Revelations surrounding the indictment of Lewis “Scooter” Libby may appear to sound familiar in the settings of a pre-colonial era.
Conspiracies, cover-ups, lies, deceit and denials are the ingredients usually associated with regimes bent on deceiving ordinary folk in order to continue pursuing illegitimate conduct.
Yet the theatre in which the drama of injecting dubious intelligence data in a highly sophisticated criminal enterprise is not in some remote third-world country –” it is in the heart of America!
While Libby maybe at the centre of the current storm, he is an integral part of the Bush administration. As vice president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, he together with his neo-con thugs was responsible for deceiving Congress about Iraq’s WMD capabilities.
Scott Ritter, a former chief UN weapons inspector, is quite categorical in fingering Libby. He goes further by accusing Cheney as well as being behind the decision to mislead the investigation into the reasons why the US spooks had gotten it so wrong.
He claims that acting at the behest of Cheney, Libby was a key figure behind inserting unverified intelligence information alleging the existence of Iraqi WMD into the public arena. This was routinely done through “leaking this information to reporters such as the New York Times’ Judith Miller, or by having it referenced in high-profile speeches such as the president’s 2003 State of the Union Address or Colin Powell’s now-infamous presentation to the Security Council in February 2003”.
The indictment ought to have grave consequences for the Bush regime’s ability to continue its reckless foreign policy and repression of internal civil liberties.
Hundreds of people –” Muslims in the main –” remain incarcerated without any recourse to basic legal and human rights. Detention centers such as Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib have acquired a notoriety which equals the horrors of Khiam Prison.
Countless Welfare organizations and Muslim Charity foundations have been arbitrarily shut done and millions of dollars confiscated. The most recent casualty in this regard is an Iraqi-American oncologist Dr Rafil Dhafir of New York who has been sentenced to a 22 year term and his “Help the Needy Charity” shut down for having provided much needed aid to Iraqis.
This list of violations is long enough to prosecute any number of dictators; yet the Bush administration is firmly entrenched in its nefarious conduct resulting in murder and mayhem in Iraq and elsewhere.
Ritter correctly asserts that the lies of Cheney, Libby and the Bush administration did not take place in a vacuum. Non-existent checks and balances and sham hearings without any supporting evidence simply facilitated a neo-con design to amplify a case for war.
Equally alarming is the fact that the American media was reduced to nothing more than a means to propagate deliberate misrepresentations emanating from the White House and the Pentagon.
A thoroughly discredited fourth estate contributed directly to duping an entire nation into believing the “righteousness” of an illegal war that to-date has caused the lives of over 2000 US troops and a quarter million or more innocent Iraqi civilians.
So while Libby’s indictment is a brief respite, it does not follow that a major backlash on the part of the America population’s deep-seated resentment to the deliberate falsification is on the horizons.
While these voices are beginning to grow louder, it remains to be seen whether the Bush regime succeeds in reducing the indictment to a mere “technicality” as is feared by Ritter.