Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What to Wear with Libby...

Something contrite doesn't appear to be in order, at least not according to the judge who sentenced the vice president's former chief of staff to 30 months in prison for perjury and obstructing justice. Apart from the gravity of the charges, Judge Walton was clearly not impressed with the lack of penitence, as well as hubris the defendant displayed in his courtroom.

But, after all, why should Mr. Libby be anything less than smug given that, at tonight's Republican presidential debate, all three of the top contenders have already decided to pardon him. They may not know what to do about Iraq, but there's a consensus when it comes to Libby. Imagine, and this when his mugshot isn't even dry yet.

What McCain, Guiliani, and Romney don't appear to get is that Mr. Libby isn't facing jail time for outing Valerie Plame, but for lying, and actively hampering an investigation into who revealed this undercover agent's identity.

Scooter Libby's date with destiny is in limbo pending the prospect, too, of a presidential pardon. I, for one, can't recall this kind of clamor to pardon someone since Gerald Ford stepped in to rescue Richard Nixon.

Patrick Fitzgerald, special prosecutor in the case, the only one who has consistently demonstrated that he has the chops, waxed quixotic today when he told the press "We need to make a statement that the truth matters ever so much." Well, then, if the truth matters even half as much as Mr. Fitzgerald suggests, it is Mr. Cheney, not his aide, who should start packing a box lunch. After all, it was the vice president who revealed the identity of CIA agent, Valerie Plame, to Mr. Libby in the first place.

The smart money says that, in the end, Paris Hilton will spend more time in jail than Scooter Libby.