9/11/05:LIBBY INDICTMENT:SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME(GLW/FWD)
- From: uneoo@xxxxxxxxxx
- Date: 6 Apr 2006 15:46:07 +1100
THE GREENLEFT WEEKLY AUSTRALIA, 9-NOV-2005
LIBBY INDICTMENT RESULT OF IRAQ WAR BLOWBACK
Barry Sheppard, San Francisco
The October 28 indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, US Vice-President
Dick Cheney's chief of staff, on charges of obstruction of justice and
perjury are the latest blow to the already reeling administration of
US President George Bush. The charges stem directly from the war
against Iraq and reflect the growing unpopularity of that war.
Libby's indictment stems from an investigation of the "outing" in July
2003 of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame by the administration in
retaliation against her husband, Joseph Wilson, for exposing one of
the administration's lies to justify the war.
A former US diplomat in Africa, Wilson was sent by the CIA in February
2002 to Niger to investigate a claim being made by Cheney's office
that Iraq had bought uranium ore from Niger. Wilson found the claim to
be a lie, reporting his findings to the CIA.
In January 2003, Bush repeated the lie in his State of the Union
address to Congress as part of his administration's justification for
going to war against Iraq.
The July 6, 2003, New York Times carried an article by Wilson in which
he exposed the lie and attacked the Bush administration for
"manipulating intelligence" about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs to
justify the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.
Shortly afterwards, the administration "leaked" the information about
Valerie Pame to a few reporters, one of whom, Robert Novack, printed
it. Another reporter who was told was Judith Miller of the New York
Times. Miller's source was Libby.
It's an open secret that Bush's top adviser, Karl Rove, was the source
of the leak to Novack, and Rove may also be indicted.
Miller has long been in cahoots with Libby, and was the
administration's most important media mouthpiece in whipping up war
sentiment before the Iraq invasion. In front-page article after
article in the NYT, she made the case that the US was in immediate
danger of "weapons of mass destruction" attack from Iraq, including
possibly from nuclear weapons.
Given the NYT's reputation for factual reporting (more a myth than a
reality), newspapers around the country repeated the charges, helping
create a solid wall of support for the war. The majority of US
citizens fell for the WMD lies. They were encouraged in this by the
fact that the Democrats in Congress, with a few exceptions,
enthusiastically endorsed the war and voted for it.
Many US citizens at the time saw through the lies. Two million marched
against the war during its buildup, representing some tens of millions
-- a minority to be sure, but a substantial one.
The Democrats are now bleating that they were "misled" by the
administration, a ridiculous charge unless they are pleading severe
mental retardation given that so many millions of ordinary citizens
knew the truth.
The 1982 law that the Bush administration broke in outing Valerie
Plame makes it a crime to publicly reveal the identities of CIA
officers. Ironically, the law was passed in an attempt to get former
CIA officer Phillip Agee, who had exposed CIA crimes and named names
of CIA personnel engaged in that criminal activity. Agee found refuge
There are other legal problems for the administration. Tom DeLay, the
Republican leader of the House of Representatives, is under indictment
with two of his cronies for money laundering in a scheme to fund
Republican candidates. Senate Republican leader Bill Frist is under
investigation for a deal where he sold stocks in his own company just
before a bad earnings report was released that sent the stock price
These investigations and prosecutions could not have happened before
the last eight months or so, because of the political pressure to get
behind the president during wartime. But support for the war has been
stedily deteriorating, and reached a point some months ago where a
majority of US citizens think going to war against Iraq was wrong to
The vigil by Cindy Sheehan outside Bush's ranch in Texas in August
suddenly gave expression to the new mood, and put the administration's
war policy on the defensive.
Then came the administration's calculating callous response to the
devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. Tens of millions saw
on TV the plight of thousands of poor people, mainly black, who were
abandoned by the government. Hundreds were drowned and tens of
thousands lost their homes. The facts of deeply rooted racism and
poverty that are built into the US capitalist system were graphically
brought home and further alienated people, including many better-off
The issues of the war and of Katrina became intertwined at the
September 24 anti-war demonstrations, the largest since the war began.
Among African-Americans, Bush's approval rating has fallen to just 2%,
in a poll with a margin of error of 3%!
At a mainly black march in October, Louis Farakan, the leader of the
Nation of Islam (which organised the march), lambasted Bush on the war
and Katrina, but also attacked the Democrats. He made a call for a
third party to represent blacks and all poor people. This is
significant because Farakan is not known for leading politically, but
he felt constrained to express black people's outrage.
The Bush administration is reeling. But the Democrats are not offering
any credible alternative. Farakan is right. We need a third party --
one that fights for the interests of working people at home and
From Green Left Weekly, November 9, 2005.Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.
http://netipr.org/~uneoo/ (Burma HR Activity)
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