Thursday, March 8, 2007

Libby, not Liddy

It's not perjury; it's just business.
--
"Caught in the Spin Cycle," by Michael Wolff, in Vanity Fair
A very smart friend of unrepentant left-wing views shares with me this very fine Vanity Fair article about the Libby trial.

Funny thing: it is business. Dirty politics is part of politics and when discovered speaks volumes to voters about the perpetrators in a way no other perspective can. Bring it on and blow it, I say.

But there is a cost of doing business, and sometimes it involves a visit to the graybar hotel. Libby's "pardon him now" backers should know better; there is no rational sanctuary
If the purpose of justice is prosecute the right people and appropriately punish a crime then it is a shame that there will be no more indictments and that Robert Novack flourishes, and it would be a shame if Scooter gets more time than Martha Stewart.
in portraying Libby as a man wronged unless one believes he was wronged not by Patrick Fitzgerald, but by his former boss and his kind.

I was not happy with Time Magazine when, having run out of legal recourse, chose not to resist the injunction ordering them to turn over Michael Cooper's notes in the face of stiff daily fines shareholders may have winced at. So I can't very well come down on the "law and order" side that there are no exceptions to civil obedience.

That's why I don't favor a pardon -- even though granting one implies and accepting one infers guilt -- but do favor a "light" sentence.

Libby isn't Liddy: someone who just plain needed punishing (and welcomed it) because he fancied himself a martyr. Libby is a true-believing functionary whom, it is clear to me, at least, a) wasn't leading this awful charge and b) seemed pretty glum about the whole thing, if one could glean anything from the tone of his voice during grand jury testimony.

Plus, Libby is protecting people who seem not to deserve his loyalty. If this were a cheap teleplay the prosecutor would turn the screws on Libby to appeal indirectly to the better instincts of the real criminals, who would step up at the last moment because they couldn't see an innocent man condemned.

Well, that ain't gonna happen.

If the purpose of justice is prosecute the right people and appropriately punish a crime then it is a shame that there will be no more indictments and that Robert Novack flourishes, and it would be a shame if Scooter gets more time than Martha Stewart.

And if he gets the right sentence he just might be wise to take a page from Martha's book, burnish his victim's credentials, by doing the time while he continues to fight the charges.

1 comment:

Bob said...

"If the purpose of justice is to prosecute the right people and appropriately punish a crime then it is a shame that there will be no more indictments..." Couldn't agree more, John. Unfortunately, Patrick Fitzgerald was compelled to bring this limited action precisely because of Libby's role in obstructing the "justice" you describe, and desire. That Libby was not alone in this obstruction seems evident even to the jury that convicted him. That he alone was "caught" doing so, was a "crime" according to their finding, and is a "shame" according to yours, and mine.