Scooter Libby: They Can't Let the Caged Bird Sing

John Colson, writing in the Aspen Times, supports one emerging theory of the Scooter Libby commutation: Bush and Cheney couldn't let a caged Scooter sing:

Cheney, better than anyone, knows what a weak link Libby is. All you have to do is look at the guy to know, without any doubt, that within two weeks of incarceration he would sing like a lark on a bright spring morning. And the notes of his song would not be good for Cheney, Bush or the entire construct of deceit and destruction that the Bush presidency has become.

Libby certainly knows who decided Plame’s identity should be leaked to the media. He certainly knows who was in on the discussions leading to that decision. And he undoubtedly knows where the papers are that could prove any assertions of those points, although it’s entirely possible that Cheney is smarter than Richard Nixon was and already has shredded, electronically scrubbed and otherwise obliterated all the evidence.

The question then becomes:

Once Libby started singing, how long would it be before Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor who convicted Scooter, draws up indictments?

And, once Bush's cronies began singing:

If all the songbirds in the Bush menagerie started singing at once, the resulting cacophony could well be deafening. The venality of this administration has been stunning, to say the least, and the idea that even part of its internal machinations could be brought into the light of day is titillating.

.... Bush, of course, either knows all this or, more likely, has had it outlined in stark terms by Cheney to the point where even The Shrub can recognize the potential for political annihilation when he sees it looming on the near horizon.

I must say, the article has a certain amount of appeal.

Update: Schumer says the Committee may call Patrick Fitzgerald at the hearing and Conyers says there was a suspicion that Libby might flip.

< Bill Clinton Suggests His New Title: "First Laddy" | "Live Earth" Video Highlights >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    new diary on this topic (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by scribe on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 10:08:59 AM EST
    Go read it here and tell whether you agree.

    I didn't read the Aspen Times article - from the headline it looks like he tried to bogart my idea. (/snark)

    Question (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 11:44:01 AM EST
    If Libby did talk after sentencing could his sentence be reversed or changed? If so how does that work?

    I just wrote a new post (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 02:44:01 PM EST
    answering your question.  The answer is yes.

    Thanks Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 03:22:42 PM EST
    That puts all the talk about Libby singing in perpective.

    Exactly. (none / 0) (#1)
    by TomStewart on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 04:36:27 AM EST
    The clemency was given to keep Libby out of jail and quiet.

     Ever wonder why after making so much noise about calling Cheney and having Libby testify, suddenly the defense tacked off in another direction and became essentially passive. His whole defense became 'I can't remember'. They had to know how silly that might sound to the jury. Scooter must have been told 'don't worry, you won't go to jail', the sabers were put way, Scooter never testified, Cheney was never called, and that was the end of that.

    Of course, it'll never be proved. No one will talk, there is no paper trail, and Bush and Cheney will be retired and giving speeches to large corporate sponsors, dropping hints (they're among friends, after all) about what they got away with, long before any evidence surfaces.

    And now, off to bed. Maybe I'll dream of sweet justice.

    And my own Batmobile.

    A President Transformed indeed (none / 0) (#2)
    by HK on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 05:27:02 AM EST
    Read this excellent comment article.  The article was in The Guardian yesterday.  It was written by Monty Python member Terry Jones and examines Bush's uncharacteristic act of mercy.

    Childish (none / 0) (#3)
    by koshembos on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 05:54:25 AM EST
    I find the Aspen Times comment childish. The assumption that looking at Libby tells you... look at the guy to know, without any doubt, that within two weeks of incarceration he would sing. is beyond ridiculous.

    More credence should be given to those that said that pardoning Libby gives him immunity on the issues involved and he cannot invoke the 5th. Therefore, he may sing in order not jeopardize his pardon.

    I don't think you understand (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Aaron on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 06:57:52 AM EST
    Though Libby has not received a presidential pardon, I'm sure he will before Bush leaves office.  Once he does receive a pardon from the president of the United States, that means that he is under no pressure whatsoever to reveal anything, he can't be touched by the law after that, in regard to any of these issues.  The law had its chance with him, and it was overridden by the executive branch period.  Regardless of what conservatives tell you, he is under the protective wing of the president and vice president, specifically because it is in their best interests to do so.

    Lawyers can argue over but can be done now, but in the end nothing more will be done, and the Republic will suffer as a result.


    Huh? (none / 0) (#11)
    by aj12754 on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 10:18:12 AM EST
    A pardon doesn't mean he can't be subpoenaed by Congress on these issues.  Nor does it mean that he can't be held in contempt if he refuses to testify.

    Give the Bush White House a lie detector test (none / 0) (#5)
    by Aaron on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 07:22:38 AM EST
    If the next Democrat to become president had any intestinal fortitude whatsoever, he would immediately pass an executive order calling for everyone in a cabinet level position of the previous White House to be given multiple lie detector test by the FBI, including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Don Rumsfeld etc. and find out exactly what they knew and when they knew it.  

    I have no doubt that once the results were made public to the American people, the Republican party would falter badly, quickly finding itself a marginalized isolated minority for many decades to come, and opening the door for the emergence of a number of new political parties who would actually standard in representation of the people of this nation, and bring much-needed new life to our democracy.  We are desperately in need of a third and fourth party in this country with enough seats in the House and Senate to offset the power of the Democrats and Republicans, creating a deciding voting bloc that would put control of the Republic back in the hands of the people.

    It's time for some revolutionary change in the United States.

    Under what Authority? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 09:27:36 AM EST
    Has the the 5th amendment be repealed?

    Lie detectors are notroriously unreliable.

    Exactly what authority do you think a President has to compel anyone to take a lie detector test?


    Ooh! Ooh! I know! (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by scarshapedstar on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 10:27:11 AM EST
    Exactly what authority do you think a President has to compel anyone to take a lie detector test?

    Sep...tember-the-eleventh, 2001?

    Hey, he's used it to justify plenty of other unreasonable searches, as I recall.


    Singing (none / 0) (#6)
    by QuakerLiz on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 08:24:51 AM EST
    I've never understood this argument.  Like Koshembos, it seems ludicrous to imagine that Libby would start spilling his guts just because he didn't care for incarceration.  (OK--I've never been incarcerated, so maybe I'm just naive.)  But when I look at him, I see an administration loyalist who would never, ever rat out his bosses.  I think that Cheney wanted to keep him out of prison because he (Libby) is such a company guy, and because he was only doing the boss's dirty work--not to keep Libby from talking. And these days a jail sentence for the rich and powerful is almost meaningless once they're out, in terms of finding employment. That would never have been an issue for Libby; nor would he have been socially ostracized.  Anyway, my question, if any of the attorneys or psychologists or prison wardens out there would like to take it on, is this: What's the basis for believing that Scooter would talk?

    Not all aides are G. Gordon Liddy (none / 0) (#8)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 09:31:13 AM EST
    Ask John Dean, or Egil "Bud" Krogh whether jail, even Club Fed, is where they wanted to spend a 33 months of their life.

    But who knows, maybe Scooter is another G. Gordon Liddy.


    I just can't take (none / 0) (#9)
    by aj12754 on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 10:08:18 AM EST
    one more repetition of the canard about "criminalizing politics" hurled around by Rich Lowry and Fareed Zakaria yet again on This Week.

    How hard is it to grasp the concept that holding people accountable for criminal activity engaged in to further political ends is not the same thing as criminalizing politics.

    Punditry is a form of mental illness.

    Said that already (none / 0) (#16)
    by Saul on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 02:56:21 PM EST
    Um, John Colson must of read my commet of July 3, 2007, Called "Snow Job".  I said exactly the same thing when I commeted to your blog titled,"Hypocrisy, Thy Name is Bush"

    What would have been nice (none / 0) (#18)
    by chemoelectric on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 04:42:55 PM EST
    It would have been nice and maybe we could have been better prepared if anyone had run with my theory, posted many times in this blog and elsewhere over the last many months, by me, though I am not a lawyer or even a TV lawyer, that Bush would not pardon Libby anytime soon because then the 5th amendment would not apply anymore. So no pardon could come until Bush was disappearing into obscurity anyway, at the end of his term. Then maybe some lawyer would have figured out ahead of time that Bush would likely commute Libbyâ€<sup>TM</sup>s sentence and could have publicized this ahead of time, making deep kim-chee for Bush, since the media and public would be waiting for it.

    Just call me Cassandra Junior.

    Feh (none / 0) (#19)
    by chemoelectric on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 04:43:51 PM EST
    Darn Unicode-incompatibility.

    QuakerLiz (none / 0) (#21)
    by Claw on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 06:59:49 PM EST
    I think, not having been incarcerated, you may be a little naive.  Defendants will often take awful, awful deals--deals their lawyers (cough) beg them not to take--just to get out of jail.  That's jail.  Not prison.  This is one of the many reasons why prison snitches are very unreliable.  People really dislike incarceration.  While it is a little silly to say Libby would sing within two weeks, I think there's a very good case to be made that Libby would find prison distasteful enough to start talking.