October 28, 2005

Libby Indicted, Resigns

The federal grand jury has indicted Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, on one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury, and two counts of making false statements. It's also being reported that Libby has already resigned.

I think it would behoove the nation at this time to not only focus on the trial of Scooter Libby, but also to focus on what's gotten us to this point. We came to this point because Ambassador Joe Wilson wrote an op-ed in which he said that part of President Bush's justification for going to war with Iraq was false. Following that op-ed, it was revealed that Ambassador Wilson's wife was a covert agent for the Central Intelligence Agency named Valerie Plame. Because revealing the identity of a covert agent is a federal crime, an investigation was launched that came to focus on President Bush's chief political advisor, Karl Rove, and Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby. And now the federal grand jury has indicted Libby for obstruction of justice, perjury, and making false statements, all in relation to this investigation.

This should bring the nation back to the central question: Why are we in Iraq? Listening to President Bush today, one would swear that we are in Iraq to bring democracy to an oppressed people. But that was not the reason sold to the American people or to our Congress. Rather, we were told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that he was trying to develop a nuclear weapons program. It is very unlikely that we the people or the Congress would have given our consent to a war designed to bring democracy to Iraq, and that is not why so many of us gave our consent. So many Americans consented to this war because they believed that Saddam Hussein's Iraq represented a grave threat to our national security. The question Ambassador Wilson raised was whether or not there really was such a grave threat. This is a question that calls the entire justification for the Iraq War into question, and it is a question that must once again be explored.