March 07, 2007

Libby Goes Down. Who's Next?

Bush apparently watched the Libby trial verdict live from the White House and afterward expressed sympathy for Scooter and his family. But he would say that, wouldn't he, given that Scooter probably could say a whole lot of interesting things to Patrick Fitzgerald if he feels like it.

Fitzy says the case is closed and "everybody can go back to their day jobs", but there is speculation he could make a plea bargain with Libby and go after the big fish: Cheney.

I think it comes down to how much bad blood now exists between Libby and his former boss. A pardon is definitely around the corner, but still nearly two years away. Will Libby cross his fingers and tough it out? Judy Miller didn't last that long in prison, if you remember... But will Libby be going straight to jail or will he be able to stretch out the appeals process for another two years? For the moment, he remains free until sentencing. His lawyers are talking about a re-trial, which would certainly take plenty of time.

The Libby verdict was just one more nail in the Bush administration's coffin. As The Carpetbagger says, it's been a bad day all round:
I’m trying to imagine what the mood is like in the West Wing right now.

Scooter Libby, the first high-ranking White House official to face criminal charges in over a century, has been convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, stemming from a smear campaign he and the Vice President worked on together.

Nine Americans were killed in Iraq yesterday, and suicide bombers killed 93 people in a crowd of Shiite pilgrims this morning in coordinated attacks.

The Walter Reed scandal dealing with mistreatment of wounded veterans has become a massive embarrassment for the Bush gang, and the White House is struggling to avoid responsibility.

And the prosecutor purge scandal is hitting its stride today, as Senate hearings expose a massive and systemic fiasco in which the Justice Department and the White House fired U.S. Attorneys, without cause, for political purposes and then lied about it.

All of this has unfolded over the last 24 hours. What’s more, this presidency was largely in free-fall before this week and seemingly had no where to go but up.

I’m hard pressed to imagine things getting any worse, but then again, I’ve thought that before.
The Carpetbagger has more good analysis here.

The amazing thing is that Bush's 29% poll numbers probably wont go much lower, because those supporters are die-hard imbeciles who will never admit that they (like Bush) were wrong about just about everything that matters.

UPDATE 1: Think Progress has Joe Wilson's reaction:
Ambassador Joseph Wilson offered his first response to the Scooter Libby verdict during a conference call today.

“Now that this trial is over,” Wilson said, “the president and the vice president owe the country a much broader explanation of their own actions.” Wilson called on them both to release the transcripts of their discussions with Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, and called on Bush specifically to apologize for overseeing the outing of his wife:
I also learned today that the president was quoted as saying that he was sorry for Mr. Libby and his family. I wish that he would express his sorrow for what has happened to my wife, whose career was destroyed as a consequence of this, and also to the service people of this country who are fighting in a war that now very clearly was justified by lies and disinformation.
Wilson said he hoped the verdict would teach Libby and other U.S. officials a lesson, that “you don’t abuse the public trust engaging in personal vendettas.” But he said he feared that “they will learn the lesson that several of them apparently learned after Watergate — not the lesson of not abusing power, but rather the lesson…that they should’ve destroyed the tapes.”


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