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Libby Update

I don't have a clue what the jury in the Libby case will do. Heck, I was shocked when the OJ jury acquitted and from the sound of how things went during jury selection, I guess it is possible this jury could be just as biased against Libby as the OJ jury was biased in his favor. If I were going strictly on what I have read in the blogs, even in some of the liberal blogs, that have covered the trial, I would have to say the prosecutor's case has fallen apart. I have not been in the courtroom, however, so I don't have a feel for things. I don't know what kinds of faces the jurors are making in reaction to witnesses, or what kind of impact various lawyers or witnesses might be having on them. We won't know for sure until a verdict is rendered, but judging strictly on the strength of the case being presented, it appears the prosecution's case is not going so well.

The Russert debacle seems to me most damaging to the prosecution's case, but not being there and not following as closely as so many others are, I may be wrong. Read some of the reports and decide for yourselves:

Fitzgerald's Disaster: Wilson Outed Plame by A.J. Strata.

The Latest Twists In the Plame Case from Curt at Flopping Aces.

A roundup from Mary Katharine Ham which includes this list of 25 Lingering Questions.

Here is the latest from Clarice Feldman blogging at Just One Minute.

PostWatch has more on media coverage.


Comments (30)

Armitage identified as "lea... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Armitage identified as "leaker." Leftwing is struck silent.

Libby not responsible for revealing Plame's non-covert status to anyone. Including to reporter Novak who identified Plame's CIA employment before anyone else in the media did likewise.

I think that about sums up the latest from the trial testimony by nearly everyone.

"Novak said White House adviser Karl Rove confirmed Plame's identity later. Both Novak and Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, best known for his role uncovering the Watergate scandal that led to President Richard Nixon's downfall, testified they learned about Plame from former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

"Other reporters (not identified in this Reuters article, to no surprise) have said they learned about her from Karl Rove or former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer."

Reuters article...
http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=politicsNews&storyID=2007-02-12T233857Z_01_N12387618_RTRUKOC_0_US-USA-CRIME-LIBBY.xml&pageNumber=0&imageid=&cap=&sz=13&WTModLoc=NewsArt-C1-ArticlePage2

Fitzgerald's Disaster: Wils... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Fitzgerald's Disaster: Wilson Outed Plame by A.J. Strata.

But that article pretty well sums up the reality of the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson theatricals, in my view.

Armitage reiterated the obvious, to state the point as clearly as possible.

Lorie:Interesting ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Lorie:

Interesting post. let me paraphrase what you said. "I don't know anything about the trial except what I read on (right wing) blogs. I haven't read any of the testimony. I have not heard one witness nor have I observed one witness. I think the jury may be biased. The only way Libby could be convicted is by a biased jury."

You continue to amaze me and you continue to outdo yourself Lorie. I've been reading the word vapid lately in some of the righties comments on other posts. It fits this as well as banal, inane and just downright bad.

Who knows what the jury wil... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Who knows what the jury will do. However, the information coming out of the trial as to the actions of the OVP during all this is very interesting.

I think this is close to the OJ trial as the prosecution (Fitz) is not proving their case. I watched the OJ trial, and while I think he did kill his ex-wife, it wasn't proven beyond a shadow of doubt. Any doubt in the jury, means not guilty.

But as good as a prosecutor as Fitz is suppose to be, could it be possible Libby is just a chess piece in a large game? It will be interesting to see if the truth on Traitor Gate will ever come out, and if it does, will the MSM even publish it, or will it just be the blogs doing it?

Honestly, Hugh, there are s... (Below threshold)
davidld:

Honestly, Hugh, there are so few of us who have been permitted in that court room and yet alot of us still talk about the Libby case. You yourself -- when it concurs with your feelings --have also cited others when you yourself are not a first hand witness. I think if you had any sense of introspection, vapid and banal may also be appropriately applied to your post above.

Just a reminder to those wh... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Just a reminder to those who want to argue the moot point about who leaked what when. Libby is on trial for lying, giving false staements and obstructing justice.

This is what Lorie concludes he is innocent of doing.

Of course we talk about the case. But do we conclude his guilt or innocence from what we get from blogs? Well, some do.

Hugh is upset and other lef... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hugh is upset and other lefties are silent, this translates to Fitzgerald losing his case. First the lefties salvated for Rove and lost, now they wanted to settle for Libby, and is losing. Of course if Libby was a lefty they would say, "all men lie about the press." ww

Hugh, I'm no longer surpris... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Hugh, I'm no longer surprised you don't abide by your pledge. I'm just curious why you ever bothered to make it in the first place.

John:You should ch... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

John:

You should check above the box to see this is a "comment" thread. Then look up the meaning of the word. Meantime your consistent critique of me personally is off comment about the thread. And, it's old and boring.

Meantime your consistent... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Meantime your consistent critique of me personally is off comment about the thread. And, it's old and boring.

And yet, still accurate. You made a pledge to engage in polite debate, and have engaged in nothing resembling it since. Your "paraphrase" of the post was completely inaccurate, bearing no resemblance to what Lorie actually stated, but providing you an ad hominem beginning to start your strawman beating.

The trial is about who new ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

The trial is about who new Plame's identity first? Gee, I thought it was about lying to the FBI and the grand jury.


You are missing the best pa... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

You are missing the best part of the Armitage interview:

2:8 ARMITAGE: Taken out. George said you can't

2:9 do this.

2:10 WOODWARD: How come it wasn't taken out of the State

2:11 of the Union then?

2:12 ARMITAGE: Because I think it was overruled by

2:13 the types down at the White House. Condi doesn't like being

2:14 in the hot spot. But she --

Those infamous 16-words were not left in by mistake. They were inserted on purpose over the object of George Tennant. Also, Condi didn't have the balls to standup to Cheney who insisted on adding the 16-words to the speech.

I'm with Hugh - but rightie... (Below threshold)
bain:

I'm with Hugh - but righties are never wrong, are they? They can pronounce the sky is green, the Iraq war is going well, there is no one named Jamal Hussien, and no one ever calls them on it.

John:I don't know wh... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

John:
I don't know what your definition of polite is but challenging a writers accuracy and bias are certainly within the bounds of debate as is descriptive adjectives of the writing, such as "vapid" or "banal". So as far as this issue is concerned I'm done discussing it with you. If you are that sensitive perhaps you should stick to reading editorials in the Washington Times and it's ilk.

As to the real issue here:

" I guess it is possible this jury could be just as biased against Libby as the OJ jury was biased in his favor." - inaccurate?

"If I were going strictly on what I have read in the blogs, even in some of the liberal blogs, that have covered the trial, I would have to say the prosecutor's case has fallen apart." - inaccurate?

"...but judging strictly on the strength of the case being presented, it appears the prosecution's case is not going so well." - inaccurate?

Corrections:Knew not... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Corrections:
Knew not new
Tenet not Tennant

No, Hugh, that is not part ... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

No, Hugh, that is not part of a civil debate. I'm not sure where, or if, you learned how to debate, but all attacking the post writer does is demonstrate the weakness of your position. You then expand that weakness by questioning the accuracy of several opinions presented, rather than the core of the statement.

John:Lets just agr... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

John:

Lets just agree to disagree and leave it at that. I'm pretty darn confident in my position as you are in yours. You want to discuss the post that's fine. You seem to be the designated checker to see whether I have kept my comment/debate civil or not. I find it a bit odd that you seem to be so obsessed with that. But that's your life. Characterize me any way you want. I'm making a new pledge; not to be interested in your charaterization of me.

Hugh, I'm mainly interested... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Hugh, I'm mainly interested in your particular pledge because, at the time, you said some things that were very convincing and were very impressive. Since then, though, you've sounded more like one of the trolls, albeit with less profanity. I preferred the first way, apart from mantis there aren't really any good commenters here from the leftward side, and having one more makes the debates a lot more enjoyable.

Just to clear a few things ... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Just to clear a few things up for those who did not read what I wrote in the post, but rather relied on the mischaracterization of what I said by some here in the comments...

I realize the case is all about perjury, rather than who outed Plame. That, in itself, says volumes. First, that the "crime" Fitz was investigating was found not to even have existed. Second, that is why I thought the Russert testimony so damning. Russert is the one who was supposed to have a version of the story that Libby remembered differently. That was the basis of his perjury. Russert was shown on the stand to have lied himself, or at least misled, about the fact that he had already given up info he was arguing he should not be forced to give up. Then Russert was shown to have an incredibly horrible memory, not admitting to two angry phone calls he made until his notes convinced him he had made them. Even then, he says he did not remember making the calls. The Russert testimony is what I cited as convincing me the case had gone to crap.

I have no idea what a jury will do though, as I said.

As for the Armitage testimony Barney cites, I don't see what is new there. The White House stupidly apologized for including the 16 words. They should never have apologized because what Bush said is still true. British intelligence has yet to back down from the information Bush cited. The entire basis for "Bush lied" came from those 16 words and they were not a lie.

It was widely reported at the time that the information had been removed from the speech and then later put back in, so I don't see where that is new.

Interesting comment Lorie. ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Interesting comment Lorie. Almost as interesting as the post. You can tap dance all around it but your words speak for themselves as do your inferences and conclusions.

You claim to have no idea what a jury will do, but there are several logical l conclusions from what you write ( based on what you read in blogs by the way). If a prosecutor's case has "fallen apart" what's the logical conclusion. If Libby's jury "...could be as biased..." what's the logical conclusion? How about if Libby is found guilty it's not because of the facts but because of the bias?

What might be the most interesting thing you said was in your comment. Referring to the Libby trial being one for perjury you note: "That in itself speaks volumes." So, I wonder is perjury a crime only if a democrat commits it? What was your position when Clinton lied under oath? Did you minimize it? Did you defend it with comments like "That in itself speaks volumes?"

So I have a few simple questions. If Libby lied under oath should he be convicted? If so, should he be punished? If he obstructed justice should he be convicted and punished? Would you accept the verdict of this jury should he be convicted?

Everyone needs to remember ... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Everyone needs to remember what is important here. Two perfectly beautiful people's lives were ruined. Ruined, I say. They are now forced to wear their Prada in Santa Fe New Mexico, a place where no one lives. Simply shocking, I say. Such precious, beautiful people. And she can see through buildings, like any great superspy.

Sincerely,

Outraged Leftist

Hugh,If you leave ... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Hugh,

If you leave alone Lorie's statements on the case, would you not agree that if Libby's indictment was based in part of the recollection of Russert vs. Libby's recollection, then the prosecution's case last week became weaker.

Russert was shown to have a very poor memory and has lied about his involvement in this investigation to others.

If Libby did indeed perjure himself, then let's prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law. But if all he has to go on our recollections of conversations people had, you have to admit that this is a pretty weak case.

Lorie, I wonder if your mis... (Below threshold)
ChrisO:

Lorie, I wonder if your mischaracterizations of the case are a result of a lack of knowledge or an intentional willingness to ignore information that doesn't support your beliefs. Your comment above is one glaring example. "First, that the "crime" Fitz was investigating was found not to even have existed."

On what do you base this? Fitz made it clear in his original press conference announcing the indictments that Libby's perjury substantially hampered the investigation which is why an indictment was called for. The fact that Fitz didn't bring charges is not a finding that the crime was never committed. It's an acknowledgement that there's not enough evidence to indict. A prosecutor declining to bring a charge is hardly evidence that a crime was not committed.

As for Armitage, the right jumped on his story as proof that Libby was innocent, which it wasn't at all. The fact that Armitage leaked Plame's name is not proof that Libby didn't. It only goes to reinforce the notion that the WH was spreading the information about Plame's identity in a reckless manner.

ChrisO,So why wasn... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

ChrisO,

So why wasn't Armitage charged with the crime of outing Valerie Plame? I mean that is what Fitz was originally investigating wasn't it?

J.R.The point for ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

J.R.

The point for me is simple. Not having seen any witnesses nor heard a word of testimony I have no opinion about out the strength or weakness of the case. I give no credence to bloggers from either side of the spectrum and don't understand how anyone can come to any conclusions based on what a blogger says or, for that matter, a reporter.

I happen to believe the system works and would respect whatever the jury decides and any Appellate Court final determination. Yes, there are aberrations as in OJ but I continue to have faith in the system.

JRFitz hasn't shar... (Below threshold)
ChrisO:

JR

Fitz hasn't shared with me his reasons for indicting or not indicting people. I'm guessing he didn't indict Armitage because there's no evidence that Armitage committed perjury. As for an indictment for revealing Plame's identity, however, it's clear that any indictment for a crime that requires intent is difficult to prosecute. Armitage presented himself as an old gossip who let the information out inadvertently, who went to his superiors immediately upon realizing what he had done, and who was remorseful. Fitz may have concluded that it was too difficult a case to get a conviction on.

Armitage may have actually been performing a service to the White House. Although he's cast as a maverick outsider and war opponent, he was a member of the Bush administration and a Republican insider. By taking the heat for revealing the information, he was able to deflect some heat from Libby and Rove, and draw attention away from a White House campaign to get Wilson. Remember, he didn't know about Plame because he knows all about the CIA. He knew because the White House was circulating the information internally. He may not have been a stalwart supporter of the war, but his boss Powell did exactly as ordered when he went in front of the UN. The concern about Wilson wasn't that he would hurt the war effort, it was that he would hurt the reelection effort, which Armitage strongly supported. Being a less than ardent supporter of the war (I think "opponent" is a little strong) doesn't mean he didn't want to do whatever it takes to get Bush reelected.

Hugh, I have faith... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Hugh,

I have faith in the system too, but that doesn't mean one can not hold opinions of current cases going on based on reports from the courtroom. Of course, we aren't there, so we don't know the emotions and/or sincerity behind the transcripts we read, and I think that is what Lorie was getting at, but it doesn't mean you can't comment.

If we apply that logic to other situations around the U.S. and the world, we couldn't have opinions about different situations unless we were actually there experiencing it. I'm being dramatic because those events wouldn't fall under the guidelines of any system, but I think you get my point.

ChrisO,I think you... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

ChrisO,

I think you're lettnig Armitage off rather easily here. And if Fitz knew at the beginning of his investigation that he was the source, why investigate further. Yesterday, there were a myriad of reporters that said Libby didn't reveal Plame's identity to them during the time period in question. One would think he would try and get it out all over if there was an organized effort to smear Joe Wilson by the White House. This all seems like such a waste of time, however if Libby knowingly lied (I think the obstruction charge is total bunk) under oath then he shoudl be punished.

The concern about Wilson wasn't that he would hurt the war effort, it was that he would hurt the reelection effort, which Armitage strongly supported.

I'll admit I haven't followed this case with much interest, but this is the first I've heard of this. Do you have a link?

Libby has a long record of ... (Below threshold)
Johnny:

Libby has a long record of accomplishment, integrity, & character, therefore he desearves the assumption of innocence if there is not overwhelming, undeniable proof, beyond a shadow of a doubt that he told a deliberate lie. Based on what I have heard there is NOT evidence to prove he lied. Maybe he did lie, but to ruin this man's life you need solid unimpeachable evidence, which does not exist here

Libby has a long record of ... (Below threshold)
Johnny:

Libby has a long record of accomplishment, integrity, & character, therefore he desearves the assumption of innocence if there is not overwhelming, undeniable proof, beyond a shadow of a doubt that he told a deliberate lie. Based on what I have heard there is NOT evidence to prove he lied. Maybe he did lie, but to ruin this man's life you need solid unimpeachable evidence, which does not exist here




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