Supporters of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former assistant to the President of the United States, are using the Web to raise money for his legal defense.
Libby was recently indicted on perjury and other charges in connection with the leak of a CIA operative's identity. At Scooterlibby.com, a note written by Mel Sembler, the U.S. ambassador to Italy, calls Libby "one of the unsung heroes in fighting the war on terror" but says his service to the country has been "cut short, and his good name attacked."
A growing number of indicted public figures, including former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy and Enron chairman Ken Lay, have taken to the Web to generate public support. Media critics have noted that the Internet offers a means to bypass the mainstream media, which may not be presenting a sympathetic picture. Those accused of wrongdoing can take their message directly to the public via their own Web sites.
According to the Web site, anyone interested in supporting the Libby Legal Defense Trust can make donations from $50 to $10,000.
Among those on the trust's advisory committee are such notable Republicans as former vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson. Also included on the site are testimonials about Libby from Vice President Dick Cheney.