The Libby Indictment

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

 

Lewis “Scooter” Libby, chief of staff to vice president Richard B. Cheney and assistant to the president, has been indicted for a cover up.

As US attorney Patrick Fitzgerald made clear at the October 28 press conference announcing Libby’s indictment, he believes Libby “went before a federal grand jury and lied under oath repeatedly and fabricated a story about how he learned this information, how he passed it on.” By obstructing Fitzgerald’s investigation, Libby has prevented Fitzgerald and the grand jury from finding out who leaked the name of the covert CIA agent, Valerie Plame, and why.

Libby did not lie, commit perjury, and obstruct justice for no reason. As Fitzgerald made clear, these are serious crimes. For a high government official to commit such crimes, the crime being covered up must be very serious indeed.

Those who have been following Bush’s invasion of Iraq know what that crime is. They also know who are the guilty parties.

The crime is the falsification of intelligence in order to deceive Congress and the American people. The Bush administration could not have invaded Iraq unless Congress and the American people believed the US was in dire danger from Saddam Hussein. Forged documents purporting to show uranium sales to Iraq and false intelligence reports from Iraqi exiles allied with neoconservative officials in the Bush administration served as the basis for the false claims about weapons of mass destruction and “mushroom clouds” made by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and National Security Advisor Condi Rice.

The Bush administration neoconservatives who assembled the “intelligence” knew that it was false. The neoconservatives had their own agenda. They used the terrorist attacks of September 11 to turn the Bush administration to their agenda. As the leaked top secret British government Downing Street memo made clear, the agenda was to invade Iraq, and “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

There was a conspiracy among neoconservatives holding high positions in the Pentagon, the State Department, the Vice President’s office and the National Security Council. Lawrence B. Wilkerson, chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005, described the conspirators as “a secretive, little-known cabal . . . made up of a very small group of people led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.” Wilkerson says that the secret workings of this furtive cabal took foreign policy and decisions about war out of the normal government channels.

By creating false documents and false threats, the neoconservatives pushed the US into an invasion of Iraq as the opening step in their plan for a wider war that would remake the Middle East.

Libby lied to the grand jury in order to protect this conspiracy.

Fitzgerald has stated that his investigations are not over. There are indications that Fitzgerald is aware that more is involved than the blown cover of Valerie Plame’s CIA counter-proliferation operation. Fitzgerald is on the trail of the conspirators who have committed high treason by taking America to war on false pretenses.

Facing 30 years in prison, will Libby talk in exchange for a lighter sentence? Will members of the cabal come forward to save themselves before other members of the conspiracy seize the opportunity to turn state’s witness?

Now that there is blood in the water, media executives will not be able to continue to muzzle reporters. Democrats might find some backbone. Republicans might realize that they are facing a far worse crisis than Watergate.

Will the unindicted co-conspirators at Fox News, the Weekly Standard, National Review, Wall Street Journal editorial page, New York Post, and Washington Times learn the Judith Miller lesson, or will they continue to serve the conspiracy that hijacked US foreign policy and deceived the country and, perhaps, President Bush himself?

Will neoconservative strongholds such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Hoover Institution, and the Heritage Foundation continue to back the agenda of a cabal that deceived our country into a disastrous war of aggression?

Unless America has lost its soul, Libby’s indictment is the first step in the unravelling of a criminal conspiracy of high treason. Fitzgerald’s continuing investigation could serve as the counter-revolution that overthrows the neo-Jacobin coup engineered by the neoconsevative cabal.

President George W. Bush seems determined to take himself down with his sinking administration, declaring in the face of strong public opposition to the ill-conceived Iraqi war that he will accept nothing but “complete victory” in what he characterized as the first great war of the 21st century. Despite his failure as president, Bush might survive the housecleaning with a deal that leaves his father and Brent Scowcroft in de facto control of the White House. The elderly members of the old Republican establishment are all that remain of the GOP’s credibility.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS has held a number of academic appointments and has contributed to numerous scholarly publications. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. His graduate economics education was at the University of Virginia, the University of California at Berkeley, and Oxford University. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com

 

 

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
September 02, 2015
Paul Street
Strange Words From St. Bernard and the Sandernistas
Jose Martinez
Houston, We Have a Problem: False Equivalencies on Police Violence
Henry Giroux
Global Capitalism and the Culture of Mad Violence
Ajamu Baraka
Making Black Lives Matter in Riohacha, Colombia
William Edstrom
Wall Street and the Military are Draining Americans High and Dry
David Altheide
The Media Syndrome Between a Glock and a GoPro
Yves Engler
Canada vs. Africa
Ron Jacobs
The League of Empire
Andrew Smolski
Democracy and Privatization in Neoliberal Mexico
Stephen Lendman
Gaza: a Socioeconomic Dead Zone
Norman Pollack
Obama, Flim-Flam Artist: Alaska Offshore Drilling
Binoy Kampmark
Australian Border Force Gore
Ruth Fowler
Ask Not: Lost in the Crowd with Amanda Palmer
Kim Nicolini
Remembering Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes
September 01, 2015
Mike Whitney
Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
George Wuerthner
Myths of the Anthropocene Boosters: Truthout’s Misguided Attack on Wilderness and National Park Ideals
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
Jesse Jackson
Season of the Insurgents: From Trump to Sanders
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?