FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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

 

 

More articles by:

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 The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

Weekend Edition
January 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
Morality Tales on the American Malaise: the Films of Rick Alverson
January 18, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Destabilizer: Trump’s Escalating Threats Against Iran
John W. Whitehead
Silence Is Betrayal: Get Up, Stand Up, Speak Up for Your Rights
Andrew Day
Of “Shitholes” and Liberals
Dave Lindorff
Rep. Gabbard Speaks Truth to Power About the Real Reason Korea Has Nukes
Barbara G. Ellis
The Workplace War: Hatpins Might Be in Style Again for Women
Binoy Kampmark
Corporate Sickness in May’s Britain
Ralph Nader
Twitter Rock Star Obama’s Silence Must Delight Trump
John G. Russell
#Loose Lips (Should) Sink … Presidencies … But Even If They Could, What Comes Next?
David Macaray
The “Mongrelization” of the White Race
Ramzy Baroud
In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence
January 17, 2018
Seiji Yamada
Prevention is the Only Solution: a Hiroshima Native’s View of Nuclear Weapons
Chris Welzenbach
Force of Evil: Abraham Polonsky and Anti-Capitalist Noir
Thomas Klikauer
The Business of Bullshit
Howard Lisnoff
The Atomized and Siloed U.S. Left
Martha Rosenberg
How Big Pharma Infiltrated the Boston Museum of Science
George Wuerthner
The Collaboration Trap
David Swanson
Removing Trump Will Require New Activists
Michael McKinley
Australia and the Wars of the Alliance: United States Strategy
Binoy Kampmark
Macron in China
Cesar Chelala
The Distractor-in-Chief
Ted Rall
Why Trump is Right About Newspaper Libel Laws
Mary Serumaga
Corruption in Uganda: Minister Sam Kutesa and Company May Yet Survive Their Latest Scandal
January 16, 2018
Mark Schuller
What is a “Shithole Country” and Why is Trump So Obsessed With Haiti?
Paul Street
Notes From a “Shithole” Superpower
Louisa Willcox
Keeper of the Flame for Wilderness: Stewart “Brandy” Brandborg
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Sinister Plan to Kill the Iranian “Nukes” Deal
Franklin Lamb
Kafkaesque Impediments to Challenging Iran’s Theocracy
Norman Solomon
Why Senator Cardin is a Fitting Opponent for Chelsea Manning
Fred Gardner
GI Coffeehouses Recalled: a Compliment From General Westmoreland
Brian Terrell
Solidarity from Central Cellblock to Guantanamo
Don Fitz
Bondage Scandal: Looking Beneath the Surface
Rob Seimetz
#Resist Co-opting “Shithole”
Ted Rall
Trump Isn’t Unique
January 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Democrats and the End(s) of Politics
Paul Tritschler
Killing Floor: the Business of Animal Slaughter
Mike Garrity
In Targeting the Lynx, the Trump Administration Defies Facts, Law, and Science Once Again
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Hong Kong Politics: a Never-Ending Farce
Uri Avnery
Bibi’s Son (Or Three Men in a Car)
Dave Lindorff
Yesterday’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Can Become Classy Places Donald, and Vice Versa
Jeff Mackler
Lesser Evil Politics in Alabama
Jonah Raskin
Typewriters Still Smoking? An Interview with Underground Press Maven John McMillan
Jose-Antonio Orosco
Trump’s Comments Recall a Racist Past in Immigration Policy
David Macaray
Everything Seems to Be Going South
Kathy Kelly
41 Hearts Beating in Guantanamo
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail