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The Scooter Libby Trial

Jury selection began this week in the perjury and obstruction of justice  trial of Scooter Libby. His alleged perjury occured during the investigation into the Valerie Plame leak case.

It started when former ambassador Joseph Wilson made a trip to Niger to determine if Iraq was trying to procure uranium from them. He came back and wrote a scathing editorial in the New York Times, saying there was no evidence Saddam Hussein was trying to purchase uranium from them. He also said that he was sent by Dick Cheney's office. The trip was arranged by his wife, Valerie Plame, who worked for the CIA. Robert Novak pointed this out in a column

At this point, Wilson said that the White House deliberately leaked his wife's name to retaliate. It's questionable whether this was really the motive. Novak's point was that there was some nepotism involved in the choice of Joseph WIlson to go to Africa. He admittedly made a mistake in giving Valerie Plame's name.

And one could argue, "I don't care what his intention was, he outed a covert CIA agent." The problem with this is that her covert status was questionable. It was alleged that giving her name violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Early on this was disputed by, among other people, one of the people who helped draft the act. Fitzgerald never charged anyone with a violation of this law.

The leaker turned out to be a man named Richard Armitage, who ironically enough was a critic of the war. For that matter, so was Robert Novak, and he remains one. Novak was savaged in a a National Review piece by former Bush speechwriter David Frum that went after conservative critics of Bush's foreign policy. And just to complete the hat trick, your humble blogger disagreed with the decision to go to war with Iraq. As was once said on Southpark, if irony were strawberries, we'd all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now.

An interesting development is that Wilson recently attempted to quash a subpoena by the Libby y defense team to have him testify. The motion was denied.  It seems very unusual for someone who brought charges in a case to try to get out of testifying. It will be an interesting trial.


i'm so glad they're finally getting this show on the road. it seems like forever ago i was catching every little bit of info the new york times had within its black and white pages. i was totally hoping for some woodward y bernstien craziness to burst forth and now... so much momentum lost. but it will definitely be interesting... cheney's gonna get deposed and that might be totally awesome... maybe...