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'It's a good day to be an American' says blogger that covered Libby trial
Published: Tuesday March 6, 2007
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After four guilty verdicts were issued in the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, one blogger who helped cover the trial heavily at the blog FireDogLake said "It's a good day to be an American, huh?"

The remark was made by Jane Hamsher who, with several partners and guest-bloggers, provided daily, nearly instantaneous coverage of the trial in an activity which seemed in some ways to redefine the free flow of information.

"To say it was tense in the courtroom as we were waiting for a verdict would be an understatement," Hamsher also said. "My heart was pounding in my chest as it all started to become real for me, all we'd done, how far we'd come."

Hamsher also made note of her discussion with Dennis Collins, the juror who spoke to the press, before he stepped up to the podium.

"It was quite inspirational to get a chance to talk to him, and to hear how seriously the jury had deliberated," she explained.

Her most prominent conservative counterpart, Tom Maguire made remarks of a very different tone at his blog Just One Minute.

"Let's be clear – when the Yankees lose, I am both disappointed and surprised; today I am disappointed," he remarked.

Maguire also took a shot at what he saw as the likely reactions of NBC News commentators.

"I assume David Shuster, Chris Matthews, and Keith Olbermann are incoherent with glee (the 'incoherent' is a safe bet in most scenarios)," he wrote. "And we wonder whether Ms. Mitchell and Mr. Russert will enjoy their continued role in the spotlight as they become a focal point of the appeals."

RAW STORY's own Larisa Alexandrovna at her blog suggested that the trial shouldn't really be seen as over.

"There is more than enough to indict a few people, but I am not an attorney and I stopped reporting on this case a long time ago because I realized that we were not going to see the truth fully come out despite the hard work of journalists," she said.

She also criticized the journalists caught up in Fitzgerald's investigation.

"As we know, these people were not whistle-blowers or in fear of retaliation. The reporters involved allowed themselves to become an organ of the the White House when they should have been the watchdog. It is thanks to their efforts, that other reporters were unable to fully put this story together," she said.

Finally, the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which serves as "successor counsel" to Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame Wilson in their civil suit against Vice President Dick Cheney, White House adviser Karl Rove, and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, issued a statement, which is presented below.


First, Valerie and Joseph Wilson would like to express their appreciation to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and the entire team of federal prosecutors for their professionalism and hard work. Their prosecution of a senior White House official illustrates that we are a nation of laws and that no man is above the law. The Wilsons respect the jury’s verdict and thank the jurors for their service. The entire Wilson team is pleased by today’s verdict and believes that justice has been served in this case.

The Wilsons will continue to pursue the civil case against Vice President Cheney, Mr. Libby, Mr. Rove and Mr. Armitage because it hinges on additional and different facts from those underlying the criminal case. The criminal trial was about whether or not Mr. Libby obstructed justice and committed perjury by lying to FBI agents and the grand jury about the fact that he had disclosed to reporters that Valerie Wilson worked for the CIA. The civil suit, on the other hand, hinges on whether or not the defendants violated the constitutional rights of Valerie and Joe Wilson by making those disclosures in a concerted effort to retaliate against Joe Wilson for revealing the falsity of the president’s rationale for the Iraq war.

Disturbing facts emerged from the criminal trial that are highly relevant to the civil case. For example, the American public learned details of how Vice President Cheney orchestrated the concerted White House effort to discredit and retaliate against Joe Wilson. Towards that end, the vice president enlisted the aid of other senior administration officials including former press secretary Ari Fleischer, vice presidential assistant Cathie Martin and presidential advisor Karl Rove. Testimony in the criminal case also confirmed that Mr. Libby spoke to numerous reporters in an effort to persuade at least one of them to publicly reveal Mrs. Wilson’s covert status.

Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director and counsel to the Wilsons, stated, “The civil case may provide the American public with its only opportunity to hear directly from Vice President Cheney, Mr. Libby, Mr. Rove and Mr. Armitage about what really took place behind the scenes after Joe Wilson exposed the truth about the administration’s justification for the Iraq war.”