THE CHENEY QUESTION

Here’s my first take on the five counts of obstruction of justice, perjury and lying against Scooter Libby, before the press conference. The common thread appears to be Libby’s alleged determination to obfuscate where and how he found out that Valerie Plame was an undercover agent. I cannot understand why someone as smart as Libby would have taken such risks under oath, would have been so stupid, unless he felt the risks were necessary to protect someone or something. It’s hard to believe, in other words, that Cheney is not somehow involved. And it’s hard to believe that the indictment of Libby, and the continuance of the investigation into Rove, does not potentially lead to the highest potential source of this mess: the vice-president. Libby is now going to be pressured by the prosecutor to name others, as part of a plea agreement. (Who’s “Official A”?) The judge assigned to his case is known for hefty sentences, putting more pressure on Libby. The biggest aspen so far may be about to turn. Which other trees may fall? I’ll add one more thing: I don’t believe that five counts of obstruction of justice, perjury and lying by a major administration official are a “mouse,” or even a large rabbit. Not if you care about the integrity of government officials and the rule of law.

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