Scooter Libby's criminal trial begins Jan. 16, and his lawyers this week submitted to Judge Reggie Walton questions they'd like potential jurors to answer. The queries may or may not be appropriate subjects for voir dire, but some of them would make a great script for reporters to follow at the president's next press conference:
1. Have you ever served in the United States military? [For anyone who answers yes, the defense respectfully requests that the court inquire as to . . . the place of service, the dates of service, and the circumstances of discharge.]
2. Since Sept. 11, 2001, have you, a relative or close friend, been injured while serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere in the Middle East?
3. Since Sept. 11, 2001, have any of your relatives or close friends been killed while serving or working in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere in the Middle East?
4. What one source do you get most of your news from?
5. Other than a traffic ticket, have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a crime? [For anyone who answered yes, the defense respectfully requests that the court inquire as to the nature of the arrest or charges, whether they resulted in a conviction, and how long ago the incident occurred.]
6. Have you, or any close relative or friend, ever been the victim of or witness to a crime?
7. Based on either your personal experience or what you have read or heard about him in the news, please describe any feelings you have about Vice President Cheney.
8. Other senior Bush administration officials will also be witnesses at trial in this case. Would your opinion of the Bush administration's policies cause you to credit those witnesses' testimony more or less than the testimony of any other witness?
9. Have you read, seen or heard anything about the [Plamegate] investigation? . . . From which sources? What do you remember learning about the case?
10. [T]he defendant in this case is presumed innocent. When you hear that, what does it mean to you?
11. Are you the kind of person who makes a decision quickly, or are you the kind of person who takes time to make a decision?
12. When you feel you are correct, will you still listen to the arguments of others who do not agree with you? If yes: Are you sometimes persuaded to change your position?
13. Have you been following any of the recent political scandals involving Jack Abramoff, William Jefferson, Tom DeLay, Cynthia McKinney, or Mark Foley? If yes: What have you found interesting about them?
14. Do you believe that someone who has a lot of confidence in how he or she remembers something is necessarily correct?
15. Do you think it is possible that someone could believe very strongly that he or she has certain memories, even though those memories turn out to be inaccurate?
16. Do you have particularly strong feelings about the war in Iraq? If yes: Please explain those feelings.
17. During this trial, you will hear testimony about some of the evidence the Bush administration considered when deciding to go to war in Iraq. Based on what you know at this time, do you believe that the administration misled the American people to justify going to war?