Indicting Dick

Via Josh Marshall and Barton Gellman, we can now say with confidence that Dick Cheney participated in Libby’s July 12 conversation strategizing what to do about Wilson. The indictment reads:

LIBBY flew with the Vice President and others to and from Norfolk, Virginia, on Air Force Two. On his return trip, LIBBY discussed iwth other officials aboard the plane what LIBBY should say in response to certain pending media inquiries, including questions from Time reporter Matt Cooper. (Paragraph 22)

Josh’s reader points us to this passage in an October 1 NYT article:

Mr. Libby said he told Mr. Cheney that reporters had been pressingthe vice president’s office for more details about who sent Mr. Wilsonto Africa. The two men spoke when Mr. Cheney was on a trip to Norfolk,Va., for the commissioning of the carrier Ronald Reagan.

Mr. Libby said Mr. Cheney directed him to refer reporters toMr. Tenet’s statement, which said that the C.I.A. had been behind Mr.Wilson’s selection for the trip.

And Gellman points out:

Defending the war became the animating priority aboard Air Force Twothat day. According to his indictment on Friday, Libby "discussed withother officials aboard the plane" how he should respond to "pendingmedia inquiries" about the critic, former ambassador Joseph C. WilsonIV. Apart from Libby, only press aide Catherine Martin is known to haveaccompanied Cheney on that flight.

Tricky Fitzgerald!! He’s been hiding Dick right in the middle of his Libby indictment.

That made me wonder where else he might have hidden Dick in this indictment, and what those hidden tidbits might tell us about an indictment against our upstanding "Go Fuck Yourself" Vice President, if Fitzgerald chose to pursue that route.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Our President, George W. Bush is a Christian! America is a Christian nation which was founded by Christians. Jesus and the Bible reign supreme even over the Constitution. The Bible is the only authority that I follow and that our President should follow! Please feel free to repent by praying the Sinners prayer. Then join me on the Confessing bulletin board.

    Dear Jesus:

    Thank You for the sacrifice You made for me.

    Please forgive me for all of my past sins.

    I repent of these actions, and with Your help, I will change and not repeat them again.

    I know I am not worthy; but, I willingly accept You as my Lord and my Savior, and I thank You for Your blessings over my family and me.

    I will pray for your salvation. Please respect our President as he is doing God’s work on behalf of our our great nation.

    Cathy Bihler
    24118 105th Pl. W.
    Edmonds WA 98020
    [email protected]

  2. Anonymous says:

    Most of you simply don’t understand that you are not only blatantly wrong but you are fighting Jesus and cannot win.

    When the split comes, â€your side†will continue to dwindle off and die.

    The Church will name the heresies that you supported and Christians will understand how deceptive the devil is to have enticed so many of you with lies.

    I support our President and our great nation. God bless America and the Patriots in the White House who are working night and day to protect our great country.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Question from a lapsed Methodist–will Libby’s pleading guilty qualify as â€repentingâ€? If so, I join Cathy in her call above.

  4. DemFromCT says:

    yes, faithful christian laity is a real organization. No, not everyone in America is a Christian, nor do they need to be. And since this country was founded on the principle of religious tolerance, I will merely refer Cathy to Lincoln:

    â€We trust, sir, that God is on our side.
    It is more important to know that we are on God’s side.â€

    Let’s just say there’s no unanimity on that latter point. Many of Bush’s opponents feel just as passionately that we/they are doing God’s work by opposing Bush’s policies. As an example, we take the bit about ’thou shalt not kill’ rather more seriously than you seem to do.

    Now that that’s settled, let’s move on. But, as a point of information, Cathy, which side is God’s side is not something you get to decide.

  5. amusedtodeath says:

    As this administration thinks that torture is acceptable, why dont we torture this liar Libby until we extract the truth from him? And if that fails, how about â€Renditionâ€?
    After all, this concerns national security and that is their rational for torture.
    Personally I am against any such policy, but I feel it would be most appropriate in this case.

  6. Meteor Blades says:

    Since you probably won’t return to a previous thread, Cathy, let me repeat myself.

    My blogmates here have treated you with kid gloves. And they are probably right to do so. However, I cannot be so generous.

    Throughout the millennia, despicable human beings have pushed forward their own murderous agendas by claiming that they were the instruments of God’s judgment. That’s what the 9-11 hijackers did, just to offer one of a hundred thousand instances. It’s what the stealers of land and culture and religion did to my ancestors as they drove from â€sea to shining sea,†operating, as the Spanish conquistadors did, for God, Glory and Gold.

    I’ve got no beef with anyone who holds strong, personal religious beliefs. Some of my best friends and family members are Jews, Muslims, Christians and Buddhists. But when you start trying to impose them on me and mine, and calling it God’s judgment, and you start talking about purification and cleansing, don’t expect a courteous reply and acquiescence. In the future, please confine your notion that the horror of 9-11 and all that has occurred since is God’s judgment for â€our†misbehavior to whatever cesspools you normally swim around in.

    Meanwhile, on the secular front, the good news, I suppose, based on emptywheel’s typically outstanding analysis – what would we comprehend without you? – is that even if Cheney doesn’t get indicted is that the sword will continue to hang over him and continue to damage the GOP agenda.

    If he were really a team player, at this point he might take the advice of those who got Bush to surrender on Miers and simply withdraw from the field, using health concerns as an excuse. Short-term damage for Bush, but, with the right veep in place, some rebuilding of agenda might begin. Given that we’re 12 months from the mid-terms, some of the â€party of corruption, cronyism and incompetence†theme might be scraped off and weaken Democratic challengers in a few iffy districts.

  7. DemFromCT says:

    MB, I think that DICK, as I’ll now refer to him as, is the guest that just won’t leave. He’ll likely be around to beat up on even longer than Karl will. Reid, btw, called on Rove to resign today.

  8. al-Fubar says:

    Indictment number 66, huh? Well â€number†has six letters, so that gives us 666 – does this mean that Fitz is the Antichrist? Or that Dick Cheney is?

    More to the point, indictment number 1 in this case is not exactly a foot soldier – we’re already right at Cheney’s door. Given the number of people who have already been flipped, the atmosphere in Cheney’s shop must be just a bit toxic, don’t you think?

    And I continue to be intrigued by whatever happened with Rove. Obviously he offered Fitz a tidbit that at least gives Fitz pause about indicting him – whether it will allow him to skate, we don’t know yet, but it seems like it would only get Rove off the hook if it is something substantial.

    And really, given the whole structure of this WH, I don’t see who Rove could be giving up other than Cheney or Dubya himself.

    – Rick

  9. bling says:


    Would it be possible that in any plea deal with Libby, that Fitz would demand he plead not to the obstruction and perjury charges, but to one count of the espionage statute? His whole set up of the indictment – that he couldn’t charge on IIPA or espionage specifically because Libby was lying – very much left open the possibility that if everything came to light, these statutes would come into play.

    But then, the next logical question is: what would motivate Libby to plead to a violation of the espionage act? Obviously, the only reason Libby would make this deal would be to reduce any possible jail time. So… the nut of the matter seems to be the sentencing guidelines on the espionage act. Less than 30 years?

  10. dr says:

    Hey, Cath, save a few bouquets for our Christian patriots in the White House who walk w/Jesus in torture.

    Oh, shit, that’s right: Jesus was the one who *got* tortured, wasn’t he?

    Well, surely it’s a minor quibble betwixt the self-righteous.

    Don’t let it slow down the sanctimony train none.

  11. CaseyL says:

    A lot of people are assuming Libby will accept a plea bargain deal with Fitzgerald.


    If Fitzgerald has Libby dead to rights on perjury and obstruction of justice, what would motivate him to offer a plea bargain? I don’t think just getting Libby to cop to the underlying charge (outing a CIA agent) would be enough. How is that a plus for Fitzgerald?

    If, however, the plea deal involves Libby offering evidence against others in the WH, why would Libby agree? If he serves his few years before a pardon, he comes out a Made Man, loyalty tested under fire. His legal bills are paid, and sinecures await him in whatever RW think tank/corporation he desires. If he rats out the WH, he’s branded a traitor: no support, no money, â€he’ll never work in this town again.â€

    Someone please explain why Fitzgerald would offer a plea bargain, and why Libby would accept it.


  12. emptywheel says:


    I’ve been saying Ari’s cooperating since forever. But, yes, it seems like Ari might be Mr. X (might not, but might).

    Keep in mind though, this leak has to have come from Cathie Martin, not Ari.

    She’s talking and talking and talking. (Actually, the edit may have come at the request of Fitz for them to spike it.)

    And one more detail–this is the press briefing that got subpoenaed. I’m not sure if they’ve actually put the complete one back on the site. But Fitz knew there was something there in March 2004.

  13. pontificator says:

    I highly doubt that there will be any indictments under the Espionage Act. Fitz pretty much said as much in his press conference that he decided that this case is not an appropriate case for such an analysis. With respect to the espioange act, publius at legal fiction has must-read analysis here WIth respect to IIPA, now THAT is a much more interesting question.

  14. al-Fubar says:

    CaseyL –

    If Libby was the prime mover in burning Plame, then you’re right: Fitz has no real interest in a plea bargain, and will pretty much wrap up his investigation without further charges. He made it very clear in his press conference that his focus is on crimes, not statutes – he’d be as happy to send Libby up for perjury, obstruction, etc., as for the underlying act.

    But he also made clear that he’s interested in the truth, and that thanks to Libby he hasn’t fully closed in on it yet. In particular, he MAY suspect that Libby was not the prime mover, but either a henchmen or had co-conspirators. He’ll offer Libby a bargain if Libby will flip and lock down his case against some other prime mover(s).

    As for the pardon question, this has gotten huge discussion in the Firedoglake comment threads, so I’ll just give my take briefly. How CERTAIN can Libby be that he’ll be pardoned?

    What if Cheney is forced to step down and Bush is incapacitated (one pretzel too many, etc.)? Will President McCain or even President Rice bail his aspect out? Or what if Bush decides that Cheney ruined his Legacy [TM]?

    Right now, Libby is staring past an ironclad indictment at the gates of a federal penitentiary. Does he REALLY want to stake the rest of his life on Bush having the power and desire to pardon him?

    – Rick

  15. a says:

    More on the Ari Fleischer theory is now up in Jane’s new posting over at firedoglake.

    Could come from Cathie Martin, but it could also be from someone who has the information secondhand — Rove, Fleischer, Novak, Pincus, all likely suspects in my book.

    In fact, I tend to think it’s a weaker secondhand source. Why else do they post it and then bury it? This could be the scoop of the week.

  16. Mimikatz says:

    I’ll go out on a limb as say that I don’t think Cheney will be indicted and I don’t think Libby or nayone esle will be charged with vioaling either the IIPA or the Espionage Act. I take Fitz at his word that we deliberately have no Official Secrets Act, and that this conduct, in a situation where the leaker meant to harm the Wilsons but not the US, and Valerie was not necsssarily covert within the meaning of the IIPA because she had served here in the US since 1997, comes too close to the line to be prosecuted in this instance, even though it is, as he said, a very serious breach of the public trust.

    I also don’t think there is a lot left here. Rove may be on the hook for perjury and others as well. Some people may have plea deals. If Libby pleads, it will because he, the Bush Admin and the Justice Dept want to avoid a trial. He will have to do some prison time. (Min 1 year.)

    But the issue of how we got into war certainly shouldn’t go away; the lying, corruption, and incompetence in the Bush Admin won’t go away and the attempt to draw attention to them shouldn’t go away.

  17. a says:

    More on the Ari Fleischer news is up over in Jane’s new posting at firedoglake, and there’s a good comments discussion going at the moment with both Jane & Redd participating.

  18. DemFromCT says:

    note the politics, not the law:

    Lawmakers From Both Parties Call for White House ShakeupBy BRIAN KNOWLTON,International Herald Tribune 2:44 PM ET

    In the wake of the leak case, lawmakers urged an investigation into any involvement by Vice President Dick Cheney.

    it ain’t over by a longshot.

  19. DemFromCT says:

    here’s one from Reuters on ROVE:

    Rove is a focus of calls for White House shakeup
    Sun Oct 30, 2005 3:13 PM ET
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush, whose top adviser Karl Rove remains in jeopardy in a CIA-leak probe, needs to shake up his White House staff if he hopes to revive a presidency reeling from multiple setbacks, Republican and Democratic lawmakers said on Sunday. Full Article

    Gee, i thought this was all supposed to be over, already. Move on, nothing to see, and all that.

  20. Saugatak says:

    Pontificator, thanks for the post to the Espionage Act.

    It’s close, but I nderstand better Fitz’s comments about the Espionage Act. As badly as I want to see the Bush-holes hang for their crimes, I don’t support misreadings of statutes to do so. It can come back and bite you.

    Classic example of narrowly reading a statute to get the result you want is John Yoo’s interpretation of the Geneva Conventions to say that you could torture Al-Quaeda members because they weren’t â€state actors†and the Geneva Convention was an agreement between â€States.â€

    Purely aside from the fact that Al-Quaeda members were citizens of some state and, therefore, still arguably covered by Geneva Conventions, when you read the WHOLE of the Geneva Conventions, it’s clear that entire purpose was to make sure that their participants followed a code of moral behavior in their treatment of POWs, a purpose which Yoo’s literalistic reading sodomized.

    Yoo’s reading also endangered the lives of U.S. soldiers now and in the foreseeable future. The U.S. has arguably violated the Geneva Conventions and, therefore, its combatants are now no longer entitled to its protections. This is what I mean by unintended consequences of overly legalistic and literal interpretations of statute and, frankly, it’s emblematic of the entire Bush Presidency.

    No morals, no values, no judgment, just do what they want and screw everyone else.

  21. Saugatak says:

    I know someone very much like Ms. Bihler. It’s a waste of time trying to reason with them. The type of Christians that Ms. Bihler represent are concerned, politically speaking, with 3 things:

    1. Abortion
    2. Gay marriage
    3. Converting everyone else to Christianity

    As Bush is allegedly anti-abortion (although his SCOTUS picks seem to indicate otherwise), anti-gay marriage, and his Iraq war can be portrayed as trying to subjugate Muslims and promote Christian ideals, Bush can do anything he wants and Christians of Ms. Bihler’s type will support him.

    My suggestion is: Don’t respond and please delete the repetitive spam.

  22. DemFromCT says:

    We’re nice to people, Saugatak. Ms. Bihler may be a lost soul, but other folks read us and characterize us by how we respond. Or so I’ve always thought.

    Anyway, here’s a piece from NRO debating this â€non-story†and whether it has legs:

    Jonah, you could very well be right – especially if some plea deal made this all go away fast. (I’m not suggesting that Scooter should plead guilty; I’m just dealing with what Jonah has raised.)

    Possible wild card: How much more effective is a media drum beat if Dick Morris is spearheading it with a theme that people might find intriguing?

    I was struck last week, watching him interviewed on Fox, at how aggressively he went after Cheney. Morris is hawking a book that boldly predicts the 2008 election will pit Hillary Clinton against Condi Rice. I understand the book (which I haven’t read and have heretofore had little interest in) is doing well, so there is some public attention. Morris knows he will look like a genius if this scenario comes to pass – and he seems a tad like one of those guys who badly wants to look like a genius.

    Who knows if Condi has any interest? But there was Morris, pointing out that she’d be a much better bet to get the nomination if she were the sitting Vice President, then painting a picture of the Veep, beleaguered by the Plame scandal, stepping down, Condi becoming Veep, etc.

    No charges had even been filed yet. Now they have. Fitz, at the press conference, was categorical that he was not accusing Cheney of any wrongdoing. But, Morris is hot to trot, the MSM loathes the Veep, and the indictment of Libby while no harm seems to have come to Wilson for his mendacity, is only gonna encourage the CIA/State Department elements who have been slinging mud at the so-called “neocon cabal†all along.

    And now they have a narrative timeline to work with. And lots of obvious questions to ask about internal deliberations in the Veep’s office throughout. Could this get traction? I don’t know. But I bet a number of media people are going to try, and so is Dick Morris. I don’t have a good sense of how effective they could be.

    Meanwhile, though, between a new Supremes nominee and Ahmadinejad (and Israel’s possible reaction), the page could get turned pretty quickly.

    They also seem to think it’ll be Scalito (Alito, the little Scalia)

  23. baked potato says:

    With or without Jesus, I’ve been thinking about Scooter and how â€reality challenged†he seems to be.

    1. Founding leader of the Project for a New American Century. Just use the U.S.’ overweaning military power to pre-emptively occupy various countries in the Middle East, and we will be greeted as liberators by all their citizens, plus they will very likely want us to manage their oil as a reward for our efforts. Well, we know how that seems to be working out.

    2. Concoct a â€good story†about having heard of Valerie Plame’s status through reporters, which will construct a nice teflon shell and prevent anyone from tracing anything back. Oops, didn’t count on a grand jury getting past that.

    3. â€Fall on his sword†for the good of George, Dick and the war cabal in general, and the only negative will be a hero’s accolades and an absolutely certain pardon. Well, maybe the third time’s the charm.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a post that explains Josh Marshall’s rescued passage.

    If the deleted line in the Post is accurate, this is explosive. It connects the dots from Cheney, through Libby, to the 1×2×6 WaPo scoop — in other words, it implies that those six reporters were leaked to on Cheney’s orders.

    And even more importantly, it shows that emptywheel was wrong about the 1×2×6.

  25. kim says:

    Another very interesting post EW, that indictment 66 is impressive and encouraging. I’m still puzzled about Andrea Mitchell, even more so after your interesting post. She was claiming last night that she hadn’t talked to anyone at the WH about Wilson/Plame.

  26. emptywheel says:


    In spite of her comment to Wilson, that they were telling her…(and so on)?

    Wow. Maybe she’s parsing. Not White House. Old Executive Office Building (Dick’s office). Although the party itself was AT the WH.

  27. dr says:


    Our president, George W. Bush says he’s a Christian! And I believe him!!!

    Sure, he supports torture. So what? As a person who also says she’s a Christian, this doesn’t bother me one bit, b/c Jesus was tortured, too! See the connection?

    [sniff] (No, I thought not.) Well, I tried. Too bad you’re so dense.

    Anyway, as I was saying:

    America is nation which was founded by Christians, except when it wasn’t being founded by free-thinkers and deists.

    (That whole Jefferson Bible business was just a big hoax. Imagine! Thomas Jefferson — while serving in office as president of the United States no less!; the ignorant infamies liberals repeat! — compiles all of Jesus’s moral teachings and excises all of Jesus’s supernatural feats. Yeah, right.)

    Jesus and the Bible reign supreme over the Constitution. I know this by having read the Bible and by not having read the Constitution.

    I mean, why bother? That’s what we elected a Christian president for.

    Some infidels and heretics and Godless heathens claim that the whole purpose behind the Constitution is to preserve religious freedoms for all by not imposing them w/in the Constitution itself, by not sanctifying any one religion.

    Hah! How counterintuitive is that! You think you can pull the wool over this girl’s eyes w/your liberal tricks? Not bloody likely.

    The Bible and Jesus begat the Constitution like a gift from God to be used by Christians b/c it’s our divine right to do so.

    That’s why. (You didn’t understand the Constitution nearly as well as you thought you did, do ya?. Heh, heh.)

    The Bible is the only authority that I follow and it is the only authority that our President should follow!

    Just like in Afghanistan before the war. Those people had the right idea, just the wrong religion. Wrong God. And that’s how come we invaded, you see — we had to learn ’em the right God and religion, or else they might could go straight to hell just like you all will. Er, might. (It depends on you, but don’t say I didn’t warn ya!)

    So yeah, the Bible is the only authority — for me and my beloved war president.

    That’s why so much of the â€so-called†injustices of the world don’t much trouble me.

    I mean, have you ever really read the Bible?

    Exodus 21:7, e.g., allows me to sell my daughter into slavery! Isn’t that a hell of a note! (Oop! My little weakness. Sorry God.)

    The unchanging nature and inviolable wisdom of the Bible truly is our only authority.

    Please feel free to repent by praying the sinners prayer. Then join me on the Confessing bulletin board.

    There we can all confess how we don’t mind one bit that our beloved war president lied our country into an unprovoked and unnecessary war of choice! Isn’t it great?!!

    Plus, we get to support our president thru thick and thin no matter WHAT he does AND we get to lord it over people we despise (but are willing to pray for, remember!).

    Cheer up. You all may not go to hell.

    (Tho’ you probably will. Sorry. Them’s just the facts. See? You didn’t think I could do that â€reality-based†stuff, didya?)

    As for me, I have no doubts.

    I’m going to heaven b/c I’ve been a good girl.

    Yep, I’ve got no doubts whatsoever I’ve got me some sky-box-seats waiting for me up in heaven, and if the rapture comes in my lifetime, boy, will I laugh my ass off up there looking down at you poor benighted jackasses suffering thru your well-deserved tribulation.

    Would you listen when we tried to learn you somethin’. Nooooooo. Would you listen when we tried to point out the error of your ways? Nooooo. Would you listen when we tried to get you right w/Jesus in the only way (our way) that’ll get you a sky-box-seat up in heaven so’s you too can laugh your ass off at alla the sinners suffering thru the tribulation? Nooooo.

    You’re gonna get what you deserve, I’m tellin’ ya.

    Just like w/Katrina.

    You think it’s an accident that we don’t care about how our beloved war president acted during the hurricane? Know why?

    Cause he was as much as tellin’ those folks that they gotta pull themselves up by their bootstraps before they are worthy of his attention, so they got an object lesson in Christian tough love is what they got!

    Not supporting tax cuts and criticizing the president is the fastest path to hell you can find.

    Imagine! Those, those, those — animals — shooting at first-aid helicopters! The very idea! Fucking ingrates. Oop! See? I’m so mad I could almost lose my religion. (I said almost.

    Even I’m not perfect. Hey, I know it. I’m close, and gettin’ closer, but I ain’t there yet.

    I commit sins, too. Itty-bitty ones that are easily forgiven, but it’s all a matter of scale, you know?

    Nothing like you people, thank God!


    Cathy Bihler | October 30, 2005 at 13:09


    Well, I’m back.

    I’m kinda feelin’ peckish, too, truth be told.

    Hope you don’t mind, but I just think I need to lay it out straight for you, ’mkay?

    Most of you simply don’t understand that you are not only blatantly wrong but you are fighting Jesus and cannot win.

    Don’t you see how stupid that is?

    You see, I know what Jesus wants and you don’t. Why you are so stupid and incapable of seeing that is really beyond me.

    (I’m trying to restrain my temper w/you. Can you tell?)

    So when the split comes, â€your side†will continue to dwindle off and die.

    How’s that sound? Does that work for ya? Huh?

    That’s cause (I’m assuming here, of course) you’re a bunch of Godless faithless assholes who don’t deserve to live.

    And even those of you who say you have faith don’t have the true, genuine Christian faith.

    How do I know it?

    Cause you’d fucking support our beloved war president if you did. Duh.

    (God you guys are stupid. Keep up w/me, ’mkay?)

    So here’s what’ll happen:

    The Church will name the heresies that you supported and Christians will understand how deceptive the devil is to have enticed so many of you with lies.

    (How you were so easily duped is another question entirely.)

    You will be tortured in hell for not supporting torture here on earth. Isn’t that plain? Come on, pull the beam out of your own eye, will ya? Physician, heal thyself, for God’s sake!

    I support our beloved war president and our great nation. God bless America and the Patriots in the White House who are working night and day to protect our great country.

    And to those petty, small-minded Christians and assorted Godless atheists and liberals and weird left-handed people the world over who ask: â€Who would Jesus torture?†I reply, w/o hesitation:

    Jesus would torture Arabs who didn’t believe in freedom being on the march.


    It’s all right there in Revelations, if you’d only stop w/your endless â€political confabs†and looney-leftist tearing down of our beloved war president and bother to read the damn thing.

    Oop! See? Another tiny sin.

    Forgive me Jesus? [pauses]

    Thanks, Big Guy. Knew I could count on ya.


    Cathy Bihler | October 30, 2005 at 13:09