March 06, 2007

Fall Guy?

The political witch hunt referred to by some as “Plame-gate” has culminated today with a guilty verdict for Scooter Libby on four of five charges of obstruction of justice and perjury.

Katie Couric declared today with unmitigated glee, “Scooter Libby is found guilty in the CIA leak case!”

Harry Reid’s reaction to the news was as predictable as it was childish. “…for the first time in a hundred and thirty five years someone working in the White House is indicted and now convicted, I think that says it all”.

That assessment is in fact the exact opposite of “saying it all”. Rather, it is a partial telling of the story without regard to the obvious truth of the matter that is; no charges were ever or will ever be brought about pertaining to the actual alleged transgression that was supposed to have taken place.

Presidential hopeful John Edwards weighed in saying, “…there are serious questions about whether the buck actually stopped with Libby. The American people deserve to know if Mr. Libby has been made a scapegoat in order to protect anyone else.”

This sentiment was echoed by at least one of the jurors who expressed concern that Libby was made out to be the “fall guy”.

This idea that Libby is the “fall guy”, which the Libby defense team unfortunately proposed themselves, is a mystery to me. Since no actual crime was alleged to have taken place regarding the identity of Valerie Plame, are we to believe that Libby is taking the fall for the actual person who lied under oath about who said what to whom and when about the identity of Valerie Plame?

Scooter Libby is not the fall guy. He either did or did not lie under oath about a matter that was not of great import in the first place. Even if the matter of leaking the name of Valerie Plame’s employer to the media did matter, it was in fact Dick Armitage, the right hand man of Colin Powell and frequent critic of the administration, who did the leaking and not Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, or any other member of the White House staff.

Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor, is most likely pleased with himself over today’s verdict, however getting merely a perjury conviction surely was not the goal of the investigation at its outset. Surely the point of the investigation was not simply to nail someone on a perjury charge. We are left to wonder... what was the point of the investigation in the first place? Answer: If the only result is a conviction of perjury and obstruction of justice, the investigation was in fact pointless. Today’s conviction teaches us nothing beyond the fact that one should not lie under oath when questioned by federal prosecuters, which is an obvious truth that should already be known to anyone who would rather avoid being sent to prison. In other words, nothing that wasn't previously evident was discovered as a result of today’s verdict.

Because Fitzgerald's investigation has amounted to essentially nothing, it has proven to be an utter failure and colossal waste of time and money. It is nothing approaching a vindication of Joe Wilson or an indictment of the Bush administration. Those who believe that today’s verdict is validation of some sort of conspiracy theory that supposedly took place within the Bush administration are most likely the same people who are in fact routing for America’s defeat in Iraq. Namely Katie Couric, Harry Reid, David Letterman, Rosie O’Donnell, and countless other knee jerk lefty hacks who are invested in America’s defeat in Iraq and the tireless vilification of the Bush administration.

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