March 6, 2007
After several long days of deliberation, a jury in Washington found Lewis "Scooter" Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice today. See Washington Post.
Obviously, Libby was the fall guy in the "Plamegate" scandal (see July 2005), for which we may never know the full truth, unfortunately. Libby's past legal representation of guys like Marc Rich make him a less than sypathetic character. I see no reason to question the jurors' verdict, and this case shows once again that no one, not even the highest government officials, can defy the process of justice and criminal inquiry in this country without paying a heavy price. As I wrote on my Introduction page, "Lying under oath is a crime, and for a public official, therefore, it is an impeachable offense." Bill Clinton committed the same crime in 1998, and he almost was removed from office for it. I'm still inclined to think that he should have been removed, but we will probably need to wait a few more years to get a proper historical perspective.
What does this verdict mean politically, and what are the ramifications for the war in Iraq, which is how this all got started? Andrew Sullivan writes:
Why are those of us who favored the war not as eager to investigate whether we were deliberately misled? Weren't we potentially conned as well?
Hmmmm. Interesting thought.