Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another Appalling Apologist for Scooter Libby

Joining the parade of Washington insiders pleading for mercy for convicted liar Scooter Libby is Richard Cohen in the Washington Post:
This is not an entirely trivial matter since government officials should not lie to grand juries, but neither should they be called to account for practicing the dark art of politics. As with sex or real estate, it is often best to keep the lights off.
Neither should they be called to account? It is often best to keep the lights off?
I don’t know about Mr. Cohen, but when it comes to sex or real estate, I’d rather not be lied to. And while an unfortunate decision in the realm of sex or real estate can have lasting consequences, the cost of the Iraq debacle is measured in the loss of thousands of lives, hundreds of billions of dollars, U.S. prestige in the world and spreading chaos in the region.
The conduct of U.S. foreign policy, as bad as it has been, is not subject to criminal prosecution. Misleading the country to win support for a war of choice, as reprehensible as we may find it, is not a crime. But lying to federal law enforcement officials and a grand jury is a crime, for which Scooter Libby has been convicted and sentenced.
Glenn Greenwald neatly dispenses with the notion that Scooter Libby has been victimized by nefarious political forces:
He [Cohen] tells his readers, for instance, that a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate the Plame leak "at the urging of the liberal press," and later on in the column he pins the blame for Libby's terrible plight on "Antiwar sanctimony."
Greenwald goes on to describe the mechanisms by which the liberal press and antiwar activists railroaded Libby:
The Libby prosecution clearly was the dirty work of the leftist anti-war movement in this country, just as Cohen describes. After all, the reason Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed to investigate this matter was because a left-wing government agency (known as the "Central Intelligence Agency") filed a criminal referral with the Justice Department, as the MoveOn-sympathizer CIA officials were apparently unhappy about the public unmasking of one of their covert agents.
In response, Bush's left-wing anti-war Attorney General, John Ashcroft, judged the matter serious enough to recuse himself, leading Bush's left-wing anti-war Deputy Attorney General, James Comey, to conclude that a Special Prosecutor was needed. In turn, Comey appointed Fitzgerald, the left-wing anti-war Republican Prosecutor and Bush appointee, who secured a conviction of Libby, in response to which left-wing anti-war Bush appointee Judge Reggie Walton imposed Libby's sentence.
Richard Cohen notwithstanding, public officials should be called to account for lying under oath. I’d rather our national media not adopt the motto, “Keep the lights off.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:28 PM, June 20, 2007  

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