepting blame.

I grew up around conspiracy thinking; it is a pandemic among Jews. I never liked the whole approach or the attitude of cynicism that it engenders. And, furthermore, it is almost never right.


Tlaloc said...

I'd agree that his pleading Not Guilty means he's not being a total fall guy. The question is whether he has enough loyalty (or they have enough blackmail) to keep him from spilling all the beans when he makes the case for his defence.

In other words will he say what really happened or just try to cloud the issue enough to create reasonable doubt?

James Elliott said...

Libby did not admit to being the leaker of Plame's name. On the contrary, he is being prosecuted for denying that fact.

Uh, no? He's being prosecuted for denying to FBI investigators and the grand jury that he spoke to administration officials and reporters about it when he apparently demonstrably did and that said denial impeded the investigation into the leak.

jp koch said...

Before we jump to conclusions shouldn't wait until the prosecutors present their case and supporting evidence? So far all we have is the information that Fitzgerald presented during his press conference. According to his comments, Fitzgerald says they have documentation that contradicts what Libby told the grand jury and reporters. This hard evidence may be the nail that seals Libby's coffin.

However, Fitzgerald obviously needed Miller's testimony before he could get the 12 votes for the indicitment. Libby, last year signed an agreement at the behest of the WH to free all reporters from any non-disclosure agreements. Miller wasn't the only reporter involved here, and her future testimony will probably be herseay. If Fitzgerald has such an air tight case, then why wait to depose Miller? If Miller's testimony is so important what does that say about any other evidence of perjury?

Since Fitzgerald couldn't indict anyone on breaking the 1982 anti-espionage act, there wasn't a crime to cover up. The defense will surely use this point if the prosecutors wish to broaden thier attack. If the prosecutors wish to limit thier attack on the purely techincal grounds of misleading the investigation, then all the other background drama (Plame, Pre-war Intel, did Cheney instruct him to lie?, etc..)will come to naught. If the prosecutors keep thier focus on on this one area (misleading an investigation), then they have a much greater chance of conviction.

BTW, we still don't know who leaked Plame's name to Novak. It appears the grand jury didn't think any crime was committed. That is Plame's job title or work didn't qualify her as a covert, under cover operative. Therefore, leaking her name to the press wasn't in fact a federal crime.

I seriously doubt Libby would willingly take the fall for this administration. Just think, he now has no income, he must absorb huge legal bills (he probably had to fork over 6 figures in retainer money alone), his reputation is at stake, and he could eventually go to prison.