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February 12, 2007

Comments

I think it's a good idea, but it must occur after his trial is complete. It's pretty apparent in reviewing his GJ testimony that Irving has crafted a tale, and he's sticking to it. I can't imagine it is going to be easy to compel him to testify honestly about anything. Worse, I can imagine Shooter manipulating any limited immunity deal for Irving into a full immunity for Irving and OSP (I'm exaggerating, but I strongly assert that Irving deserves nothing at this point.... excepting a guilty verdict and swift incarceration, i.e. leverage.)

I suspect Irving knows quite a bit about OSP, but I presume he has forgotten most of what is not written in his notes; further, I imagine he has misremembered how to interpret his sometimes cryptic notes into anything sensible. As Shooter's COS, he'd have been conduit for most inbound connections toward Shooter. Being a neocon idealogue, Irving probably dealt directly with fellow neocons, leaving Shooter plenty of time to cast threatening sneers at the opposition.

Essentially Libby is Chump Change for most of us -- we want the higher ups, and those are Bush, Cheney, Rove, and perhaps a dozen others who worked either in the OVP or the EOP.

This is a minor point, but let me just suggest you're confusing quantity with quality. Libby was the most powerful advisor to either the most powerful or the second most powerful government official (it's probably a close call). in terms of policymaking, he was almost certainly more powerful than Rove, all things considered. So in that sense, the third most powerful person in this administration. So Bush and Cheney are the only higher-ups. What you're looking for, no doubt, is just a wider circle of actors.

Thanks Sara for a very thought provoking post as always. I see now, as I did not before your post, the tension between individual and collective responsibility. It's probably not overreaching to say that well crafted offers of immunity could help Congress unmask the WH spin that is currently trying to provoke war with Iran. I think most would agree that goal is worth some immunity.

This follows well with you question of how best for the Dems to utilize Libby's conviction if indeed it comes to pass. The intensity of this trial and the incredible work that has been brought to bear on its outcome can put blinders on the chess game that is the outcome we hope for.

We have in our power a community with tremendous access to Congress; both through the internet and knowledge. We are new to the podium and for our voice of power to evolve into strength we'll need to raise our sights to the horizon as Molly Ivins used to say.

Thanks Sara, sorry to ramble but your posts are always greatly thought provoking.

I am so glad to see this post. I expressed a similar sentiment in the comments last week at FDL and also got piled on.

In my mind, I could care less whether libby goes to jail or not. He is not the point. I do want to see the whole truth about the lies spread by this admin in their efforts to take us into a disastrous war, and if the price of this truth is that LIbby gets a get out of jail pass, so what.

And also, I don't think that the idea that Ollie North's immunity screwed up the Iran Contra investigations is so straight forward. EG, Remember Bush I's pardons? And also the fact that Ollie was not the only guilty party in the Reagan white house who was given a very broad immunity. It is also worth remembering that the Congress had very little stomach for really investigating Iran-Contra (and I listened to most of the hearings), they kept skirting around the real issues....hopefully Levin would/will have a stronger stomach.

The point is that Libby is really a bit player (a good little soldier who follows orders to the letter). The real point is to expose those who gave the orders, and crafted a dishonest and destructive and treasonous strategy to take the US and Iraq into a war which never should've been.

What does "EPU'ed" mean? I don't recognize the acronym.

Dear Sara,

I'm still ready to deliver my copy of 'Anatomy of Deceit' to you.

I can drive it to you in 10 minutes.

Just email me.

EPU'd is a term from FireDogLake. One commenter, Evil Parallel Universe, used to complain that every time he commented, a new thread would start.

John, phone call this morning, EW's book is awaiting me out at Har Mar B&N. So later this afternoon I'll fire up the SUV and grab it.

Jeff, I am after a number of things. Overall, I want Congress to re-assume its responsibilities as a co-equal branch of Government. On one side that means both houses have to claw back perrogatives, such as the oversight role laid out in the 1947 National Security Act (as amended). Feith's operation I believe clearly violated this in association with Wolfowitz, Rummy and the OVP. But this is just one dimension -- there need to be a number of power claw-backs. It is about both holding individual persons responsible, and also highlighting how systems were corrupted in the process and forcing this administration or any future one to act within lawful systems. And I suppose the public needs a new lesson on why systems are valuable and critical. If a given system is flawed (as our Intelligence clearly was on and before 9/11 -- identify the problems and fix them legally.)

Subordinate to the above, I want to see the idea of the secret cabal that does policy in the shadows run out of town on a rail -- and that means virtually all of the Neo-Con's. I think they are profoundly dangerous, and there needs to be public recognition of that reflected in electorial action. We need a real clear understanding of the difference between information gathering and analysis that at times uses covert methods, and thus must be secure -- and policy making, which should, if done right, be an interplay between Departments and Agencies and Congress, and for the most part, be done in the light of day. No more making Energy Policy in Dick Cheney's basement with god knows who. So in short, this is what I hope for over the next two years.

Sara,

Levin is limited in what he can do in a practical manner or it would be done all the time by every committee, and change every time when the control of the house or senate changed. Just because Libby is currently on trial doesn't make him a special case. Levin could approach anyone, so I assume he is just posturing as with Feith. The Senator from GA said it correctly, "beating a dead horse."

The rules, laws, and the courts don't allow for "fishing expeditions" or we would just be grabbing everyone up and putting them on the rack, or threatening them with 40 years, or endless prosecution/persecution, until they told us the truth, or more likely what we wanted to hear.

And separately, Immunity is a two edged sword in and of itself. Your friends are right there.

All of us need to take care to widely skirt that chasm or Dante Ring that holds all the people and groups that said that the ends justify the means.

I hope your book comes soon. My grandmothers local BAMM store, (I am with her right now, after a pacemaker procedure) said Feb 16.

Sara,

Levin is limited in what he can do in a practical manner or it would be done all the time by every committee, and change every time when the control of the house or senate changed. Just because Libby is currently on trial doesn't make him a special case. Levin could approach anyone, so I assume he is just posturing as with Feith. The Senator from GA said it correctly, "beating a dead horse."

The rules, laws, and the courts don't allow for "fishing expeditions" or we would just be grabbing everyone up and putting them on the rack, or threatening them with 40 years, or endless prosecution/persecution, until they told us the truth, or more likely what we wanted to hear.

And separately, Immunity is a two edged sword in and of itself. Your friends are right there.

All of us need to take care to widely skirt that chasm or Dante Ring that holds all the people and groups that said that the ends justify the means.

I hope your book comes soon. My grandmothers local BAMM store, (I am with her right now, after a pacemaker procedure) said Feb 16.

Sara,

Levin is limited in what he can do in a practical manner or it would be done all the time by every committee, and change every time when the control of the house or senate changed. Just because Libby is currently on trial doesn't make him a special case. Levin could approach anyone, so I assume he is just posturing as with Feith. The Senator from GA said it correctly, "beating a dead horse."

The rules, laws, and the courts don't allow for "fishing expeditions" or we would just be grabbing everyone up and putting them on the rack, or threatening them with 40 years, or endless prosecution/persecution/committee hearings, until they told us the truth, or more likely what we wanted to hear.

And separately, Immunity is a two edged sword in and of itself. Your friends are right there.

All of us need to take care to widely skirt that chasm or Dante Ring that holds all the people and groups that said that the ends justify the means.

I hope your book comes soon. My grandmothers local BAMM store, (I am with her right now, after a pacemaker procedure) said Feb 16.

Sara, though you don't need me to tell you, your priorities and analysis are on the mark. Trying to take back our government is much more important than some emotional feeding frenzy to skewer Lewis "pipsqueak" Libby.

Did anyone catch Novak's testimony today? I think he is piling lie upon lie. He nows says the conversation with Rove occured on July 8. He testified before and it is public record that the conversation occured on July 9. If Rove confirmed on July 9, then how can Novak now be claiming that Rove confirmed on July 8? He is trying to cover something up. Maybe a conversation on July 8 about something completely different and incriminating.

Sara,

I am with you on this one. I want the big fish. And to get the big fish sometimes you gotta give up the little ones. Foremost, the truth. Accountability is important but comes second to the truth, in my mind. Truth is what brings accountability, eventually.

As a mother of 4, this strategy has been used many times in my home, with the lesson to my children being that the truth is paramount. And consequences decrease for those who are willing to face the truth, which is exactly how it works in life.

Great post Sara. I am prone to the big picture and often get impatient with details, but my appreciation and patience for details has increased with age and maturity. This country needs to know what happened. We cannot change what we don't accept, and I think that the transgressions of Iran contra have brought us to the current consequences that our nation faces today. If we keep pushing to get at the truth, accountability will come. Sometimes we just have to be patient...and this is one attribute I admire greatly in Patrick Fitzgerald. He seems a gifted person in this regard. I believe we are getting there.

EW;

Jason Leopold has made a leap here;

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/021207A.sht

which seems real, but, you know, we've seen this before.

Nevertheless, can you in any way, corroborate this?

Sara, what do you suggest instead? What's the leverage we have on Libby to encourage him to tell the truth? If Fitz nails him on the five counts, Libby has to hope for a pardon that wouldn't be in the best interest of the so-called big fish. If Libby can't see that already and he isn't giving up the big fish now, why would he do it for Levin, no matter what incentive? Maybe Levin already has enough information from previous investigations (he has been on the permanent subcommittee for investigations and working away for some time now, along with whatever has now turned up in the course of this trial) that Libby would have a tough time refuting in front of the Senate. Could it be possible that immunity would be improper if there is already no hope of getting Libby to flip? I suspect this is the case. Levin is no dummy; if he already groks this point AND he has feedback from the public supporting "no immunity", then Libby will get what he has coming to him.

Frankly, COS isn't a little fish, either. There's no one else to flip, and playing immunity too early might well mean all fish slip the net.

Semanticleo - Hmmm. None of here are JL fans, but interesting post over there. Plus he has the actual docs posted. Sure looks like Dick said "... the guy this pres asked to..." then someone thought better of it and put "... the guy that was asked to..." It does hint, but there would be a million ways to explain around it, so without more. It's just another tidbit. It sure point toward conspiracy though doesn't it. Clearly someone asked, and that's two people conspiring. I've never ever doubted the conspiracy, it's just a matter of someone getting a hold of a big enough pry bar to pull this den of theives apart, and as yet that hasn't happened, and won't likely happen as long as the power of the pardon hangs out there.

I think Fitz has to walk the line "as if" he has the conspiracy sewn up and that he will not be pardoned because he has Bush/Cheney in that, they would be co-conspirators and hopefully impeachment proceedings would follow. If Fitz can puff it up big enough, that means that Libby would not be pardoned. I think that's the line I would walk if I were Fitz. I would "act as if" once it is time to put the pressure on. If there is no pardon or if pardon is risky...which would you choose if you had a wife and kids???

It can be done and my guess is that Fitz knows how to play this game.

added...I think that is also part of why Fitz has been so careful about what he lets them know about what info he has. It may be because there is more...but it also could be because the less libby knows about what Fitz has the more pressure Fitz can apply. Sorry for the multiple posts...brain farts.

has anyone thought more about the "sealed vs sealed"?

Jodi, the limitation on what a Senate Committee can investigate is very simple, can they show legislative intent? This stems from four Supreme Court Rulings in the late 1950's on cases resulting from McCarthy, MacCarren and HUAC investigations that were more about smearing people, not about intent to commit legislation. If you go back and look at the charter for the Ervin Committee in 1973, the legislative intent was to evaluate campaign finance legislation and propose improvements. In the case of Ervin's hearings, it turned out that we needed legislation to prevent using campaign funds for paying off those who commit crimes in the name of the campaign.

My impression of the Feith issue is that the issue is who charters intelligence organizations? The National Security Act of 1947 gives that power exclusively to Congress, and OSP (and lots of similar little dealies spread around by Cheney and Bush in the various departments,) all may be illegal. One needs to explore who set these up, who reprogramed funds, Who tasked these groups. It is not a matter of convicting people -- though they could perhaps be indicted -- the point is they are obligated by oath to follow the US Laws -- and they didn't. You see the US President does not have the right to set up a Secret Police or Intelligence op without Congressional consent.

You may wonder why the law is as it is. -- Mostly it has to do with the blue hatred of FDR in the years after WWII and FDR's death. In fact, the US had no Intelligence agencies prior to WWII -- some in the 20's and early 30's in Republican Administrations said famously, "Gentlemen do not read other Gentlemen's mail." -- Anyhow in the mid to late 30's FDR did establish a large number of intelligence gathering services, always within some other program, and the Republicans were jumping over each other trying to find them and cut FDR off at the pass. At the time of Pearl Harbor, for instance, the Office of Naval Information which had cracked the Japanese Diplomatic Code using card sort machines, had a quota as to how many Hollowirth cards they were allowed to buy each month. FDR used the subtrafuge of having other agencies buy more than they needed (sometimes they didn't even have the sorting machines) and navy men took cabs around DC picking up the necessary cards. Of course after Pearl they tried to say FDR knew in advance -- as a way to cover up the Hollowirth Card diet they had imposed on the Navy Intelligence that was reading code. FDR set up a huge propaganda operation without Congressional authorization, and he established OSS the same way. And he created dozens of other small efforts, all hidden from view, but all of great use to the nation. Anyhow, during the War not a whole lot was made of it, but post war the Republicans wanted revenge -- and irony of irony, the 1947 National Security Act is "their Baby." So now we'll possibly find out why they could not follow their own rules.

As to Levin potentially granting Libby immunity (Limited Use Immunity) the way to think about it is that on certain subjects spelled out in an immunity agreement, a witness before a Congressional Committee (or Ari Fleischer before the Grand Jury), gives up 5th amendment privilege not to testify against one's self so as to incriminate, in exchange for the information deemed necessary sought by a Congressional Committee or a Grand Jury or Trial Court. An Immunity agreement is a substitute for 5th Amendmant rights. Essentially it is you tell the truth about these things -- and we will protect you from the criminal consequences of what you may have done. But only in what is within the limits of the agreement. That essentially forces the witness to talk and to talk truthfully. If they lie, they can still be prosecuted.

So what Levin really needs in my mind is someone who had thumbs into everything in OVP who can talk about how the OSP stovepiped false and fake intelligence into the White House at the highest level without it going through the kinds of review all intelligence goes through. For that job a newly minted Felon appealing a case about other matters who is confronting additional charges (Contempt of Congess) if he does not testify, but who may be willing to exchange truth for his own freedom -- could be exactly what Levin needs.

I fully expect Fitzgerald to win this case -- I think his case in chief hit high notes on all the elements of the charges, and in the end, that is what will count. It could be the Jury could have one hold out on partisian grounds, but a Hung Jury 11-1,or even 10-2, can be retried in a quick and streamlined way (reading in past testimony for instance) -- I don't think it possible that Libby will be acquitted. (Remember Hiss had two trials, the first one broke 8-4 for conviction.) What was critical in the Libby case was getting to trial and that is done. One of the things I hope is eventually revealed, that hasn't surfaced yet, is the secret part of Judge Hogan's decision in the Miller-Cooper matter that was endorsed by the Appeals Court, that apparently included Fitzgerald's brief of the case (again sealed) that laid out the full extent of the case. I don't think such things get written in little lie cases, and this is one reason I think Fitzgerald has a multiple act play.

I think one has to work both the details and the larger picture at the same time. Testing ideas or assumptions against the detail is totally essential -- but adding it up and reaching out for larger relationships is also critical.

Not everyone shares this optimism about flipping Libby to get the bigger (or even just more) fish. He has no incentive to turn on Bush and/or Cheney, and every reason not to. Once he's convicted, he can only squeal in return for a light sentencing recommendation and/or a promise that no additional charges will be filed (assuming there's more dirt uncovered on him and double jeapordy doesn't apply). And the presidential pardon is a real likelihood. People who think the Prez wouldn't use it because of the bad PR have not been paying attention to this Prez for the last seven years. He'll do it if he wants to, regardless of what the media will say about it. And if you offer Libby immunity in return for his agreement to talk about the corrupt system, he may accept the offer and manage to provide an insufficient body of evidence with regard to actually implicating anyone else in a specific crime. That's why these guys always have the lawyer sitting next to them when they testify before Congress. Libby is not going to lead to bigger convictions. That's just wishful thinking. The best you can get out of his conviction is the moral satisfaction that sometimes the system of justice does work and that maybe in the future such "chump change" henchmen will think twice before carrying out orders they know could get them convicted and imprisoned. If the soldiers won't fight the war, then there is no need to fear their generals.

Kessler today refuted Libby's testimony about Kessler telling Libby that the Wilson trip was a boondoggle. The question is, why would Libby lie about this? Did Fitzgerald mistakenly think the reporter mentioned by Pincus was Kessler? And Libby lied in response because lying is just second nature to these people? Or did Libby, in fact, mention Plame to Kessler and was attempting to cover it up? Neither Fitzgerald of Libby's lwayer asked Kessler if Libby mentioned Plame.

Sara
There is a great diference between Statury Immunity (compelled testimony) and Informal Immunity (immunity agreements).

Don't conflate the rules for each.

I am sorry, but I disagree with you, both as to whether Libby is a little fish ( have to agree with Jeff) and as to logistics.

Let Pat finish his very surgical work bfore you let Congress in there stomping all over the place with big boots.

Congres will still be there when Pat is all finished. He's been doing a pretty good job so far. Don't let impatience spoil the pot.

hmm looseheadprop, Obviously, there is information I don't completely understand here. Would it be helpful to elaborate on that?? I love that we have these discussions and that at each level we all have information to gain.

I got the impression from Sara's sentence
"Convicting Libby for his lies and then offering him Limited..." that she was suggesting using Levin's invitation to Libby AFTER (thinking positive here) he was convicted to enhance the pressure and then give him some daylight/a carrot to avoid contempt by revealing facts Levin's investigation needs. Once the pot is boiling it would be reasonable to take advantage of the energy and cook a few more frogs.

Yes Mainsailset, that is exactly what I mean -- with luck we will get a Jury Verdict in two or three weeks, and then I would hope, Levin will staff up for a series of hearings, one witness would be that freshly made Felon, Scooter Libby.

Congressional investigations of importance generally take important testimony first in Executive Session -- sometimes with only staff present, and any negotiations about testimony about specific subjects in exchange for immunity takes place in that setting. Then summaries of the scope of what will be provided are presented to the Senatorial Committee members, and they vote the agreements proposed.

Feith's little OSP organization and the work it did, and the National Security Act of 1947 matters, have nothing at all to do with the scope of information in the present Fitzgerald Case. Yes -- it could have to do with a future case, but right now only Fitz and the Judges know that.

What is bothering me most of all is that we've heavily invested in Fitzgerald's investigation, and this trial -- but the end point of the Judicial Process is verdict on the Libby Charges. That is very important, but really only a small piece of what is, at root, wrong. Law Suits can open up things that need doing, but only the Legislative Branch can ultimately fix things -- and I believe we need to focus clearly on the places in Congress where the will to make these changes just might be present. Right now, I suggest Levin and Rockefeller's interest in dealing with Feith and the relationship between OSP and the OVP and Libby as first agent for Cheney seems to me a grand place to start, particularly if they focus on whether they followed the law given the National Security Act of 1947.

Ultimately, this is about whether the Executive Branch should so control the means by which intelligence is generated so that they can lie to the American People and Congress, and gin up wars. That is what is, in my mind, the constititional issue here, and it is really only Congress that can make this issue. I think we need to establish that a well informed Congress is the only body that can declare war -- simple as that.

My concern is that we get so invested in convicting a few people that we blind ourselves to all the evidence sitting right in front of us that the powers within this administration are profound dangers to our Constitutional Political and Legal tradition. Convictions hopefully take bad actors off the street and out of the mix -- but I. Scooter Libby is not the only Felon here.

Remember, during the 90's, Fitzgerald did a totally masterful job prosecuting al-Qaeda operatives in trials in NY. Along with Mary Jo White, he got Life Plus with no Parole for all who were in custody and against which charges could be laid. Supposedly He and Mary Jo kept Janet Reno informed as to the content of their cases. But after 9/11, when Stephen Simon and Daniel Benjamin were working on "The Age of Sacred Terror" -- an insider's look at how Clinton's NSC had dealt with the rise of al-Qaeda sponsored terrorism, they found that the transcripts of Fitzgerald's trials had vast information that had never made it into the Intelligence Data Bases with which they worked along with Richard Clarke at NSC -- but they did find that more than 50 thousand pages of testimony had been posted on the internet, and it was a treasure drove. In otherwords, trial testimony did not make its way to intelligence analyists, get evaluated, and put into data bases -- and thus it was not available to pre-9/11 policy makers.

In otherwords you can present the best possibile case at trial, get a nice conviction and sentence, but unless you have the Press working along side and making the people aware of the wider dimensions of core issues, unless you can motivate Congress to assume an active role in the policy debate -- sending a few folk to the slammer for a time will not get at the underlying problems.

Libby convictions should inspire teamwork here, as Congress as a co-equal branch take up the torch from Fitzgerald. The trial has brought forward documents to offset tinfoil hat argument dismissal, in otherwords, people have taken off their blind-faith-Limbaugh ear muffs. It would be a heinous waste of the good fight that we are in if, like the analysis you pointed to about the book criticizing Fitz, his revelations are once again put on the shelf. As good as he and his team are, they can't do this alone.

Sara,

Libby's conviction, if that occurs, does not stop his criminal trial. In one scenario it will go on unless he is found innocent for perhaps almost 2 years when he might be pardoned. The groundwork is well laid for appeal. That is what all those fancy lawyers have been doing.

In a second scenario, Libby's conviction and time sentenced to, if he is not found innocent, or not pardoned, will have nothing to do with Levin's committee. Levin has no power I am aware of to commute any sentence.

And I come back to my original argument, that if Levin could do what you claim to Libby, then he could do it to anyone, and then any committee whether Democratic or Republican could do it to any past (or for that matter present) member of an administration.
So Libby isn't all that important to Mr Levin, more so than anyone else, and so who will he call while he waits for Mr Libby's trials and tribulations to unfold which makes Mr Libby a much more complicated case that other people he could have available.

I will said it again. I don't claim the expanse of knowledge on past investigations that you are showing, but on the surface, I don't see how Levin has any particular leverage on Libby, anymore than anyone else.

And finally,

Justin

makes a good point on Libby not giving up the "decider of pardons" or his close associates. If I were caught in the shark infested waters, I wouldn't spit at the guys with the rope.

Jodi, the only reason Levin would be interested in Libby is because of the position he held in Cheney's OVP. The concern of Rockefeller, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Levin, who heads Senate Armed Services, is whether the Office of Special Plans in the Department of Defense and headed by Feith -- subject of the Inspector General's report issued late last week, was legal under the terms of the National Security Act of 1947. This is a totally different subject from the charges for which Libby is currently standing trial.

The National Security Act of 1947 is quite important here, because it makes very clear that the only way to establish any Intelligence Agency is by act of Congress. OVP did not get established by these means. It was however a key source of the intelligence both the President and Vice President cited in 2002 and 2003 in their arguments leading to the invasion of Iraq. Both Rockefeller and Levin will be conducting extensive oversight hearings in the next months, and sorting out who ordered the potentially illegal establishment of the Office of Special Plans, and how it moved intelligence that was not properly vetted and reviewed is a key issue. Since Libby served as Chief of Staff to Cheney as well as his National Security Advisor -- and had a third hat as deputy to Condi Rice who was then Bush's National Security Advisor -- it is highly probable that Libby knew about OSP and worked with their highly flawed intelligence products. Both Levin and Rockefeller need to know what he knows -- as well as what some others know -- as part of their oversight responsibilities. They cannot call Bush or Cheney's personal staff who are currently serving, but Libby is no longer in this position, and no longer covered by Executive Privilege in the same way. Since the issue at hand is whether there was a violation of the National Security Act of 1947 by persons in this White House -- you look for information where things point. Libby is a ripe and ready possibility.

There is no real connection between what has happened in Libby's trial and the interests of Congress. The Prosecution is about whether Libby told lies to the Grand Jury and FBI investigators, and whether he obstructed Justice. -- Congress is interested in whether this administration followed the National Security Act of 1947 in relationship with collection, analysis and use of Intelligence. Both Congress and the Judicial System have powers to compel testimony. My whole point is that Libby may well be looking at this reality in the fairly near future, once the verdict is in from the Jury. I suspect he may also face problems in Valerie Wilson's civil suit. If that court rules the Wilson's have standing, then they can begin taking depositions, which can be made public. The Wilson Civil Suit is about smearing Valerie to undercut her husband, and thus ruining her career. In this case, it will be financial damages at stake.

Given all these matters, Libby just might want to re-assess his current position of remaining loyal to Bush and Cheney and anticipating a pardon -- because acceptance of a pardon is in itself an admission of some degree of guilt, and that would be of some interest to a civil jury. A Pardon does not eliminate the reach of a civil court action. Nor does it protect one if called to testify before congressional committees, where if one lies or refuses to answer legitimate questions, one can be looking at contempt charges. In otherwords a Presidential Pardon may not be the solution to Libby's problems. What might be would be a "come to Jesus" moment and a decision to tell the truth in all venues.

Paragraph 2, Line 4 -- that should be OSP not OVP. sorry

I can't resist. Sara are you getting weary of typing really slowly?

Mainsailset, if that's to who I think you're alluding to, well then that's just plain funny.

Sara,

If convicted, Libby has lots of troubles whether he is pardoned or not. I don't think he will keep his law license for one. Not sure about his status, but I know that a lawyer doesn't have to have a criminal charge against him to lose it. (perhaps Nifong will be a case like this)

... but yes, he can become a radio, or TV commentator!

I have to come back, again, and say that Levin supposedly, under the rules you specified, could call anyone including Bush and Cheney directly, or anyone that worked for them or still works for them, except their direct legal counsel. However that isn't done usually, so I assume that there are legal, or practical, or even political reasons that it isn't.

We need to know what kind of barriers, an Administration or a Congress for that matter has to keep the other side from badgering them to death with investigations.

I only know what I have seen, and it doesn't appear to be done very often

I guess we will have to wait and see.

On the civil suit, if Government officials could be sued everytime some action messes someone up, we wouldn't have a government very long.
And one other thing. I would imagine that Mr Libby's fortune such as it might be, is no longer in his name, but in his familiy's (wife and children's). And this has been the case for some time. That is what lawyers do with dealing with possible suits, and ciminal trials. You move the money.

Jodi, if you are so peeved with our type of democracy where the Legislative branch checks the Executive branches abuse of power and possible breaking of laws in regards to the National Security Act of 1947 or the possible IIPA violation/conspiracy of outing a NOC with proper oversight (uh, that is their job ya know), through investigative committees, why don't you simply just figure a way to transport yourself back to pre revolutionary America. Being the "tech geek" you are, I'm sure it'd be a breeze and in that way, everybody wins. Toot sweet!

-- "On the civil suit, if Government officials could be sued everytime some action messes someone up, we wouldn't have a government very long" --

What a riot. You kill me.

Jodi says...

"I have to come back, again, and say that Levin supposedly, under the rules you specified, could call anyone including Bush and Cheney directly, or anyone that worked for them or still works for them, except their direct legal counsel."

No, that's not what I said. I mentioned Executive Privilege, and that covers most personal staff. It does not cover agency and department secretaries or other appointees, because oversight of say the Department of Justice is a congressional responsibility. Oversight of the National Security Advisor is covered by Executive Privilege.

The National Security Act of 1947 provides for all Directors and Deputy Directors and a few others to be confirmed by the Senate. It also provides for all Intelligence Agencies to be chartered by Congress -- in otherwords, the intent has always been (at least back to 1947) for Intelligence Directors not to be covered by Executive Privilege. By creating an off the books Intelligence Operation in the case of OSP -- laws were violated. Now I doubt if scooter did that all by himself, my guess is that Condi, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz Cheney, Libby and perhaps Addington, had much to do with OSP's creation. Of these Rumsfeld and Libby are not currently covered by Executive Privilege -- and I don't know the terms of World Bank -- so maybe Wolfowitz is uncovered. Anyhow following various hearings over the years is a great way to learn all these rules.

And yes, I would imagine Libby has made arrangements to secure his family's well being should he be convicted and sent to the slammer. But not all such transactions are legal, and should Wilson win her case in Civil Court, I would expect her legal staff to address this. As I remember Libby has fairly young children, Primary school age. I would assume he would have funded an educational trust for them, and perhaps a living trust for his wife and children for living expenses. Beyond that (and we know he collected 3 million working Marc Rich's Pardon deal) the attorney representing Wilson would want to search for it. Why, Jodi, do you always assume that Libby can violate one law after another and get away with it? Don't you believe in our Legal Culture???

Sara,

I have come to believe in lawyers that become legislators, that pass laws that lawyers judge, prosecute, and defend against. It is a morass that being a member of the club (or BAR) gives enormous advantages.
Mr Libby has done the best he can do, I'm sure. And I'm sure the other side, Mr Fitz or whatever lawyer Plame has will do the same.

Also I am not saying that Mr Libby should get off if found guilty either in criminal court, or in civil court. I am only telling you what might, or could, or probably will happen, and in certain instances probably won't happen.

Hey, don't pay too much attention to me, I thought Cheney for sure would testify. There were a lot of advantages there for Libby, and none of the disadvantages that would occur if Libby had testified. Mr Fitz has already had a chance at Cheney, and come up empty.

And this is an aside. A lawyer at the home office that calls me from time to time said something that I found interesting though I don't understand fully. (He was an ADA, and then a defense attorney, and then went for the big bucks with corporate/contract/patent law.)
He says that it is hard to get money out of someone in prison, in a civil suit.

Sara,
I'm not saying these things just to worry you, or oneup you. It is just information that comes my way that I share.

One other thing though. Given what you have said, then why can't Mr Rove, or Mr Libby's assistants, or his replacement, or many others be used by Mr Levin? Or is it that Mr Libby has star quality politically for Mr Levin and the Democrats?

Personally, I think it is a sham like the Feith matter, where again I quote the Republican from GA, as saying, it was beating an old dead horse again.

Ummm, did I just read some new/experimental version of Chinese water torture?

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