Five indictments for Scooter Libby; none (so far) for Rove, Cheney or their sockpuppet named George. OK, so it wasn’t the Holly Jolly Fitzmas that liberals were hoping for. But it’s a little early for conservatives to start going “neener neener neener.” Nobody’s out of the woods yet.
Perhaps Scooter Libby was just a wayward employee, doing illegal activities on his own, and Rove, Cheney and Bush would’ve been just shocked — shocked! — if they had any knowledge of this. And if you believe that, I can get you a great deal on some oceanfront property in Kansas.
So where do we go from here? Will Libby do the honorable thing and fall on his sword? Will he sing like a canary (or make a noise like a pig, whichever metaphor you like better)? Will he plead guilty to avoid a trial, and then be pardoned by Bush?
Did he act on his own, without any knowledge of his longtime bosses, or was he just following orders? Let's take a closer look at just who I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby is.
One of his nicknames is Dick Cheney’s Dick Cheney: a quiet but powerful force behind the scenes. In other words, the man behind the man behind the curtain.
He was one of the main architects of Bush’s policies in general, and the Iraqi invasion in particular. He’s a longtime protégé of World Bank President (and Grand Wizard of the Neocons) Paul Wolfowitz. A former co-worker described him as “a deep thinker and problem-solver who gives ‘discreet advice.’”
In 1992, Libby and Wolfowitz co-wrote a policy guidance document for a post-Cold War defense posture. This document stated that the U.S. should actively deter other nations from "aspiring to a larger regional or global role," use pre-emptive force to prevent countries from developing weapons of mass destruction, and act alone if necessary. Sound familiar? This version of the document was quashed after it got leaked to the New York Times, but its main ideas are clearly alive and well 13 years later.
Before the Iraqi invasion, Libby provided “evidence” of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and a connection between top Iraqi officials and al Qaeda. Both claims have been discredited.
Like Bush, Libby went to Yale; graduated in 1972. Like most members of the Bush Administration, he’s a fierce armchair warrior who’s willing to fight to the last drop of someone else’s blood.
He joined the State Department during Reagan’s first term. He worked in the Pentagon during Bush 41’s term. He also used to be a managing partner in the law firm of Dechert, Price and Rhoads. One of his better-known clients was Marc Rich, the fugitive financier whom Bill Clinton pardoned in 2001.
Libby is one of the founding members of the Project for the New American Century, a rightwing think tank created in 1997. This organization expands on the ideas that Libby and Wolfowitz first formulated in their 1992 document.
In addition to acting alone and using pre-emptive strikes, the PNAC advocates: developing and deploying a global missile defense system; developing a “strategic dominance” of space; controlling the “International Commons” of cyberspace; and vastly increasing defense spending in order to pay for all these far-reaching ideas.
In addition to Libby, members of the PNAC include almost the entire roster of American Empire-builders: Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Eliot Abrams (one of the architects of our 1980s adventures in Nicaragua), Jeb Bush, and William Kristol.
When Judith Miller was serving her 85-day prison sentence for refusing to name her source in the Valerie Plame investigation (which turned out to be Scooter Libby), Libby sent her a letter. There was lots of speculation that maybe this letter contained some sort of secret code. The letter said in part:
“You went to jail in summer. It is fall now. You will have stories to cover ...Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work — and life.”
Well, what do you think? Secret code or just bad poetry?
Libby’s trial — assuming he doesn’t have a mysterious “accident” beforehand — promises to shine some light on the most secretive and unaccountable administration in our nation’s history.
cross-posted at Bring It On!