Humanizing Scooter Libby

All lawyers like to humanize their clients, to show to the world (in a high profile case) and the jury in a routine case, that their client is more than the sum of any misdeeds he may have committed.

Very little of that has gone on so far in the Libby trial, but today there is a long profile of Mr. Libby in the New York Times, that attempts to do the job.

You read, you decide. Did it accomplish its mission?

Update: Is That Legal? says "no." On a related note, James Joyner at Outside the Beltway wonders if Scooter Libby can get a fair trial. Pacachutec at Firedoglake recaps Day 1 of jury selection and already beginning to blog on Day 2.

< Why Did You Oppose The Iraq War Daddy? | New ACLU Report on Government Spying on Protesters >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    No help, but it is funny. (1.00 / 1) (#5)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 01:45:56 PM EST
    The Times article reminds me of Wm. F. Buckley's endorsement of the Times as superlative fish-wrap material.  But, really, some of the quotes are pricelessly funny.  

    That, and the timing's propitious.  A sane person'd think, now that jury selection's begun, it might be a little late to be working the prospective jurors with press coverage, seeing as how they're not supposed to read coverage about the case.  Those dollars were, like Rover challenging in the NJ, VA and MO senate races, wasted.  Must be nice to have rich friends....

    First bad vignette:

    He's going to be the poster boy for the criminalization of politics, and he's not even political," said Mary Matalin, Mr. Cheney's former political adviser.

    This is an old, worn-out swaybacked nag of an argument.  I first remember hearing it back in the 80s, when the WSJ editorial page and Republican pundits decried "the criminalization of policy differences" so often one was convinced they'd built the phrase into a macro on their wordprocessors.  It was most prominently used in defending the Reagan admin figures, including Poppy, against the mere idea their violation of the Boland Amendment (and other chicanery) could possibly be crimes - which they were.  

    Oh, yeah.  I forgot.  "Ken Starr" meant something about "criminalizing politics", too.  Barbara Comstock, too.  Silly me and my memory... how could I forget?

    And "not political"?  In this White House?  Puhleese.

    The yearbook photo.  For all yearbooks, the photos should be printed through a process which dissolves the image into nothingness, after 10 or 15 years.  No help to Scooter, but yearbook photos are no help to anyone else, ever, for that matter.  Poster boy....

    This vignette most definitely does not help in a perjury trial:  

    "He could remember not only all 79 `Star Trek' episodes, as I could, but he knew all the titles, too," Mr. Hindle said. "I think he always liked fantasy."  

    No one cares about liking Star Trek.  But, when accused of cooking up a false story for the [pointed]  ears of the FBI, "liking fantasy" is probably not a defense-friendly character trait.

    Then, there's this hilarious vignette:

    Both fans and critics of Libby might be surprised by some anecdotes from Yale, where Libby graduated in 1972. Fellow students recall his helping silkscreen T-shirts proclaiming "solidarity" between Yalies and the Black Panthers and going with shoulder-length blond hair and in a leather jacket to help at an anti-Vietnam War demonstration.

    Referencing this, a FDL commenter calling themselves "Black Panther Party" says:

    Stop prosecuting the white black man known as Scooter! He is one of us, man!
    . . .
    BTW, what kind of tie is our brother wearing today?

    Well, Scooter, in the words of your bros:  "Up against the wall, motherf**ker!"

    But, seriously, who is this supposed to help, or humanize?  It sounds like he was one of the rowdy campus boys in "The Women's Room" (or some other feminist tract novel of the mid-70s), all talking big about violently overthrowing the system, at least until Kent State.

    Or, maybe it's an attempt to make him likeable to the minority population of D.C.  If so, doubly no-help, because Scooter comes off vaguely like "Boon" Schoenstein in Animal House, leading the Delta frat boys into the Dexter Lake Club, where Otis Day and the Knights are playing to an all-black audience, proclaiming:  "it's Otis!  He loves us!"

    No.  Otis does not love you.  Never did.

    Frankly, if this is all the better a crew of highly skilled spinmeisters like Comstock and Corallo and all the rest can do, Scooter must be one hell of a son-of-a-bit*h.

    Murray Waas isn't buying it, either (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 06:57:19 PM EST
    Scooter Libby, what a wonderful man. (none / 0) (#3)
    by agincour on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 07:14:54 AM EST
    The first thing that struck me this morning when I opened my email program was the Libby pimping story on the front page of the New York Times. I wonder why a supposedly "liberal" paper would do such a thing, especially in light of their usual editorial stance. Actually, I don't wonder at all... those who have power always get what they ask for, regardless of fact or consequence. The joy I'm getting out of watching one of them finally be called to account (no matter what the outcome) is immense. Go Fitz, and make them all tell the truth. Now if we could only extend this to the rest of the vile Cheney crowd...  

    Awfully Nice of the Times (none / 0) (#4)
    by GhostDog on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 10:38:28 AM EST
    It's awfully nice of the Times to help out.

    Journalism -- gotta love it

    With kind regards,
    Dog, etc.
    searching for home

    Can't Remember S**t Defense (none / 0) (#7)
    by GhostDog on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 08:59:52 AM EST
    "He could remember not only all 79 `Star Trek' episodes, as I could, but he knew all the titles, too," Mr. Hindle said.

    But he CRS when it comes to national security issues.