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Andrew Sullivan: Impeachment of Cheney part of the fallout of Libby Trial?

As you may or may not know, the Scooter Libby perjury trial is ongoing, where he is accused of deliberately withholding information that would reveal who outed Valerie Plame, a CIA agent and wife to Joe Wilson, who wrote a critical Op-Ed in the New York Times about the US Administration’s claims that Iraq was buying uranium from Niger. (If you’re interested, Firedoglake is providing an excellent blow-by-blow account of the testimony – as they’re the only accredited bloggers at the trial).

Andrew Sullivan is a British expatriate who was very enthusiastic for the Iraq war and its reasons behind it, and has since become a fairly fierce critic of it, both how it was planned and due to the Abu Ghraib scandal. He makes an interesting case today in his blog that in his opinion, the prosecutor – Patrick Fitzgerald – believes that Scooter may have been covering up his boss’s lying to the US about the evidence to go to war in Iraq:

The alternative explanation is that Cheney was scared – so scared he took a huge risk that eventually led to the loss and public humiliation of his most trusted aide, Scooter Libby. But why would he be scared? The most plausible inference is that he knew he had deliberately rigged the WMD evidence to ensure that the war took place. He knew, even if the president was blithely convinced otherwise, that the WMD evidence was weak, and his success in distorting the evidence was threatened by Wilson. Not that Wilson had all the goods – Cheney must have known this was a minor matter. It was the danger that journalists or skeptics pulling on the thread that Wilson represented could get closer to the much bigger truth of WMD deception. This is a huge deal for one single reason: if true, it means that the White House acted in bad faith in making the case for war. There is no graver charge than that. In fact, if true, it’s impeachable. I don’t want to believe it. But I find it increasingly plausible that this is what Patrick Fitzgerald smells in the Libby case. He can’t prove it yet; he may never prove it. But he’s getting warmer; and he won’t give up.

I would love to see the Defence call Dick Cheney to the stand and watch the fireworks when he’s cross-examined.


4 comments to Andrew Sullivan: Impeachment of Cheney part of the fallout of Libby Trial?

  • lrC

    For Pelosi to succeed in such a case would require simultaneous impeachment of Bush and Cheney, or for Congress to refuse to accept the nominee for VP in either case (Cheney out, or Cheney succeeds Bush) which would not be difficult to represent as deliberate stalling. IOW, even if there were grounds to impeach both gentlemen, it would still be procedurally difficult to achieve your desired result.

  • I too would leave to see Cheney and Bush both impeached. This would then mean Nancy Pelosi would become president as she is third in line of succession. Still my only concern with impeachment is it is quite divisive and I would hate to see it help the Republicans win in 2008. Otherwise it should only be done if the public is fully onside and there is no risk of a backlash. We need to look at the longer-term goal which is seeing the Republicans are kept out of the White House for a good long while.

  • PLEASE America PLEASE impeach Darth Cheney.


    The guy they should call to the stand is Wilson . . . lied about who sent him, then lied about what he told the CIA.
    Wilson’s wife, low level CIA was outed by a guy in the State Department . . . everybody know that months ago . . .
    Libby is charge with perjury . . . for not remembering what he said to which media type . . . big deal . . . likely he’ll walk away.

    Regarding the uranium . . . Nearly three years ago, a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that this was not merely untrue, it was the opposite of the truth: Wilson’s report actually bolstered the belief that Saddam was seeking uranium from Niger.
    Wilson’s unwritten “report” to a few CIA agents supported the suspicion that Saddam was seeking enriched uranium from Niger because, according to Wilson, the former prime minister of Niger told him that in 1999 Saddam had sent a delegation to discuss “expanding commercial relations” with Niger. The only thing Niger has to trade is yellowcake.

    The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report notes that Wilson was asked how he “could have come to the conclusion that the ‘dates were wrong and the names were wrong’ when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports.” Indeed, the United States didn’t even receive the “obviously forged” documents until eight months after Wilson’s trip to Niger!

    Wilson admitted to the committee that he had “misspoken” to reporters about having seen the forged documents.

    Considering how hysterical liberals were about Bush’s “16 words,” you’d think they’d have a vague recollection of what those words were and that they did not include the word “deal.” What Bush said was: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

    Even if the British had been wrong, what Bush said was factually correct: In 2003, the British government believed that Saddam sought yellowcake from Niger.

    What part of what the British said and that Bush repeated, giving credit to the British for saying it . . . is confusing to you???

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