Thursday, February 22, 2007

Blumenthal on the Tuesday Libby trial summations

Sidney Blumenthall summarized the Prosecution and Defense Summanries and the Proscution Rebuttal quite well. Do the Salon "Day Pass." The article is worth it.

Here is one of the best parts of Blumenthal's summary:
Speaking rapidly in order to fit all his facts into the hour allotted to him, Fitzgerald did not slow his clipped delivery as he came to the most dramatic statement of the trial. "You just think it's coincidence that Cheney was writing this?" he asked rhetorically, before answering his own question. "There is a cloud over the vice president. He wrote on those columns. He had those meetings. He sent Libby off to the meeting with Judith Miller where Plame was discussed. That cloud remains because the defendant obstructed justice. That cloud is there. That cloud is something that we just can't pretend isn't there."

"That cloud" was like the sudden appearance of a thunderhead over the proceedings and the administration. In no uncertain terms, in his most public statement, Fitzgerald made clear that he believed that Cheney was the one behind the crime for which he was prosecuting Libby. It was Cheney who was the boss, Cheney who gave the orders, and Cheney to whom Libby was the loyal soldier, and it is Cheney for whom Libby is covering up.

There was more: Fitzgerald on why Cooper was credible and Russert was "a devastating witness," and Libby remembering "Rove's conversation with Novak better than Novak." More: The uniqueness with which the witnesses recalled their conversations with Libby on Plame. And more: The importance of the Wilson matter to him and Cheney. Yet more: Witness after witness recalling Libby's anger, irritation and agitation. "We all know, when you're angry at someone, you remember ... He was angry about Wilson. What Wilson said is that the country got lied into war. One of the people he blamed was the defendant -- and the vice president."
So this trial is actually a preliminary bout in the need to get at Dick Cheney. Libby has lied to FBI investigators, committed perjury in front of a grand jury, and otherwise obstructed the investigation into the real source of the Plame leak. That source is Dick Cheney, and possibly (if he was aware of what was going on and had the capability to understand it) Bush.

When the trial is over Fitzgerald has stated that he will give a single statement and take no questions. If the jury is honest, Libby will be convicted, so that statement should be a doozy.

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