Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Congressman Hinchey comments on Libby verdict

Listen to Congressman Hinchey today at 9:30 AM on Air America, WKZE AM 1020 OR at

Washington, DC -- Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today released the following statement in response to the guilty verdicts against Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby for obstructing justice, making false statements, and committing perjury regarding the outing of Valerie Wilson as a CIA agent. Hinchey has led the effort in Congress to have Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald expand his investigation in the CIA leak case to include the Bush's administration's falsification of intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.

"Justice was served today when Scooter Libby was found guilty and now other administration officials, starting with Vice President Cheney, must be held accountable for their role in this case. The truth behind why Scooter Libby lied must now be revealed. This is the first judicial evidence that the Bush administration was engaged in a plot to falsify information and cover-up those lies to justify its illegal invasion of Iraq. Mr. Libby deliberately misled investigators and lied to a grand jury about how he learned of Mrs. Wilson's identity and whether he told reporters about her job at the CIA. By doing so, he prevented Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald from fully uncovering the truth behind the leak and jeopardized the life and safety of Mrs. Wilson and other CIA operatives.

"This case doesn't end with Mr. Libby's conviction. Testimony in the Libby trial made it even more clear that Vice President Cheney played a major role in the outing of Mrs. Wilson's identity. It is time to remove the cloud hanging over Vice President Cheney and the White House that Special Counsel Fitzgerald so aptly described in his closing remarks and expose all of the lies that led to the outing of Mrs. Wilson's identity.

"The question which has always needed to be addressed is why Mrs. Wilson's CIA position was revealed to the press. The answer is that the administration was attempting to undermine and weaken the credibility of her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, who publicly disclosed his findings that Iraq never sought uranium from Niger for a nuclear weapon. Ambassador Wilson publicly proved that the administration's case for war -- that Iraq had an active weapons of mass destruction program -- was false. He demonstrated that multiple senior administration officials, including President Bush himself, deliberately made false and misleading statements to win congressional approval and public support for an invasion of Iraq.

"This administration is the most corrupt and incompetent administration in U.S. history. The security of the American people has been jeopardized by the falsification of intelligence that led to the invasion of Iraq as well as the outing of a CIA agent's identity. Justice must be served to all those who put our country at risk. Either Special Counsel Fitzgerald or another prosecutor must continue to pursue the truth. The American people deserve to have the cloud hanging over Vice President Cheney and other administration officials lifted once and for all so we can find out the truth."

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