Pardon… Excusez-mois…

independent.co.uk
bbc.co.uk
guardian.co.uk

4 out of 5 ain’t bad I suppose;

In a massive new blow to the credibility of the White House

ahem…

Vice-President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff Lewis Libby has been convicted of obstruction of justice, perjury and lying to the FBI, during the investigation into the leaking of the identity of a CIA agent.

I wonder what the mood at the White House is like;

In a statement, Mr Cheney said he was “very disappointed with the verdict“. At the White House the mood was equally grim. George Bush respected the result of the trial, but was “saddened for Scooter Libby and his family”, a spokesman said.

Apparently Libby’s family are falling all over themselves to apologize to Cheney. It’s a difficult time for everyone involved I’m sure. So what now for Libby?

Defence lawyers immediately said they would seek a fresh trial, and if that failed, lodge an appeal. In theory Libby faces up to 25 years in jail, though federal sentencing guidelines mean he is likely to receive a far shorter term… Libby’s appeal could run for many months through the courts, possibly as far as the Supreme Court. If the case is not settled by the time a new president is elected in November 2008, Mr Bush could pardon Libby.

Indeed. Or maybe even award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Business as usual. So what’s the upshot of all this?

The trial, in which neither Libby nor his former boss testified, threw no new light on the handling of the WMD intelligence used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But it revealed the obsessive sensitivity of the Vice-President’s office to any attack on its pre-war use of intelligence, and its determination to discredit critics.

Right, but did we learn anything new?

J.K.

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