I recently read an editorial by Amy Goodman in Sarasota’s “Creative Loafing” lambasting Mr. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Ms. Goodman stated, “This case is not about obstruction of justice, it is not about perjury. Ultimately, this case is about war.” For those of you not familiar with the case, the federal prosecutor Mr. Patrick Fitzgerald went on what was supposed to be a non-partisan investigation into the search for the individual who leaked the name of former CIA agent Valerie Plame, potentially blowing her cover as an ambassador’s wife.
In the process of investigating the identity of the leaker, he took a path heading directly towards the White House, looking for whatever connection he could make between it and the case. In doing so, he forgot that he was searching for an individual who leaked Ms. Plame’s name, and instead found someone from the Bush Administration to crucify. To this day, no one has been charged with leaking Plame’s name, and that fact is not brought up in today’s media. No surprise, as it seemingly searches around the clock for something to incriminate President Bush and his supporters.
In her editorial, Goodman cited the Declaration of Independence, stating that “all men are created equal … unless of course you are a friend of the president.” Apparently, she fails to remember the 141 pardons issued by former President Clinton on the last day of his term. She also fails to remember that these pardons included people that were convicted of: laundering money, dealing drugs, committing crimes against the United States, conducting bank fraud, embezzlement, human trafficking, and other heinous crimes.
I cannot say whether or not Mr. Libby did lie under oath, as I was not at the trial. If he did perjure himself, then he should have to face a penalty for doing so. Nevertheless, Mr. Fitzgerald knew long before Mr. Libby ever stepped into the witness box that he was not the one who leaked Ms. Plame’s name, and as such should not have continued going after Mr. Libby as vigorously as he did.
Mr. Fitzgerald was looking for a slip-up, and he obviously found one for a jury to convict Mr. Libby on. As the author of the editorial stated, “this case was not about … perjury.” Furthermore, what about his crime makes him any less worthy of having his sentence commuted then those who President Clinton pardoned? Whether or not Mr. Clinton should have pardoned those criminals is a discussion for a different article, but the fact remains that he, as president, like President Bush, has the right to pardon or commute sentences for any individual he wishes.
Former President Clinton is well aware of how easy it is to confuse facts while under oath, and thus should be somewhat sympathetic to a government official being hunted after as Mr. Libby was. The only problem is that this time around, it is a Republican individual employed by the Bush White House, and thus he is automatically guilty of any crime he is accused of, deserving nothing short of the maximum sentence.
The author, in a way, is right: The case is about war.
A war on all things related to President Bush and his message. A war that does not move this country forward or at least in a direction that does something productive. It is time to stop personal and bloodthirsty attacks on republicans.
Democratic leaders promised to move this country forward and bring it together almost a year and a half ago. Since then, we have seen story after story of investigations, inquisitions, and demands for resignations all throughout the Bush administration. The case of Mr. Libby is no different, and it only shows the hypocrisy of those like former President Clinton and congressional leaders for attempting to make a big deal about Mr. Libby’s sentence commutation.
All of the opinions and articles such as this one written about his decision mean absolutely nothing, as they do not change the president’s legal right to commute and pardon sentences. It is time for those that claim to be the leaders of our nation, both in the political arena and in the media to live up to the callings of their professions. This hunt for Scooter Libby only proves how dire things are, and it is up to everyone who has a sense of decency to stop it.