With regard to the Scooter Libby situation, I have to admit to a profound amount of disgust for people like Fouad Ajami, Joe Klein, and anyone else who is arguing for leniency in this case. I have three reasons for this, only one of which is (mildly) partisan:
- If it weren’t for Scooter Libby’s perjury and obstruction of justice, who knows what we would have found out about this case? Would there have been criminal activity reaching into the office of the Vice President? The President? How high up would it have gone? Now we’ll never know, will we? Once again, a lower-ranking member of the Administration has taken a bullet for Bush/Cheney, and they have avoided paying for whatever it is they have done (and whatever it is they have done we may never find out about). Dick Cheney, in particular, who is all about avoiding scrutiny and accountability, has avoided it once again. The criminal justice system has been used to cover up nefarious doings; we should allow this to go unpunished?
- Let’s keep in mind the circumstances here: Judge Walton was appointed by Bush. Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed by John Ashcroft, Bush’s Attorney General. These are not exactly Democratic partisans here, people. When Clinton was being investigated, Kenneth Starr’s office leaked like the Titanic in the post-iceberg timeframe; what has ever come out of Fitzgerald’s office? No, the people who are whining about ill-treatment are those who would be whining if their ball team had just lost the World Series when all 7 games were played at home and they had gotten to choose their own umpires. I’m not exactly filled with remorse for a guy who lied to the FBI.
- Finally–and this is my partisan reason–why on Earth should the Vice President’s office be allowed to keep secrets when they are insisting that they have the right to know what library books I check out, what I buy with my credit cards, what movies I rent, and who I call on my phone? The Vice President is a public servant. It may honk Dick Cheney off, but he accepted the fact that he works for the American public when he took the job, and part of the deal is accountability. Sorry, Dick ol’ boy. And no fair throwing poor Scooter under the bus just to avoid scrutiny.
So that’s what I think. If Scooter Libby was Random Dork, he would have been sent to The Big House already. And all those folks who are whining that he’s being treated unfairly, let me clue you: the people being treated unfairly in this country are the ones who don’t have people like Henry Kissinger and Robert Bork writing them letters of commendation for them. It’s the people who had one beer too many and then stupidly drove home instead of getting a ride, and then drove to work on a suspended license and got caught. It’s the people who screwed up their governmental paperwork and got hammered by the IRS and now owe tens of thousands of dollars because they couldn’t afford an accountant. It’s the people who got in a messy divorce, had their ex-wife swear out a restraining order, and are now in jail because they just wanted to see their kids. Those people and other like them, are the ones I feel sorry for. Scooter Libby, who is covering up for a war criminal, not so much.