March 7, 2007
One of the dumbest Washington trials ever held concluded yesterday with the conviction of former vice president chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby on four out of five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI. He was acquitted on one charge.
None of this had anything to do with the original issue: that of who outed supposed CIA covert operator Valerie Plame. None of the issues surrounding that issue were a part of the trial; whether Plame was, in fact, a covert operative, or whether her role at CIA was a desk job and whether everyone knew about her anyway, which many did.
This trial is why people hate to work in government. Criminals and terrorists roam the streets and the government plays games with a special prosecutor who has access to gobs of our money.
The verdict will be appealed, but president bush should pardon him at some point. This is another case of process and policy being criminalized and it is harmful to government and to those who serve in it…now and in future administrations.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.