CIA leak case jurors asked if they harbor negative 'feelings or opinions about the Bush Administration'
Tuesday January 16, 2007
Lists of possible prosecution witnesses and of questions for potential jurors in the trial of former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were released by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia earlier today.
Among the most high-profile of the 80 potential witnesses are Vice President Dick Cheney, his current chief of staff David Addington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, former deputy Secretary of State Richart Armitage, Time Magazine reporter Matthew Cooper, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak, NBC host Tim Russert, former Department of Defense official Douglas Feith, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, New Yorker staff writer Seymour Hersh, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, former CIA director George Tenet, former US ambassador Joseph Wilson, outed CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, and former White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.
The 38 possible questions the jurors will be asked include whether they know any of the potential witnesses and whether they would "have any difficulty fairly judging the believability of former or present members of the Bush Administration…[or] a member of the news media."
They’ll also be asked whether they harbor "feelings or opinions about the Bush Administration or any of its policies or actions, whether positive or negative, that might affect" their ability to give Libby a fair trial.
Other questions, which may have been written because of reports that certain witnesses in the case have delivered conflicting testimony during the grand jury investigation, inquire about jurors beliefs about the strength and accuracy of memory.
"Is there anyone who believes that everyone’s memory is like a tape recorder and therefore all individuals are able to remember exactly what
they said and were told in the past?" asks one question.
"Is there anyone who feels that a person could not honestly say something about a matter he or she truly believed to be the true when that person several months earlier actually said something totally different about that
same matter?" asks another question.
Other questions include "Is there anyone who believes that it is impossible for a person to mistakenly believe that he or she was told something by one person when in fact the person was actually told the information by someone totally different several months earlier?"
CNN has PDFs of the full lists of witnesses at this link and the jurors questions can be accessed here.
In an unprecedented event in the history of Internet journalism, two blogs were credentialed and seated at the trial, liveblogging the proceedings: Talk Left and Firedoglake. Marcy Wheeler, author of a forthcoming book on the Plame affair, has background on the witnesses at this link.
On the other side of the political spectrum, Tom Maguire at Just One Minute offers his own take on the first day's proceedings.