Wednesday, February 21, 2007

dead man's hand

the arguments have all been made. all the cards are on the table.

in special prosecutor patrick fitzgerald's hand:

robert grenier, cia iraq mission manager, who testified that he told libby about ex-ambassador joe wilson's wife's employment at the cia.

cathy martin, cheney's public affairs officer, who testified that she relayed to libby from cia director of public affairs bill harlow his confirmation of grenier's information about wilson's wife.

marc grossman, former number three at the state department, who testified that he also told libby about wilson's wife.

craig schmall, cia briefer, whom libby and cheney together asked, after the novak article, about the repercussions of leaking the name of a cia officer. he replied that there was a "very grave danger."

david addington, cheney counsel, now chief of staff, whom libby asked about the president's authority to declassify material.

judith miller, former new york times reporter, who testified to three conversations with libby during which wilson and his wife were mentioned.

ari fleisher, former white house press secretary, who testified that libby told him about wilson's wife, that it was "hush-hush and on the q.t."

tim russert, nbc washington bureau chief and host of meet the press, from whom libby had told the fbi and the grand jury he first learned about wilson's wife. russert flatly denied ever speaking with libby about wilson's wife, destroying his principal alibi.

libby was depending on russert and miller and the other reporters who received the leak to win their court battles to keep the leakers secret.

but one by one the libby's cards were burned. from the beginning he'd been threatening to see fitzgerald's bet, by calling rove, by calling cheney, by taking the stand himself. but in the end it was all a tantalizing bluff. he folded without a word in his own defense.

all that's left now in libby's hand are his lawyers' assertions that libby doesn't remember anything — because it wasn't important enough. and nobody else remembers what really happened either. and the one thing libby does remember is russert telling him about wilson's wife.

after handing down libby's indictment fitzgerald explained:

when someone charges obstruction of justice, the umpire gets sand thrown in his eyes. he's trying to figure what happened and somebody blocked their view.

in his summation he reiterated his predicament:

there is a cloud over the vice president. he wrote those columns, he had those meetings, he sent libby off to the meeting with judy, where plame was discussed. that cloud remains because the defendant obstructed justice. that cloud was there. that cloud is something that we just can't pretend isn't there.

in other words: dick cheney, you're next.

time to ante up.

jim morin © 2007

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