Friday, February 16, 2007

I. the Scooter Libby Jury

"What, me lie?"

The Libby defense has followed a course that must seem curious even to the most jaded of court house spectators.

On the one hand, the defense argues that Libby was so preoccupied with the cares of his position, what with fighting terrorism before breakfast and all, that he simply forgot that he had told numerous people that Valerie Plame was a CIA operative in the weeks prior to his conversation with Tim Russert. So, he was not lying when he testified under oath that he had heard this news for the first time from Russert. He had simply forgotten that he had heard and repeated this information before, and then forgot as well that Russert and he had never discussed Plame.

Now that would be shaky on its own, but it's the other half of the defense that has me scratching my head. As each of the prosecution witnesses appeared to testify that Libby had indeed shared this information with them in the weeks prior to his phone call to Russert, the defense attorneys suggested that the witnesses themselves had faulty memories.

The argument, then, appears to be that Libby was not lying, because he had simply forgotten saying the things that he didn't say, because the people he said them to are misremembering conversations that didn't happen, despite the fact that the defense is that they did happen but Scooter couldn't recall them.

He's called "Scooter" for a reason.

Decades ago, Gil Scott Heron had a piece titled, "We Beg Your Pardon, America."

It may soon be time to resurrect that recording.

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