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Libby’s Motions

Yesterday and today, we’ve gotten more news that Libby’s defense team is requesting all manner of stuff. ReddHedd explains that this is normal operating procedure, not to read too much into it. And while I’ll cede to RH’s expert judgment on legal issues, I wonder whether there isn’t something more going on.

After all, this is only nominally the "Libby Defense Team." In reality, Libby’s team of lawyers is attempting to ensure that the Plame scandal reaches no further than Libby, that it doesn’t taint the rest of the Neocon cabal who participated in outing Plame and, more importantly, made the false case to bring the country to war. The fund is managed by a lifetime Republican operative, Barbara Comstock and chaired by Mel Sembler, Ambassador to Italy when the whole Niger caper was planned. In addition, the fund includes such notable contributors as Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Bernard Lewis, and James Woolsey. These folks are not just trying to bail out (literally) a good friend. They’re trying to prevent their entire Neocon project from being severely damaged by the trial.

So what do I think they’re after, this Neocon Defense Team with their motions? Well, they’re after stuff that Libby knows about–but that the Defensedoesn’t know whether or how Fitzgerald knows about. They’re trying toascertain, I suspect, how much evidence Fitzgerald has against othermembers of the team. And if they can figure that out, they may adjustLibby’s defense accordingly.

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Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.