Thursday, March 08, 2007

Libby Trial & PBS = Pretty Bogus Service

There was truth in the air, but I was disappointed to see PBS News Hour featuring Carol Leonnig of the Washington Post and Victoria Toensing, an attorney with connections to Bush & Co. as Ray Suarez cowtowed like a real pussy to their spin on the if you're thinking about donating any money to PBS, maybe you should think of Air America.

The main count that Libby was convicted on was obstruction of justice, and what he was covering for was the outing of Valery plame, a CIA operative. A serious charge that endangered her life and well being, and obstructed an investigation that involved Joe Wilson and weapons of mass destruction. Bush and Co. (aka Dick Cheney) told Scooter Libby to spread the word about Plame.

The result of this is that all of the Neocons that now run our country lied and did everything they could to sell this country a war on false premises, and wrote a speech for Colin Powell for his speech before the UN. This is now a known fact, and everyone of them should be impeached from office. But the reality is that there is talk of Bush giving Libby a pardon. A pardon given by somebody that is guiltier than Libby himself. A pardon given by an ideologue who calls himself The War President, The Decider, and The Educator...A man that believes he can decieve "We The People", by merely being in a position of authority and teaching us through repetition and outright lying. A commander in chief who doesn't have to be accountable for anything he says or does.

Why didn't Public Broadcasting bring out a few points on what this trial was about, instead of some moot points about poor Scooter? From my point of view the millions of people who knew what was up, and demonstrated against this war in the times leading up to the invasion if Iraq have been cheated. We knew it at the time because their was not adequate main stream media coverage of these events.

We should all get together and file a private suite on George W Bush and all of the Neoconservatiives that make up his cabinet.

PBS News Hour

Libby Convicted of Perjury, Obstruction of Justice

Jurors in the trial of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby delivered guilty verdicts on four of five counts of perjury and obstruction of justice Tuesday, following a four-year investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's identity.

RAY SUAREZ: It took the jury 10 days to reach guilty verdicts in the perjury trial of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff.

Libby was convicted on four of five counts resulting from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into who leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

As she had been throughout the trial, Carol Leonnig of the Washington Post was in the courtroom when the verdicts were announced, and she joins us once again.

And after the jury being out for a long time, Carol, there must have been some anticipation and reaction when the verdicts were read.

CAROL LEONNIG, The Washington Post: There was. You know, there was a lot of feeling on the part of reporters that, you know, what's going on with the jury? Why is it taking so long? Ten days of deliberations after a 14-day trial, it seemed a little out of whack.

And when the verdict was read, actually what was striking was there was almost no emotion, no visible sign of any reaction on the part of the defendant, Scooter Libby, the vice president's former chief of staff.

RAY SUAREZ: There were five counts in all. Could you quickly walk us through how they broke down?

CAROL LEONNIG: I sure can. There were five counts. Two counts were felony charges of lying to the FBI; two counts of lying to the grand jury, perjury counts; and one count, the most serious of all, which was obstruction of justice.

The jury found Mr. Libby guilty on all but one of those counts. On the one that he was found innocent of was one that the jury had struggled with for the last five days, lots of questions back and forth. It was the charge suggesting that Mr. Libby had lied to the FBI about conversations he had about Valerie Plame, the CIA officer, who's at the center of this leak probe, conversations he had with Time magazine's Matt Cooper about her.

And the concern the jury had at the time was that, in notes they sent to the judge, that they weren't sure that the FBI had gotten these statements Mr. Libby had made exactly right. So there are a lot of experts today we've spoken to already this afternoon who feel that the jury was giving him the benefit of the doubt.

On another related count, in which Mr. Libby described that same conversation with Mr. Cooper to the grand jury, the jury in this case found him guilty of lying about that conversation with Mr. Cooper.

RAY SUAREZ: And we know that was the hold-up with the jury how? Were the jurors open about that after they were dismissed today?

CAROL LEONNIG: Well, we know it two ways. One is that the notes. They were over and over again asking in different incarnations how exactly, your honor -- and all these notes were addressed to the judge -- how shall we deal with this issue in count three? Can we use the information from the grand jury to make a decision about Libby's statements to the FBI?

Keep in mind, if you can't remember this, keep in mind that the defense had very effectively during trial raised questions about the accuracy of the FBI's report or its own notes about Libby's statements to them about the conversation with Matt Cooper. There was a suggestion the FBI didn't accurately describe that conversation.

Now, the grand jury testimony that Libby gave, in which he described this conversation, was tape-recorded and transcribed.


Here's an article that is a little more like what public broadcast should be presenting. It is obvious that Bush and Co. has a lot of influence about what is said and done on this part of the media that should be influenced only by the people who support it

Liar in the White House

By Rupert Cornwell
The Independent UK

Wednesday 07 March 2007

Cheney aide found guilty in CIA leak case.
Saga of Washington's discredited WMD claims leads to the conviction for perjury of Dick Cheney's key aide.

In a massive new blow to the credibility of the White House, Vice-President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff Lewis Libby has been convicted of obstruction of justice, perjury and lying to the FBI, during the investigation into the leaking of the identity of a CIA agent.

After a seven-week trial, the jury found Libby guilty yesterday on four of the five counts against him. Ever calm in court, Libby merely blinked as the verdict was read out. Defence lawyers immediately said they would seek a fresh trial, and if that failed, lodge an appeal. In theory Libby faces up to 25 years in jail, though federal sentencing guidelines mean he is likely to receive a far shorter term.

The case arose from the investigation into the leak in July 2003 of the name of Valerie Plame, the CIA agent whose husband, the former ambassador Joseph Wilson, had been a virulent critic of the Iraq war. Ms Plame's identity was revealed a few days after Mr Wilson had written a New York Times column debunking White House claims that Saddam Hussein had sought to buy uranium in Africa, and accusing the Bush administration of deliberately manipulating pre-war intelligence. Libby was not accused of leaking the name deliberately, which is a criminal offence. His crime was to lie to the FBI and the grand jury investigating the case, by maintaining he only learnt who Ms Plame was from a reporter, two days before her name appeared in print.

But some of the most celebrated journalists in Washington went into the witness box to testify they had been told by Libby in person that Mr Wilson's wife worked for the CIA - in one case three weeks before Libby said he became aware of the fact.

Defence lawyers contended that if he made a mistake, it was simply because of a faulty memory caused by pressure of work. But the jury decided that Libby had directly lied. The motive, one juror explained to reporters afterwards, was to cover up the involvement of the Vice-President himself in the campaign to discredit the former ambassador.

In a statement, Mr Cheney said he was "very disappointed with the verdict". At the White House the mood was equally grim. George Bush respected the result of the trial, but was "saddened for Scooter Libby and his family", a spokesman said.

But there is no concealing the extent of the damage. Libby is not only the most senior Bush administration official to face - and now be convicted of - criminal charges. As chief of staff to arguably the most powerful vice-president in US history, he was one of the two or three most important policy-makers at the White House after the President and Vice-President.

The trial, in which neither Libby nor his former boss testified, threw no new light on the handling of the WMD intelligence used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But it revealed the obsessive sensitivity of the Vice-President's office to any attack on its pre-war use of intelligence, and its determination to discredit critics.

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