Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been indicted by a federal grand jury on five counts, none of which were related to the original investigation in the Valerie Plame leak. I'm all for prosecuting for perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements, but I think the whole thing is a bit ridiculous if there was NO ORIGINAL crime.
An expert on law I'm not, but does it really seem fair to investigate criminal wrongdoing, find out none existed, and then issue some indictments for crimes caused
by the investigation? Perhaps the question we should ask is- do crimes exist prior to investigations? Granted, there could be a lot more going on underneath the surface here, and genuine criminal infractions may have been committed by "Scooter" Libby, but I have a hard time believing that you can attempt to cover up a crime you didn't commit. How would he even lie about this? Would he have to confess, knowing that he didn't actually do it?
Furthermore, I have misgivings about the "False Statements Statute"- the government catch-all that makes lying a crime even when not under oath. The statute has been interpreted to the extent that any false information given at any time can be prosecuted provided the false information ends up in government hands. The "Martha Stewart" clause works something like this... "Well, you didn't commit a crime, and you didn't lie under oath, but you lied at one point to some guy about information that is somehow relevant to the crime that didn't occur based our investigation, so... congratulations, you get five years in jail and we get to feel like we actually did something."
Also, apparently as a nod to CharlesPierce
's summation of every headline in the last four weeks, the article
was not complete without this nugget. "Libby's indictment came at a time when Bush's approval ratings already are at a low ebb. This week alone the president's embattled Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers, withdrew, and the number of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq war surpassed 2,000."
Also in the news, Clinton pardonee Marc Rich has been implicated in the UN Oil-for-Food scandal according to Paul Volkert's report. I think we all know where the real corruption lies when it comes to Presidential networks...