Scooter Libby, former assistant to the President of the United States, had the following to say in a statement regarding his indictment Friday: "I am confident at the end of this process I will be completely and totally exonerated." That's going to be difficult when the White House forces him to enter a guilty plea in order to prevent a very ugly trial: a trial which will involve Cheney, Rove, and maybe even the president himself testifying under oath.
So what's it going to be?
I'm with Libby. I'll take the trial, even if it's in exchange for the possibility of Libby being exonerated by a jury and set free. Here's why.
The trial would last a long, long time -- lasting well through the 2006 midterms. And dammit, it would be fun.
Even the thin potential of seeing footage of George W. Bush squirming in front of a video camera and getting all petulant and fidgety -- his jaw twitching enough to fuel the power grid of Wyoming -- is worth the price of both Libby and Rove (when he's indicted, too) being exonerated. Someone like Fitzgerald would eat Bushie alive. No "no follow-up questions" rules on the witness stand, Mr. President. Fake political capital and invisible six-shooters are meaningless in a court of law. And calling the judge "Stretch" would probably result in some hefty contempt of court charges.
I want a media circus. I want to see beads of sweat large enough to knock Shepard Smith off his feet pouring down Rove's bulbous forehead on live television -- knowing full well that his trial is next. I want to hear Wolf Blitzer report on CNN: "Dick Cheney literally spoke the words 'mumble' and 'grumble' on the witness stand today. Then the former vice president pierced the bailiff's chest with his bare hand and withdrew his heart -- still beating -- and devoured it according to vampiric ritual." Sorry, bailiff.
You're in a tight spot, Scooter. Either your make your case in a trial, thus exposing the administration to sweet, sweet humiliation, or you plead guilty. So I say: press on. You deserve a chance to exonerate yourself. Don't give in to the White House "pleamongers". Those of us who crave the public humiliation of Bush, Cheney, Rove and the rest of the Republican torturers, thieves, and environmental rapists will be eternally grateful.
A post script by way of a word of warning, Scooter. If your legal fees pile up and you have to file for bankruptcy... it's too late. No more Chapter 7. Your former bosses made sure of that. So if you agree to go forward with a trial, I will personally donate a week's salary to your legal defense fund. The spectacle will be worth every cent.
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