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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Team Libby Mans the Firewall

As the Libby case goes back on the front burner it's pretty clear that defending Libby is but one of the objectives of his defense team, and not necessarily the first. Consider who is involved in financing this pricey little fiesta (the fund has now reached $2 million), and take another look at what they are trying to get their grubby hands on.

As emptywheel notes:
After all, this is only nominally the "Libby Defense Team." In reality, Libby's team of lawyers is attempting to ensure that the Plame scandal reaches no further than Libby, that it doesn't taint the rest of the Neocon cabal who participated in outing Plame and, more importantly, made the false case to bring the country to war. The fund is managed by a lifetime Republican operative, Barbara Comstock and chaired by Mel Sembler, Ambassador to Italy when the whole Niger caper was planned. In addition, the fund includes such notable contributors as Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Bernard Lewis, and James Woolsey. These folks are not just trying to bail out (literally) a good friend. They're trying to prevent their entire Neocon project from being severely damaged by the trial.

So what do I think they're after, this Neocon Defense Team with their motions? Well, they're after stuff that Libby knows about--but that the Defense doesn't know whether or how Fitzgerald knows about. They're trying to ascertain, I suspect, how much evidence Fitzgerald has against other members of the team. And if they can figure that out, they may adjust Libby's defense accordingly.
Evidence of their handiwork can already be seen in the Motion of I. Lewis Libby to Compel Discovery of Information Regarding News Reporters and Organizations (see page 14), as Paul Lukasiak notes in the comments:
Once the defense gets further information about the sources who disclosed Ms. Wilson's employment status, we can investigate whether these sources were in communication with any reporters in the NBC Washington bureau prior to July 14, 2003, or if they talked to other individuals who might have passed this information on to NBC's Washington reporters.
As Paul notes, "in other words, Libby's people are demanding everything that Fitz has on Rove, Hadley, and everyone else..... and if you think that Libby's attorneys will keep that a secret, then you don't know who is paying Libby's legal bills..."

Remember, Libby was given a "hero's welcome" at the Cheney Christmas party. And he's now pulling down big wingnut welfare at the neocon think tank Hudson Institute. US troops may have to scavenge for body armor in Iraq but the Scooter firewall to Dick Cheney and George Bush will be tended at all costs.