The revelations today by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and Scooter Libby’s defense attorney in their opening statements about Dick Cheney’s role in the Valerie Plame outing, immediately brought his resignation to many minds. Jonathan Alter commented that other prosecutors would have named Cheney as an unindicted coconspirator. I think Fitzgerald has played it with considerable political acumen. Cheney has all the teflon of Reagan plus the invisibility of a stealth bomber. Will any prosecutor will be able to indict or convict him?
WaPo and MSNBC cover the opening day of the trial when the prosecutor and defense attorney portrayed Libby as being instructed by Cheney to leak Plame’s identity and selected to be the fall guy for the Bush Administration over Karl Rove.
I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was “put through the meat grinder” by the White House shortly after the Iraq war began, scapegoated to conceal the fact that Karl Rove, the president’s top political adviser, helped disclose an undercover CIA officer’s identity, a defense attorney contended yesterday as Libby’s perjury trial began.
The lawyer, Theodore V. Wells Jr., and Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald agreed that Vice President Cheney ordered Libby, then his chief of staff, to contact reporters early in the summer of 2003 in an effort to rebut criticism that the administration had selectively used intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.
Given the weight the Nigerian yellowcake got in supporting the need to go to war, and the obscene profits Dick Cheney’s former employer and friends have made from no-bid contracts they have not fulfilled, the charges against Spiro Agnew that brought about his resignation seem pitiful. Since Cheney’s public approval rating is hovering in the mid teens, one has to admit the man has other power that protects him.
I’d like to see the Court of Public Opinion short circuit the power that keeps him from bearing the responsibility of his covert actions.