Thursday, January 25, 2007

Evocative moments at the Libby trial

I couldn't help but recall a scene from the movie, Clear and Present Danger after reading this passage from the NYTimes coverage of the Libby trial today:
Mr. Libby’s lawyers said in an opening statement on Tuesday that he felt so abandoned by the White House as the leak investigation intensified in the fall of 2003 that he appealed to his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney. Mr. Cheney subsequently wrote, according to the defense’s opening statement: “Not going to protect one staffer + sacrifice the guy who was asked to stick his neck in the meatgrinder because of the incompetence of others.”
Was this like a "get out of jail free card" that Cheney was penning to ease Libby's mind as he went about his mission to discredit the Wilsons? Remember this scene from the movie?
Jack Ryan: I didn't sign up for this. This is someone's bullshit political agenda. Who authorized this? Cutter?
Ritter: Cutter couldn't tie his own shoes without permission.
Jack Ryan: If I go down you're coming with me.
Ritter: Wrong again. I have an *autographed get-out-of-jail-free card*! "The President of the United States authorizes Deputy Director of the CIA Robert Ritter to conduct 'Operation Reciprocity' including all necessary funding and support. This action is deemed important to the national security of the United States etcetera, etcetera, etcetera." You don't *have* one of these, do you Jack?
[as Ryan walks away]
Ritter: Gray! The world is gray, Jack!
Rove: The world is grey, Scooter!

Of course, this is all an interesting and fun dramatic embellishment on my part. The parallel is not so much in the note but in the feelings evident in the Ryan character about having been left dangling in the wind by his White House colleagues and left to take the fall. From Libby's counsel's opening statement, it seems that Libby experienced something similar.

Note also the emphasis in the Times article that there's "little known evidence" of Libby being set up as a scapegoat. Of course not, does anyone believe Rove would leave fingerprints?

Speaking of Rove, Murray Waas is of the opinion that the Rove fingering by Libby's team is meant to signal to the White House that Libby's looking for a pardon and some assurance in exchange for tamping down the Rove references/amending his defense...hmmmmm...if you were Libby, would you count on that?