June 25, 2007
It is crunch time in the bunker at the White House. Can Dick Cheney and his sidekick, G.W. Bush, allow their most loyal teammate, “Scooter” Libby, to head off to a federal penitentiary simply because he was acting at their direction to discredit Ambassador Joe Wilson, no matter what—even if it meant outing a CIA agent who was tasked with combating weapons of mass destruction. Does anybody believe that “Scooter” was acting on his own? Nobody seems to be asking the most avoided question in this affair—indeed, the most avoided question in the larger issue of the U.S. invasion of Iraq—and that simple question is “Why?”
Judge Reggie Walton and the federal prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, and most importantly, the jury, all came to the same conclusion: “Scooter” is guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice in a grand jury investigation involving national security. The evidence against “Scooter” was overwhelming and irrefutable. Why would this intelligent man lie and obstruct justice? That’s the mystery, isn’t it? There must be a reason. If Libby were innocent, would he not have taken the stand to explain and demonstrate his innocence? Of course he would. Evidently, he had something to hide. It must have been something important, to commit perjury and risk this ordeal. Of course, he never thought he would get caught. Still, by all accounts Libby is a very cautious man. Yet, he deliberately makes up an audacious story about NBC News Washington Bureau Chief, Tim Russert, which story Russert had no choice but to testify was a complete fiction. Did “Scooter” really expect Russert to remain silent or to commit perjury for him, like “Scooter” had remained silent and committed perjury for Cheney and Bush?
The only logical conclusion is that there was and remains an ongoing coverup, a massive coverup in the White House at the highest levels. Libby was part of that inner circle twice over. First, as the Vice President’s chief of staff and, second, as counselor to the President. My guess is that Cheney, the most powerful V.P in U.S. history, made Libby the point man for smearing Ambassador Wilson, because Wilson had touched a nerve and exposed a fraud. Naturally, the administration’s master hatchet man, Karl Rove, was working overtime on the same project. They were all working on it. They were all in on it. They had to be to save themselves. They had to keep the lid on the details of their mendacious campaign to drive America into a war for no legitimate reason. Just as important, they had to keep under deep cover the neocon agenda which inspired and dictated the Iraq invasion.
So what is the solution now? Logically, Cheney and Bush should resign forthwith. That is the only honest course of action. The conviction of Libby convicts them. Surely, Patrick Fitzgerald and his team realize that. But wisely, Fitzgerald has not gone after Cheney and Bush. That is not his job. That is the job of Congress. For purely strategic reasons, however, the cynical leadership of the Democrats in Congress has taken impeachment off the table. The reason is simple. To impeach the President and the Vice President on the grounds of lying the country into a war, and covering it up, would be to indict the Democrats on Capitol Hill for authorizing the war and for promoting it from the start. Everybody gets exposed, including perhaps, the holy of holies, the hidden neocon agenda itself. In a genuine, unexpurgated investigation into the reasons for the war, dishonest politicians like Hillary Clinton, the Democratic establishment’s choice for America’s next President, could be blown out of the water. She was one of the war’s biggest cheerleaders, remember, until the whole project went sour with the public and south in the polls.
I realize that with Cheney and Bush out the door, that puts Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, into the Oval Office. But that’s just one of the rules of the game—it’s called the Constitution—which must be followed. Maybe Pelosi would appoint her friend, Congressman John Murtha, as Secretary of Defense. That would be a start and a plus. Murtha is a straight talker. And perhaps in the interim Nancy would knock Hillary out of the box as the Democrat’s next disaster in the making for an already overloaded Uncle Sam. In any case, it appears most unlikely that President Pelosi could do more damage than what the co-consulship of Cheney & Bush has already. Nearly impossible, in fact. The “neocon” foreign policy legacy of Cheney & Bush is a disaster with a capital D, thanks to their own malfeasance—due in no small part to the establishment Democrats who enabled the disaster.
Patrick Foy is author of The Unauthorized World Situation Report.