I haven’t followed the case of Scooter Libby (an extension of the whole Valerie Plame leak thing) lately. But I have to heap praise on the folks at FDL, who are liveblogging the trial from the courtroom. If they gave Pulitzers for blogging, these people would be the recipients.
Today is opening statements, and the trial, which I dismissed long ago as boring, is turning out to be a bit of a bombshell. MSNBC (on the heels of FDL) is reporting the prosecutor’s statement that Dick Cheney was neck deep in the whole CIA leak, and that Libby destroyed evidence linking Cheney to that leak.
FDL has been noting that the trial is likely to paint a picture of a dysfunctional White House — one in which there is (and has been) a severe rift between Bush and his "brain" (Karl Rove), and the office of VP Cheney (who apparently wields real power).
I kind of like the circularity of this thing:
(1) In his SOTU Address in 2003, Bush used the now infamous "16 words" about how Iraq was seeking to buy uranium from Africa.
(2) In July that year, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Joe Wilson wrote a column about those "16 words", informing the public that he was sent to Africa to find out the truth of this claim …and found that there was no truth behind the Iran-Africa uranium claim …and Bush knew it. This resulted in several anti-Wilson columns from conservative pundits, some of whom noted that Wilson’s wife (Valerie Plame) was a CIA agent.
(3) Outting a covert CIA agent is a crime, so a federal investigation was conducted as to the "leaker" of this information to administration-friendly reporters.
(4) Evidence points to Cheney’s inner circle, and although the leaker is never identified, Scooter Libby is indicted for lying to federal prosecutors.
(5) Four years later, another SOTU address. And the Libby trial starts on the same day.
Although the prosecutor is setting his sites on Cheney and his circle, it looks like the strategy for Libby’s defense team is intending to throw Karl Rove under the bus. Interesting inside politics.