Regardless of the circumstances leading up to it, lying to a grand jury is serious and has to be dealt with seriously. I wrote that more than once during Bill Clinton's legal troubles, and it also has to be applied to Scooter Libby's problems. If the prosecutor's allegations are true, Libby's lies were especially stupid. He was contradicting his own notes, which he had handed over, and he was trying to cover up what apparently wasn't even a crime.
But that brings up a point that hasn't been really explored, as far as I can tell. This case was about a very specific law concerning the outing of a "covert" agent. One of the authors of the law says it doesn't cover this case, and Prosecutor Fizgerald acknowledged as much in his Friday press conference about the indictments. Shouldn't determining whether the law had actually been broken have come very early in this lengthy case? If that determination was made -- that the law had not been broken -- why did the case proceed? If it wasn't made, why in the world not? It appears to an outsider that at some point this case took on a life of its own and became entirely self-referential rather than dealing with any outside substance. Is that the wrong take? (If anybody wants to say the same thing happened in the Clinton case, go right ahead.)