Along the Tracks

Monday, October 31, 2005

So now those are 'serious crimes,' eh?

Have you noticed how many reporters and commentators are echoing Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s words that perjury and obstruction of justice are “very serious crimes” because they strike at the heart of the investigative “search for truth” upon which the criminal justice system is based?

Have you remembered most of those same people were saying just the opposite when President Bill Clinton faced the exact same charges in his articles of impeachment?
Perjury and obstruction of justice are indeed serious, and if vice presidential Chief of Staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby is found guilty, I hope he serves jail time. The American people must be able to trust the executive branch of government, and Libby’s alleged crime cracks that trust.

Yet the liberals now crowing about the importance of trust were claiming those crimes were trivial when Clinton was the one accused. “Everyone lies about sex,” they said. A woman, Paula Jones, seeking honest depositions as part of her sexual harassment case was denied a fair hearing in a court of law because Bill Clinton lied. He then repeated the lie and had his aids extend the twisted fiction as Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr investigated the allegations of coverup.

However one feels about the impeachment itself – or the powers and choices of Ken Starr – one must recognize the crime committed was in no way different than that which Libby is accused. In both cases, the “original crime” being investigated – for Clinton, alleged Whitewater financial falsehoods; for Libby, the alleged intentional disclosure of an undercover CIA operative – was found not to have been committed at all.

So as the Libby case moves through the courts, keep in mind the liberal critics who bemoan the horrors of deception and lying in the White House saw things very differently seven years ago.

NOTE: Glenn Reynolds has a great post on how the Plame case demonstrates the CIA is either politically-driven or shamefully inept. I vote both!

Also, for complete coverage of the scandal, the Minuteman is a must-read.

I don't disagree with you that the charges as filed right now are not that huge of an issue.

I had mixed emotions on the whole Plame situation from the beginning though and this fixation on the whole "fitzmas" bs. If the reports are true that the last remotely covert operation Plame was involved in was in 1997 then I don't see how she was really "outed" anyway. I also don't understand why she would recommend her husband to be involved in anything she was remotely connected to if secrecy was so important. While I don't think it was right that she was "outed" I really don't believe any serious damage was done. Nor does it appear to be a high priority for the CIA to even investigate that. I find it hard to see how they can prosecute Libbey when the CIA has not even determined what if any damage was done.
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