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February 07, 2007



I would expect Libby to be sentenced do no more real time than 3 years, with 2 being more likely. It was a harsher time back in the old days, and you don't just multiply the number of charges times the time usually. They go concurrently usually.

The Judge probably will consider the fact that Mr Libby's public service is over and that he wouldn't be able to practice law again with his sentencing. Judges do do that.

I would expect after appeal, and/or pardon, no time served at all.
The thing that would be most significant to Mr Libby would be being disbarred which might happen even if pardoned, since that is a separate process. For example, Mr Nifong may be disbarred without criminal charges. (I am not an expert here.)


Email me and I'll loan my copy of AOD to you. I'll even deliver.

I agree that Libby represents something much bigger than these specific perjury counts, and that people have to make clear the connection between this trial and the White House and the push for war.

But I think Hiss is a difficult model to use. As you point out, the right associated Hiss with Yalta. And once they were talking about Yalta, they were talking about Stalin and the commies and the Cold War. Therefore, Hiss = Stalin, at least in the shorthand. That's a pretty epic story that they were able to tell in less than a sentence. I don't see how one can do the same thing with Libby, particularly since it's impossible to literally align him with the enemy, the way the right was able to do with Hiss.

Anyways, you seem really into history. Have you read Eric Alterman's When Presidents Lie? It is some serious history, and 25% of the book is all about Yalta. I would highly recommend that section of the book to you if you haven't already read it.

Eight copies of Anatomy of Deciet arrived at the Border's in Chicago at State and Randolph storey yesterday, was on the main tables today, one was removed and I'm on Chapter 2.

My 85-year-old dad doesn't trust the government at all. He tries to keep current on events and not once over the past three weeks has he mentioned the Libby trial. I doubt he even knows of it. On the other hand, my sister, who watches Fox, thinks Plame was not classified. None of my co-workers even hint that this is going on. No one mentions it where I work out either. Someone has to lead us out of this and appears to me that it will need to be a concerted effort between activists and the Congress. And then, just maybe, someone in corporate media will wake up and realize that their interests are in jeopardy, too, and act. And then, hopefully, the general public will finally engage.

Rayne, if you are out there...We know the media can get us into trouble, do they have the will to get us out?

What do you all think will happen to Cheney? Is the trial, congressional inquiries, and war enough to kick him out of office (yes, I know he will be a private citizen menace again)?

A Libby conviction ought to lead to negotiations with the new felon to provide evidence against Darth, unless of coursed Fitz doesn't already have a sealed indictment against Cheney. Conspiracy charges vs. the whole Iraq Study Group are not yet off the table. This story has lots of legs.

I like your thinking here. It certainly seems appropriate to be doing a consistent-sentence thing.

I need help in understanding what potential legal consequences there still are for Libby, Rove, Fleisher, Cheney, et al for the law-breaking they seem so certainly to have committed, as this process has exposed.

For whatever reason (superstition??) this topic seems to be off limits.

I'm looking for a sunshine-high.

Help me understand what the next steps might be.


I wish you were right about Libby becoming the poster child for radical Republican abuse of power, but sadly, I think Libby is far more likely to become this decade's John Poindexter or Oliver North than he is to become Alger Hiss. It's pretty clear that our mainstream media think that abuse of power is perfectly all right, so long as there is no financial or sexual hanky-panky involved. Even today, they appear to be giving more airplay to Nancy Pelosi's flights on military aircraft than to the Libby trial. So long as much of the country sees the world through the warped lens provided by our mainstream media, we're not going to turn the tables. The unelected, unaccountable and out-of-touch Tim Russerts and David Broders need to be run out of town every bit as much as the Tom DeLays and Bob Neys.

Ardant -- no, the media has been completely co-opted with a very few and singular exceptions. They are on trial as much as Libby is, and it's obvious they were willing used like so much toilet tissue by this administration.

The Today Show coverage this morning gave evidence of corporate media's bent; they spent more time on the drummed up nonsense about Nancy Pelosi's plane than on the Libby Trial. Of course this is NBC, and they wouldn't want to make it any more obvious that one of their golden boys is a whore for both access and this White House.

We are on our own; unlike the Watergate and Iran-Contra years, we cannot rely on the mainstream media to do its job as the Fourth Estate. WE are the Fourth Estate as well as the commoners of the Third Estate -- and Marcy exemplifies what we must do to distribute the truth.

I might be wrong here but did Waxman ask for an investigation into the presidents abuses of power yesterday and doesn't that have the potential to frame this issue?? I agree with you Sara that the corporate owned media is not covering the news the way it used to be covered during the Nixon years. I agree that this has a big impact on the will of the people. And I don't know the solution. I know that no one at my work, all people with graduate degrees, have a clue about this case. None are keeping up with it, even my liberal retired parents and siblings have little information on it because they do not venture out into the world of blogs.

I believe however, that the democrats need to frame this issue with regard to the big picture abuses of power and I believe that the investigations that have begun by Waxman will keep the abuses of power in the media.

The cia leak is not an isolated event but fits into a pattern of abuse of power and lawlessness in the white house. This message must be framed and repeated.

The signing statements,NSA violations, torture and illegal renditions, 9 billion missing under Bremer in Iraq, the cia leak, all add up to a whole lot of abuse. The American people need these issues consistently lumped together so that the american people understand that this administration is criminal and untrustworthy and that they must be removed for the safety and well being of this country. But because just like a good abuser...they hit back, this is not happening...and truthfully, there is danger in confronting this administration. I think many people are afraid of this administration and for good reason.

This debate and discussion needs to be framed and made over and over and over again. Because it's the truth...the american people, especially the middle class and lower class have been financially, emotionally and physically abused by this administration.

Rayne's point is a good one, 'we're on our own here'.

Hardball is maniacally going after Matthews' view of the high points as he chases Countdown's viewership, but as Isikoff tried to make the broader points yesterday Chris cut him off. Connecting the dots for MSM is just too dangerous.

Add to that the Edwards dustup this week of the 2 bloggers being submitted to a Dobson broadside...and if Edwards caves that will underscore that the promise of new candidates respecting the abilities & the positions of bloggers has not been forged.

So, yes, Rayne is right.

btw, I got my copy of AOD yesterday, had to walk nearly a mile in the snow to meet the UPS driver 'cause Brown doesn't do 4wheel, the book had been pre-ordered more than a month ago and UPS had delayed shipment 3x. Here's hoping we can get another big printing soon!

I wish I had your confidence that Libby will be convicted -- in a time when everyone knows the government lies, can a jury, even in the solumn confines of a Federal proceeding, be convinced that matters?

What follows is a tactical observation, not an ethical stance. If Libby is convicted, the last thing progressives want to be doing is howling for a significant sentence. We're still the weaker party. The MSM will be outraged that they've been dirtied -- and they'll continue to obfuscate the issues.

Libby's accusers have to occupy the high road and hang on, putting out something like this: poor Mr. Libby, a loyal staffer, a foot soldier -- how could that mean Vice President Cheney send him out to take the rap for him?

Libby isn't going to do time; time is for poor people and black people. But if he is convicted, we have to use it to keep beating on the authors of his perfidy (and perjury.)

I think there are far more people aware that 'something' is really wrong in America today. Everyone I meet has an opinion, or are willing to speak once they know where I stand.
I've noticed that more 'small town' papers are carrying at least a bit about real-time events.
It's the small towns/neighborhoods who are burying their young, losing their jobs, losing their health benefits, hearing that 'yet another' politician/company has stolen, lied, cheated, is in court.
Senators and Reps are getting so much e-mail that some are running and hiding.
Main stream media is doing a pretty solid job of white-washing the truth, but the facts are still getting out. People are scared, they don't like it and it has more to do with our congress/ White House etc, then any group with a funny name.
Ordinary people know there is something really wrong about the war in Iraq and more people are watching c-span than before.
Far more people are talking politics than at anytime in the last 20 yrs.
There is a wave of awareness that is growing (its been frustratingly slow at times :))
and it is awesome to watch.
That's kinda all I wanted to say...... :)

I think that if Libby is convicted he will do time, but not much of it. Two years sounds about right. And he will lose his license to practice law. Abramoff is doing time, Cunningham is doing time, and a great many chislers and crooked contractors are going to do time.

But the larger issues are still the War and Cheney's usurpation of power. Cheney declassified all the info that Libby leaked and instructed him to leak. Too bad he couldn't excuse perjury too with a wave of his wand; Libby is cooked there. The larger issues are what we have to concentrate on, as welll as the dangers of the unitary executive. The public is tuned into issue # 1 (War) but not the rest. The lies tie them together.

Talk to people, buck up our elected Dems, get local anti-war resolutions, try to shame the press. There's plenty that needs doing.

Jim E asks if I am "into History" -- yea, I have been into it all my conscious life, spent twenty years teaching it to Undergraduates, and of course more years that I want to remember formally studying it, and informally eating new books whole. And as with most of us -- we specialize, eventually knowing more and more detail about less and less.

I suspect there is general agreement among bloggers on the progressive side that Plame/Wilson Smeargate is about two huge issues. First, the profound failure of media, all media to take any sort of critical stanse as the arguments for the invasion of Iraq were spun out. We know that, but we are not looking in any depth at why. I am concerned that too much of what we say is directed at the limitations of media stars -- we personalize it. Instead, we need to be looking at the media institutions which set the rules by which journalists and pundits operate.

For instance, why is it just accepted that Wall Street demands 20+% profits from media, and no one questions whether this is good for our society and national culture? In Great Britain, national media such as The Guardian and The Observer are owned by non-profit trusts, and thus enjoy a degree of protection from the rule of the markets. It should be no surprise these publications frequently cover issues for which there is no visable audience -- instead choices are made about what should be important. One of the few American Publications organized this way is "The Nation" -- and they have a similar feel -- someone is deciding that certain stories should be important, and the role of an editor is to support that end. In otherwords in relation to looking at the press's failure to apply critical reason to the case for invading Iraq, let's look not at the individual journalists -- let's look at systems.

Subordinate to this then is the saga that can be extracted from the Libby investigation and trial, of the actual culture of contemporary Journalists. My own sense is that when journalists are not clearly publishing facts they've established, they have morphed into doing Public Relations, which is more a function of advertising than it is about evidence gathering and transmission. I suggest it would be a great deal more powerful to argue that our star journalists are really following the rules of the Public Relations trade than the rules of Journalists craft. What is a "negotiated statement" from a political figure anyway? It's just PR. Probably the product of a quicky focus group.

yo Sara:

Those who do not know their past are doomed to repeat it

those of us who DO know our past ???

at least we know what to expect


Are you an Antiochian, too? I recall also those Yellow Springs days.

Yep, Late 50's and early 60's -- sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age" at the gulch. Also spent a year and a half AEA, back in the days when you went to Europe by Sailing Ship, and never never made an international phone call.

katie: Nice points, although when speaking and writing I try to tie the enabling GOP (Congress gives an oath to the Constitution and is to serve their constituents, not the White House) to the Administration anchor. Those who vote Republican, whether obvious for enablers like DeLay or pseudo-"mavericks" like McCain or Specter, are tainted by the results of 1 party rule that have been going on since day 1. It doesn't take much to see the outright corruption and transfer of wealth going on, and hiding behind xenophobia or buying into the "War on Terra" as the call of our generation (who cares, just a bunch of A-Rabs, blow 'em all up ... or ... I don't care if my mail is read or phone is tapped, I'm not doin' nuttin') doesn't wash with me. If not willing to take the time to learn our history and our current events, don't vote. And don't complain if those who understand community and a fair tax system that pays its bills and provides healthcare and good schools is what those who are informed by other sources than Faux News put in place.

Nice diary, Sara.

I think that if Libby is convicted he will do time, but not much of it. Two years sounds about right.

I disagree. I think that the Fitz will ask for a maximum sentence here -- and that under the circumstances, Walton will grant it -- with the proviso that he will review the sentence if Libby starts to co-operate with Fitz's investigation.

...and hopefully, Libby will spend some quality time in the DC jail system while awaiting sentencing.... I can think of nothing that is more likely to get libby to flip than the prospect of spending some time with some hard-core criminal types...

"sleight of hand" not "slight of hand"

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