Cries of compassion and calls for pardon arise now across the land. "Poor Scooter!" "His children, his poor wife!" The cable news shows are all reverberating with "inside the beltway’ outrage over Libby’s stiff sentence. Pay no attention, folks. Republicans and Democrats alike in this beautiful but rotten town care more for whether or not they will continue to be invited to Georgetown dinner parties than anything else. Political incest would be too mild a word for it. Virtue matters not at all.
Lewis Libby was one of the main enablers for the Cheney "crew" in "setting Americans up" for acquiescence in the foolish war in Iraq. He participated in the attack on Joe Wilson for the "crime" of pointing out the embarrassing truth that the fabricated Niger uranium story was just that. Libby was not the first or only character assassin in this matter? So what?
His "stonewalling," obstruction of justice and perjury were primary obstacles to Fitzgerald’s ability to make cases against some of the other conspirators. It is for that this righteous judge has sentenced him to prison.
Should others have been tried and sentenced with him? Absolutely!
The war was "sold" to the American people in a massive campaign of lies and exaggerations.
Libby is going to pay one way or another for his and his friends’ sins. Will the president pardon him? It does not matter. He will always be a convicted felon.
You feel sorry for Libby? Feel sorry for all those brave, patriotic people who have been victimized by his "crew." pl
All true, Pat. But being a convicted felon has been seen by some people as a good item to have on your resume… (Elliott Abrams, anyone?)
Poor Scooter? Not from this American! Poor us – betrayed for power and sold for profit by an Administration which recognizes no law and gives no allegiance or loyalty. The only principles they recognize are self-aggrandizement and complete unaccountability to anyone for anything.
The sentence was too light, if anything, and the fine far too little. Mr. Libby and his family should, in my opinion, be reduced to public assistance. This is indeed harsh on his wife and children, but perhaps Mr. Libby should have thought of them before betraying his country for gain.
Perhaps the most traitorous aspect of Bush/Cheney/Libby’s act here is the message to the undercover agents working for the U.S.A. in foreign lands. Undercover agents used to rely on the integrity and support of the U.S.A. that their identities would be safeguarded and that every effort would be made not to needlessly endanger their lives. When a name is released it puts at risk every other undercover agent who could be associated with the leaked name. Compromised agents have come home to the U.S.A. in pieces. Bush and Cheney sent a clear message to the C.I.A. personnel that the leaders of our country no longer have any consideration for the lives of the individuals in the field risking their own lives for the comfort and privileges of us back home. Why do you think that the moral of the C.I.A. is so low?
I don’t claim to be in the right century, but, really… People like those you mention are beneath contempt. pl
Well said and to the Point..
Libby was a Major Player and a well educated Attorney who knew better..than to Lie and Cover for others..He thought He would get away with it and people would keep thier mouths shut..
A lot of people do not understand or care about how sleezy and disgusting this whole matter is..or the Contempt they all showed of the PUBLIC TRUST
I think the Judge who sentenced Libby understands the level and meaning of “Contempt” in this Disgraceful Matter..
I have my own contempt for Libby and everyone else He associated with who Schemed Against the American people ..just to start a War ..
BETRAYAL..If not Treason..
Too bad more of those responsible for the Iraq debacle will not be given prison terms. It’s also amusing to note that those pooh-poohing Libby’s crime as merely a little lieing among friends were the same crowd braying for impeachment of Slick Willie for his little fib.
I wouldn’t p*** on Libby or his co-conspirators if they were on fire.
Succinct enough for you, Pat Lang?
The Century doesn’t matter. Having a minimum of integrity does in any aspect of life in any Century. What is it that Benjamin Franklin is reported to have said on leaving the Constitutional Convention and being asked by a woman in the street what they had created: “It is a Republic madam, if you can keep it.” I fear now as I have not done before in my 70 plus years that we might not be able to ‘keep it’.
Mr. Lang, you’re dead on. Libby is obviously a fallguy for Cheney. Fitzgerald certainly knows this, but because of Libby he couldn’t prove it.
While it is bad for his family indeed, it was him who brought it on them and himself. So no pity on this side of the Atlantic either.
Patrick Fitzgerald — American Hero
If he had been a politico, then he would have deep sixed this case in grand jury. Happens all the time. And it’s historically significant that he did not. His prosecution was an American work of art.
Lesson to be learned: don’t give a damn about being on a Georgetown A-list, I reckon.
I think he got off way to easy. He should be instigated for war crimes!
“The present age abounds with a race of liars who are content with the consciousness of falsehood, and whose pride is to deceive others without any gain or glory to themselves.”
This is shaping up to become as divisive as France’s Dreyfus Affair in the 1890s–in which the two antagonistic sides seemed to belong to different countries. There was a funny cartoon about the issue:
Panel 1 shows a respectable extended family sitting down to Sunday Dinner. The Patriarch of the family begs, “Above all, to preserve family harmony, let us not spoil this occasion by speaking of IT.”
Panel 2 shows the entire family in battle royale, using the cutlery, chairs, anything to hand to fight with. The caption: “They spoke of IT.”
I just heard that a number of the Republicans debating felt Libby had been unfaired against, that he had done nothing wrong. There does not seem to be much honor left in either party. Oh for someone who would stand up and speak the truth. Of course he/she wouldn’t get elected.
I think he got off way to easy. He should be instigated for war crimes!
Indeed! Steve Clemons expresses sympathy for Scooter because he’s taking the rap to protect Cheney. I just don’t understand this kind of empathy.
My last assignment in 1991 for alittle over a year before I retired from the Army was on the OSD staff working in a small obscure office on the 1st floor/D ring with three other officers under a very savvy civilian ‘GS-99’… all of who worked for Scooter. Scoot was the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Strategy and Policy. We all worked for Paul Wolfowitz-now there’s a fun guy! (As an aside, I’d really like to see his head on a pike at the POAC entrance) Anyway, Scooter did, all accounts at the time, a good job. But by my measure he was an ambitious and detached well-dressed functionary who impressed me as one more political hack ‘just passing through.’ He was devoid of any expressed affection or appreciation for the essential purpose of why we slugged in from North parking every morning; the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines on the line whom we staff slugs were to support. In meetings he was clinical and aloof and I don’t recall him ever thanking any of us for anything we did; he was a cold fish.
That was all fifteen years ago and most of my Army fires have long ago turned to embers. I still rail about the growing disconnect between the people-us- and our Army, and I blister over media coverage of our troops not having adequate armor protection or sufficient logistical support to allow three A’s a day. But mostly I focus on chasing the grandchildren, grouse about the weather and traffic here in DC, and do my second career. But not today! Today I watched with more than passing interest in the sentencing of Scoot and went back in my mind to days in low quarters and staff actions. I feel justice served as imperfect as justice may be. Libby had his chance and blew it. He may have taken the tumble for the VP, but that was his election and he got stung. Needless to say I have not and won’t in the future contribute to the ‘Scoot defense fund.’ As the old 1SG once said, “Some people are like Slinkies . . . not really good for anything, but you still can’t help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.”
As we watch the “Sopranos” unfold to their end these days, your use of the word “crew” seems especially apt.
The United States of America is being governed by liars, felons and war criminals. Our reputation is in tatters and we are weaker for it. Thousands of people have died needlessly. Libby will be pardoned Christmas Eve 2008, and Bush will hand off the two wars, our ruined foreign policy, our bankrupted treasury, our decimated military, and our demoralized intelligence services to his successor. If America were a product, it would be time to hire the top dollar re-branding specialists. We’ve come through dark periods before, but never have so few people done so much damage in such a short period of time.
Poor Scooter indeed.
Even though I’m a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources.
They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.
(Remarks By George Bush, 41st President of the United States, April 26, 1999 https://www.cia.gov/news-information/speeches-testimony/1999/bush_speech_042699.html)
It’s worth noting that Patrick Fitzgerald’s early experience included being an assistant prosecutor in the case against John Gotti, as well as handling drug trafficking cases. I suspect the experience prosecuting organized crime served him well dealing with corrupt politicians.
Homer: There’s somewhat bitter in in the words of George Bush Sr, given the Iran Contra pardons he signed off on. Do you suppose ‘Sr.’ thinks leaking the names of covert agents is better or worse than selling weapons to Iran?
And I’m very very sure those pardons were issued because George Bush Sr. knew that if any one of those six flipped, his head would be next on the block.
Just take a look at all the “movers and shakers” (courtesy: Neil at TNH) who frequent the Georgetown parties and who run our country who lobbied Judge Walton to be lenient.
The rule of law is for only us average citizens. Those that wrote to vouch for Scooter believe they are above the law. I wonder how many letters of leniency Gen. Pace and Gen. Myers have written for our troops in legal trouble as a result of being put into the meat grinder of Iraq. And thanks Mary Matalin and James Carville for informing us that partisanship does not impinge on the lives of the DC “aristocrats”. And good ol boy Henry Kissinger who has sent many Americans to die in foreign lands. Wow! My jaw dropped on seeing the list of the DC elites who believe obstructing justice and a criminal investigation is par for the course when its committed by one of their own.
Libby failed. Take note of the people that defend his actions and deny facts to excuse his conduct. Some of these persons are in positions of power. They are dangerous.
i used to tell my clients to not sweat about the guilt phase (if they were nailed) but concentrate on the sentencing.
In Irve Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s case there is ONLY one thing that matters. Will the judge allow him his freedom pending the hearing of his appeal? If he does then he will never serve a day of his thirty months. That is because he’s always had Dumbya’s pardon in his back pocket. That’s why Pumphead Cheney didn’t even bother to send the judge a letter.
Prediction: last-minute Bush pardon followed by some cushy think-tank or lobbying job as payback for taking a slug for the team.
If he does time between now and January 2009, they’ll tack an extra $250K/year onto his salary as compensation.
I think that the judge will send him to jail, that LL will demand a pardon in return for silence, that GWB will not want to give it to him and there will be a hell of a row. pl
Petition to revoke the independence of the United States of America
To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories.
Except Utah, which she does not fancy.
Your new Prime Minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair MP, for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections.
The House of Representatives and the Senate will be disbanded.
A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
1. You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up “aluminium.” Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.
The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour’; skipping the letter ‘U’ is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters.
You will end your love affair with the letter ‘Z’ (pronounced ‘zed’ not ‘zee’) and the suffix “ize” will be replaced by the suffix “ise.”
You will learn that the suffix ‘burgh’ is pronounced ‘burra’ e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to re-spell Pittsburgh as ‘Pittsberg’ if you can’t cope with correct pronunciation.
Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up “vocabulary.” Using the same thirty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “uhh”, “like”, and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.
Look up “interspersed.”
There will be no more ‘bleeps’ in the Jerry Springer show. If you’re not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn’t have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary, then you won’t have to use bad language as often.
2. There is no such thing as “US English.” We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of “-ize.”
3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn’t that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier).
You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents — Scottish dramas such as “Taggart” will no longer be broadcast with subtitles.
While we’re talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is “Devon.” If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become “shires” e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.
4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters.
British sit-coms such as “Men Behaving Badly” or “Red Dwarf” will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can’t cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness. Popular British films such as the Italian Job and the Wicker Man should never be remade.
5. You should relearn your original national anthem, “God Save The Queen”, but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.
6. You should stop playing American “football.” There are other types of football such as Rugby, Aussie Rules & Gaelic football. However proper football – which will no longer be known as soccer, is the best known, most loved and most popular. What you refer to as American “football” is not a very good game.
The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays “American” football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football.
Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American “football”, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies).
We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by 2008.
You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the ‘World Series’ for a game which is not played outside of North America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls’ game called “rounders,” which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.
7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don’t believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
8. The 4th of July is no longer a public holiday. The 2nd of November will be a new national holiday, but only in Britain. It will be called “Indecisive Day.”
9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap, and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.
All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call ‘French fries’ are not real chips. Fries aren’t even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called “crisps.” Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat.
Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.
11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.
12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling “beer” is not actually beer at all, it is lager . From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as “beer,” and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as “Lager.” The substances formerly known as “American Beer” will henceforth be referred to as “Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine,” with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as “Weak Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine.” This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in the Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.
13. From the 10th of November the UK will harmonise petrol (or “gasoline,” as you will be permitted to keep calling it until the 1st of April) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the Former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon — get used to it).
14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.
15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us crazy.
16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).
Thank you for your co-operation.
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King James Street
At sentencing, Judge Walton said that he could not think of a reason why Scooter should remain free on an appellate bond. To plug into the language of this website, that statement reveals his intent and he sure as hell as the capability to deny the bond. No need for quantitative analysis there!
Common sense addendum: odds are very good that a federal judge is not going to suddenly reverse his stand after making such a statement on record and in open court, knowing full well his words were going to be broadcasted around the world. Judge Walton probably stated he would take a gander at the memo’s to protect the record, e.g. proof that due process was satisfied.
Couple the judge’s statement at the hearing with a fairly harsh sentence under federal guidelines and it’s reasonable to conclude that the judge agreed entirely with the prosecution’s presentation of the case and the jury’s verdict. If he had disagreed with the jury’s verdict, then the sentence would have been much less.
Also…Patrick “Bulldog” Fitzgerald won the judge over very early in the judicial process — the USG won nearly all pre-trial motions — and the defense counsel alienated — actually infuriated — the judge during the trial, particularly near closing.
Looks like the judge is not going to do any favors for the defense at this stage of the game.
Presumption strong that Judge Walton will deny the appellate bond. And the record of the trial looks clean, at least from a distance.
Fed time is real time, so I wouldn’t expect an early parole.
As I say…Patrick “Bulldog” Fitzgerald — American hero.
But will Scooter threaten to flip this late in the game? Es muy possible. If he had flipped earlier, then the entire administration would have gone down, as part of the deal with Bulldog surely would have required Scooter’s testimony against those higher up the chain. And those folks higher up the chain were scared to death of Patrick Fitzgerald. Now, if Scooter threatens to flip to obtain a Prez pardon, there would be no worry about testifying as part of the deal and the crimes of this administration remain hidden in the dark.
What kind of a lame brain actually feels sorry for Scooter Libby?
He clearly thinks government service means serving Godfather-type figures and aiding them in doing anything they want or order. His conception certainly doesn’t seem to include “serving” the people—as he showed by intentionally gumming up this investigation to protect his current patron.
If the judge actually follows through on his intimation that there isn’t going to be a bond during Libby’s spurious appeal, then we quickly reach the situation that Col Lang has just raised: what’s the “price” of Libby keeping his mouth shut about Godfather Cheney?
Don’t you think the pardon deal has already been cut? Why else would Libby’s legal team not present the evidence they promised in their opening statement at the trial? The pardon in exchange for silence (with the undestanding there would be some jail time) was probably agreed upon during the trial – when the White House found out how much Fitzgerald really knew about Cheney.
I really enjoy your site colonel and I apologize for an off topic question but I don’t know where else to ask it. Is the U.S. plan to install missiles in Poland really aimed at Iran. It seems unlikely to me.
Again, I apologize for the off topic comment
some of those who have been pardoned
George H.W. Bush
Elliott Abrams Iran-Contra affair
Armand Hammer CEO of the Occidental Petroleum Company, Bad Nixon campaign contribution
Robert C. McFarlane – National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan over Iran-Contra Affair
Caspar Weinberger – Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan, pardoned before trial over Iran-Contra Affair
 Gerald Ford
Jimmy Hoffa (sentence commuted on condition)
i pose the following hypothetical — libby is a ‘threat’ to BOTH bush-boy and cheney as he knows where their skeletons are buried. which in turn will create what you described as ‘a hell of a row’. and another hypothetical — libby bites the big one while in prison due to ‘natural causes’. bush-boy and cheney both have the capability to reach inside our federal prison system and ‘touch’ whom they feel is a threat in particular regarding knowledge of their skeletons.
>I think that the judge will send him to jail, that LL will demand a pardon in return for silence, that GWB will not want to give it to him and there will be a hell of a row. pl
Let’s hope so. Let’s also hope that at some stage a large number of custard pies get involved in the proceedings.
There was a case during the Reagan Administration involving a man named Barry Seal, if memory serves. Reagan made a TV speech in which he produced a photograph of Sandinista officials loading drugs onto a plane. What the people weren’t told was that Reagan was betraying the identity of the man who took the photos, Barry Seal. The photos were obviously taken from the window of the plane cockpit, and Seal was the pilot.
There was some discussion about the consequences of using the photo, since A. it would probably end Seal’s usefullness as an inside informant and B. it would probably end Seal’s life. But the decision was made that the propaganda value of the photo outweighed the potential consequences. They were counting on the people whom Seal had betrayed being imbeciles.
Barry Seal was hunted down and killed.
I absolutely agree with the sentiments by all. And, the Judge probably will send Libby to jail while he appeals. If Libby goes quickly to jail, an interesting tussle might erupt.
Libby will scream “get me out of here!” to the White House. If Bush refuses to quickly pardon….maybe Libby has a “jail-house conversion”, and flips on WH players?
On the other hand, if Bush DOES quickly pardon, might Congress haul Libby before an investigating panel, and force him to testify about all he knows? An interesting time ahead, indeed.
IMO, the Commander Guy will not issue a pardon only if he is secure that a flipped Scooter will not implicate him. However, Scooter has notes that were released that suggested that the Commander Guy was very interested in the Kristof article on the State of the Union address.
Shooter and his minions will be putting a lot of pressure on the Decider. Just look at all the DC “elites” who sent supportive letters to Judge Walton and the Libby Defense Fund raised millions of dollars with high profile backers. This seems very unusual – the degree, vigor and openness of the support that Scooter has received from a veritable DC who’s-who. Even Republican presidential candidates are saying that the conviction was unfair. We’ll see if the Commander Guy can withstand this onslaught.
Question for US readers?
Does he lose his pension benefits and entitlements because of this?
If not, why not?
Re: “I think that the judge will send him to jail, that LL will demand a pardon in return for silence, that GWB will not want to give it to him and there will be a hell of a row.”
oh, goody. I hope you’re right, Col. But why won’t GWB give it to him? what am i missing?
I think you’re right, but that GWB will agree (privately) to pardon him after the 2008 elections. Which will mean about 17 months in the slammer for poor lil’ Scoot. Doubt if he’ll tumble given the trust fund waiting for him on the other end….and the Jacobins will surely continue to howl and shriek about his martyrdom.
Call me a dreamer, but it seems to me that the Libby case and the rulings on the two Gitmo-cases recently indicates that the US judicial system is finally rallying around the law as opposed to the president. To those of you in the know, what is the view of the JAGs on the new regime? It must be a pretty strange job trying to uphold the law when your commander obviously holds it in the deepest contempt…
PL this is off topic but timely. The Cyclone being guided up to the Straits of Hormuz, could this be a pre-attack move for tomorrow?
This link has control holes in the cyclone I think for guidance http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/tc-bin/tc_home2.cgi?PHOT=yes&ACTIVES=07-EPAC-01E.ALVIN,07-IO-02A.GONU&ATCF_BASIN=io&NAV=tc&ATCF_YR=2007&CURRENT=20070606.1900.meteo7.x.ir1km_bw.02AGONU.60kts-980mb-247N-588E.100pc.jpg&AGE=Latest&ATCF_NAME=io022007&YEAR=2007&YR=07&ACTION=Latest_Photos&ARCHIVE=active&MO=JUN&BASIN=IO&STORM_NAME=02A.GONU&STYLE=tables&AREA=pacific/southern_hemisphere&DISPLAY=Latest&DIR=/TC/tc07/IO/02A.GONU/ir/geo/1km_bw&TYPE=ir&PROD=geo&SUB_PRODUCT=1km_bw&SIZE=full
This is not meant to be posted– but maybe an article on weather warfare.
Thanks,I really enjoy your site.
Unfortunately, conviction on felony charges doesn’t necessarily cramp a man’s style for later mischief. Nor does it necessarily impair his ability to profit handsomely by it.
Consider the life and crimes of Chuck Colson.
I think they will kill him if he speaks. I think he knows that as well.
Col. I hope you are correct about Libby, Bush, pardon, and “one hell of a row”; hopefully very public.
He will disbarred too, correct? Maybe the Federalist Society will attach a caveat to that.
Fred Thompson ststed itwas a “DC jury” that convicted him.Asif the former lobbyist is a Beltway outsider.
“Truth matters,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “The whole system depends on that.”
Yes…truth matters and so does liberty…as in the USS Liberty, which was attacked 40 years ago this week. If you want an example of where a significant case was deep sixed at the grand jury stage, just check out the NCOI into the USS Liberty incident and then draw your own conclusions. McNamara’s and McCain’s (you know who’s daddy) handling of the Liberty incident appear as the opposite end of the spectrum.
It makes for a fascinating juxtaposition and, at least to me, it is certainly remarkable that Fitzgerald makes the statement — “the truth matters” — the very week that the Liberty vets meet in DC for the 40th reunion of the attack. Two separate cases diametrically opposed in results. In only one was the administration of justice administered and truth triumphed for the good of this nation. But, again, you decide.
Kindly suggestion offered to any military folks: why don’t you try to persuade Sen. Webb…Born Fighting…to request, publicly, for a congressional investigation into the USS Liberty incident, with Bulldog Fitzgerald appointed as a special lead counsel?
Can you imagine Bulldog Fitzgerald investigating the validity of the original NCOI? Subpoena McNamara!
Actually this proposal for Webb was a curve ball. According to a public forum (now shut down, hopefully temporarily) at the Liberty.org website, the Liberty vets extended an invite to Webb to speak at their 40th reunion this week and he replied that he was “unable to join”.
The widow of one of the crewman killed on the Liberty was going to ask for further explanation. Maybe a more detailed response has been forthcoming over the past three or so weeks. Maybe things have changed. I hope so but I don’t know.
Why would a Sec. of Navy decline to take up the cause of USS Liberty vets or at least address their needs? Seems to me that the USS Liberty incident is a litmus test — a real gut check — to determine whether or not an elected official is a statesman…or someone more interested in that Georgetown a-list. Sorry…but ‘tis true.
At least take a stand…one way or the other. Good grief. The VFW has certainly stood tall.
Webb notwithstanding, there is an unsubstantiated rumor that a US senator may speak to the Liberty vets this week at their 40th reunion in DC. Since it is unsubstantiated, I won’t identify. Last I heard, he was mulling it over but absolutely nothing official.
I’d be pleasantly surprised…actually shocked…if this senator did break bread with them. The last US senator to do so was Adlai Stevenson III and he most certainly is no longer on the Georgetown martini circuit.
If this unidentified US Senator has the courage to make a showing with the vets…then in my view…he’s the man. Betcha’ he wouldn’t hesitate to put Bulldog on the case of the USS Liberty.
The USS Liberty incident is the symbol of symbols at this time in US history. If the US public became cognizant of the USS Liberty incident — and the main question is how such can be done — then the repercussions would resonant to the core of our national ethos and even affect out foreign policy.
Like Bulldog Fitzgerald says…truth matters. And I just add…so does the USS Liberty!
This is off topic. It is a request for analysis of the bizarre situation developing with US anti-missile defense stations in in Eastern Europe, Russia, and some kind of Iranian threat. This issue has periodically surfaced over the last few months, and surfaced again today.
This issue seems strange to me, and I when I read about it, I wonder if I am hallucinating. Bush wants to put anti-missile defenses (effective ones that work? which ones are those, pray tell?) in Eastern Europe to protect it against attacks from Iran? Iran is going to attack Poland and Romania?? Am I hallucinating? Does the proprietor or commenters know what is up with this?
It is so bizarre to me that it is giving me fever dreams –dire but presumably ridiculous scenarios, that I cannot get out of my head:
War of the Triple Alliance
Gran Chaco War
I am sure AIPAC will cover the Libby family expenses. I wish this crummy cabal could be stood up against a wall for their treason and high crimes and be executed on Fox news.
Screw thinking about impeaching Weasle, he and Cheney are indictable under many provisions of the RICO Act. Perhaps the Treasury could recover part of our current deficit from their fraud and embezzlements accorded by RICO.
As depressing as it was to see the list of Potomac bottom feeders who went to bat on behalf of perjury and obstruction of justice, the REALLY depressing thing about this affair is the certain knowledge that IF Libby ends up doing any time, he will be the ONLY perp from the crime of the new century (i.e. the fraudulent promotion of a shameless war of aggression) to ever see the inside of a prison cell.
I mean, I know they put Al Capone away for not paying his taxes, but Scooter isn’t even the kingpin of this particular crime family.
I think we, as a nation, may owe Slobodan Milosevic a posthumous apology.
Lina…you make a great point.
The defense placed Cheney under subpoena. If he had been called, then, I believe, Fitzgerald would have conducted one of the greatest cross-examinations in the history of American jurisprudence. Defense counsel knew that. Reaching Cheney appears to have been the prosecution’s ultimate intent and rest assured Fitzgerald had sharpened his knife to a razor’s edge.
It is reasonable to conclude that the defense counsel at some point said, figuratively or literally, to Cheney, “Mr. Vice President, we are going to call you to the stand and you know as well as we do that Fitzgerald is going to slice your throat. Now if we don’t call you, then what guarantees can you give us to help our loyal client, Scooter?”
Cheney, I believe, was petrified to testify. Why else wouldn’t a defendant’s boss — especially if he was unindicted — come in to clear up matters for a loyal employee, especially if the defense was that the defendant simply forgot the details?
The U.S.S. Liberty Incident has been kept alive only through factoids and hearsay “information.” Simply put, it was one of those military clusterf***s that are so bizarre as to birth conspiracy theories. The U.S. government has always defended the interests of the crew, both on the day of the attack and afterwards. It has always insisted that the grossly incompetent Israeli officers involved be prosecuted for dereliction of duty–to no avail.
The Israeli government paid compensation to the victims or their family almost immediately, and the dispute between the two governments was finally put to rest (but not actually settled) with an exchange of diplomatic notes in 1980 (!!!!), in which Israel finally arranged to pay $6 million for the ship, which had to be scrapped. The two governments were both highly embarrassed by the fiasco and they finally agreed to disagree on all outstanding issues as to culpability.
The reason the Liberty survivors and their supporters insist that the attack MUST have been deliberate is that human beings are frightened by how chance plays such an important role in life. We like to think we’re in control of things. So when something as bizarre as the Liberty Incident occurs we try to impose order on it by claiming that the attack must have been deliberate, instead of due to blind, stupid bad luck.
The same thing happened when the British Navy sank the German battleship Bismarck in 1941. They abandoned some 700 surviving German sailors in the water to die, instead of rescuing them. The Germans insisted that it was done in revenge for them sinking HMS Hood a few days earlier, in which there had been only 3 survivors. Well, the British HAD rescued about 114 of the sailors, but had been ordered to leave the rest because of a torpedo attack (real or imagined) on another ship. They would have been sitting ducks it they’d continued the rescue. The British maintain that if it was a conspiracy it was a damned incompetent one, because they’d gone out of their way to save 114 witnesses to the atrocity! But the German survivors couldn’t accept that without the purported torpedo attack their comrades would have been saved. It was just hard luck.
And that’s the Liberty Incident in a nutshell.
Worry not for “Scooter” and his family. He has served his country well and will receive from that nation, Israel, a nice pension for his services upon moving there under the law of return.
Ryan, hey be fair! They rejected mobster Meyer Lansky, didn’t they? It’s nice to know that they have SOME standards.
I just read that Gen. Peter Pace also wrote a letter to the judge, pledging for mercy for Libby
It can be read here:
Thank you for your insights re: USS Liberty,and I appreciate what you have to say. I too wanted to believe the incident was a tragic screw up until a Green Beret/intel type made a statement to the contrary: if I understand him correctly, he says that in 1968 he read a translated transcript between one of the IDF pilots and his base, where the pilot made it clear the USS Liberty had been discussed in a pre-mission briefing. The pilot further asked if he was still to attack the ship. And the answer was yes.
So who am I to believe?
I would like to add also that it has just recently been made public (via Haaretz) that the US in 1967 had plans to attack Israel if Israel attempted to annex additional territories.
This is an excerpt from a letter asking Bush to grant a pardon published on “Opinion Journal”, the online version of the neocon “Wall Street Journal” written by one of “Scooter’s” fellow traitors, Fouad Ajami.
“In ‘The Soldier’s Creed,’ there is a particularly compelling principle: ‘I will never leave a fallen comrade.’ This is a cherished belief, and it has been so since soldiers and chroniclers and philosophers thought about wars and great, common endeavors. Across time and space, cultures, each in its own way, have given voice to this most basic of beliefs. They have done it, we know, to give heart to those who embark on a common mission, to give them confidence that they will not be given up under duress. A process that yields up Scooter Libby to a zealous prosecutor is justice gone awry.”
This is loathsome and to think, these guys seem to think as if they were doing all the fighting, such are their fantasies. Ajami really has a lot of nerve to quote this, particularly in view of the mess at Walter Reed. As a sidenote, it was published 8 June, the 40th anniversary of Israel’s (deliberate, I believe) attack on the USS Liberty.
Libby is lucky to have gotten off as lightly as he has. In the past he would have been hanged.
What Libby’s apologists don’t get is that everything required to sentence Libby is him culpably fulfilling the elements of the offense. Libby committed perjury and obstruction of justice.
And that’s it. These folks either don’t understand or don’t care.
They’re basically tribalist: If it’s ‘one of us’ he can’t be guilty.
Judge Walton denied the appeal bond:
I read your thoughts on the
Liberty attack, and so if you think it was one of those screw ups, why would
Captain Ward Boston who was
the counsel for the Naval
Board of Inquiry come out
after all these years and
publically state that the whole inquiry matter was a whitewash. You can read his statement on the Liberty Web Site. http://www.ussliberty.org
Captain Boston has stated that he went public on this when he saw that many were trying to rewrite history.
Just to make the discussion
on the USS Liberty interesting I have added just a few more statements made my officials of that time and era. Could they all be wrong? I doubt it since I saw what they are talking about with my own eyes. BTW the compensation
was not instantaneous, it took over two years for mine to come through, and many received nothing at all. I considered myself to be quite fortunate.
“I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. . . . Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn’t believe them then, and I don’t believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous ”
— US Secretary of State Dean Rusk
“…the board of inquiry (concluded) that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing in attacking the Liberty.”
— CIA Director Richard Helms
“To me, the picture thus far presents the distinct possibility that the Israelis knew that the Liberty might be their target and attacked anyway, either through confusion in Command and Control or through deliberate disregard of instructions on the part of subordinates.”
— CIA Deputy Director Admiral Rufus Taylor
“I can tell you for an absolute certainty (from intercepted communications) that the Israelis knew they were attacking an American ship.”
— NSA Deputy Director Oliver Kirby
“. . . the commander of the Sixth Fleet was informed by the Washington Intelligence Apparatus that it had evidence that the Liberty was going to be attacked and to provide protection for it. That message was never really acted upon, and the ship was dead in the water when it was hit. So the end result was no accident.”
— Raymond Tate, Deputy Assistant SecNav and Deputy Director, NSA, “Worldwide C3I and Telecommunications” (1980, pp. 25-47)
“That the Liberty could have been mistaken for the Egyptian supply ship El Quseir is unbelievable”
— Special Assistant to the President Clark Clifford, in his report to President Lyndon Johnson
“The highest officials of the [Johnson] administration, including the President, believed it ‘inconceivable’ that Israel’s ‘skilled’ defense forces could have committed such a gross error.”
— Lyndon Johnson’s biographer Robert Dallek in Flawed Giant, Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 430-31)
“A nice whitewash for a group of ignorant, stupid and inept [expletive deleted].”
— Handwritten note of August 26, 1967, by NSA Deputy Director Louis W. Tordella reacting to the Israeli court decision exonerating Israelis of blame for the Liberty attack.
“Never before in the history of the United States Navy has a Navy Board of Inquiry ignored the testimony of American military eyewitnesses and taken, on faith, the word of their attackers.
— Captain Richard F. Kiepfer, Medical Corps, US Navy (retired), USS Liberty Survivor
“The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack…was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew…. It was our shared belief. . .that the attack. . .could not possibly have been an accident…. I am certain that the Israeli pilots [and] their superiors. . .were well aware that the ship was American.”
— Captain Ward Boston, JAGC, US Navy (retired), senior legal counsel to the US Navy Court of Inquiry