Two very big stories just hit:
Vice President Dick Cheney Indicted by South Texas Grand Jury
By Mark Whittington, published Nov 19, 2008
Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have been indicted by a grand jury in Willacy County in South Texas in a bizarre case involving a privately run federal prison and a prosecutor who himself has been under indictment.
Also included in the indictments are state Senator Eddie Lucio Jr and some other public officials who were connected to Willacy County District Attorney Angel Guerra's legal problems. Guerra was under indictment for a year and a half for allegedly extorting money from a bail bondsman and using his office for personal business. An appeals court has ruled that a special prosecutor was improperly appointed to investigate Guerra.
Guerra is ending his term as District Attorney as he was defeated earlier this year in the Democratic primary. Guerra has a certain reputation for strange behavior, having once parked outside the local courthouse in a borrow camper with a horse, three goats and a rooster.
Vice President Dick Cheney's indictment accuses him of "engaging in an organized criminal activity related to the vice president's investment in the Vanguard Group, which holds financial interests in the private prison companies running the federal detention centers. It accuses Cheney of a conflict of interest and "at least misdemeanor assaults" on detainees because of his link to the prison companies."
Plame, Wilson to take CIA leak lawsuit to Supreme CourtNick Cargo
Published: Tuesday November 18, 2008
Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, plan to take their civil lawsuit against Bush administration officials to the Supreme Court after a federal circuit court refused to rehear the case on Monday.
Wilson v. Cheney, filed in 2006, charges that Bush administration officials such as Vice President Cheney, and aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, violated Plame's constitutional rights in allegedly engineering the outing Plame, who was undercover at the time, as retaliation against her husband, an Iraq war critic, who had been sent to Niger in 2002 to investigate the possible sale of yellowcake uranium to Iraq. While Wilson reported back that such sales were unlikely to have taken place, President Bush asserted to the contrary in his 2003 State of the Union address, prompting Wilson to speak out publicly in a July 6, 2003 New York Times piece entitled "What I Didn't Find in Africa."
Plame Wilson's cover was famously blown while she was helping track distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction in Iran. Her name was leaked to columnist Robert Novak, who published it in his July 14, 2003 column. He said in July 2007 that the source of the leak was former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, but said that it was not meant to be a deliberate act on the part of the White House to hurt the Wilsons.
In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a district judge's dismissal of the suit saying that it failed to establish a constitutional issue.
I think this might be the first time in history that a sitting Vice President has been indicted. Can you smell pardons due to arrive this winter?