A Scooter for Christmas? Libby Pardon in the Offing

Via TomDispatch, Elizabeth de la Vega tells of a likely Christmas Surprise": the pardoning of Scooter Libby before his trial begins in January. Why? Mainly to prevent full exposure of the Cheney organization -- the real "secret government" that has lead the nation into so much crime, blood and ruin. Read it here: Scooter Libby's Trial Strategy. Some excerpts:

The seemingly unstoppable imminence of his trial isn't just a problem for Libby; it's an Excedrin Extra Strength-sized headache for George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their entire senior staff, not to mention the Republican Party. Once the trial begins, the administration will have little or no control over the proceedings. Trials are not conducive to spin. Spin requires secrecy; trials, on the other hand, are decidedly public....Government officials who testify will actually have to identify themselves before speaking. Their statements will be transcribed and made available to the public almost immediately.

Worse yet, as the Bush administration surely knows, people (aka "voters") love trials. They may not pay attention to congressional debate -- to the extent that there is any -- and they certainly don't read proposed legislation (nor, sometimes, do our representatives in Congress), but they will pay close attention to the trial of I. "Scooter" Lewis Libby. And the day that a public airing of the machinations that led to Libby's indictment begins will be -- to paraphrase Judith Viorst's beloved children's book ... a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day for the White House....

How hard is this Republican chorus working [to denigrate the charges]? Take a look at the website of the Libby Legal Defense Trust, the fundraising group formed by Libby's powerful and wealthy Republican supporters -- President Bush's former Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, business tycoon Steve Forbes, and Cheney's former aide and long-time confidant Mary Matalin, to name a few. Since late August, more than 35 editorials and articles favorable to Libby have appeared in right-wing and mainstream media....the White House and RNC propaganda machine [are] working overtime to denigrate Patrick Fitzgerald and the charges in the Libby case, using claims that have been largely rejected as without factual or legal basis by a federal judge whom President George W. Bush himself appointed in 2004...

Their strategy for the Libby trial is precisely the same as Libby's: not to have a trial. The White House and the RNC do not want anyone to hear, or hear about, Patrick Fitzgerald calmly laying out the case against Scooter Libby -- which will inevitably provide an extremely damaging view of the Office of the Vice President -- in a courtroom where they will have no pundit protection.

With the jury selection date fast approaching and the possibilities of a court dismissal evaporating, the White House appears to be shifting to Plan B: a PR effort to pave the way for a presidential pardon of Scooter Libby -- before the trial.
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