Friday, October 28, 2005

Indictments Make Me Happy

WASHINGTON (AP) - The vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis ``Scooter`` Libby Jr., was indicted Friday on charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements in the CIA leak investigation, a politically charged case that will throw a spotlight on President Bush's push to war.

Libby, 55, resigned and left the White House.

Karl Rove, Bush's closest adviser, escaped indictment Friday but remained under investigation, his legal status casting a dark cloud over a White House already in trouble. The U.S. military death toll in Iraq exceeded 2,000 this week, and the president's approval ratings are at the lowest point since he took office in 2001.

Friday's charges stemmed from a two-year investigation by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald into whether Rove, Libby or any other administration officials knowingly revealed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame or lied about their involvement to investigators.

The grand jury indictment charged Libby with one count of obstruction of justice, two of perjury and two false statement counts. If convicted on all five, he could face as much as 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.
This is the first time in 130 years that a sitting White House official has been indicted for a criminal offense. All five charges are felonies. And, judging from Fitzgerald's presentation and the reaction to it, Libby is guilty as sin. Still, Billmon is disappointed - and I've got to say, so am I. It might be irrational, but I'd really hoped that we'd see Rove or - dare to dream! - Cheney fingered in the case. Fitzgerald pregnantly says the investigation is ongoing...

Furthermore, as Josh Marshall points out, Libby wasn't "just" the Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States of America. (As if that weren't bad enough.) He was also an advisor to that other member of the executive, the President of the United States. This rot goes straight to the top, people.

With luck, Billmon's disappointment will be turned in to joy when Libby flips on Rove or his boss, Cheney. Please Allah, let it be so!

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