Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Unlike others (sample here), I don't think Bush ought to pardon Libby.

Libby didn't lie to the grand jury and the FBI investigators because he was trying to do the right thing, he did so because he thought he was at risk of being charged with having breached national security by discussing Valerie Plame with reporters... and he thought the best way of avoiding prosecution was to mislead and lie.

He could have told the grand jury and the investigators the truth of what and when he talked about Plame with Matt Cooper, Judith Miller and Tim Russert. But he didn't. He lied because he didn't have the guts to admit what he did.

If he hadn't known that Valerie Plame's status might have made talking about her off-limits, then he should have come clean, admitted what he had done, professed a lack of intent to violate any laws, and stood like a man to suffer whatever consequences may have been meted out.

If he believed what he had done was 'technically' wrong, but in the national interest (something like Jack Bauer using 'coercive interrogation' techniques to prevent a nuclear attack on the United States), he should have likewise stood up, acknowledged what he had done and stood like a man to face whatever repercussions came his way (like Jack would have done).

But he didn't do any of that. He lied. He lied because he didn't want to admit what he had done. He lied because he thought he could get away with it. He lied because he thought doing so would keep him out of trouble.

That it turns out that he had done nothing wrong in discussing Plame with reporters and that the only crime that took place during the whole kerfuffle were the crimes he was convicted matters not in the least. Obstruction is obstruction, perjury is perjury. There are no exceptions for situations like this.

He made a stupid mistake. It was of his own doing. It was done to protect him. Let him pay the price for his actions. Let him go to jail.