In the wake of the Scooter Libby verdict, left-wingers who don’t understand the basic facts of the case (i.e. the Bush administration did not leak Plame’s identity, and she wasn’t a covert agent) celebrate, while the GOP calls for a presidential pardon.
At no point during the evidence phase of the trial did Ms. Plame’s “covert” status come into play. It was only during closing arguments that Fitzgerald mentioned it. The defense was prohibited from trying to prove that Ms. Plame was not a covert agent, so telling the entire world that she was married to Joseph Wilson is about as criminal as pointing out that Laura’s husband is George Bush. If Ms. Plame is not a covert agent, as has been suggested for years, even by mainstream media, then there is no underlying crime. There would be no valid investigation to impede.
Now Valerie Plame is expected to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The witch-hunt continues. Something tells this pachyderm, though, that “McCarthyism” will never be replaced by “Fitzgeraldism” or “Plamism.”
Most right-wingers have called on Bush to pardon Mr. Libby. Ann makes a great point that conservatives need to get a backbone and start making it hard for Democrats to throw us in jail, merely for existing. Oddly, though, this blogger hopes that Bush does not, for the simple reason that Libby can, and should, win on appeal. There is no underlying crime. One of the jurors worked for a key prosecution witness. The “lies” had no consequence. Given that Richard Armitage was the one who leaked Plame’s name to the press, Mr. Libby was not covering up a White House leak. A higher court that reverses this abortion of justice will give Mr. Libby’s freedom an air of legitimacy that would be lacking otherwise. Thoughts?