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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Scooter Libby + rule of law « Previous | |Next »
March 10, 2007

I see that Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post is following the Wall Street Journal's editorial page and calling for a presidential pardon for Scooter Libby. The basic apologist argument is that there was no crime... Therefore, there should have been no investigation. End of story.

The general strategy of the Bush administration apologists is control the media narrative, bury the obvious accountability moment, obscure the "cloud over Cheney," and discredit the legal process and manipulate the eventual outcome. Thus Krauthammer:

This is a case that never should have been brought, originating in the scandal that never was, in search of a crime -- violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act -- that even the prosecutor never alleged. That's the basis for a presidential pardon. It should have been granted long before this egregious case came to trial. It should be granted now without any further delay.

Libby's defence rested on Libby's weak memory despite the defense's opening statement that Libby "will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected". However, Libby refused to flip on Cheney, regularly described as Darth Cheney, and preferred to play the martyr. So Libby is the fire wall to protect Cheney and others, and the apologists and neocons are making sure that he stays the firewall.

As Christine Hardin Smith over at Firedoglake states:

Libby made a series of bad choices: he lied, repeatedly, to the FBI, to the Grand Jury under oath, all to cover up for the Vice President of the United States and for his own poor choices. For those poor choices of his own making, he was convicted by a unanimous vote of a jury of his peers, and he should pay the penalty for this. No one, no matter their station in life, no matter their connections or political affiliation — no one — should be allowed to repeatedly and manipulatively lie to a grand jury under oath or to criminal investigators without consequences. It is wrong, whomever may be doing it, and Libby is no exception to the rule of law.

It was judged that there was proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual charged committed the conduct specified in the indictment----that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby obstructed a grand jury investigation, lied to federal agents, and then lied to a grand jury. Libby threw sand in the face of the umpire so he couldn't see the play. Will Libby’s “protect the Vice President but not the President” strategy persuade Bush into a pardon, as Krauthammer appears to assume.

The political issue is the abuse of power by the highest executive branch officials and their stable of White House .staffers, lobbyists, Republican operatives and other surrogates. As Elizabeth de la Vega over at TomDispatch observes:

The criminal justice system was never intended by the framers of the Constitution to be the sole, or even primary, means of investigating and redressing what the late Congresswoman from Texas Barbara Jordan described during the Watergate investigations as "the misconduct of public men." On the contrary, it is Congress that is both entitled and obligated to oversee the conduct of the Executive Branch.

Does the Libby case open a window on the whole facade of power in the US, to disclose how the Republicans do not care about the rule of law and only care to preserves their own power. Will this disclosure motivate those who witnessed it to begin to look on their own lives and actions differently?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:29 AM |