Wednesday, January 17, 2007

If any of my friends have missed it, National Journal posted a long story of mine last Friday (so unbloggerlike of me to mention a story of mine that is now six days old!) about the Libby trial, entitled "Inside the Grand Jury Room". Here is the lede:

"Late in the morning of July 12, 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney stood atop a pier at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia awaiting the commissioning of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, a ship 20 stories high that took eight years to construct. More than 15,000 people stood under clear skies to watch the pomp and ceremony. As she christened the carrier by breaking a bottle of champagne over its bow, Nancy Reagan told the crowd: "I only have one line. Man the ship and bring her alive."

'A Washington Post reporter recounted what happened next: "With those time-hallowed words, hundreds of crew members wearing dress whites ran aboard the 20-story Reagan and lined the flight deck while four fighter jets flew overhead and every crane, radar, whistle, and alarm aboard was turned on simultaneously."

"Cheney himself later took the podium, and as he spoke, the spirit of the crowd turned somber: `The Ronald Reagan sets sail in a world with new dangers,' he said, `The outcome is certain. There will be victory for the United States.'

"The moment of triumph would prove to be illusory. Americans had no idea that the war in Iraq, then not even four months old, would take a turn for the worse, that more than 3,000 American servicemen would die in the line of duty; that "liberated" Iraq would spiral down into sectarian violence; and that the war would not only divide the Iraqi nation but the American one as well.
On the flight back to Washington, Cheney huddled with two of his top aides -- I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, his then-chief of staff, and Catherine Martin, then assistant to the vice president for pubic affairs. According to federal court records, the three discussed how to counter and discredit the allegations made by a former U.S. ambassador, Joseph C. Wilson IV, that the Bush administration had manipulated and distorted intelligence information to make the case to go to war with Iraq."

To read the whole thing, if you already haven't (how could you have not already?), click here.

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