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March 07, 2007

The Search for "The Real Leaker"

"Scooter" Libby was found guilty on 4 of 5 counts of lying to investigators, and the fallout is landing on Dick Cheney.

In legal terms, the jury has spoken in the Libby case.

In political terms, Vice President Dick Cheney is still awaiting a judgment.

For many weeks, Washington watched, transfixed, as the trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr. cast Cheney, his former boss, in the role of puppeteer, pulling the strings in a covert public relations campaign to defend the administration's case for war in Iraq and discredit a critic.

"There is a cloud over the vice president," the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, told the jury in summing up the case last month.

Cheney was not charged in the case, cooperated with the investigation and expressed a willingness to testify if called, though he never was. Yet he was a central figure throughout, aggressively fighting back against suggestions that he and President George W. Bush had taken the country to war on the basis of flawed intelligence, showing himself to be keenly sensitive to how he was portrayed in the press, and backing Libby to the end.

The jury considered Libby the "fall guy", and the prosecutor and Joe Wilson have a lower opinion of Cheney. Yet no one has been charged with the actual leak in this case. I guess, in a similar manner to OJ Simpson looking for "the real killer", pundits and talking heads will continue the hunt "the real leaker". In yet another eerie similarity to the Simpson situation, Wilson has filed a civil suit against Cheney.

There is one major difference, though, between this situation and OJ's. The real leaker has admitted to it. The problem is, the Left doesn't want to focus on Richard Armitage because he was an Iraq war skeptic in the State Department. No neo-con, he. And going after someone who, if not a Democrat, at least had views that the anti-war crowd appreciated, would not fit the narrative that they have written for this whole kerfuffle. "It was a neo-con revenge hit!" "Karl Rove should be frog-marched!" "The stifling of dissent!"

And in the article detailing who lost face in this whole matter, how many times is Armitage's name mentioned: 0. He's not a neo-con, he's not a White House official, and he was, in fact, a voice of dissent. Doesn't fit the narrative, so the Left and the Media stop paying attention to him.

If there was any intellectual honesty left in those pounding on Cheney, we'd see Armitage's name a whole lot more. Instead, it's not about the truth or the policy or whatever high hobby-horse they're riding. It's all about the politics.

Posted by Doug at March 7, 2007 11:21 AM

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