Libby's indictment: deserving yet unsatisfactory

Nov. 16, 2005, midnight | By Payal Patnaik | 18 years, 5 months ago

Bush's administration sought to justify the war with a lie

Joseph Wilson, the CIA envoy sent to confirm the Africa claim in 2002, wrote an editorial to the "New York Times" about the Iraq-Niger deals being false. This attempt of righting the wrong caused more harm than good. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff and national security advisor, leaked the Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative to several journalists. Libby sought to discredit Wilson believing his actions to be subversive, blurring his purpose, and ruining the career of his wife, Plame, by revealing her position at the CIA.

The indictment of Libby signifies all that is wrong with President George W. Bush's Washington. Justifying America's invasion in Iraq with a distortion of facts, Libby and the rest of Cheney's men continued to mislead America with their stubborn habit of compromising their integrity for "national security." This so-called national security only protected the real Republican motive to find a reason to start a war.

Cheney and Libby were interested in Iraq before the invasion. They had ordered the CIA to investigate claims that Iraq was receiving uranium from Africa. The men already had a war of their own: a grudge against Hussein. The rumor that Saddam Hussein had ordered uranium from Niger was confirmed to be bogus, yet in his 2003 State of the Union address, Bush claimed that the British government believed Saddam Hussein sought uranium from Africa. Bush invaded Iraq accusing Iraq of harboring "weapons of mass destruction," a lie encouraged by Libby that is as red as the blood spilled. Therein lies the true beginning of this scandal, almost the equivalent of Watergate, as Cheney and his gang sought to justify a war that wronged our nation.

These sorts of government actions should not exist within America, the land of democracy and justice. Libby's actions show more of a totalitarian perspective, for his actions clearly indicate his conviction in a government that squashes opposition. Libby probably believed that small untruths can be told in order to achieve his higher purpose of "national security."

Now that the source of the Plame leak is identified, the scandal is traced up to the vice president. Immediately after the leak, Bush claimed that those involved in the scandal would be punished. He has been strangely quiet since Libby and others close to him were discovered to have been involved. Similar to the Watergate scandal, the public watched the blame go higher and higher in this case, until it reached the lie that Bush said in his State of the Union address and stubbornly stuck by at the beginning of the war: that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Libby tried to cover up his tracks by leaking the identity of Plame in order to quiet Wilson's accusations against the government. And now, Libby is no more; he is no longer Cheney's top aide. Yet, in this scandal, could it have been one man's fault that started the Iraq War? It's an "All the Vice President's Men" rather than "All the President's Men," where the president was made the biggest fool of all for believing the lie that was told to him and stubbornly supporting an unjustified war.

But one man, Libby, is shouldering all the blame. Hopefully, like the Watergate scandal, all who were involved, and all who authorized these wrong actions will be held accountable for their actions at the end. Hopefully, at the end, we will have confidence in our justice system that even high-ranking officials cannot escape the hands of the law and moral responsibility.

Bob Novak, a columnist, revealed that Plame worked in the CIA in his column "Mission to Niger." He said that his source was "two senior administration officials," who are, in fact, Libby and Karl Rove, a top Bush aide. Cheney should be under strict investigation, and President Bush questioned if he knew that the claims were false. All five counts of Libby's indictment stems from his lying about three exchanges he had with three journalists about the Plame-CIA link. A man cannot single-handedly cause a nation to go to war without a single person knowing the truth behind the lie. If Libby lied to us and Bush led us to a war because of this lie, then Libby is not the only man to blame for this scandal. Further investigation needs to be done to other officials who were close to Libby, for the blame is slowly creeping higher and higher up a vine of deception.

Payal Patnaik. Payal's bad habits include compulsive apologizing, and....sorry. More »

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