Warning: Do not read this on a queasy or otherwise weak stomach.
Did I say we had reached the PR phase of this defense? Sure looks like it, from the job Comstock Team Libby did on the sentencing memorandum. Here's how it starts.
Distinguished public servant. Generous mentor. Selfless friend. Devoted father. This is the rich portrait of Mr. Libby that emerges from the descriptions of him in the more than 160 heartfelt letters submitted to the Court on his behalf. The letter writers, who range from administrative assistants to admirals, neighborhood friends to former colleagues, Democrats to Republicans, bear witness to Mr. Libby’s character and patriotism. As detailed below, Mr. Libby’s accomplishments in the State Department, the Defense Department, and the Office of the Vice President demonstrate his extraordinary commitment to public service. His dedication to promoting freedom abroad and keeping American citizens safe at home is beyond question. Mr. Libby has also earned a reputation for treating people fairly and kindly and comforting those who are distressed. He has avoided the Washington limelight to focus on nurturing his young children. Even those who disagree vociferously with policies he supported while serving in the government believe his conviction is not characteristic of the life he has led.[my emphasis]
"Beyond question"? Team Libby has taken that little universe of 160 letter-writers (fewer, I might repeat, than supported Abramoff) and used the to claim the man who helped Cheney dismantle our Constitution is a saint.
And meanwhile: any guesses? "Democrats to Republicans"? They do know about last year's primary in CT, don't they? And anyone know the admiralty well enough to guess the identity of that one? John Poindexter, maybe? The architect of Total Information Awareness? No mention, yet, of journalists or WaPo editors.
The mention of journalists doesn't come until later:
The letter writers come from many different periods in Mr. Libby’s life and from across the political spectrum. They are conservatives and liberals; career public servants and people working in journalism, medicine, and law; professional mentors and pro bono clients. They run the gamut from four-star generals and admirals to non-commissioned officers; renowned professors and cabinet officials to secretaries, law firm associates, and junior staffers. Mr. Libby has touched all of these people’s lives, and we rely on their letters to show what he is truly like.
Sooooo. I'm starting a pool to guess the journalist. Just Fred Hiatt? Or Judy too?
The renowned professors are probably Fukuyama and Bernard Lewis. The Four Star Generals? Guesses? And I'm sure there are a number of cabinet officials. Now I wish I had written my letter arguing the press ought to vet these people to expose their conflicts of interest.