I’ve written too much about Scooter Libby over the last two years to let today’s big news go by without comment (see previous posts). Today, President Bush commuted Scooter Libby’s two and half year prison sentence. Bush didn’t pardon Libby, he merely said that Libby would not have to go to jail. Libby will still have to serve probation, pay a $250,000 fine, and identify himself as a convicted felon.
I have always held that if someone commits a crime, then they should pay their debt to society. But the sound and fury that you are hearing from the left side of the talking head class is disingenuous outrage. They are not really concerned about the rule of law. What they are really concerned about is politics and how Libby’s commuted sentence might vindicate the anti-Bush, anti-war cause. We know that this is the case by the myths that are being propagated by the mainstream media as we speak.
Myth #1: Scooter Libby leaked the identity of undercover CIA operative, Valerie Plame. Actually, it was Richard Armitage who leaked Plame’s name to Robert Novak. This is widely known, it was even reported last year in the New York Times. Someone needs to remind the opinion editors at the Times about this because they seem to have forgotten (see their response to Libby’s commutation).
Myth #2: Karl Rove leaked the identity of undercover CIA operative, Valerie Plame. I heard this one again tonight on “Anderson Cooper 360.” Anderson needs to get a clue. Robert Novak says that he got Plame’s name from Joe Wilson’s entry in “Who’s Who in America,” not from Karl Rove (source). Could someone please fax this report to Anderson Cooper.
Myth #3: Someone committed a crime in leaking the identity of undercover CIA operative, Valerie Plame. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald did not charge anyone with this crime. As a matter of fact, Libby’s conviction had nothing to do with this alleged crime because he was never charged with leaking her name.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. Here is what we know today. Richard Armitage leaked Valerie Plame’s identity to Robert Novak. Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush did not.
I know this will be a shocker to Joe Wilson who was hoping to see Karl Rove “frog-marched” off the White House premises and whose star has risen with every false accusation he makes against Rove and the Bush administration. But perhaps this will teach partisan hacks from both sides of the aisle not to jump on the band wagon of spurious allegations in the future. What remains to be seen is whether Joe Wilson’s star will continue to rise now that everyone knows that he and his wife are not the martyrs they were once thought to be.
In any case, this truly has been a Seinfeldian scandalâ€“that is, the scandal about nothing.