Friday, October 28, 2005

The White House's No-Win on Libby

While Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby may not have been everything we had hoped for – hey, Karl Rove still works at the White House – the long term effect will be to shine a white-hot spotlight on this administration's hubris and duplicity.

And, when viewed through the prism of the Libby trial to follow, it appears there's little way for the Bush administration to weasel out of bad consequences in some form.

Libby's case going to trial in many ways presents a politically unpalatable scenario wherein a who's who of Team Bush and the media get called before a courtroom, under oath, and aggressively questioned about the whole ugly affair. That guest list will certainly include Vice President Dick Cheney and may even include George W. Bush.

There's no way that turns out well for them if, for no other reason, the massive loss of public confidence that will result – as if it could get worse at this point – and a huge draining of yet more political capital.

So how is that avoided? By Libby cutting a deal that keeps the whole thing from going to trial. But to do that, Libby is going to have to give something up to Patrick Fitzgerald – and that something might just be a someone, in the person of Karl Rove. In short, to stay out of a courtroom and get a lighter sentence, Libby will have to spill some beans and that will not help the Bush White House either.

After all, we now know as a matter of fact that the Vice President was Libby's source of information on Valerie Plame and that the CIA was Cheney's source. This all means more bad news down the road for the Bush administration.

If I seem at all happy about this, it's because I am.

We have watched this criminal, arrogant crew run roughshod over our democracy for five years now and, even more than happy, I feel relieved that some semblance of justice and sanity have prevailed.

And, as this plays out, I think we can look for more.