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Scooter Libby's lead defense attorney has sent the media into full-throatedscandalmode with his opening statement this morning, alleging that Libby was "sacrificed" by top White House officials in order to protect Karl Rove. Here's MSNBC's coverage from a little earlier:
Most of the sizzle comes from the disclosure of a note written by Vice President Cheney that he was âNot going to protect one staffer + sacrifice the guy who was asked to stick his neck in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others.â
OK, so the "staffer" was Rove and the poor meat-ground guy was Libby, who was Cheney's point man for hitting back against Joseph Wilson's allegations that the administration had knowingly lied about Saddam Hussein's alleged attempts to procure nuclear materials.
But here's what we don't get yet about the defense's theory of the case, as TPM Reader LG puts it: "while it may be true that the [White House] was trying to hang Libby out to protect Rove, this in no way absolves Libby from charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. How is that a defense? Seems like just a smokescreen to me."