Thursday, January 25, 2007

Walking Down Memory Lane

The trial of I. Lewis Libby is moving down the the path of triggered memories and challenges to suddenly clearer recollections as the government focuses on when Libby learned that Valerie Plame was a CIA officer and defense counsel challenges the recall of the government witnesses.  The government's second witness was former CIA associate deputy director Robert Grenier, who testified that Libby contacted him to learn about former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's trip to Africa.  Grenier said that he was called out of a meeting with the CIA Director by a second call from Libby for further details on the trip, and that he told Libby that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent in the group that arranged the trip.  On cross-examination, William Jeffress noted that Grenier's testimony was different from his earlier statement to the FBI that he did not recall telling Libby that Wilson's wife (Plame) worked for the CIA.  Jeffress asked, "Do you find your memory gets better the further away from an event you are?"  Classic cross-examination to impugn the witness's testimony, a question that does not really seek an answer -- Grenier said, "It depends."  The case remains one about the credibility of witnesses, and whether the jury will accept the version presented by the government or Libby.  Talk of scapegoating during the opening has a certain rhetorical value, but the assessment of witness recollections (or the lack thereof) will likely tell the tale.  A Washington Post story (here) discusses the latest testimony, and the blog Firedoglake live-blog's the testimony (here). (ph)

Plame Investigation, Prosecutions | Permalink

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