Best summation I’ve seen (and read the rest of the article to which I’ve linked for the facts backing up this conclusion):
This is a case that never should have been brought, originating in the scandal that never was, in search of a crime — violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act — that even the prosecutor never alleged. That’s the basis for a presidential pardon. It should have been granted long before this egregious case came to trial. It should be granted now without any further delay.
I like Mona Charen’s take on the matter too because it goes to the heart of things. Just as Martha Stewart was prosecuted because she’s apparently a b***h, so too was Scooter prosecuted because a lot of people don’t like the President’s policies — something liberals are themselves admitting in the wake of the verdict:
Patrick Fitzgerald, transformed into Ahab by the post of independent counsel, seized upon inconsistent statements by Libby and other witnesses to bring a perjury action. Now that the verdict is in, many on the Left are admitting that Libby wasn’t the issue at all. Howard Fineman analyzed it this way in Newsweek: “The ramifications of the stunning, vehement verdict in the Scooter Libby trial – that he lied, repeatedly, big time – aren’t really about Scooter Libby at all. They are about how and why we went to war in Iraq, and about how Vice President Dick Cheney got us there.” The New York Times announced editorially that, while they didn’t like Fitzgerald putting reporters in jail, “it was still a breath of fresh air to see someone in this administration, which specializes in secrecy, prevarication and evading blame, finally called to account.”
Excuse me, but Libby is not being “called to account.” Tony Blair is called to account in Parliament at Prime Minister’s Question Time. Mr. Libby faces prison. And for what? Because a Kerry-supporting, proven liar called Joseph Wilson persuaded the press that the White House committed a crime in outing his CIA wife. Prosecutor Ahab Fitzgerald knew that this was not true; that Richard Armitage (an opponent of the Iraq War, by the way) was the leaker; and that the whole purpose of mentioning Valerie Plame was not to destroy her career or, God forbid, endanger her life but rather to explain the otherwise mysterious decision by elements of this administration to send that guy on a sensitive mission to Niger.
We are told that the case reveals how “obsessed” the vice president’s office was with the Wilson business. This is highly doubtful considering the range of matters the administration was then contending with. But suppose they were? The tacit assumption that there was something sinister about the vice president attempting to rebut a very damaging op-ed in one of the country’s most influential newspapers is nonsensical.
This is a textbook case of the criminalization of policy differences. If Bush haters believe that the president “lied us into war,” they are fully entitled to support a Democrat in 2008. But their blood lust will not be satisfied with that. Libby must be led away in handcuffs.