The whole "Joe Wilson - Valerie Plame is a supposed supersecret undercover operative who Karl Rove went and spilled the beans about" is one of two big MSM stories of the last year that I've never blogged about in any way. But now that charges have been brought in connection with it, I'll say this much about it. If Scooter Libby lied to the grand jury while he was under oath --and I really hope he didn't-- it's a crime. Period. It makes no nevermind what else was going on, or if the whole underlying case is bogus as a partisan get-Bush witch hunt, or whatever. It's a crime to lie under oath. In fact, it's a felony.
Just like it was a felony crime when Bill Clinton lied under oath in a civil deposition. Same same. Yeah, then it was about whether Clinton had sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky. Yeah, it was just about sex. And, yeah, Paula Jones was being egged on by the conservative right wing to bring her suit, but none of that matters. What matters is that Clinton swore to tell the truth, and he lied.
The same standard applies to Libby. I don't know if Libby lied to the grand jury, but if he did, it's a crime. Like I say, I hope he didn't. But if he did, that's that.
Why do I say I hope that Libby didn't tell these lies to the grand jury, as alleged? Lots of reasons. First, for his own sake. He is reportedly a good and smart man, a man with a remarkable career. If he did this, it'll all come crashing down. I also hope he didn't do it for the sake of this administration. Bush has, thus far, run a squeaky-clean ship, as far I as I can see. If Libby did this, it becomes a blot on it. Waltzing in front of a grand jury and blithely lying through one's teeth is just so Clintonesque. I had believed that the Bush administration was better than that. Much better. I also worry about the system of justice, but not too much. The system seems to take care of itself.
But the main thing I worry about is what this portends. By reputation, Libby is anything but stupid, and in fact he is well known as a very shrewd lawyer in his own right. The word "circumspect" is used to describe him too. So, that being the case, the question quickly becomes --why? Why would he do it? What was so important that he would risk his reputation, his livlihood, his career, his very freedom over it? Was he protecting someone, taking the all arrows in the chest on behalf of someone else? Who might that be? What is it that he's protecting? Who is he protecting? Who would that logically be? What would Occam's Razor predict? I worry about where that takes us. And that's why I hope he didn't do it.