LEWIS “Scooter” Libby was never charged with unmasking the CIA agent Valerie Plame. The unmasking was allegedly in revenge for her husband Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s discrediting of Bush administration claims that Saddam Hussein had been sourcing Niger uranium as part of his WMD program. The former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney was found guilty on Tuesday of perverting the course of justice and lying to the FBI and to a Grand Jury.
Thus the triumphant cry from the Democrats that the administration is at last being held to account for its actions is wrong as well as hypocritical. The falsehoods and deceitful manipulations that plunged Iraq into bloody chaos and the United States into its worst foreign policy disaster since Vietnam have still not been made public. All we have is proof that a top White House aide was prepared to lie and cheat in order to cover up his own part in the Bush Iraqi conspiracy. We still do not know how that conspiracy worked. [...]
The fact is that in the wake of the exceptional enormity of 9/11, Bush was quite prepared to throw over the very principles of law and justice on which the United States had been built and which had served as inspiration for two centuries in order to combat the threat of international terror. However, from that first fatal decision to abandon principle and do whatever seemed necessary to beat the terrorists has stemmed all the administration’s failures including the war that has plunged the Iraqis into a bloody tragedy. A policy built upon lies was bound to fail because it was self-defeating. The WMD lies allowed Bush to invade Iraq but Iraq was the wrong target. Instead of smashing terrorism, the invasion gave it new life and a new battleground. Swept up in its own lies, the administration had no difficulty in deluding itself that Iraq would quickly be transformed into a prosperous pro-American democracy.
The price for the White House’s dishonesty is now being paid largely in Iraqi blood. Scooter Libby’s lies were just one small part of the conspiracy. His lawyers are now demanding a retrial and protesting his innocence. Will no one in the administration take any responsibility for the ruinous campaign of lies about Iraq or for the consequences of those lies?
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
This was predictable: