I've been inspected, see-lected, accepted and di-rected. Here I am, gang, to welcome you to Firedoglake's pregame coverage of the Libby Trial, live from the Prettyman federal courthouse in Washington, DC, courtesy of the Huffington Post.
Actually, for all the levity, entering a federal courthouse is deadly serious business. I've been poked and prodded and shepherded through something like a big MRI tube, and even had to give up my Treo at the front desk, having as it does a camera function attached. Oy. No indulging my addictions.
All the security is a stark reminder that the end result of these proceedings could involve a man having a door close behind him at some point that he cannot open, wherein he loses his freedom, much of the control of his life and much of his lifelong identity, his place in the world. He may or may not be innocent. For all the sports metaphors (that picture above is a hat tip to my Met fan homeboy, Patrick Fitzgerald), this is deadly serious business.
Nothing has begun yet, other than a bunch of press people assembling in the media room. I don't have access to the courtroom today, though we do have a courtroom pass: while voir dire proceeds, and jurors are being interviewed, only two pool reporters have access to the courtroom itself. This is a mixed blessing: I don't have access to anything other than closed circuit television to observe the days's events, but I also have online wireless access (thanks to the helpful intervention of courthouse staff – booyah!). If jury selection takes as long as late Thursday afternoon, then I'll take my turn on press pool duty in the courtroom, but it may not last that long.
The screen in front of me is a large digital flatscreen divided into four boxes, four camera views of the courtroom. One camera appears set on Judge Walton's seat at the bench, one on the witness stand, one at the attorney's lectern and one covering the courtroom itself from a wider angle.
My approach to your coverage will be informed by my training in clinical psychology. Yes, for the process of jury selection, you get a shrink's eye view, with the caveat that in my professional life, I don't specialize in forensic matters or jury selection. I will sustain writing under my online pseudonym out of respect and deference toward my clients in real life: I keep my blogging separate from my professional life.
I'll be back later if and when I have anything to report. So far, everyone has been acting normal, pretending not to notice my paisley moo moo and feather boa.