June 6, 2007
Treason against the United States of America is now worth only 30 months in prison. Sad but true. This sordid story has roots that are now several years old and has been so misrepresented by factions on the right that the truth becomes muddied. The simple facts are these. After Ambassador Joe Wilson was sent to Niger to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein was trying to obtain nuclear weapons materials (yellowcake) he returned to assure the Office of the Vice President (who sent him); that there was no truth to the claim. What should have been greeted as good news was ignored and the president of the United States went on to lie in a State of the Union address that the claims had validity. Wilson was compelled to clarify in an op-ed news piece several months later and in an act of pure political retribution, the secret identity of his covert CIA operative wife was leaked to the press. A republican-appointed prosecutor was assigned to investigate and in doing so, interviewed Lewis Libby under oath. Libby, the Chief of Staff for the Vice President, then proceeded to lie on purpose under oath; known as perjury, in a clear attempt to obstruct justice. Today he was sentenced for that crime. Justice on some level was served.
The cries on the right for I. Lewis Libby have been beyond hypocritical; they have been obscene. Libby had letters of support, requesting leniency, from Rumsfeld, Feith, Kissinger, and Wolfowitz. A similar letter came from General Peter Pace; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which is beyond unseemly. Tuesday night in the GOP presidential debate we saw more of the GOP double standard, as most would support a presidential pardon. One candidate stated that the punishment was “extreme” and another stated that the prosecutor was somehow improper for even questioning Libby. The resounding cry of “there was no crime” was heard again from the gang of nine.
Let us be clear; there was a crime. Valerie Plame was a NOC. That means she served her country in the most dangerous of fashions. Had she ever been caught in the field she would have been killed and our government would have denied knowing her. She had a double life that she had spent over 20 years building in the defense of her country. Specifically, she protected us from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; the very issue at the heart of the “war on terror.” The revelation of her secret identity was TREASON against this country. The republican prosecutor was trying to investigate when Mr. Libby decided to lie to him, ruining his investigation potentially. Perjury is a crime. Obstruction of Justice is a crime. The notion that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who oversees all of our young men and women dying in the field, would write a letter requesting leniency for a man who tried to obstruct justice in a case dealing with the outing of a covert CIA operative responsible for preventing WMD is beyond disgusting.
These are the same GOP mouthpieces that lambasted President Clinton for lying under oath in a deposition involving a personal indiscretion. We heard for months on end about the sanctity of the rule of law. How our entire judicial system hinges upon fair and honest testimony under oath. Suddenly when it is a matter of true gravitas, but dealing with one of their boys, the rule of law apparently is an outdated principle. Hypocrisy at its finest.
Don’t be confused America. The fact that the prosecutor was never able to bring charges in the actual outing of Valerie Plame does not mean that additional crimes were not committed. It is wholly possible that it is directly because of the obstruction of justice perpetrated by Libby, that Fitzgerald was never able to prosecute the underlying crime. It is almost like the republicans think that if the underlying crime is not prosecuted then it is somehow ok to lie under oath and obstruct justice. Nonsense.
Scooter Libby is a traitor to this country. He should be vilified for his treasonous actions not celebrated as some kind of GOP hero. The victim here is Valerie Plame; a true patriot to her country. Her career is in tatters and anyone in the field who knew her is probably dead. She served her country for over 20 years and made us safer through her work. She should be celebrated. Instead, the voices on the right are clamoring for a pardon for a traitor to the country. It is beyond hypocritical; beyond disgusting.
Good riddance Scooter.