Juan Cole: Libby gets 30 months

Roundup: Historians' Take

Judge Reggie Walton threw the book at Irv Lewis Libby on Tuesday, sentencing him to 30 months in prison and imposing a $250,000 fine.

Libby, VP Robert Bruce Cheney's chief of staff and national security adviser, was formally charged with obstruction of justice. He has been convicted of lying under oath to the special prosecutor about his role in leaking the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to the US press.

Libby was not charged with the leak, which was probably illegal and certainly grossly unethical. Since Valerie was undercover working against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, especially with regard to Iran, in running a deliberate leaking operation against her Libby was essentially functioning as an agent of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

That is, Libby was functioning, for political purposes, in the same way as Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent who betrayed colleagues and assets to the Soviet Union, as portrayed in the film,"Breach."

The same is true for Cheney himself and for Karl Rove, Bush's political adviser. They are all traitors who betrayed an undercover US operative who was attempting to work against the ayatollahs in Tehran.

Since potential Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson is a big defender of Libby, the Red States may as well go ahead and put Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the White House as elect the"Law and Order" poobah. If that's the sort of thing Thompson supports, he not only may as well be an Iranian spy, he will never ever gain the trust of the US intelligence community, which is absolutely necessary for a president in these perilous times.

Plame Wilson portrayed herself to the outside world as an employee of an energy corporation, Brewster Jennings & Associates. That was a dummy corporation set up for the purposes of tradecraft by the CIA. Cheney and his henchmen destroyed the value of that facade. They also put in danger the lives of everyone known to have closely associated with Plame Wilson and her" company"-- i.e. her assets and contacts in Africa and elsewhere helping her with counter-proliferation. Cheney had Libby and his other gang members potentially"burn" all those agents. Since Plame Wilson's activities were classified, it is not possible for us to know for sure, but it is entirely possible that Libby's efforts (and those of his more effective colleague, Karl Rove) got these assets killed.

Personally, I think the special prosecutor in this case was far too cautious. He brought only obstruction of justice charges. I think there were grounds to bring espionage charges, and not just against Libby. You can't tell the American press about an undercover operative's true identity without also telling Iran about it.

Readers who want a primer on this complicated case can find my earlier explanation of it here.


Joe and Valerie Wilson sent out this comment on the sentencing via their attorney:

"As Americans, both Valerie and I are grateful that justice has been served, reconfirming that our country remains a nation of laws.

We are also saddened for the pain that Mr. Libby has inflicted on his family, friends, and the nation. Mr. Libby benefited from the best this country had to offer: the finest schools, a lucrative career as a lawyer and many years of service in Republican administrations. That he would knowingly lie, perjure himself and obstruct a legitimate criminal investigation is incomprehensible.

It is our hope that he will now cooperate with Special Counsel Fitzgerald in his efforts to get to the truth. As Mr. Fitzgerald has said, a cloud remains over the Vice President.

Every official in this administration must be held accountable for their actions."

Jared Liu-Klein
Winner & Associates
16501 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 605
Encino, CA 91436

Read entire article at Informed Comment (Blog)

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More Comments:

Stephen Kislock - 7/3/2007

Who can thank Ohio's Secretary of State Blackell for his electronic sorcery and four more years of Cheney/Bush?

In the Immortal Words of FDR "the only thing we have to Fear is Dick Cheney!"

Stephen Kislock - 6/22/2007

With the loyal Bushies, working away. Libby will never see any time behind Bars!

Libby was doing this work for his boss cheney, and We all know cheney Is Well Above the Law!