I’ve noticed several commentators on the Libby verdicts making the same point I made back in July of 2005: Corn, Marshall on Rove/Plame. And I See an Elephant:
Rovebush (Bushrove?) operate in a realm where truth has no meaning, no power. They are the masters of that realm, the gods of that realm, and they have steadily amassed an army of fellow conspirators who will say whatever they tell them to say, as often as they need them to say it. I’m sure they believe they can convince pretty much anyone of anything.
But Fitzgerald doesn’t operate in that realm. He operates in the legal realm, which is all about truth. If this gets to court, the Rovebush side will spin, sure, but it won’t be the asymmetrical warfare they normally practice. There will be rules, and the other side will get equal time, and the truth, if sufficiently clear, will trump their spin.
It’s a little like a whiff of smelling salts, this Libby verdict. There’s a collective coming to our senses, a realization that whoa, that’s right; there’s such a thing as objective truth, and courtrooms are designed specifically as a crucible to burn away all the bullshit and spin and leave only truth behind.
So, there you go: The White House can shift instantly (and predictably) from “there’s a trial under way, and our country is founded on the presumption of innocence, so we’re not going to comment on the matter” to “there’s an ongoing legal procedure (the appeal) under way, so even though we’d really love to talk about it (and despite the fact that we’ve felt free to talk about any number of other ongoing legal matters when it suited our political purposes), our lawyers advise us that we really shouldn’t say anything at this time,” but the reality is, the vice president’s former chief of staff has been found guilty of multiple felonies for obstructing an investigation into a national security breach. And if you followed the trial at all closely, it’s fairly clear that Libby’s lies were specifically intended to obscure Dick Cheney’s role in foisting known-to-be-inaccurate information about Saddam’s nuclear ambitions on the public.
Which trumps lying about a presidential blowjob in the Oval Office by about a zillion percent.
Way to restore ethical conduct to the White House, guys.