Posted by: bridget | 10 February 2007

Miscarriage of Justice

The prosecution has rested in the Scooter Libby trial. If this were an actual trial instead of a circus, Mr. Libby would be acquitted after summary judgment against the prosecution, as the prosecution has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has been committed. The second requirement is to prove, with the same certainty, that the defendant has committed said crime. That, too, was never an issue, as no one disputes the fact that Richard Armitage was the person who “leaked” Ms. Plame’s identity to the press. Yet, the Washington Post reports:

“Fitzgerald then led jurors through the sequence of journalists and a White House press secretary Libby allegedly told about Plame in an effort, the prosecutor alleges, to discredit her husband by suggesting Wilson was sent on the CIA-sponsored mission as a result of nepotism….

….Libby, 56, faces five felony counts of lying to investigators and a grand jury. He is not charged with actual disclosure of Plame’s identity. He has repeatedly testified that he shared information about Plame with other reporters only after learning it from Russert during a telephone call.”

Richard Armitage was the person who discredited Mr. Wilson’s report, not Mr. Libby. Furthermore, it is hardly a federal offense to discredit another person; if it were, everyone – from girls who defend themselves against high school gossip to financeers of attack ads – would be in jail. Half the reporters in the country knew about this, but the fact that Mr. Libby might have told them after they knew the information is certainly not a cause to convene a federal grand jury.

One of the main points of the prosecution’s case is that Tim Russert did not disclose Ms. Plame’s identity to Mr. Libby.

Russert told jurors it was “impossible” that he had disclosed Plame’s identity to Libby, as Libby told FBI agents and a federal grand jury.

To try to undermine his testimony, defense attorney Theodore Wells Jr. suggested that Russert harbored personal animosity for Libby and was “elated” when he was indicted in 2005.

‘It was like Christmas Eve here last night,” Russert told Imus about his newsroom’s anticipation of the results of the federal investigation that Fitzgerald was about to announce. ‘Santa Claus is coming tomorrow. Surprises! What’s going to be under the tree?'”

Ah, the smell of corruption in the morning. When this witch-hunt is over, we can only hope that Mr. Libby will be a free man, as is his right as an American who has not broken a single law.

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