Right now in Washington, a major criminal case has just begun. I am talking about the criminal trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney. According to an article in The New York Times, Libby is charged with five felony counts of perjury in a Grand Jury Investigators in 2003. The indictment of Libby reads:
"A major focus of the Grand Jury Investigation was to determine which government officials had disclosed to the media prior to Robert Novak’s July 14, 2003, information concerning the affiliation of Valerie Wilson with the CIA, and the nature, timing, extent, and purpose of such disclosures, as well as whether any official making such a disclosure did so knowing that the employment of Valerie Wilson by the CIA was classified information."
Libby’s defense is claiming that he was made a scapegoat by the president’s administration in order to protect Karl Rove, President George W. Bush’s longtime political adviser and one of the two men Robert Novak said gave him the information.
It is widely believed that the leak about Valerie Wilson was due to her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, being an outspoken critic of the Bush administration.
Also, the reasoning behind the sacrifice of Libby, asserts his defense, is that Karl Rove is essential to the health and prosperity of the Republican Party, so preserving his safety was at the top of the administration’s list. Both cases — even the second one — are textbook examples of a problem that is running rampant through our government.
Now, I’m not talking about out and out corruption by any means. I’m only a college opinions writer; I don’t think I can go that far. And besides, I am not referring to something that only bad politicians do. The problem I’m talking about is so widespread that it isn’t even a problem anymore so much as it is standard practice.
I’m talking about the way politicians tend to put their own political battles, their personal careers, or the success of their own party above the well-being of America and American citizens.
Let’s look at the White House leak again. Back in 2003, Joseph Wilson wrote an Op-Ed piece for The New York Times accusing the Bush administration about misleading the country in the State of the Union Address of the same year.
In the speech, apparently, the president made a much bigger deal than evidence warranted about rumors of Iraq purchasing uranium from Niger — uranium that could have potentially been used in developing nuclear weapons.
Both Wilson and his wife had been part of the fact-finding mission to Niger that partially contributed to these rumors. The next day, conservative columnist Robert Novak wrote a response article, which unnecessarily revealed Valerie Wilson, or Valerie Plame as she was known at her job, as an operative of the Central Intelligence Agency.
This revelation, which effectively cost Mrs. Wilson her job, came directly from Richard Armitage, who didn’t know her status was covert, and was confirmed by Karl Rove, who did. It was a petty, pointless, and cruel thing to do, and did not benefit the United States — or the Bush administration, for that matter — in any way.
And now we have Libby’s perjury trial. If his defense is telling the truth, then the case will paint an even bleaker picture of the White House — one that is willing to sell out a relative innocent in favor of the man who orchestrated the election of a president who has proved himself to be inept at best. If Libby is lying, then the White House is still as bad as it already is, but it also means that he is lying under oath about lying under oath, and accusing quite a few innocent journalists of doing the same.
Government is about putting the people before yourself and your own interests: bottom line. If the government can’t do that, then it is not fit to lead.
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Title: CIA leak reveals political agenda | Author: Keegan Blackler | Section: Opinions | Published Date: 2007-01-31 | Internal ID: 5387