After "a federal grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia returned a five-count indictment against I. Lewis Libby, also known as Scooter Libby, the vice president's chief of staff," bloggers of various political persuasions and influence quickly offered their opinions. They weighed in shortly after Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who is the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois headquartered here in Chicago, announced during an October 28, 2005 press conference in Washington:
The grand jury's indictment charges that Mr. Libby committed five crimes. The indictment charges one count of obstruction of justice of the federal grand jury, two counts of perjury and two counts of false statements.Steve Gilliard at The News Blog wants us to:
Go to page 5 of the indictment. Top of the page, item #9.
On or about June 12, 2003, LIBBY was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilson's wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation Division. LIBBY understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA.
This is a crucial piece of information. The Counterproliferation Division (CPD) is part of the CIA's Directorate of Operations, i.e., not Directorate of Intelligence, the branch of the CIA where 'analysts' come from, but where the spies come from.Libby's a long time national security hand. He knows exactly what CPD is and where it is. So does Cheney. They both knew. It's right there in the indictmentJohn Hindraker at the conservative blog Powerline said:
...So, if the indictment is true, Libby told a story under oath which differs, not only materially but vitally, from that of close to a dozen other witnesses.
The Middle America Chronicle
I can't imagine how Libby could have been foolish enough to lie to the grand jury, if indeed that is what happened. As a long-time Washington insider, he must have realized how grindingly thorough this kind of investigation is. How could Libby not have foreseen that his story would be contradicted by every other executive branch employee who was interviewed by the FBI? And how could he not have realized that perjury would be far worse than the original alleged offense? Indeed, Fitzgerald appears to have concluded that Plame was not, in fact, a covert agent, since there is no count in the indictment alleging violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. So if Libby had told the truth, it appears that he would have been fine.
said the following about the indictment:
As predicted, Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted for making false statements, perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case.
Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff resigned immediately and faces up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
While predicted, it's still sad. This indictment officially takes the administration to a new low. It's part of history. It's President George W. Bush's Teapot Dome or Whitewater and will be forever linked to his administration.
And it's not over-- the investigation into Bush's top political advisor, Karl Rove, will continue.
at YARGB Flares Into Darkness
I just skimmed it and checked out a few lawblogs for first impressions. I heard parts of the Fitzgerald press conference. My impression is that it is a well-crafted indictment that depends entirely on the credibility of three people to convict. Without the testimony of Judy Miller, Tim Russert and Matt Cooper holding up on cross examination as to three separate conversations, this case cannot be won.
Crazy Politico's Rantings
With all due respect to Mr. Fitzgerald, this case does not hang together.
said "The Left [ is] Convicting on Indictments as Expected."
Tobe at True Thoughts thinks "The events surrounding the indictments of "Scooter" Libby, will undoubtably affect personal, public and world opinion on a variety of issues.
Ed Cone at Ed Cone.com wrote: "Just to be clear on what we know: the Bush administration knowingly outed a covert CIA agent, then lied about it.
Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo wants us to:
Remember, I. Lewis Libby doesn't just work for the Vice President.
From the beginning of the administration, a key root of Libby's power at the White House is that he works both for the Vice President (as Chief of Staff and National Security Affairs Advisor) and the President of the United States (as Assistant to the President).
at Political Animal
had this to say:
THE BOTTOM LINE....There are lots of interesting tidbits in the indictment. Who is the "Under Secretary of State" who helped Libby track down information about Joe Wilson's Niger trip? [UPDATE: It's Marc Grossman.] Who is "Official A"? What was Dick Cheney's role? I'm sure all of that is going to get hashed over in detail in the coming days.Hillary Profita
at CBS' Public Eye
blog has put together a list of commentary called "The Blogs On Libby
Joe Gandleman's The Moderate Voice also has a good roundup.
Finally, there's is Technorati. If a blogger has written something about Libby, most likely Technorati has a link.
Editor's Note: This item is cross-posted at The Online Free Press.