Editorial Round Up: Libby Trial A Disgrace For Bush White House
The conviction of former Cheney chief-of-staff Scooter Libby in regard to the leaking of a covert CIA agent’s identity and the smearing of Bush Administration opponents has led to outrage across the country. Editorials call for Cheney and Bush advisor Karl Rove to resign their White House posts and for the President not to pardon Libby. Libby is highest-ranking White House official to be convicted of a felony since the Iran-Contra Affair.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Bush Should Be Demanding Resignations From Other White House Officials, Including Rove. “The latest casualty of the war in Iraq is I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, White House fall guy and former top aide to Vice President Cheney, convicted yesterday of perjury and obstructing justice. … The topic that Libby lied about is important: a reckless effort to discredit a critic of the Iraq war. Libby took part in a frantic bid to squelch an inconvenient truth - that the administration had rushed into war based on assertions about Iraqi WMD that were flat-out wrong. … This bungled run-up to war, the criminally negligent lack of planning for the occupation, and the disgraceful Libby episode were brought to us by a White House crew that once claimed to be uniquely qualified on national defense. … If the president truly does respect this verdict, he ought to be seeking resignations. Rove, the architect of his presidency, was neck-deep in the scheme to discredit Wilson. He, too, spoke to a columnist about Wilson's wife. (Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage acknowledged being the first to disclose Plame's identity to a journalist.) And what of Cheney, whose bidding Libby clearly was doing? Libby is the only one headed for jail, but the verdict condemns higher government officials in absentia.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, Editorial, 3/7/07]
Sacramento Bee: President Bush Has Done Nothing To Provide Accountability. “Libby's trial reveals the lengths to which White House officials were willing to go to mislead the American people before the invasion of Iraq -- and their willingness to destroy those who would publicly offer contrary information. Cheney's office also mobilized to attack Wilson personally. The vice president prepared talking points for Libby and others on how to undermine Wilson's credibility, according to testimony by Catherine J. Martin, who was Cheney's top press aide. … But the big question remains: Who bears responsibility for this outrageous behavior? Tuesday's verdict in Libby's trial provides the only accountability to date. President Bush has done nothing despite his vow to fire anyone who leaked the CIA operative's cover. At this point, Libby is the fall guy in this tawdry drama.” [Sacramento Bee, Editorial, 3/7/07]
Houston Chronicle: Bush Should Not Pardon Libby. “Libby is the highest ranking U.S. official to be convicted of a felony since Reagan administration officials were charged in the Iran-Contra scandal. … President Bush should resist any urge to pardon Libby, and allow justice to take its course. A pardon would send the message that loyal officials can lie under oath — not to mention deliberately mislead the American people — with impunity if they have appreciative friends in high places.” [Houston Chronicle, Editorial, 3/7/07]
Denver Post: Cheney, Rove And Armitage “Impugned” By Investigation. “Tuesday's conviction of I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby was a repudiation of the arrogance of White House insiders who manipulated intelligence and attacked their critics. … The picture that emerged from the perjury and obstruction trial of Libby is one of officials who thought nothing of attacking an opponent of their Iraq war policy, even jeopardizing a career intelligence officer. … The trial focused an unflattering spotlight on others in the Bush administration who leaked Plame's identity, including White House adviser Karl Rove, then-Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. And it exposed Cheney as a behind-the-scenes operator who dictated strategy and statements for others in the administration. Cheney and Rove weren't charged in the investigation, which special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said is now finished, but they certainly were impugned.” [Denver Post, Editorial, 3/7/07]
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Cheney Should Resign. “If Dick Cheney had a shred of honor, he'd resign the vice presidency and offer to take the rap for his former chief of staff, I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, who's looking at 18 months to three years in a federal prison after being convicted Tuesday for lying about his part in a scheme that his old boss clearly engineered. … L'affaire Plame was not a proud moment for either American government or American journalism — or, for that matter, for American justice. If there were real justice, Scooter Libby wouldn't be the only guy headed for prison.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Editorial, 3/7/07]