"If Libby is found guilty, investigators are likely to probe further to determine if Libby devised what they consider a cover story in an effort to shield Cheney. They want to know whether Cheney might have known about the leaks ahead of time or had even encouraged Libby to provide information to reporters about Plame's CIA status, the same sources said.
Had Cheney testified, he would have been questioned about whether he encouraged, or had knowledge of, the leaking of Plame's CIA status. Sources close to the case say that Cheney would have also been sharply questioned as to why, when presented by Libby with what prosecutors regarded as a cover story to explain away Libby's role in the leak, Cheney did nothing to discourage him."
* conyers: "Next year in November, we're going to get hired to do the job of leading this country with a Democratic president and with a stronger House and Senate majority. You know, a one-senate majority lead is not much of a majority. Fifteen-vote change in the House would erase the advantage that we have. And quite frankly, any impeachment proceeding that would go forward without taking out the Vice President and the President, to me, would be a waste of time. We don't have the luxury to impeach this president and this vice president. "
* jim Lobe:
"But if indeed a (iran) decision has already been made, it appears that the faction that led the pro-war propaganda offensive in the run-up to the Iraq invasion and that has long favored "regime change" in Iraq – the neoconservatives – has either not been clued in, or more likely, believes that any such attack is still some time off, if it takes place at all.
It is, rather, more the fact that the neocons, who helped lead the yearlong propaganda campaign to rally the country behind the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 with an admirable single-mindedness and urgency, appear far less focused on Iran, at least for the moment. If an attack on Iran is on the near-term agenda, the neoconservatives have been decidedly off-message.
The contrast with the run-up to the Iraq war is instructive.
This tack may simply be a ruse to lull antiwar forces into complacency. Or it may reflect a fear that, given their record on Iraq, beating the drums for war with Iran may prove counterproductive (although AEI has not hesitated to take credit for the "surge" option). Or it may indicate that prominent neocons have somehow lost touch with the hawks in the White House and Cheney's office who are now determined to go to attack Iran this spring.
But it may also reflect the neocons' assessment, based no doubt on inside information, that Bush – who spoke about U.S. policy on Afghanistan at AEI Thursday – intends to let the diplomatic game play out a little longer, perhaps as long as another year, before deciding to attack."