It's already widely been blogged that Scooter Libby was found guilty on four of five counts related to the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's name.
More important, now, though is how this case moves in the political realm. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called on President Bush not to pardon Libby:
I welcome the jury's verdict. It's about time someone in the Bush Administration has been held accountable for the campaign to manipulate intelligence and discredit war critics. Lewis Libby has been convicted of perjury, but his trial revealed deeper truths about Vice President Cheney's role in this sordid affair. Now President Bush must pledge not to pardon Libby for his criminal conduct.Bush needs to make this pledge.
Also, here's Speaker Pelosi's statement on the Libby conviction:
Today's guilty verdicts are not solely about the acts of one individual. This trial provided a troubling picture of the inner workings of the Bush Administration. The testimony unmistakably revealed - at the highest levels of the Bush Administration - a callous disregard in handling sensitive national security information and a disposition to smear critics of the war in Iraq.And Mr. Cheney, the man who Libby worked for and who refused to come forward and defend Libby, who Pelosi is speaking of in this statement? CNN says they had a reporter catch up with Cheney at the Capitol for comment, and he brushed by without a word.
Today the American legal system did something the Bush Administration hasn't, by holding Scooter Libby accountable for his illegal actions. Many unanswered questions remain about the other key Bush advisors who participated in the Administration's efforts to mislead the American people and smear its critics who have yet to be held accountable. Ultimately, the buck stops with President Bush. While he failed to keep his promise to fire the leaker, he should pledge not to pardon Scooter Libby.
It's appalling to think that while President Bush had a high level team in place to sell the Iraq War and viciously smear its critics, it has not given that same attention to plan for postwar Iraq, providing the proper equipment for our troops or ensuring that our troops and veterans receive the care they deserve.
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