President Bush spoke publicly after Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced five indictments of Vice-President Cheney's closest aide for lying and obstruction of justice. Mr. Bush said, "Scooter (Libby) has worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people and sacrificed much in the service to this country. He served the vice president and me through extraordinary times in our nation's history." Nowhere in his remarks was any reflection of the fact that two years ago he indicated that he wanted to "get to the bottom of this" outing of CIA agent Valery Plame Wilson, and would personally hold accountable anyone who was involved.
What is now completely clear is that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney themselves were fully complicit from the beginning in the effort to humiliate their critic, Joseph Wilson, and then falsely pleaded ignorance when this issue threatened Mr. Bush's reelection prospects. Like their case for war in Iraq itself, their response to the Plame issue was illustrative of their lack of reverence for the truth. The fact that possibly hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of their dishonesty is what’s really at the heart of this case.
The real tragedy is that every Republican in Washington knew that the intelligence was being overhyped to launch a war of greed in Iraq, and none raised their voice in protest. Even now, many of them continue to defend the killing in Iraq, the policies promoting torture (see this week's Washington Post editorial), and the colonial-style exploitation of that country's natural resources. These actions are all anathema to Catholics and other people of conscience.
Senator John Kerry spoke for many when he said, "Today's indictment of the vice president's top aide and the continuing investigation of Karl Rove are evidence of White House corruption at the very highest levels, far from the 'honor and dignity' the president pledged to restore to Washington just five years ago."