Monday, April 6, 2015

WJS on Scooter Libby

Scooter Libby
The Wall Street Journal opines that, "one of George W. Bush’s worst decisions was failing to pardon Lewis “Scooter” Libby before he left the White House."

The Journal, of course, "urged" such a pardon because the perjury case against Libby "was always flimsy, hanging on uncertain memories from years earlier about noncriminal behavior." The Journal was also concerned that Bush took "the media bait" to appoint "an unsupervised special prosecutor." Having done that:
Attorney General John Ashcroft abdicated his duty and recused himself. That left the choice of prosecutor to Deputy Attorney General Jim Comey (now President Obama’s FBI director), who picked Mr. Fitzgerald, his old prosecutorial pal and godfather to one of his children. Mr. Fitzgerald became a Javert who wanted to get Vice President Dick Cheney for something, and he zeroed in on Mr. Libby, the Veep’s chief of staff, as his vehicle. 
Now comes a book by Judith Miller which reports Fitzgerald told Mr. Libby’s lawyer twice that he would drop all charges against him if he turned state’s evidence on Mr. Cheney. Unfortunately, for Libby, "he had no evidence to trade." So, says the Journal, Fitzgerald "set out to ruin Mr. Libby."

The Journal also believes the Washington, D.C., jury "was stacked with Democrats during the height of anti-Iraq war fever" and Judge Reggie Walton "contributed to the injustice" by barring testimony from experts re memory. In the Journal's view, was "all too typical of today’s prosecutors who want to make a name for themselves, or are out for a political score."

Mimicking the dramatic charges of Dick Cheney, the Journal argues Bush left him "behind on the battlefield" and this "betrayal was a failure of presidential character." So, says the Journal, "the next Republican President should learn from that betrayal" and "pardon Mr. Libby in his first week in office." See editorial here.

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