The politics of treason: I. Lewis Libby betrayed America

Last Friday, White House aide Lewis Libby was indicted on charges of obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury.

What is obviously missing from these charges is one of treason. The outing of a senior U.S. intelligence officer is giving aid to the enemy. Therefore, anyone who gave the name of officers working to protect and defend the United States against its enemies should suffer from charges of treason.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald compared the lack of charges filed against Libby to a pitcher who hits a batter in a baseball game. He says, “We don’t know why he did it. We don’t know if he had a grudge against the batter or if he had dirt in his eyes. All we know is that he hit the batter-we don’t know why.”

Apparently, the Department of Justice is continuing to throw dirt in the eyes of the public. Does the Department of Justice actually think that the public doesn’t know why Libby and other administration officials leaked the name of Valerie Plame to the press?

In February of 2002, Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador, was asked by the Bush administration to travel to Niger to check out an intelligence report that said Niger officials sold yellowcake uranium to Iraq in the late 1990s for use in nuclear weapons.

Despite lack of any evidence, President Bush announced in his 2003 State of the Union address that Saddam Hussein was seeking large amounts of uranium from Africa. Later that year, Wilson rejected Bush’s claims, writing that there was never any evidence that Niger had sold yellowcake uranium to Africa.

Two weeks after Wilson’s op-ed piece, columnist Robert Novak identified Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, as “a CIA operative on weapons of mass destruction.” Novak cited two senior administration officials as his sources. Lewis Libby was one of those sources.

A child can see Libby’s motive. Bush officials were upset that Wilson was telling the truth about their war intelligence-so they decided to get back at him by outing his wife to the public and ousting her from the CIA. Smart move.

The lack of an indictment of treason is an insult to the 2,000 dead soldiers in Iraq. It is an insult to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians who have died. This investigation and its indictments prove that the administration’s reasons for going to war with Iraq were blatantly false. The administration manufactured claims of weapons and used fear to mislead the American people and Congress to war.

Some people feel that those critical of the war and of the policies of the administration should simply shut up and let the soldiers and bureaucrats do their jobs. These people feel that any dissent is comparable to treason.

Those who are critical of the war and the Bush administration’s policies are not traitors. Lewis Libby is the traitor. This country means far too much to me to let leaders get away with lies and distortion-and for that reason alone, I will not shut up.

As long as this war is being fought, the real patriots are those who stand up to authority and seek the truth. As Gandhi said, “Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.”

[email protected]