Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/494/2597
The Socialist 5 July 2007 |
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George Bush - a get out of jail ticket
WITH GEORGE Bush commuting Lewis "Scooter" Libby's prison sentence for obstructing justice, perjury and giving false statements to the FBI, the rich socialite, dilettante, Paris Hilton, must be ruing not making a substantial donation to the Republican party!
Libby's story begins on the eve of the last Iraq war. In September 2002 Blair's 'dodgy dossier' on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) contained the spurious claim that Saddam's regime had sought to buy uranium from Niger. This claim was repeatedly used by George Bush to justify invading Iraq.
The CIA spy agency doubted this claim and despatched a former US ambassador, Joseph Wilson, to investigate. After no WMDs were found in Iraq, Wilson denounced the Bush administration for deliberately manipulating the Niger story for its war aims.
After Wilson went public, Wilson's wife - Valerie Plame - was identified as an undercover CIA agent by a journalist after the information was deliberately leaked (a criminal act) by someone in the Bush administration. Following an investigation, Lewis Libby was put on trial, not for leaking the information but for frustrating the investigation.
To many people, including the jurors of the case, Libby acted as the 'fall guy' for even bigger officials such as Vice President Dick Cheney.