In the Arena

More on Sentencing

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Well, Ana–at least you’re honest about it: You want Scooter in jail because vengeance is so satisfying. I agree…although my sense of an appropriate punishment for Libby–emptying bedpans at Walter Reed–seems so much more metaphorically apt. (I also remember, with fondness, the competition in your former incarnation, as Wonkette, for a jailhouse name for Libby: my favorite was “Target of Probes.”)

But all this pompous bloviation in the lrft-wing blogosphere about the rule of law, and no special cases, is just so much baloney. Were all these commenters and bloggers in favor of sending Bill Clinton to jail for perjury? I mean, he was surely guilty. But in that case–Jeez, I can’t even remember the woman’s name now–I argued (and was duly hammered by the right-wing freak set) that Clinton’s peccadillo was a legal zit, the sort of “crime” that would never have been prosecuted but for the wingnuts’ anti-Clinton zeal.

Same thing with Libby, a man who–I must say–I’ve never met, never spoken with. We don’t even have any friends in common. Surely, there are cases of perjury where jail is an appropriate penalty–cases where the perjurer let an actual criminal off the hook. That’s not the case here. The case here is…well, there’s not much of a case here, is there? If it could have been proven that Libby had knowingly blown the cover of a covert operative, I’d be in favor of hanging by his thumbs. But Fitzgerald was unable to make that case….and, arguably, the person who blew Plame’s cover was Richard Armitage (whom I do know, but never talked to about this).

A part of me would love to see Libby in jail, unpardoned, especially if that leads a ticked-off Scooter to write a tell-all biography in which the crimes of his boss, Mr. Cheney, are exposed. But jail for this? I’d rather see him emptying bedpans.