Mar 06 2007

Wrong Man Convicted

Published by at 3:38 pm under Guest Bloggers,Plame Game

Lewis Libby has been convicted on four of five counts against him and faces up to 25 years in jail and a fine of $1 million. The jurors found Tim Russert to be a credible witness, despite the notes of his FBI interview being “lost” and him having claimed on the stand it would have been “impossible” for him to have told Libby about Plame. This even though another prosecution witness, Ari Fleischer, testified to having spilled Plame to David Gregory, who works together with Russert, not to mention Andrea Mitchell, who also works with Russert, stating for the record in 2003 that she and others knew Plame was CIA. The spokesman of the jury stated today:

“The primary thing which convinced us on most of the accounts was the conversation… the alleged conversation… with Tim Russert…,” he said.

That David Gregory and Andrea Mitchell never had to testify in the trial, and the fact that Tim Russert was caught lying about his knowledge of how grand juries work, seems to indicate that the jury convicted Libby based on an incomplete rationale, some of which was prevented by Judge Walton. However, the jurors had sympathy for Mr. Libby. Why?

Denis Collins said that “a number of times” they asked themselves, “what is HE doing here? Where is Rove and all these other guys….He was the fall guy.”

Here’s to you, Jason Leopold, for a job well done! Remember kids, it’s not getting the truth out that counts, it’s getting out a story that will fool as many people as possible to permeate the public conscience. Apropos that, I hear Leopold is involved in writing the script for the upcoming movie about Mrs. Fair Game…

68 responses so far

68 Responses to “Wrong Man Convicted”

  1. stevevvs says:

    I have been hearing some strange things about the jury, so why did the defence accept them?

    I’m not sure, but I think both the Defense and the Prosecution are only allowed to disqualify a certain amount of potential jurers. So, after a while, you get what you can get. The better question: Why did the Defense not ask for a change of venue?

    Travesty Of Justice

    Posted 3/6/2007

    The Law: Scooter Libby’s prosecution has come to a sad close, with the jury finding the former White House aide guilty on four of five counts, including obstruction of justice — in a case that never should have been tried.

    We’d like to think this verdict will be overturned on appeal. To us, Libby’s trial always seemed more about prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s political pandering and careerism than about justice — a horrible thing to say in a country founded on the sanctity of the rule of law.

    In the end, Fitzgerald didn’t prove the case he said he would in 2005, when charges were first filed against Libby for allegedly lying to the FBI and a grand jury about how he discovered CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity — and for telling reporters about it.

    Libby did so, it was then alleged, to get back at Plame’s husband, former U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson. In a July 6, 2003, New York Times op-ed, Wilson falsely claimed President Bush lied about Iraq’s acquisition of nuclear material in Africa to go to war.

    Whipped up, Democrats and the Big Media portrayed it as a case of war-crazed neocons in the White House trying in paranoid fashion to take down their enemies. Sadly, Fitzgerald bought this idea.

    But when his case began to implode, Fitzgerald simply shifted gears and turned it into an obstruction of justice case — one built on the laughable notion that a poor memory is felonious behavior.

    Today, Fitzgerald’s spurious victory means Libby faces 25 years in prison and fines of a million dollars for misremembering conversations he had years ago — an awful penalty for human frailty.

    Since charges were filed against Libby on Oct. 28, 2005, we’ve found nearly everything Fitzgerald initially alleged was false, misleading or just wrong. Contrary to Fitzgerald’s claims, Libby didn’t “blow” any CIA officer’s name; he didn’t “leak” Plame’s name to the media; nor was any real crime committed.

    In fact, Libby didn’t reveal the identity of a covert agent for the simple reason that Plame wasn’t one. She hadn’t had covert status for nine years, making her, under the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act, not covert at all.

    Also, Libby didn’t reveal Plame’s name to the media first; State Department official Richard Armitage did. And Plame really “outed” herself by appearing in Wilson’s “Who’s Who in America” entry.

    As Robert Novak, the columnist who first revealed Plame’s identity in the press, said, it “was well-known around Washington that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA.”

    In the end, the only proven liar in all this was Wilson. He lied at least three times to the Senate about his “mission” to the African nation of Niger. He said he wasn’t sent by Plame, his deskbound CIA wife (he was); claimed he found no evidence Iraq had shopped for yellowcake uranium there (he did); he even lied about forged documents he claimed he had seen before his trip, but in fact hadn’t.

    Wilson certainly had a motive to lie, being a foreign policy adviser to presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 and a contributor to Al Gore in 2000. In the interest of justice, we ask, where are the charges against Wilson, whose lies were real and calculated?

    While we’re on the question of justice, why did former Clinton White House national security guru Sandy Berger get off with a hand slap for the actual theft and possible destruction of classified documents? That’s a real crime — one the media excused.

    As we said, this wasn’t justice. It was a travesty. We hope President Bush will have the guts to pardon Libby for his non-crime.

  2. stevevvs says:

    From David Frum:

    Down Memory Lane

    … and just in case you are wondering, here is a reminder of the various penalties imposed on President Clinton for his confessed * perjury in the Paula Jones case:

    – a $90,000 payment to Jones’ lawyers

    – a 5-year suspension of his law license in Arkansas

    – a $25,000 fine

    – loss of his (never used) privileges to argue before the US Supreme Court.

    * In Clinton’s own words :

    “I tried to walk a fine line between acting lawfully and testifying falsely, but I now recognize that I did not fully accomplish this goal and am certain my responses to questions about Ms. Lewinsky were false.”

    03/06 01:49 PM

    Double Standards?

  3. ivehadit says:

    More shredding of our judicial system by the global socialist dems.

    And Clinton DID commit a crime. He had sex with an employee then lied about it, all the while he was being sued by another for sexual harrassment…not to mention that he was the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the country and an officer of the court. So much for libs’ love of protecting women from sexual harassment.

    And a juror so much as admitted that Libby couldn’t remember.

    The guilty consciences of those who know the truth of this case and who have a conscience (as opposed to the clintons who lack a super ego, imho) will start to haunt them…just watch and see.

    Travesty will take it’s toll…it will eat them alive…as it always does.

    The real case is about the undermining of a sitting President during a time of war.

    If it takes an appeal/ pardon to overthrow this OJ jury, then I say so be it. An innocent man should not suffer.

  4. Bikerken says:

    Hmmm, Interesting conversations going on at JOM about the jury foreman Denis Collins. It seems this guy has a lot of friends in this trial. He worked at the San Jose Mercury News where Joe Wilson published his first Op-ed. He worked at the Washington Post where he knew Bob Woodward, and he “shared space” with Tim Russert. He also wrote a book about Washington political spying. How did this guy get on the jury? Of course this is all blogosphere heresay and I will give it that much weight, but if it is true, and it really does appear to be because thousands of bloggers are chiming in right now, how the hell did this guy get on the jury unless he lied about or deliberately concealed his relationships with the people? And he was the Jury FOREMAN! I have a feeling we are going to hear from one or a few jurors that this guy pushed the whole picture onto the jury and they just gave in. There are so many reasons this trial is going to get thrown out, it just shows how badly broken the jury system is.

    Even if all of the above is total BS being thrown out by blog polluters, the fact remains that Libby has more than enough on his side to have these convictions thrown out, IF it were a fair judge in a fair venue.

  5. Bikerken says:

    I just now saw part of this guys press conference on C-Span, (Denis Collins). I’ll tell you what I saw.

    He says he is a registered democrat.

    He said some of the first straw polls were something like 7 to 4!

    He said this case was not about the justification for the war, it was about who sent who to Niger?!?!

    This guy is in love with the sound of his own voice. He is definitely a card carrying liberal. Also, it is becoming apparant that the jury considered things that were not allowed to be discussed by the principals in the trial. He even said so.

  6. wiley says:

    Excellent post Seixson. As many have said, this sham trial is a travesty. Fitz’s conduct of this case and posturing before the media is despicable, and the media’s anti-Cheney frothing is pathetic and disgusting. Wilson is a jerk and pathological liar, and the D.C jury proved our worst fears.

    Yeah, I hope it can be appealed or thrown out, but Bush & the WH communications team (such as they are) are also to blame for this mess. Why did they feel the need to backtrack on the 16 words in the SOTU? The Brits have always maintained the accuracy of those words and others have confirmed it — even Wilson, himself!!! As soon as Wilson’s OpEd came out they had every right to question and debunk it. In fact, knowing that Wilson was lying, they had a duty to get the truth out, aggressively and directly. Instead, well … we have the mess today.

  7. MerlinOS2 says:


    I hope I am wrong, but Collins sounded like he wanted to be on this jury and deliberately talked himself carefully down to a usable profile because he wanted to be selected for the jury. Here is an ex MSM guy who would likely be familiar with the concept of sources and such. Heck he may have even during his active reporting days had some of the same sources used in this trial depending on how long he has been out of circulation in the press and he doesn’t look all that old. Plus his having done a book knit around the CIA makes it more interesting in how this all plays. If Wells and team didn’t pick up on their radar with all those signs, I wonder if they had a jury consultant that should now be back handed for pure spite.

  8. Bikerken says:

    Why did they feel the need to backtrack on the 16 words in the SOTU?

    I think I can figure this one out Wiley. Bush has been ill-served by many people in his cabinet and on his staff. Somebody advised him to do this right off the bat before even checking into it. I’m wondering if it wasn’t the Bush Press Secretary that got immunity to testify. Did Ari Fleisher push this? I don’t know, but it would fit right in.

  9. Bikerken says:

    Merlin, now they are saying that Collins and Russert were next door neighboors and their teen age boys played basketball together in the alley behind their houses. Again, I will stipulate that this is blogsay and I don’t know how true it is. Seems to me I heard this one before. But if any of this stuff is true, I can’t see how they could turn down a request for a new trial.

    It’s obvious that this Collins guy is a fading nobody journo trying to capture as much of the limelight as he can for a possible final big book deal or something like that. He has already stuck his foot in his mouth bigtime so I don’t think he’s really that smart. But as it generally goes, the bottom ten percent of SAT scores usually go into one of two fields, education or journalism.

  10. retire05 says:

    It seems that, according to the Washington Post, Denis Collins is/was not only a neighbor of Russert but has attended bar-b-ques at Russert’s home, as well.
    This guy should have been eliminated immediately. I can only wonder if he was at the end of the jury pool and the defense had expired all their objectionable jurors. That would explain his getting on the jury.
    I tried to google him but could not find any article written by him. It would be interesting to see what this clown wrote and about whom.
    Anyone want to try to locate his articles?

  11. retire05 says:

    Here is the Washington Post article on the jurors:

    Collins knew/worked with half the prosecutions witnesses.

  12. wiley says:

    You’re right about being ill-served, and maybe about Ari’s push … Ari has shown to be a little too slick-by-half in this episode. What are the chances of a Bush pardon? If this doesn’t get overturned or a retrial, it will be a BIG disappointment if Bush doesn’t issue a pardon.

  13. Bikerken says:

    I wouldn’t bet a bucket of warm spit on a bush pardon. When it comes to fighting terrorists, he is willing to stick it out for the long haul. When it comes to playing hardball politics, he hasn’t got the balls of a field mouse in a blizzard! He allowed all of these backstabing traitorous clintonista sonsobitches to stay in office when he came in and they have predictably been undermining him every step of the way, ie Plame and company. He has not put his foot in Alberto Gonzales’ ass for anything except to tell him to lay off the border. Even when Comey expanded the scope of Fitz’s inverstigation, (After Fitz already knew who had leaked Plames name), Bush just ordered all his people to fully cooperate with the investigation. Now, he probably didn’t know that Fitz already knew who leaked the name and he was just on a fishing expedition, but HE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER! He has been the weakest president on fighting for his people that I have seen in my lifetime and I’m no spring chicken. That kind of spinelessness dosen’t inspire a lot of confidence in the people who work for you. When one half your staff is trying to stab you in the back and the other half is afraid to get in the way, you’re screwed!

  14. DubiousD says:

    Personally, I feel little sympathy for Libby. After all, this is the guy who used to carry Marc Rich’s water, so maybe karma does have a way of coming back at you.

    And wasn’t it Libby himself who allowed the defense to make that ridiculous opening argument that Libby was the “fall guy” for others in the administration. Fall guy? For who? What was their crime? To conspire to lie about the non-outing of a maybe-could-be-should-okay-maybe-wasn’t covert agent? I’m no attorney, but shouldn’t Libby’s defense been something more along the lines of, “Nothing to see here, folks, move along”? Sounds to me like the unscrupulous Libby was attempting to slime his former colleagues in order to save his own unworthy neck.

    That being said, and my own enmity toward Libby aside, on general principle alone, yes, I agree that Collins should never have been on the jury, and that Gregory and Mitchell should have been allowed to testify. In an ideal world, that along should be grounds for a mistrial, but D.C. being what it is (and this case being the political footbal lthat it is) I’m not sure whether the powers-that-be give a crap.

  15. Terrye says:

    I think they backed off the 16 words because the intel they were using to support was not only British, it was classified and once that liar Wilson ran his mouth in the NYT they had to either let it stand, try to undermine him or be prepared to back it up. Eventually the British did a public investigation, I think it was the Butler Report in which they stated the 16 words were truthful and backed by fact. But at the time it created a problem to use them. All in all it was kind of silly considering the fact that they found yellow cake in Iraq.

  16. Terrye says:

    Dubious D:

    Libby should have just said, I don’t remember. Everyone would have been better off if he had. Everyone except this idiot juror who is going to write a book.

  17. lurker9876 says:

    I see that Tom McGuire has a new thread with Sue’s suggestion that Valerie Plame’s identity be fully declassified as soon as possible.

    Will this be put everything to bed? I don’t think so. The nutroots will never believe it as they still do not believe the NIE, IIPA, and SCCI report.

  18. Soothsayer says:

    Wrong man?

    Hardly. The problem is he’s so lonely right now – being the only conviction so far.

    However, I found Mr. Fitzgerald’s post-game comments to beinteresting:

    Fitzgerald said “I do not expect to file any further charges, the investigation was inactive prior to the trial,”
    however, he added:
    “If new information comes to light, of course we’ll do that.”

    A reporter then prompted Fitzgerald on whether he would scale down his recommendations for a sentence if Libby were to offer more information to the prosecution that wasn’t previously known.

    “They can contact us,” Fitzgerald responded of Libby and his attorneys.

    Another reporter asked whether or not the prosecution would turn over sealed files from the grand jury investigation to a Congressional investigation:

    “If Congress does something . . . We will do what’s appropriate.”

    Reading the tea leaves, I see a Congressional investigation of all aspects of the Plame outing, subpoenas for Libby and Rove, and a special invite to Mr. Dick Cheney to haul his clot-riddled carcass up to Capitol Hill for a good grilling on why he lied this country into an ill-advised war.

  19. mrmeangenes says:

    Others who were interviewed said they didn’t buy Libby’s loss of memory defense-especially when he was so sharp on remembering other things.

    That said, Libby was ,I suspect, a “substitute” for jurors disappointed at the lack of a Rove frogmarch,and impeachment proceedings against most of the administration -the subject of (to date) almost seven years of incessant Internet harangues.

  20. ivehadit says:

    Isn’t it interesting how sooth has been so sure of the verdict…way ahead of the trial…

    hmmm….could the fix have been in?
    Ya think?