Libby: "Fall Guy" For The Real Criminals
Faces 25 years in prison while the real war criminals have end of their terms in sight
Steve Watson
Wednesday, March 7, 2007  

While Scooter Libby faces sentencing after being convicted of four counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, the figureheads of the US and British governments will see out their terms despite voluminous amounts of more damning evidence that proves they have consistently plotted and lied to sell an illegal occupation to their respective populations.

As Editor & Publisher reported, a spokesman for the jury that convicted Libby told reporters immediately afterward that many felt sympathy for him and believed he was only the "fall guy."

Denis Collins said that "a number of times" they asked themselves, "what is HE doing here? Where is Rove and all these other guys....I'm not saying we didn't think Mr. Libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of. It seemed like he was, as Mr. Wells [his lawyer] put it, he was the fall guy."

He said they believed that Vice President Cheney did "task him to talk to reporters."

And While Libby faces years in prison, Cheney may step down and retire at any moment, no doubt going on to live out his days profiting from his Halliburton war fund and shooting old men in the face for fun.

At Libby's trial, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has shown that Libby lied about leaking undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity in 2003 because Cheney's office wanted to discredit Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was a strong public critic of the administration's decision to go to war in Iraq.

Wilson had traveled to Niger in February 2002 on a CIA-sponsored mission to investigate allegations that Saddam Hussein's regime had attempted to procure weapons-grade uranium from the African nation. Wilson reported to the CIA that from what he could learn the allegations were almost certainly untrue. In a July 6, 2003, op-ed in The New York Times, Wilson charged that the Bush administration had "twisted" intelligence information when it cited the alleged Niger-Iraq connection in the president's State of Union address earlier that year.

As one part of an effort to counter Wilson's allegations and to discredit him, Libby and other Bush administration officials told reporters that Wilson's wife selected him to go on the CIA mission, suggesting nepotism.

Libby's trial has also brought Cheney's role to center stage. According to evidence and testimony, Cheney selectively leaked and declassified intelligence information to bolster the administration's case for war and later to defend against charges that he had misrepresented prewar intelligence.

Even former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham has stated:

"It's hard to believe that the chief of staff to the vice president was acting as a rogue agent. What we have learned from the trial validates the suspicion that Libby was not just operating as a lone ranger. He was carrying out what the vice president wanted him to do, which was to besmirch Joe Wilson. I think Libby has been a conspirator in one of the most reprehensible and damaging breaches of American security in modern history."

However this will all seemingly go down the memory hole with Libby's conviction and Cheney will face no recrimination.

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And what of Bush? While Libby takes the fall over the Wilson/Plame affair, will anyone remember that at the very core of it was the speech that Bush gave to the nation in 2003 whereupon he announced that Iraq had sought to buy uranium from Niger, a claim the CIA had informed the administration was based on falsified documents ten months before it was included in the speech.

This is just one of the many instances where Bush has committed an impeachable offense by knowingly lying to the American people.

Perhaps more remarkable is the fact that despite the CIA's reservations over the central claim that Saddam was allegedly attempting to buy yellowcake from Africa for his nuclear weapons programme, and the White House having formally backed away from the report, the British Government still clings to its original position on this dossier.

The intelligence was referred to by Lord Butler in his 2004 review of the use of intelligence in the approach to the war, as he maintained that despite it being well established by then that incriminating documents were crude fakes, the intelligence was still credible!

As the London Independent has today reported:

The Government has refused all requests from opposition MPs since that time to reveal the intelligence on which the assessment was based. And with Tony Blair poised to leave office, it is unlikely to be made public until his successor decides whether to hold an independent inquiry into the mistakes made in Iraq.

There is a mountain of evidence in addition to the yellowcake documents that suggest the plot to go to war was entirely cooked up and intelligence was fixed around the desire to invade Iraq.

The final plan of attack was formulated between December 2001 and February 2002. Further leaked documents have shown that Tony Blair personally agreed to back the US led invasion at this time. In the run up to the war, the British government doctored intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs, and Blair assured Bush that, like the Australians, he would back him with or without a second UN resolution.

In December 2001 the London Observer reported that the US was secretly planning to invade Iraq and intended to depose Saddam Hussein by giving armed support to Iraqi opposition forces across the country. Key players cited in the military planning at that time were General Tommy Franks, former CIA director James Woolsey, Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and chairman of the joint chiefs General Richard Myers.

The Washington Post later verified this, reporting that beginning in late December 2001, President Bush met repeatedly with Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks and his war cabinet to plan the U.S. attack on Iraq even as he and administration spokesmen insisted they were pursuing a diplomatic solution.

The Post reported that Vice President Cheney led the group and had developed what some of his colleagues felt was a "fever" about removing Hussein by force.

In February 2002 it was reported, again by the Observer, that Bush and Blair were to hold summits to "finalise Phase Two of the war against terrorism" and finalise the plot for military action against Iraq. This came after a series of long telephone conversations in December and January during which Bush kept Blair aware of his plans for military action.

These summits would be where the "evidence of Iraq's nuclear capabilities." would be cooked up. The British government began finalization of a document to reveal that Saddam was attempting to amass rudimentary nuclear capabilities and a way to launch 'dirty' nuclear bombs.

A Downing Street official stated at the time that it was an issue of public persuasion: "As with Osama bin Laden and the war in Afghanistan, it is necessary to maintain public and international support for military action against Saddam.

Last November the London Observer reported that they had received new information that corroborates this timeline:

"New information passed to this paper suggests that the construction of the intelligence case for war may be pushed right back to the winter of 2002, when, in February, members of the Joint Intelligence Committee were tasked to find out if there was evidence of a link between al-Qaeda and Saddam's regime in Iraq. No one can dispute that in the months following 9/11, this was an entirely proper area of inquiry for the new head of the JIC, John Scarlett. However, even though no evidence had been found, the JIC instructed the intelligence services to go back and find some. This is crucial because it defied what has been described to me as the article of faith in the JIC: that policy should be driven by analysis, not the other way round. So in Britain, it appears that at a very early stage - 14 months before the war - we were trying to fit intelligence and facts around the policy, just as they were in America."

The 'Iraq Options' paper, a document produced by the Overseas and Defence Secretariat at the cabinet office on 8 March 2002 which was not mentioned anywhere in the Butler inquiry into the war, stated:

"In the judgment of the JIC, there is no recent evidence of Iraq complicity with international terrorism. There is, therefore, no justification for action against Iraq based on self-defence to combat imminent threats of terrorism as in Afghanistan."

We later learned of the Downing Street memo, which detailed a meeting held at Downing Street on 23 July 2002. It described a visit to Washington by Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6, and his conclusion that George W Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD and that the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

According to the Observer Lord Butler saw this memo but refrained from investigating it in his inquiry into the lead up to the war. When the story broke in May/June 2005 there was a huge media hush in the US where it was barely even mentioned.

The intelligence fixing continued throughout the rest of the year and by January 2003 the neocons were itching to invade. At this time Bush sought conclusive backing from Blair, who despite initially suggesting waiting for the UN, "solidly" agreed to back the military option.

This was revealed earlier this year in a leaked secret memo of a two-hour meeting between the two leaders at the White House on January 31 2003, nearly two months before the invasion. Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second UN resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons program.

This was the same memo in which it was revealed that Bush and Blair considered staging a war provocation by painting a US spy plane in UN colors and flying it over Iraq, in the hope that Saddam would order it shot down.

In February 2003 Bush ordered Colin Powell in front of the UN to tell them some portable toilets were weapons factories, and the rest is history.

Once more we are further reminded of the long staging of this illegal, unjust and ongoing war that has brought chaos and dissolution to the entire planet.

The British public seems to have already forgotten how severely they have been misled by Blair, and despite increasing calls for Bushes impeachment from the Washington State legislature, the mayor of Salt Lake City, and town hall meetings in Vermont., it seems that the real criminals have gotten away with it one more time.

We are supposed to be satisfied, however, that our justice systems are functioning perfectly with the conviction of a man who literally was a "scooter" for the higher ups.



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