Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009

I. Lewis Libby

Irve Lewis Libby's nickname was "Scooter," but it could have just as easily been "Storyteller." As Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Libby had a knack for inserting unverified intelligence into Cheney's speeches about Saddam Hussein, 9/11, and the case for invading Iraq — much to the chagrin of the CIA and the State Department. Libby's popularity finally bottomed out after he was revealed to be the tipster who exposed the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. In March 2007, a federal jury convicted him on one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury and one count of making false statements to federal investigators. He was subsequently disbarred by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. In July, Bush commuted Libby's 30-month prison sentence, calling it "excessive." The president's spokesman at the time, Tony Snow, denied accusations that Bush's decision was political, saying that he "is getting pounded on the right because he didn't do a full pardon."