Saturday, October 29, 2005

Because He Lied, Scooter Must be Tried: Why Did Libby Lie?

The indictment of Irving Lewis Libby is tough for Republicans to take—but, given what we know from the indictment, he lied and, sadly for him and his family, must pay the price. Patrick Fitzgerald told a news conference that Vice President Dick Cheney is not under suspicion—which is all to the good. The point is not that Scooter “outed” Valerie Plame (he didn’t) but that he lied to investigators and to the grand jury, declaring that he didn’t know first-hand she was a CIA official when he had been informed by memo and verbally by his boss, Dick Cheney, that she was. It’s a high of sorts for the media, because Fitrzgerald pitted Libby, a prominent government official, against three media types and believes them. But Fitzgerald acquitted himself (if not Libby) with honor.

Why, then, did Libby lie? Especially one who is a lawyer and, reportedly, an astute guy? He probably thought he could wing it. All the while, Karl Rove is still under a cloud but unlike many of my conservative colleagues and the media I don’t think his importance is such as to cause the republic to tremble if he were hit by a bus. That’s a controversial position to take, I know. But so be it.

1 comment:

  1. The lesson here is staff people have no business talking to the press on "deep backround" or "non attribution" basis. If your staffer, you shouldn't say something you wouldn't mind seeing on the front page of the trib.

    Wilson and Plame deserved attack. They made a political attack on the administration and should have been fought. A CIA insider steering a contract to her husband's consulting business was something that should have been confronted. Tenet should have been out there in public saying the Agency had a problem. Not Libby getting himself tangled in his own words.