The US blogs are salivating over the news that the once closest adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, has been convicted of lying and obstructing a leak investigation that shook the top levels of the Bush administration.

According to Time Magazine, trial testimony made clear that President Bush secretly declassified a portion of the prewar intelligence estimate that Cheney quietly sent Libby to leak to Judith Miller of The New York Times in 2003 to rebut criticism over Iraq by ex-ambassador Joseph Wilson. It revealed that Wilson’s wife was CIA operative Valerie Plame. Bush, Cheney and Libby were the only three people in the government aware of the effort.   

Libby is the highest-ranking White House official convicted in a government scandal since National Security Adviser John Poindexter in the Iran-Contra affair two decades ago.

  • To say it was tense in the courtroom as we were waiting for a verdict would be an understatement. My heart was pounding in my chest as it all started to become real for me, all we’d done, how far we’d come. It’s a good day to be an American, huh? — Firedoglake
  • Something is rotten in the heart of Washington; and it lies in the vice-president’s office. The salience of this case is obvious. What it is really about – what it has always been about – is whether this administration deliberately misled the American people about WMD intelligence before the war…We now need a Congressional investigation to find out more, to subpoena Cheney and, if he won’t cooperate, consider impeaching him. — Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish
  • Combined with the devastating, and still unfolding, indictment about the treatment of wounded troops at Walter Reed, the specter of the vice-president’s top aide facing a prison sentence will only worsen President Bush’s already low standing in the polls. – Jonathan Martin, Politico
  • The man who actually did the leaking continues to earn millions of dollars, go out to dinner, and be respectfully quoted by attentive journalists. — David Frum’s Diary on NRO
  • The question is — who is going to press George W. Bush for a commitment that he will not derail justice and undo all the jury’s hard work by pardoning Scooter Libby? — Jane Hamsher, The Huffington Post
  • The whole affair, involving the hounding of a public servant working tirelessly to protect the country from a second September 11, takes on another coloration altogether: another case of the wanton criminalization of policy disagreements, another case study of a special prosecutor run amok, a terrible injustice. Let the appeals begin. — Gabriel Schoenfeld, Contentions
  • After you take a look at Howard Fineman’s analysis of what the Libby verdict means, let’s take a walk down memory lane and see what those bastions of the Fourth Estate, The Washington Post, have said about the Libby case. — The Left Coaster 
  • Well – if the investigation is over, this is Fizzlemas. However, the end of the investigation eliminates a political speed bump on the road to a late-term pardon. And in the much shorter run, Judge Walton is less likely to fantasize that he is Judge Sirica of Watergate fame – there is no real point to a max sentence intended to goad Libby into cooperating with a defunct investigation. — JustOneMinute
  • Juror Denis Collins said that “a number of times” they asked themselves, “what is HE doing here? Where is Rove and all these other guys… I’m not saying we didn’t think Mr. Libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of. It seemed like he was, as Mr. Wells [his lawyer] put it, he was the fall guy.” — Editor&Publisher
  • Scooter Libby Guilty – Except on Fox News. It sure didn’t take these guys long to construct their disinformation strategy. And you have to admire their chutzpah. – News Corpse