In a twisted sort of way I almost have to admire Lewis “Scooter” Libby for his devotion and loyalty to the vice president. The man is facing up to 30 years in prison for perjury (2 counts), making false statements (2 counts) and obstruction of justice. All he would probably have to do to get out of it is cut a deal with the prosecutor and say “Hey, ‘Big Time’ Cheney made me do it.”
But so far the indications are that he has not turned on his boss even though no one but the most blind partisans could doubt that Cheney was fully versed on the whole affair from the beginning.
Besides handing down indictments for a top White House aide, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald did one other thing that is probably even worse in the eyes of the White House - he kept the investigation going. Karl Rove did not get indicted today, but he is still the target of the ongoing investigation and that is not good news for the Bush administration.
In his press conference today, Fitzgerald spelled out the seriousness of the obstruction charge against Libby and explained why it is significant. He compared it to an umpire having sand thrown in his eyes while trying to determine whether or not a pitcher intentionally threw a beanball that seriously injured a batter.
What is clear is that a beanball was thrown, a player was seriously injured, and the umpire is now going to have to take more time to rub the sand out of his eyes and try to sort everything out. More charges could still be handed down against Libby, Rove and others. If anything, the decision to continue the investigation is the worst possible outcome for the Bush administration because it means that it is not something they are able to put behind them at this point.