November 2, 2005

Kaus notes a Marc Rich angle in Libby's perjury:

Pardon My Perjury
The secret of Scooter's confidence?
By Mickey Kaus
Updated Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005, at 2:11 AM ET

Q--If He's So Dumb, Why Isn't He Rich? A--Maybe He Is: A week ago the question of the day, after the NYT reported that Libby's notes show him learning the secret of Mrs. Wilson from Vice-President Cheney, was

Would Libby really have been dumb enough to contradict his own notes (which the prosecutor has had from the start) under oath?

We now think we know the answer to that question, which is that Libby wasn't dumb enough to contradict his own notes. Instead he was dumb enough to avoid contradicting his notes by concocting a wildly implausible story about how he forgot what was in his notes! The story is non-believable on its face, whether Tim Russert testifies or not. ... Who would take such an idiotic risk before a much-feared special prosecutor? One answer: Someone who knows he'll be protected in the end. Someone who knows, for example, that he'll be pardoned. Maybe even someone who had represented a client who'd been pardoned in similarly controversial circumstances. It's easier to be a highwire daredevil when you know you have a safety net.

There were always been two key dates for I. Lewis Libby as he attempted to run out the clock on Patrick Fitzgerald.

- For the team, don't spill the beans or get indicted until after November 2, 2004 (Election Day)

- For himself, don't go to prison until after December 24, 2008 (Pardon Day)

Christmas Eve 2008 is the best date for Bush to pardon the Iraq Attaq plotters, just as his father pardoned Iran-Contra figures, such as current Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams, on Christmas Eve 1992. Bill Clinton, in contrast, procrastinated until practically Bush II's inauguration, when the attention of the country was already focused on Washington, and was roasted for it. Christmas Eve is a much better day than Inaugural Day for unpopular pardons, because the populace is bored with politics and is in a benign mood.

Pardon Day is just over three years away, so the clock is ticking on Fitzgerald. In Illinois, he indicted 65 people and convicted 59 before unveiling his final indictment in his bribery probe: former Gov. George Ryan. In this investigation, he's starting much higher up, with the right hand men of both the Veep (Libby) and the President (Rove). But Pardon Day is coming.

Fitzgerald can impose a lot financial hardship on Libby over the next three years and seven weeks until Pardon Day, but Libby no doubt has rich and powerful friends who will surely make it up to him if he protect the rest of the cabal by keeping his mouth shut and simply dragging out the proceedings until then. And the remarkable example of Abrams, John Podhoretz's brother-in-law, shows that a pardoned criminal can still come back to get his dream job.

But, is Libby a Liddy? This amateur novelist doesn't strike me as the G. Gordon Liddy-type who laughs at prison. So, can Fitzgerald speed the wheels of justice enough to put a plausible fear of doing serious prison time before Pardon Day into Libby, and thus get him to squeal?

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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