Friday, March 09, 2007

Don't Ask Don't Tell

David Corn, The Nation

Libby described his don't ask, don't tell meetings with Cheney during two appearances before the grand jury in 2004. For three days, jurors in the criminal trial listened to audiotapes of this testimony--and they could hear the disbelief in special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's voice as he questioned Libby about these conversations. After the leak investigation began, Fitzgerald noted, George W. Bush had requested that anyone with information come forward. So, the prosecutor asked, Why didn't Cheney want to know what Libby knew? Libby had no explanation. Why didn't Libby insist on spilling all to Cheney? The Vice President, Libby replied, had no desire for the information. Why didn't Libby tell Cheney or anyone else in the White House that Rove had spoken to Novak about Valerie Wilson--especially since White House press secretary Scott McClellan had declared it "ridiculous" to suggest Rove had been involved in the leak? "It wasn't what I was most concerned about," Libby told the grand jury. The trial jurors listening to Libby on tape could have been forgiven for wondering if he and Cheney were adhering to an unspoken Sopranos-style version of plausible deniability.

. . .. ... ..... ........ oOo ........ ..... ... .. . .

flash forward: McClellan's memoir 5.27.2008

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