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Opening Arguments

A case about itself

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.)


Kevin Knuth
Mon, 10/31/2005 - 10:00am

Okay- the same thing happened in the Clinton case.


On a more serious note- I predicted this would happen after the Clinton Whitewater investigation. It was the begginning of "special prosecutor" fever.....and we have not seen the last of such investigations.

Leo Morris
Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:15pm

And the same thing will happen again, to Democrats and Republicans.We're criminalizing political disagreements.

LP Mike Sylvester
Mon, 10/31/2005 - 6:05pm

No doubt about it.

This will most likely get out of hand if it is not curtailed soon.

Steve Towsley
Thu, 11/03/2005 - 11:51pm

I thought a crime had to be "material." Since a two-year invesigation did not result in a primary indictment for outing the CIA employee, it seems they are accusing Libby of covering up -- nothing much. Martha Stewart's sins were greater.

Democrats obviously believe that Libby and the "vast right wing conspiracy" are covering up something about the war in Iraq, but the prosecutor has said this case has no relevance at all to the war in Iraq. So what exactly of material importance did Libby supposedly cover up?

As I said, a stretch, and partisan overreaching. But it's likely that the point is not to win the case against Libby; perhaps it doesn't matter at all if Libby wins in court, eventually. Perhaps the only point was for partisans to create as much fog as possible, and continue to do it.

I believe we're seeing not just rationalized payback, but a new Democrat strategy to try to assuage their current political impotence -- I think the minority leadership has decided to trump up phoney case after phoney case for the next three years if they can, in a desperate bid to increase, by any means necessary, their own influence, negative and destructive though that will be.

The American people can't wait three years while liberals gleefully jam the federal process; they need a lot of action in a lot of areas right now, the sooner the better. If Democrats throw the monkey wrench into the machine, they'll only succeed in harming millions of Americans -- whose votes they'll want in '06 and '08. Short sighted? You could say that. Typical? That too.

I think the American people are going to get very angry if liberals keep on indicting ham sandwiches just to sabotage their political enemies while the nation twists in the wind. It's not going to be any secret who was responsible for slamming on the national brakes. Yet the left seems curiously pleased whenever they can run our ship of state into another iceberg...

In that sense, pouting Democrat leaders have been acting like the crazy ex-boyfriend who shoots some perfectly great woman, and then himself, because "if I can't have her, nobody can."

If the Democrats should succeed in jamming up the work of government until '08, they will have acted the roles of spoiler and villain on national television from now until then, and wasted three critical years, with the American people suffering for every monkey wrench they throw. In that case, the blue party will certainly find itself unelectable once again.

If the trend of criminalizing political arguments continues, it will become necessary to expand upon the laws against indicting sitting federal leaders, to prevent abuses which threaten the national welfare.