Fake News on Scooter Libby Pardon

I’ve read several news reports on the pardon of Scooter Libby. They all say or imply that Scooter Libbly exposed Valerie Plame as a covert CIA agent, thus exposing her to danger. There are two things wrong here.

The one who leaked that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA was Colin Powell aid Richard Armitage. He leaked it to now deceased beltway reporter and columnist Robert Novak. But others already knew who Valerie Plame was and what she did at the CIA anyway. She was not a covert agent. She was an operations officer who drove a desk at the CIA headquarters.  The was no secret about that. Novak didn’t even know Plame’s last name until he looked up her husband Joe Wilson’s bio in Who’s Who. Armitage only leaked her first name to Novak but he had no trouble finding all of her information from public sources. Blame had done covert work, but not for at least 5 years before Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed to find out who “outed” Valerie Plame. But Fitzgerald already knew it was Richard Armitage. He nevertheless spent two years pretending to still be looking for who outed Plame. In the end he got Scooter Libby on the process crime of lying to the FBI.  Libby was not charged with leaking Plame’s name, we can presume because Fitzgerald knew he wasn’t guilty of that.

Nevertheless, Valerie Plame reacted to Libby’s pardon by appearing on MSNBC Friday morning to say a pardon would send a message “that you can commit crimes against national security and you will be pardoned.” This is why civilized people believe the Washington beltway is a swamp populated by sewer rats.

Libby neither committed a crime against national security nor was he ever charged with such a crime. Again, Valerie Blame was not a covert CIA agent anyway. Nobody needed to out her. They could just do what Robert Novak did and look her up in Who’s Who.

I don’t believe Scooter Libby actually lied to Patrick Fitzgerald because he had nothing to hide and no reason to lie about anything.  It’s more likely that Fitzgerald badgered him with esoteric questions on matters of which he did not have full knowledge, and Libby foolishly tried to be helpful and inadvertently got some of the facts slightly askew.  This is why lawyers advise not to talk to special prosecutors and to not attempt an answer in a grand jury if you aren’t familiar with all of the facts.

Trump’s pardon of Scooter Libby was he right and righteous thing to do. It’s shameful that Geroge W. Bush didn’t pardon Libby while he was president. Colin Powell new the truth  all along and never told Bush. Shameful again.

Scooter Libby had to pay a fine of $250,000. I wonder if he’ll that back. He should, with interest. He won’t though. More shame. My focus keyword for this post could be , “shame, shame, shame.” Jimmy Reed sang a song of that title.

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