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March 7, 2007

How The Post Captured Libby


(click for full size)

On one hand, WAPO’s lead pic is a bit of a cheap shot, just a gestural movement stepping away from a car.

On the other hand, what it brilliantly suggests is how Cheney’s primary foot soldier and henchman (otherwise framed as loyal family man and generic bureaucrat) could — behind everyone’s back — keep a vise-like grip around truth, whole agencies, and Cheney’s targets and underlings while maintaining a look of breezy unconcern.

(With the end of the trial, here’s how The Post visualized the whole ugly scene.)

(image: Kevin Clark/The Washington Post.  February 21, 2007.  Washington.

  • benny

    wow – some of this photo analysis is just getting inane and ridiculus

  • readytoblowagasket

    This photo is dated February 21. Does after-the-verdict photo analysis count as predictive?

  • margaret

    It’s interesting, after looking at al the WP pictures, how well these men wear their masks for public view. When people are practiced at being photographed, constantly, they assume a set expression which projects the image they want to have. Jackie Onassis earned to do this, with a half smile, mouth slightly open; Clinton (Mr.) learned to do it, extremely well, mouth open, slight smile, even Jimmy Carter…well, frankly, almost all of them, except Cheney, who doesn’t give a hoot. The picture of Cheney, Libby and Meirs in the driveway of the WH before the announcement of Sandra Day O’Conner’s retirement, gives the game away, as they don’t realize they are being photographed. Photography was the greatest single invention for the purposes of political and public manipulation; even, still, greater than TV.

  • Daniel

    I think this image has a lot of movement to it. Besides his smugness, it looks almost like his head has been tossed aside from being punched.

  • Doctor Jay

    This reminds me of the Tom Delay mugshot. That was a clear demonstration of an impressive skill set.
    People like Delay (and Libby) don’t just wear their masks for the camera. Such masks are a tool of personal power. It’s useful in negotiation, in conference, and in bureaucratic infighting.
    Cheney can do it too, don’t think he can’t, it’s just that his chosen persona, at least most of the time these days, is “I’m a badass, don’t fuck with me”.

  • Johanna

    Totally agree with the Doctor, that Cheney’s persona is badass! In this picture, Libby is opening the car door, and his face could have been turned toward it, without seeming to hide in shame. But the fact that he chose to turn back and let the devouring press get one more crack at him shows something even more than an impressive skill set: fortitude.

  • tina

    I’m glad you had this pic of Libby–I almost feared you would choose some pic of a snarling Cheney. I really, viscerally, can hardly stand to look at pictures of Cheney. There is something about his glaring eyes that just makes my heart sink with fear. Rove just exudes smarminess.
    Libby looks almost cute and innocent in comparison, especially in this picture. Indeed he looks almost chipper at the thought of taking a quarter of a century in detention for creatures like Cheney and Rove. He’s either a true believer or not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
    I hope we can focus on Libby not so much and keep our attention directed towards higher things. Juan Cole commented this morning that now is the moment we can seriously contemplate impeaching Cheney. Here’s hoping.
    I believe Cheney is an individual so afraid of his own mortality that he is slowly becoming deranged as his death draws nearer. He has had so many health problems for so long and his response has consistently been to acquire ever increasing wealth and power. Perhaps he feels he can find a way to literally avoid his own death if he can just get enough money and influence on his side. If he thinks this then he is a dangerous person, I mean obviously the deaths of lesser folk do not bother him.
    The expression in his eyes is that of a person whose hysterical aggression springs from an acute terror of something…in his case it can only be the unknown.
    I could feel sorry for him if he were in a hospice somewhere bullying a nurse instead of in a position of great power.

  • Gasho

    The photo’s overexposure makes me think:
    1) overexposure to the media and pressure of the trial
    2) tired and drained
    3) the soul’s been sucked out of him; the skin is saggy and the eyes are barely open
    … but with all this, he’ll just hop in a government car and ‘exit stage left’ with a weak smile. I’m sure that pardon is coming. It will look terrible for Bush, but once you’re covered in mud, what’s another blotch on your record?

  • LeslieT

    The feeling of contortion in the picture somehow reminded me of that photo of Rose Mary Woods demonstrating how she might have accidentally produced the infamous “18 1/2 minute gap”. The same feeling of an underling literally twisting themselves out of shape to protect their boss.

  • Rafael

    Johanna you do realize its a “persona”, a facade. Neither he or Libby have any “fortitude” what so ever. Well I interrupted my show to make yet another voice essay, this time about the trial.
    I won’t post a link since I already used this blog as free advertising before and more would be unfair.
    Keep up the good work Bag.
    As for this shot…one word…Arrogance!

  • Patrick

    Hopefully, the next door opened for Libby will be that of his cell albeit, at a club med low security prison in the wilds of Maryland. If all goes to plan, based on appeals and delay tactics, ‘W’ will draw up a nice little pardon to free this loyal brown shirt foot soldier before the Wilson/Plame civil proceedings begin. If it were up to me as judge/jury both Libby and Cheney would be sentenced to The Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Graterford to bunk with the insatiable Bubba ‘the Love Sponge’ as his personal bitches.

  • lowly grunt

    benny, what makes this inane and ridiculous? More info, please.
    margaret, the picture you reference from the WP: maybe one of them shared a pack of gum with the others just before this was snapped. They all look like they are either chewing or sucking on something!
    As to the posted photo, I think picture/expression should go into the dictionary to help define the word “supercilious”. = “haughtily disdainful or contemptuous”

  • Dunc

    I think the most significant thing of all these pictures is his isolation – he’s never surrounded by lawyers, law officials, he’s just alone. We don’t expect guilty men to be standing alone.
    I don’t think most people get ‘vice like grip’ out of this photo.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    “Scooter” Libby
    AKA Irve Lewis Libby, Jr.
    Born: 22-Aug-1950
    Birthplace: New Haven, CT
    Gender: Male
    Religion: Jewish
    Race or Ethnicity: White
    Sexual orientation: Straight
    Occupation: Government
    Party Affiliation: Republican
    Nationality: United States
    Executive summary: Cheney’s former Chief of Staff
    Until recently chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, Lewis Libby is alleged to be [was convicted thereof being] one of two administration sources who leaked the identity of Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife, undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame. Libby resigned his White House position on 28 October 2005 after being indicted on five felony counts — perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to Federal officials. He was the most powerful Chief of Staff for the most powerful Vice President in American history, and was very much one of the ultimate administration insiders. After the events of 2001 Libby was one of the neoconservatives who made the case for war against Iraq.
    Lewis Libby was a highly-paid Philadelphia lawyer until his former law professor, Paul Wolfowitz offered him a job in the Reagan State Department. Libby worked for Wolfowitz between 1981 and 1985, after which he returned to private practice. A few years later, Libby again served as Wolfowitz’s assistant (this time at the Pentagon) from 1989 to 1993.
    Libby was personal lawyer to Marc Rich, 1985-2003.
    Father: Irve Libby (investment banker)
    Wife: Harriet Grant (2 children)
    High School: Phillips Andover Academy, Andover, MA (1968)
    University: BA, Yale University (1972)
    Law School: JD, Columbia Law School (1975)
    US National Security Council
    Defense Policy Board
    Northrop Grumman consultant
    Council on Foreign Relations
    Hudson Institute Senior Advisor
    Project for the New American Century (1997-)
    Rand Corporation
    Obstruction of Justice indicted 28-Oct-2005, convicted 6-Mar-2007
    Making False Statements indicted 28-Oct-2005, convicted 6-Mar-2007
    Making False Statements indicted 28-Oct-2005, not guilty 6-Mar-2007
    Perjury indicted 28-Oct-2005, convicted 6-Mar-2007
    Conspiracy per civil lawsuit filed by Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame (13-Jul-2006)
    Author of books:
    The Apprentice (1996, a novel) :
    Setsuo is a young apprentice at a remote mountain inn in turn-of-the-century Japan, who falls in love at first sight of the beautiful Yukiko, one of a roving band of actors who have come to stay. Trapped at the inn by a blizzard is a larger group of strange travelers. Emotionally wrought by his feelings for Yukiko, Setsuo cannot see that he is getting involved in political skulduggery as he tries to fathom the increasingly odd behavior of the guests.

  • MadameGonzo

    roman à clef or roman à clé (French for “novel with a key”) : “a novel describing real-life events behind a façade of fiction. see also: image à clef.

  • Johanna

    Rafael, fortitude cannot be part of a facade, because to display it over a period of time is to have it. Just as with good posture, if you can achieve even the appearance of it, you actually have it.

  • Rafael

    Thats my point, he has not fortitude, he has none, he is faking it, arrogance is what he has, not fortitude. Fortitude means he has courage, conviction, and this man has none of that.

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