The indictment of Scooter Libby on five felony charges marks the fall of one of the founding members of the cabal that has hijacked U.S. foreign policy.
In 1992, Libby, along with Paul Wolfowitz, while both were working for then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, came up with a draft Defense Policy Guidance document.
This draft was so hawkish that then-President George H.W. Bush demanded that it be withdrawn. But it basically sketched the outlines of the current Bush policy.
The document said it was imperative that the United States deter “potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role,” and it endorsed a policy of “preemptive military intervention.” It scorned the U.N., and it said the U.S. should use military power to protect “access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil.”
Libby was also one of the original signatories to the statement of principles of the Project for the New American Century.
He also signed on to the September 2000 report of the Project for the New American Century, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.” That’s the notorious one that mentions how difficult it would be to drastically increase Pentagon spending and to act unilaterally “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.”
Libby, Wolfowitz, and Cheney were among the chief proponents of the war against Iraq.
And so when Baghdad fell, Cheney was in a mood to celebrate, and he invited Wolfowitz and Libby and Ken Adelman over for a victory supper, according to Bob Woodward’s “Plan of Attack.” Adelman, who had just written an op-ed praising the “cakewalk” triumph, sucked up to the officials. “Paul and Scooter, you give advice inside and the President listens. Dick, your advice is the most important, the Cadillac,” Adelman gushed.
When Lynne Cheney asked Libby how he felt, he gave, according to Woodward, a one-word answer: “Wonderful.”
Then everyone started to gloat at the expense of Brent Scowcroft, Jim Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, and especially Colin Powell, writes Woodward.
They are gloating no longer.
Cheney himself makes a cameo in the Libby indictment: “On or about June 12, 2003, Libby was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilson’s wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation Division. Libby understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA.”
Mysterious accounts of unnamed people in the Vice President’s office also crop up: “On or about June 9, 2003, a number of classified documents from the CIA were faxed to the Office of the Vice President to the personal attention of Libby and another person in the Office of the Vice President. . . . Libby and one or more other persons in the Office of the Vice President handwrote the names ‘Wilson’ and ‘Joe Wilson’ on the documents.”
This indictment is burning the hair off of Cheney’s skin.
But he tried to stay cool, saluting Libby as “one of the most capable and talented individuals I have ever known.”
And well might he praise Libby, for it seems Libby was doing his boss’s dirty work in outing Valerie Plame, and then covering for his boss before the grand jury and federal investigators.
Libby testified he heard about Plame from reporters first, when the indictment says he heard it first from Cheney.
Libby didn’t want to rat on his boss, and so his boss is grateful for that—and for his years of service to the cabal.
Matthew Rothschild has been with The Progressive since 1983.
© 2005 The Progressive