Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Libby: Wilson was Qualified, and the Veep Thought So, Too

You remember all those conservative Bush-backers who derided former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and said he had been miserably unqualified to take a trip for the CIA to Niger to check out the allegation that Iraq had sought uranium there? Wilson's critics on the right pooh-poohed the trip and his abilities, claiming he had no expertise and no standing to be handed such a mission. Their aim was to undermine Wilson's stinging charge that the White House had twisted the prewar intelligence on Iraq. Well, let's turn to Scooter Libby on this.

Today, the prosecution in the Libby trial played audiotapes of Libby's March 24, 2004 grand jury appearance. During that session, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald asked Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff if Libby believed that Wilson had been a reasonable choice for this mission to Niger. Libby said:

I thought he was fully qualified to do the mission...There was a suggestion in the [Bob] Novak column [of July 14, 2003] that his wife had been the one who suggested him to go....I didn't think he was unqualified to do the job....I thought he was qualified to do the mission.

And what about the veep? What did he think? Libby said:

I think the vice president thought he was qualified...For what he did, I would think the vice president thought he was qualified....At times he had suspicions [Wilson was selected because of his wife worked at CIA].

So if Libby and Cheney believed Wilson was qualified for the trip, will Wilson's detractors now concede this point? Or do they think that Libby was not telling the truth to a grand jury while under oath?

Posted by David Corn at February 7, 2007 10:35 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

"Bush-backers who derided former Ambassador Joseph Wilson"

The detractors and deriders were never serious about anything and just made stuff up. They didn't care about being right or honest then - why would they concede this point or any point now? The spinesless SOB's will never come clean about anything.

They are too fanatical to concede anything. In their binary world they are right without regard to any facts or the liberal bias "reality" always "spins" at them.

Thanks for all of your work.


David B. Benson said...

Robert J. Samuelson writes an opinion piece in the Washington Post, usually appearing on Wednesdays. I would actually read todays, but cannot find a link. :-(

kathleen said...

I thought this was one of the more interesting comments at the Libby trial today.

F: Do you know if you spoke to the Wall Street Journal about the NIE before July 18th (when it was officially declassified)?

L: No, I didn't.

F: Do you know who did?

L: Secretary Wolfowitz did.

(Long discussion of WSJ article)

F: Did you send Wolfowitz any information for this article?

L: No.



David B. Benson said...

A correction regarding IPCC AR4. It seems that only the summary, the SPM, that all the authors agreed on every word.

That's about two dozen. Still, most impressive...

capt said...

"Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.": Thomas Jefferson

"Under the influence of politicians, masses of people tend to ascribe the responsibility for wars to those who wield power at any given time. In World War I it was the munitions industrialists; in World War II it was the psychopathic generals who were said to be guilty. This is passing the buck.

The responsibility for wars falls solely upon the shoulders of these same masses of people, for they have all the necessary means to avert war in their own hands. In part by their apathy, in part by their passivity, and in part actively, these same masses of people make possible the catastrophes under which they themselves suffer more than anyone else. To stress this guilt on the part of the masses of people, to hold them solely responsible, means to take them seriously. On the other hand, to commiserate masses of people as victims, means to treat them as small, helpless children. The former is the attitude held by genuine freedom fighters; the latter that attitude held by power-thirsty politicians." : Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificually induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear." : General Douglas MacArthur, Speech, May 15, 1951



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capt said...

Libby Defense May Decline To Call Cheney to the Stand

Lawyers defending Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby Jr., at his ongoing obstruction-of-justice trial in Washington are raising fresh doubts about whether the vice president and his one-time top aide will be called as defense witnesses.

The hedging on possible testimony from Messrs. Cheney and Libby came as the defense asked Judge Reggie Walton to reconsider his ruling last month that Mr. Libby must testify if his lawyers plan to argue that memory failures accounted for any false statements he may have made to the those investigating the disclosure of a CIA officer's identity.

In a brief filed late Monday, defense lawyers acknowledged telling the court earlier that it was "very likely" that Mr. Libby would testify.

The new brief also describes the list of defense witnesses as "potentially including Vice President Cheney." At a hearing in December, Mr. Libby's lead trial counsel, Theodore Wells Jr., said flatly, "We're calling the vice president." The special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, expressed concern that defense lawyers may have unfairly won certain pretrial rulings from the court by suggesting that Mr. Libby would testify. During court proceedings on January 25, the prosecutor said he suspected that the defense might never call the White House aide.


*****end of clip*****

Sounds like some of the defense pre-trial machinations are coming back to haunt them.


capt said...



Lieberman’s Democratic colleagues know that if he switched parties they would lose their majority, and so they tend to indulge him, unless they are speaking to reporters off the record. Even when Lieberman defends Bush, which is often, his colleagues avoid criticizing him in public—except when it becomes a bit too much, as it did, apparently, for Hillary Clinton.

Lieberman, after reviewing Petraeus’s testimony, said, "You have also said that you fear that there would be disastrous consequences for Iraq, for the region, for the world economy, for the United States in the war on terrorism if we exit Iraq prematurely."

"Correct, sir," the General replied.

Lieberman asked what effect the resolution would have "on our enemies in Iraq."

Petraeus said that, as a soldier, he had put himself "in harm’s way" to protect the right to free speech, but added, "A commander in such an endeavor would obviously like the enemy to feel that there’s no hope."

Lieberman, fortified by this response, said, "A Senate-passed resolution of disapproval for this new strategy in Iraq would give the enemy some encouragement, some feeling that—well, some clear expression that the American people were divided."

"That’s correct, sir," Petraeus said.

In that case, Lieberman said, he would "make a plea" to his colleagues on Petraeus’s behalf to defeat it. "If, God forbid, you are unable to succeed, then there will be plenty of time for the resolutions of disapproval."

As Lieberman spoke, Clinton’s mask of equanimity seemed to slip for a moment, until she could assimilate the idea that Lieberman had, in essence, accused the Democratic Party of encouraging America’s enemies.

When it was her turn to respond, Clinton spoke with heat: "I very sincerely but wholeheartedly disagree with those who are trying to once again up the rhetoric about our position in Iraq instead of taking a hard look about what will actually, on the ground, change the behavior and actions of this Iraqi government." What she wanted, she said, was "to send a very clear message to the Iraqi government that they cannot rely on the blood and treasure of America any longer."

Then she delivered a polite rebuke to Lieberman, saying that she rejected the idea put forward by her "friends on the panel who think that statements of disapproval are somehow going to undermine our effort, when I think they will send the clearest message." (Last week, Democrats agreed to a milder, compromise resolution, sponsored by the Republican Warner; Lieberman still opposed it.)


*****end of clip*****

" Lieberman’s Democratic colleagues know that if he switched parties they would lose their majority"

Switched parties? Joe is not a Democratic party member.

If he votes with the GOP and does everything he can for the GOP and calls himself an Independent he should be treated as such. He should not enjoy a position of influence in the Democratic caucuses.

If the Democratic party is not in the majority they need to get another elected. It is like they can pretend they are in the majority as long as Joe will pretend he is not a neocon.


capt said...

new thread