Thursday, March 08, 2007

I wrote a month ago that Libby would be found guilty and then pardoned. No big surprises on either count.

With the verdict in, a smattering of wise words:
  • Dan Froomkin: "There is an enormous public-policy factor here -- something more important than the vague, theoretical possibility of influencing a fair trial. Just for example, no executive of any company would be allowed by his shareholders to remain mum on a top aide's indictment -- not to mention conviction. He'd be fired....What are the ethical standards for this White House? What is considered acceptable behavior and what is not? What is a firing offense?" Also, Froomkin criticizes his own employer (Washington Post), stating today's editorial makes "assertions that aren't supported by facts that have been reported by its own news operation."
  • Philadelphia Inquirer: "If the president truly does respect this verdict, he ought to be seeking resignations. Rove, the architect of his presidency, was neck-deep in the scheme to discredit Wilson....And what of Cheney, whose bidding Libby clearly was doing? Libby is the only one headed for jail, but the verdict condemns higher government officials in absentia."
  • Dana Milbank: "As a political matter, Libby's trial had long ago ceased to be about one man's guilt or innocence. Witnesses made it plain that at least three other administration officials had joined Libby in leaking the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame, including top Bush strategist Karl Rove." [Agreed. In accordance with any kind of ethical litmus test, Karl Rove should've submitted his resignation yesterday. The same holds true for Cheney. However, given the nonexistent ethical standards in this cabal, one can just dream on].
  • Andrew Sullivan: "Something is rotten in the heart of Washington; and it lies in the vice-president's office. The salience of this case is obvious. What it is really about - what it has always been about - is whether this administration deliberately misled the American people about WMD intelligence before the war. The risks Cheney took to attack Wilson, the insane over-reaction that otherwise very smart men in this administration engaged in to rebut a relatively trivial issue: all this strongly implies the fact they were terrified that the full details of their pre-war WMD knowledge would come out. Fitzgerald could smell this. He was right to pursue it, and to prove that a brilliant, intelligent, sane man like Libby would risk jail to protect his bosses. What was he really trying to hide? We now need a Congressional investigation to find out more, to subpoena Cheney and, if he won't cooperate, consider impeaching him."
  • Fortunately, the trial showed that whereas this administration controlled the media for far too long, in the end they couldn't control "the message" when it came to facts, the jury, and the law. Chalk up a victory for our court system.

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