Mark Drolette: Hey, Cut Scooter Some Slack
Hey, Cut Scooter Some Slack: Treason Takes A Lot Of Concentration
By Mark Drolette
It seems that I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff to Vile, check it, Vice President Dick Cheney, has a lot on his mind, or at least did in the summer of 2003. Libby was so busy then, in fact, that he really can’t be blamed if he let slip the name of a covert CIA agent since, as his attorneys claim (as reported by Andy Sullivan of Reuters), “he was too preoccupied with national-security matters to accurately remember conversations with news reporters about the operative, Valerie Plame,” who, coincidentally, just happens to be married to Joe Wilson, the former ambassador who earned the White House’s enmity by publicly refuting its assertion that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium yellow cake from Niger.
That is Libby’s defense, anyway, to perjury charges brought by federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, and, by gum, he’s stickin’ to it.
And why not? U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton just bought it, ordering the CIA on Friday to “tell Libby what inquiries [Libby] made during [daily CIA security] briefings, which could help show what he had on his mind during the time in question.”
So, let me get this straight: Libby was too pre-occupied with outing Plame to get back at Wilson to remember outing Plame to get back at Wilson.
Beautiful. I only wish I’d thought of this myself not so long ago, since I could’ve told my ex-wife (then my then-wife) that I couldn’t remember telling her I’d not look at (redacted) on the Internet because I’d been too busy looking at (redacted) on the Internet. Otherwise, she might still be my current wife.
On second thought, I’m glad I didn’t think of it.
Commenting on the weird ruling, former federal prosecutor Scott Fredericksen said: “I don’t think anyone was expecting Judge Walton to grant this motion.”
Yeah, it’s a mystery, all right. Wait a sec, though, what’s this?
Walton’s appointment date: October 29, 2001.*
Appointer: George W. Bush.
Naturally, it gets better. Sullivan reports “the White House and CIA have until March 24 to challenge the order…”
I assume a not-so thrilled CIA will comply. After all, if it weren’t for the thoroughly livid agency pressing then-Attorney General John Ashcroft’s Justice Department -- repeatedly -- to open an investigation into one of their own and spies around the world being compromised, some of them maybe dangerously so, the matter would’ve died long ago.
As for the White House? Hmm, let’s see: Libby worked for Cheney who sent Wilson who rebutted Bush who works for Cheney…
Yeah, I’m sure the administration will get right on this and not engage in (further) stalling. If we’re lucky, Libby’s trial will be held before he dies of natural causes.
Fitzgerald, who thus far appears to be one of the truly good guys left in the world, “called the request a tactic to get the case thrown out of court.” This comes on the heel of a tactic to get Fitzgerald himself thrown out of court: Last month, Libby’s attorneys “argued that…Fitzgerald was improperly appointed by the Justice Department instead of the president…” to go after Plame’s leaker (Carol D. Leonnig, Washington Post).
Hmm, let’s see, part II: Bush appointed Ashcroft* who appointed Fitzgerald who found the rat that outed the spy who lives with the guy that riled the White House that Karl stole…
And might Bush, too, be the very same “president” who, in June 2004, said “yes” when asked if he would fire anyone found complicit in the leak? (In fairness, I’m not sure the word “complicit” was used that day but if it was, it’s easy to see how Dubya could’ve become confused.)
Remember how excited everyone was last October when Libby was indicted and it appeared Karl Rove was next in line? The rat bastards are finally gonna get their just desserts, the good people were saying giddily and verily, and even verily giddily.
And maybe that will still happen, the comeuppance thing; gad, I hope so. It would be very nice, indeed, to rack up a real victory against these heathens once in a while. But I don’t see it. What I see instead is the same thing I’ve seen all along: a bunch of power-mad, riches-craving fascists who will utilize all ruthlessness to retain their reigning roosts.
Sometimes I find myself thinking maybe it would just save us all a lot of time and gnashed teeth if they’d cut to the chase now and roll the tanks out into the streets instead of continue this sardonic dance, this pretend world in which Congress pretends to serve the people, the judiciary pretends to be independent and the White House pretends it’s not occupied by reptilian shape-shifting aliens fascinated by human sacrifice.**
I mean, really: Libby was just too darned busy to remember if he committed treason? Fitzgerald has no authority because he wasn’t picked by Bush? (Who, granted, does know a thing or two about being appointed.) These things are laughable on their faces, and yet we’ve been so far down the absurdity scale for so long that such bizarreness has become commonplace.
I’m not sure, but I think this just may be what living under absolute power looks like. (Actually, I am sure.)
* Technically, both Walton and Ashcroft were Bush nominees confirmed by the Senate. October 29, 2001, is the day Walton assumed his position which, in BushWorld, can have many connotations.
** With a nod to David Icke for the riff. For the record, I don’t necessarily believe the Bushies are reptilian shape-shifting aliens fascinated by human sacrifice. I think they’re probably only mildly interested in it. Give ‘em time, though.
Bio: Mark Drolette is a political satirist/commentator who lives in Sacramento, California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.