Lewis Libby has now been found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice for lies that had absolutely no legal consequence.
It was not a crime to reveal Valerie Plame's name because she was not a covert agent. If it had been a crime, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald could have wrapped up his investigation with an indictment of the State Department's Richard Armitage on the first day of his investigation since it was Armitage who revealed her name and Fitzgerald knew it.
With no crime to investigate, Fitzgerald pursued a pointless investigation into nothing, getting a lot of White House officials to make statements under oath and hoping some of their recollections would end up conflicting with other witness recollections, so he could charge some Republican with "perjury" and enjoy the fawning media attention.
As a result, Libby is now a convicted felon for having a faulty memory of the person who first told him that Joe Wilson was a delusional boob who lied about his wife sending him to Niger.
This makes it official: It's illegal to be Republican.
Since Teddy Kennedy walked away from a dead girl with only a wrist slap (which was knocked down to a mild talking-to, plus time served: zero), Democrats have apparently become a protected class in America, immune from criminal prosecution no matter what they do.
Meanwhile, conservatives of any importance constantly have to spend millions of dollars defending themselves from utterly frivolous criminal prosecutions. Everything is illegal, but only Republicans get prosecuted.
Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh was subjected to a three-year criminal investigation for allegedly buying prescription drugs illegally to treat chronic back pain. Despite the witch-hunt, Democrat prosecutor Barry E. Krischer never turned up a crime.
Even if he had, to quote liberal Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz: "Generally, people who illegally buy prescription drugs are not prosecuted." Unless they're Republicans.
The vindictive prosecution of Limbaugh finally ended last year with a plea bargain in which Limbaugh did not admit guilt. Gosh, don't you feel safer now? I know I do.
In another prescription drug case with a different result, last year, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (Democrat), apparently high as a kite on prescription drugs, crashed a car on Capitol Hill at 3 a.m. That's abuse of prescription drugs plus a DUI offense. Result: no charges whatsoever and one day of press on Fox News Channel.
I suppose one could argue those were different jurisdictions. How about the same jurisdiction?
In 2006, Democrat and major Clinton contributor Jeffrey Epstein was nabbed in Palm Beach in a massive police investigation into his hiring of local underage schoolgirls for sex, which I'm told used to be a violation of some kind of statute in the Palm Beach area.
The police presented Limbaugh prosecutor Krischer with boatloads of evidence, including the videotaped statements of five of Epstein's alleged victims, the procurer of the girls for Epstein and 16 other witnesses.
But the same prosecutor who spent three years maniacally investigating Limbaugh's alleged misuse of back-pain pills refused to bring statutory rape charges against a Clinton contributor. Enraging the police, who had spent months on the investigation, Krischer let Epstein off after a few hours on a single count of solicitation of prostitution. The Clinton supporter walked, and his victims were branded as whores.
The Republican former House Whip Tom DeLay is currently under indictment for a minor campaign finance violation. Democratic prosecutor Ronnie Earle had to empanel six grand juries before he could find one to indict DeLay on these pathetic charges -- and this is in Austin, Texas (the Upper West Side with better-looking people).
That final grand jury was so eager to indict DeLay that it indicted him on one charge that was not even a crime -- and which has since been tossed out by the courts.
After winning his primary despite the indictment, DeLay decided to withdraw from the race rather than campaign under a cloud of suspicion, and Republicans lost one of their strongest champions in Congress.
Compare DeLay's case with that of Rep. William "The Refrigerator" Jefferson, Democrat. Two years ago, an FBI investigation caught Jefferson on videotape taking $100,000 in bribe money. When the FBI searched Jefferson's house, they found $90,000 in cash stuffed in his freezer. Two people have already pleaded guilty to paying Jefferson the bribe money.
Two years later, Bush's Justice Department still has taken no action against Jefferson. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently put Rep. William Jefferson on the Homeland Security Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat, engaged in a complicated land swindle, buying a parcel of land for $400,000 and selling it for over $1 million a few years later. (At least it wasn't cattle futures!)
Reid also received more than four times as much money from Jack Abramoff (nearly $70,000) as Tom DeLay ($15,000). DeLay returned the money; Reid refuses to do so. Why should he? He's a Democrat.
Former Clinton national security adviser Sandy Berger literally received a sentence of community service for stuffing classified national security documents in his pants and then destroying them -- big, fat federal felonies.
But Scooter Libby is facing real prison time for forgetting who told him about some bozo's wife.
Bill Clinton was not even prosecuted for obstruction of justice offenses so egregious that the entire Supreme Court staged a historic boycott of his State of the Union address in 2000.
By contrast, Linda Tripp, whose only mistake was befriending the office hosebag and then declining to perjure herself, spent millions on lawyers to defend a harassment prosecution based on far-fetched interpretations of state wiretapping laws.
Liberal law professors currently warning about the "high price" of pursuing terrorists under the Patriot Act had nothing but blood lust for Tripp one year after Clinton was impeached (Steven Lubet, "Linda Tripp Deserves to be Prosecuted," New York Times, 8/25/99).
Criminal prosecution is a surrogate for political warfare, but in this war, Republicans are gutless appeasers.
Bush has got to pardon Libby.