The Vice President of the United States was pressing the case for the Iraq war and was willing to use discredited evidence to do it, this being in particular forged documents claiming that Saddam was trying to buy nuclear materials from the country of Niger.
Former Ambassador Joe Wilson was sent to Africa by the CIA to validate the documents and found them to be false.
Cheney publicly and repeatedly used the Niger documents to justify war and President Bush's famous "mushroom cloud" statement. Wilson wrote an Op-ed piece listing his reasons for believing that the Vice President was lying to the American people in order to start a war.
Cheney and Karl Rove attacked Ambassador Wilson personally, not his facts or evidence, but by lying about his wife, CIA covert operative Valerie Plame, claiming she had sent him to Africa for her own purposes. Karl Rove publicly stated that "a wife is fair game". The person sent on this cowardly mission by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney was Scooter Libby.
Valerie Plame was a covert CIA operative masquerading as a low level data analyst. She ran a network of agents in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, under the guise of an international corporation known a "Brewster Jennings" which consisted of covert operatives keeping tabs on weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. They continued to report that there was no evidence of WMD's and certainly no evidence of nuclear weapons in Saddam's possession.
A tactic repeatedly used by Karl Rove to reduce the impact of highly damaging information has been to attack the messenger in the most insidious and cowardly ways. By the acts of Scooter Libby, on a mission from Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, Plame was outed as a CIA covert operative, and various claims were made about her and Ambassador Wilson in an attempt to downplay the damage to their efforts to start a war with Iraq. Plame's CIA cover was exposed by Scooter Libby, and collaterally, so were the operatives in Brewster Jennings, putting them in grave danger. This, by definition of the law of the United States of America, is...
Here's what one noted American had to say about this kind of behavior:
"I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors."
The speaker was George Bush Sr, in 1999.
And that's exactly what his son oversaw.
(Michael Tomasky of the Gardian has several other observations unclouded by the constraints of America's corporate media in his Commentary.)
What Scooter Libby was convicted of was not treason. He was convicted of lying his ass off under oath and committing perjury in order to keep himself, Karl rove, and the Vice President of the United States, Richard Cheney, from being charged with ..
Nine people testified under oath that Scooter Libby was lying. The jury convicted him and he could be fined one million dollars and be sent to prison for 20 years if his conviction is upheld...Or...George Bush could issue a Presidential Pardon for a man who has committed...
If Libby is pardoned, he willl lose all 5th Amendment privileges and may then be called to testify against Cheney and Rove, who will not be charged with perjury or obstruction of Justice...They will be charged with...
As my friend Jeff points out...
Scooter Libby now has two choices..He can keep his mouth shut and go to
jail...Or Rat out his buddies and go hunting with Cheney.
On one hand, it will be interesting to see how the pardon is dealt with. I predict Libby will go to jail. If so, it will be difficult to prosecute Rove and Cheney for...
If Libby is pardoned he will immediately be questioned under oath...again. I suspect there will be lots of deal making in back rooms, but the outcome is fairly certain. The Vice President of the United States will, at some point, be charged with...
His only way out is to die.