Poll: America disagrees with Libby pardon

66% of Americans believes Bush should not have commuted Scooter Libby’s prison sentence, according to a new Gallup poll.

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H/T to Think Progress

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Three Solid Sources: Valerie Wilson Was a Covert Agent When Team Cheney Outed Her

From the Pensito Review:

1. In a court filing in May, special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald stated Wilson was covert:

An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame’s employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was “covert” when her name became public in July 2003.

If Fitzgerald submitted false documents to the court, we can assume the jackals on the right would have found this out by now and his head would be on a pike.

2. Valerie Wilson’s sworn testimony before the Oversight Committee of the House of Representatives:

I worked in the Counterproliferation Division of the CIA, still as a covert officer whose affiliation with the CIA was classified.

Same as above. Wilson would be facing prison right now for lying under oath, if Republicans had evidence that this statement was false.

3. The CIA has said Wilson was covert — twice:

At the Oversight hearing in March, Chairman Henry Waxman, D-West Hollywood, read a statement that had been approved by the head of the CIA, Gen. Michael Hayden, a Bush appointee:

“During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson was undercover. Her employment status with the CIA was classified information, prohibited from disclosure under Executive Order 12958. At the time of the publication of Robert Novak’s column on July 14, 2003, Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment status was covert. This was classified information. Ms. Wilson served in senior management positions at the CIA in which she oversaw the work for other CIA employees and she attained the level of GS-14 — Step Six under the federal pay scale. Ms. Wilson worked on some of the most sensitive and highly secretive matters handled by the CIA. Ms. Wilson served at various times overseas for the CIA.”

Two months after she was outed, the CIA described Wilson as being an “undercover operative” in a letter to the Dept. of Justice:

On September 16, 2003 the CIA sent a letter to the US Department of Justice, asserting that Plame’s status as a CIA undercover operative was classified information and requesting a federal investigation. Knowingly leaking the identity of a covert agent is a criminal violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA), and the CIA is required by law to report any such possible criminal violation.

Leaving IIPA aside, the Bush officials who publicized Wilson’s name clearly violated the terms of their high level security clearances, the penalties for which include losing the clearance. But both Armitage and Libby kept their clearances until they resigned. Rove still has his.

Rove Subpoenaed to Testify in CIA Leak Case

From Newsweek:

Both Rove and Bartlett have already received trial subpoenas from Libby’s defense lawyers, according to lawyers close to the case who asked not to be identified talking about sensitive matters. While that is no guarantee they will be called, the odds increased this week after Libby’s lawyer, Ted Wells, laid out a defense resting on the idea that his client, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, had been made a “scapegoat” to protect Rove.

Cheney to Commit Perjury in Libby Case?

In 1931, the infamous gangster Al Capone, who ruled much of Chicago for decades was finally brought down at the hands of Treasury Agent, Eliot Ness. Despite Ness’ intense investigation, the US government was unable to prove Capone had a hand in many of the dealings for which he was sought after, including prostitution and breaking prohibition laws. In the end, Capone’s empire was brought down on tax evasion charges and he went on to spend seven years in prison.

This tactic, prosecuting on lesser charges, is an oft used strategy to this day. Even when the “criminal” is a political figure.

During Friday night’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann (1/19), Olbermann and White House Correspondent David Shuster discussed the ongoing Scooter Libby trial, and the current jury selection. During the conversation, Shuster noted:

“Well, the credibility of Vice President Cheney and Scooter Libby‘s going to be crucial, especially in the point of whether they were or were not preoccupied with undermining the Wilsons. And this came out when Scooter Libby‘s attorneys twice asked potential jurors how they would feel if Vice President Cheney‘s testimony was contradicted by somebody else who might testify in the case.

That was intriguing, whether it was a hypothetical or whether it was a foreshadowing of something to come, intriguing simply because we know that there is a witness from the CIA who‘s going to testify about briefing the vice president‘s office about the Wilsons.”

To date, the role of Vice President Dick Cheney in the Plame Affair is unclear. Questioning of key witnesses during the investigation stalled, and subsequently led to the charge of perjury against the Vice President’s aide, Scooter Libby. There is however, evidence that Cheney played an integral role in the outing of undercover CIA agent, Plame. But is there enough evidence for prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to go after Cheney, or does Shuster’s remarks suggest Fitzgerald is looking to use the “Ness tactic?”

Shuster’s report indicates that the Vice President may provide testimony to the jury that will be contradicted by others testifying in the case. Fitzgerald clearly made an issue of this before the jury during voir dire, which seems to hint Fitzgerald is anticipating testimony from the Vice President that can be proven false. Under those circumstances, the Vice President himself – who will be under oath, would have committed perjury.

While Fitzgerald seems unable to prosecute Cheney for his somewhat ambiguous and protected role in the Plame Affair, could Fitzgerald be looking to charge the Vice President with perjury, if in fact, his official explanation under oath can be proven false or inconsistent?

Note: Scooter Libby Trial Set to Begin Tomorrow

That’s right, boys and girls! It’s Fitzmas time again!

The Scooter Libby/perjury trial is set to begin tomorrow, and Jane Hamsher at Fire Dog Lake has received press passes to cover the trial live. Make sure to check out her coverage daily!

Here’s to Fitzy absolutely CRUSHING Tricky Dick!

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