January 25, 2007


In perjury trial, testimony by Cheney aide damages Libby (Neil A. Lewis, January 25, 2007, NY Times)

Cathie Martin, who was Cheney's chief spokeswoman, was the fourth witness for the prosecution in the perjury and obstruction of justice trial of Libby, who is charged with lying during an investigation of who leaked the name of the CIA operative, Valerie Plame Wilson, and why. Unlike the previous three witnesses, who worked at the CIA and State Department, Martin provided an insider's perspective, one from directly inside the office of the vice president.

The perspective she laid out under questioning from a federal prosecutor was damaging to Libby. She testified that both Cheney and Libby were intensely interested in Wilson and her husband, Joseph Wilson, who had been sent on a mission to Africa to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium from Niger for his nuclear weapons program.

Martin's testimony was damaging for Libby in two respects. She bolstered the prosecution's assertion that Libby was fully aware of Wilson's identity from a number of administration officials, and did not first learn about her from reporters, as he has claimed. Perhaps more important, she testified as a former close colleague of Libby's and demonstrated her familiarity with him by repeatedly referring to him by his nickname, Scooter.

As is usually the case in these White House scandals: he did nothing wrong until he started lying about what he did do. Then he obstructed justice just as fast as he could.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 25, 2007 8:25 PM

You may be right, oj, but NYT reporter Lewis is wrong on the essential contention of his article.

Libby's testimony was NOT that he first heard of Palme from reporters. He said he had been told, then forgot, then heard it from reporters "as if for the first time".

The meaning of "is" and all that.

Posted by: ghostcat at January 26, 2007 1:22 AM

Every participant in this saga has lied to some degree. With a bit of canned laughter this entire drama could make a Seinfeld series.

What is really irksome revolves around Mr. Wilson and the evolution of those "16 word" in the SOTU. Remember that? Even Pres. Bush finally stated they shouldn't have been in the SOTU. That's garbage, he was spot on just as he stated it. British Intel did report that.

In my opinion that was the beginning of President Bush's decline. Bush lied, and that hasn't let up to this day.

One can only hope Mr. Wilson has to take the witness stand at some point in that sorry mess.

Posted by: Tom Wall at January 26, 2007 3:14 AM


Yes, those are all lies. He should have just said he outed her because she was running a black op against the elected government.

Posted by: oj at January 26, 2007 7:58 AM

The truth I want to hear from my president is that it is necessary to invade Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Iraq or whatever.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 27, 2007 12:54 AM


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