I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, now on trial in Washington on multiple counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, keeps coming back to Aspen for something that even his lyrical style finds hard to describe.
“You went to jail in the summer,” he wrote to The New York Times reporter Judith Miller on September 15, 2005. “It is fall now. You have stories to cover—Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear programs. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work—and life.”
This was Libby’s way of coaxing Miller out of jail for refusing to out him as a source. Libby himself came to Aspen in summer 2006 as a guest of fellow neoconservative Ken Adelman, according to a story this week in The Times. On this visit, he went for a walk in the woods with Adelman and Paul Andersen of Basalt, described by the paper as a “a liberal, pacifist local columnist.”
“I got a feeling for him as a family man, a guy who likes the mountains,” Andersen told The Times. “Later, it seemed like he was nursing some serious pain. It seemed a dreadful shame that circumstances can sometimes ruin lives.”
We need not weep too long or too hard for Scooter Libby. He has a junket at the conservative Hudson Institute, and his pals in the neocon movement have rallied behind him to raise a defense fund in his quest for acquit. Should he be convicted–an unlikely fate–he is almost sure to be pardoned by President George W. Bush, his commander in chief. Then he is most likely to be anointed as a Fox News commentator, much like his spiritual predecessor Ollie North.
Political allies, you see, turn in clusters, because their roots connect them.