Now that the prosecution in the Scooter Libby witch-hunt trial has rested, it's a good time to review what we've learned in the trial.
Readers will likely recall the background of the case.
President Bush in the 2003 State of the Union Address made what are now termed by the left the "sixteen infamous words"
"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
That sentence set off the whole "Bush lied" crowd who saw it as proof the Administration faked, hyped or exaggerated intelligence to justify the Iraq war.
Nearly six months later, former Ambassador wrote an op-ed in the New York Times "What I Didn't Find in Africa" (See Scooter Libby's underlined copy from the trial evidence ) claiming that on his rather curious funded
became an instant celebrity "truth teller" for the left and a media firestorm ensued during which questions were raised about how it was he came to be sent on this mission to by the .
During that firestorm it was revealed that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a employee recommended for the mission. That bombshell sent left wing howlers into overdrive claiming that the disclosure of a covert agent was a crime (first time they ever cared about such disclosures).
It was said that Plame's disclosure endangered her life, threatened her career and was a political hit job by Karl Rove. All nonsense of course. It was Deputy Secretary of State to he found nothing to support the contention that had actually sold any uranium to Iraq.Armitage that leaked Plame's name, she was a "managerial" employee at and no longer covert or covered by the terms of the law.
And despite all that, Scooter Libby, Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff, is on trial for perjury for failing to accurately recall some of the details of the investigation. Perhaps Scooter should have asked for help from the master of "I don't recall."
Fresh Facts Uncovered at Trial
Included in the Documents submitted as evidence at the trial are recently declassified and highly sensitive memos which give an inside look at the process of government at this high level. For anyone interested in a peak behind the curtains, this is as close as you can get. The evidence list also includes hours of audio from Mr. Libby's grand jury testimony.
A defense exhibit memo from State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) caught my attention. It's a formerly top secret recounting of the entire
"...In June 1999 Barka, A Nigerien/Algerian Businessman, approached him [Prime Minister Mayaki] and insisted that that Mayaki meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between and Iraq.... Mayaki said that he interpreted the phrase "expanding commercial relations" to mean that Iraq wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales."
Well there you go. And of course when we invaded Iraq we found that Saddam Hussein had a 500 ton mountain of uranium .
Interestingly, the two paragraphs immediately following Wilson's about Iraq's attempts to buy uranium describe saga. And while it largely concludes that Iraq did not acquire uranium from , Tab 4 (starting on page 8) is the describing what learned in :"An Iranian delegation" which came to "to discuss buying 400 tons of yellowcake."
Oh, but who cares about that? We already know Iran is building a bomb.
Where Next for the Big Lie?
The bottom line? It wasn't Bush who lied about Iraq's efforts to acquire uranium. It was , the author of "The Politics of Truth." And the sad thing is that the media which lapped it all up still refuses to acknowledge the deceit.
Ann Coulter reminds us of the reporting of the Libby trial by MSNBC's David Shuster who last week said: "goes and finds out that the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from is not accurate." Pretty hard to kill the big lie if the media just keeps repeating it anyway.
Where Next for the Wilsons?
Who cares! The Washington Post summarized the Wilson fraud : "It's unfortunate that so many people took him [Joe Wilson] seriously."
We've had enough of these publicity whores. Long before and Valerie posed for Time Magazine "People Who Matter Most 2005" we wished they would just go away. (That Time issue also included Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald and Cindy Sheehan in case you were wondering whose side Time Magazine is on. )
Former Georgia Senator Zell Miller summed up the Wilson's sad part in this episode this way: " Who ever thought that the flexibility given to agents would be misused to destabilize a U.S. president? No one until Valerie Plame."
Plame and played a central part in a political attempt to weaken a U.S. President during a time of war by misusing the very same intelligence they claim was being hyped and exaggerated by the Bush Administration. They distracted the country from the goal of winning the war and undermined the confidence necessary to succeed.
No doubt they will win the Nobel Prize for their efforts.
FactCheck.org has more reference links for the "sixteen words."