.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Why Scooter did it?

The press loves this story because you can endlessly speculate... and you can speculate about bad things for Bush and conservatives...and you can mix in the war and all the other things the press is against. Nevertheless, there is a question that remains unanswered; why did Scooter make the false statements?

First, I am assuming that the prosecutor's claims are correct (if his evidence is thin, then all bets are off). If the prosecutor's evidence is solid, then I think there are two possibilities as to why Libby lied. First is that it is quite plausible that Libby does not actually recall what he said to reporters. (I have plenty of meetings and conference calls in my own line of work and a year later it is often difficult to remember much detail from specific meetings). The second possibility is that Scooter was trying to cover up his own mess and that telling the truth had worse consequences than committing perjury for Libby personally. I think the second scenario is the most plausible scenario.

Investigators started asking questions on the leak case towards the end of 2003 and Libby was called before the Grand Jury in March of 2004. We should assume that Libby had good enough counsel to advise him that he did not violate the 1982 "exposing a covert agent" law nor the older espionage law when he urged reporters to look into Plame in there'll summer of 2003. Therefore, the question is asked... why not tell the investigators or the grand jury that you did leak the name.?

I think the answer is actually quite simple. It is because Libby had more to lose personally from telling the truth than getting convicted on Perjury - better to spend some time in Jail than ruin your entire future career.

Libby would have assumed (and rightly so) that anything he told the grand jury or investigators would be leaked to the press. Therefore, if he told the truth to the grand jury (that he leaked Plame's name to reporters), the press would have been all over the "secret White House cabal" to expose Plame to get back at Wilson. The press would have used Libby's statements that he leaked Plame to drum up endless speculation that could only be put to rest by the Prosecutor wrapping up his case and announcing that no charges would be filed...implying that Libby violated no law because Plame was not in fact undercover. This is clearly obvious because most news stories STILL DO NOT discuss the fact that Plame was not undercover. The only way to end the speculation is when the investigation ends and no files are charged. However, because the end of the investigation would not occur until after the election, Libby could not rely on the cabal speculation going away before the election. Thus, telling the truth starts to become a non-option for Libby. If the Plame speculation grows out of proportion, Libby could be blamed (unfairly) by Republicans for losing the election because of his stupid mistakes in his conversations with reporters. This would destroy Libby's career - he would never work in DC again and would become the Bill Buckner of the Republican party. As it turns out, the election was so close that a full blown made up MSM scandal in the white house in the summer fall of 2004 would have tipped the election.

Consequently, the only other alterative Libby had was to lie to keep the cabal speculation underwraps until after the election and to risk a perjury conviction. Although Libby would pay some fines and maybe serve some jail time, he would still have a future in politics. Moreover, his own lawyers could leak his testimony to the press to put limit the cabal speculation *which is what actually occurred).

If my scenario option is true, Libby should be considered a hero. He did his best to try and fight back against the lies coming from Wilson and the CIA, but also did not sacrifice the Administration for his own mistakes.

UPDATE: Speculation on the mind of Libby still does not take away the question of why Fitzgerald pursued the case for two years. The first thing Fitzgerald should have done was to determine if Plame was in fact "covert." This could have been determined with little effort (no need to for a grand jury). If she was not "covert" (which most experts believe she is not) then why would the case be pursued other than for a politcal agenda???? Did Fitzgerald leave proving that element for the end of his investigation??? What a bastard if he did.