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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

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October 29, 2005

Well it has happened. Scotter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff andand national security adviser, handed in his resignation, because he was indicted on criminal charges. He is charged with one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of giving false statements and two counts of perjury. Libby was charged with lying about how he had discovered that Ms Plame worked for the CIA. If convicted of all charges, he could face up to 70 years' jail.

Friday's indictment shows how the White House used Plame's identity as part of a campaign to discredit critics of the war in Iraq. It is a consequence of the Bush administration's policy of taking critics and enemies down — not just rebutted — to ensure that their credibility is destroyed.

Mark Oliphant

The transcript of the speech of Pat Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor. It is interesting isn't it, the way the American Congress has created the independent counsel law. It was created in 1978 because Congress felt the executive branch could not be trusted to investigate itself in cases of alleged abuse and corruption. This iresulted in nation book-length multi-volume reports — eg., Lawrence E. Walsh's 1993 report into the Iran-Contra affair and Kenneth W. Starr 's report about President Clinton's relations with a former intern.

But Congress in 1999 chose not to renew the law authorizing them, out of concern that they had been used to pursue partisan witch hunts. Fitzgerald, by contrast, is a special prosecutor, charged with bringing violations of the law to court, rather than information to the court of public opinion.

We could do with one of these in Australia. The Senate is emasculated and the executive branch cannot be trusted to investigate itself in cases of alleged abuse and corruption.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:38 PM | | Comments (0)