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Dick on Libby

Actually, Dick’s comments about Libby are actually pretty interesting, so I thought I’d give them their own post. [My transcription.]

CBS: Have you spoken to your former top aide since his verdict?

Dick: I have.

CBS: Can you tell us anything about that conversation?

Dick: No. I’ve seen him socially on a number of occasions.

CBS: Do you believe the commutation that President Bush gave Scooter Libby for his prison term was enough, or if you had been President would you have granted a full pardon?

Dick: I thought the President handled it right. I supported his decision.

CBS: Did you disagree with the guilty verdict in the case?

Dick: I did.

CBS: Even though the President said he respects that verdict?

Dick [evil Cheney laugh]: I still … you asked me if I disagreed with the verdict and I did.

CBS: Do you think Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald went too far in pursuing a prosecution of Scooter Libby?

Dick: Well, I don’t want to go beyond where I have already. The matter’s still pending before the Courts, um, there’s an appeal pending, um, on the question and I don’t want to um elaborate further.

See, if you disagree with the verdict, then there’s only one reason to call for commutation rather than pardon. One. And that’s because you want Libby to retain Fifth Amendment privilege.

It’s also rather interesting the way Dick got all fumbly as soon as questions moved to Fitzgerald. Does Dick worry that he’s not out of Fitzgerald’s sights, yet? Because if he is, he surely ought not be having all these "met him socially on a number of occasions" meetings. After all, it was one of those "meet me socially in Jackon" visits where Cheney and Libby compared notes on Libby’s perjurious story.

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