Pardon Scooter

Of all the situations in the last eight years where the Bush Administration let the narrative be controlled by the left and did not respond forcefully enough to ridiculous accusations, the Valerie Plame/Joseph Wilson "scandal" is among the worst. The picture to the left is from Vanity Fair's 2004 profile of the couple, clearly realing from Plame's supposed "outing" by the Bush administration.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald discovered near the beginning of his investigation that it was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, not Scotter Libby, who originally disclosed Valerie Plame's name to Robert Novak. Armitage was no fan of Bush's Iraq policy and certainly did not "leak" Plame's name as part of some conspiracy to punish her husband Joe Wilson. The reason her name was disclosed was that nobody could understand why Joe Wilson was sent to investigate the issue of whether Iraq had tried to acquire yellowcake from Niger, given his lack of an intelligence background and his opposition to Administration policies. Armitage simply provided the answer to the question.

Furthermore, Plame was not a covert operative, and had not been for the five years preceding disclosure of her identity. Therefore, intentional disclosure of her identity was not against the law. And clearly, given Armitage's well-known opinion of Bush and Cheney and their Iraq policy, the disclosure was not intentional anyway but an innocent comment to Robert Novak. Fitzgerald's investigation should have ended with this discovery. Instead he opted to question many witnesses at length regarding the memory of conversations that probably did not stand out to them as important at the time. He then decided to charge Scooter Libby with lying about when he first heard Valerie Plame's name, a fact that should not have mattered given that he did not first disclose her name to Robert Novak.

This non-scandal was manufactured by Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, and aided by a compliant press and an incompetent Special Prosecutor. As this article by Mark Levin from 2005 discusses, the only people lying in this affair were Plame and Wilson themselves.

A pardon of Scooter Libby will be controversial and cause predictable wailing from the left, but it is the right thing to do. Charles Krauthammer wrote this article shortly after Libby's conviction in 2007 calling for his pardon. Bush did commute Libby's sentence back then but did not pardon him. He has one day left to follow Krauthammer's good advice.


Steven L. Baerson said...

You are correct. Pardon Scooter now!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Excuse me, let me correct the link.