Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Democratic Reaction To Libby Verdict

Here are some reactions from leading Democrats to I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, once Dick Cheney's right-hand man, being convicted Tuesday of perjury and obstructing an investigation in the CIA leak trial:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

"I welcome the jury's verdict. It's about time someone in the Bush Administration has been held accountable for the campaign to manipulate intelligence and discredit war critics. Lewis Libby has been convicted of perjury, but his trial revealed deeper truths about Vice President Cheney's role in this sordid affair. Now President Bush must pledge not to pardon Libby for his criminal conduct."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

“Today's guilty verdicts are not solely about the acts of one individual.

“This trial provided a troubling picture of the inner workings of the Bush Administration. The testimony unmistakably revealed – at the highest levels of the Bush Administration – a callous disregard in handling sensitive national security information and a disposition to smear critics of the war in Iraq.”

Presidential Candidate John Edwards

"Today's verdict in the Libby case is an important step in holding the Administration accountable for its consistent misuse and manipulation of intelligence to further its ideological agenda. But there are serious questions about whether the buck actually stopped with Scooter Libby. The American people deserve to know if Mr. Libby has been made a scapegoat in order to protect anyone else."

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)

"While justice has been served in the Libby case, the real lesson to come from it is that we must be vigilant in ensuring that the intelligence on burgeoning threats to our nation is beyond reproach. Clearly, the Bush Administration wasn't forthcoming about the intelligence failures leading up to the war in Iraq and as a result damaged the country's credibility. We need to ensure that our intelligence is accurate, reliable and free of political influence."

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT)

“What this verdict confirms is the current Administration has shown at every turn, that they favor their own political survival over national security and the truth. This is a just end to an appalling episode and a sobering reminder that no one is above the law.”

Senator John Kerry (D-MA)

"This verdict brings accountability at last for official deception and the politics of smear and fear. This trial revealed a no-holds barred White House attack machine aimed at anyone who stood in the way of their march to war with Iraq. It is time for President Bush to live up to his own promises and hold accountable anyone else who participated in this smear. It is also well past time for Vice President Cheney, who according to the testimony was protected by Scooter Libby's lies, to finally acknowledge his role in this sordid episode."

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

"This verdict sends a very clear message that the abuse of power is not going to be tolerated, and that those powerful figures who think themselves above the law, will be held to the standard of the law."

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)

"The evidence was pretty clear that Scooter Libby lied to the FBI and the Grand Jury about leaking the identity of Valerie Plame. That was the conclusion reached by the jury. The larger point of this case, though, is the extent to which the Vice President of the United States personally undertook a vendetta to discredit an Administration critic.

"The testimony in the trial made clear that Vice President Cheney was personally involved in the decision to disclose the identity of an undercover agent and jeopardize her contacts and associates. It was done in a desperate effort to hide the fact that the American people had been misled about the justifications for invading Iraq. Scooter Libby, Ari Fleischer and Karl Rove all acted recklessly in leaking information about a CIA agent, but the decision to do so appears to have come from the highest levels of this Administration."