I was on a radio show in Ireland early this morning. The setup, by some professor, was the entire left-wing narrative, e.g. Bush lied about WMD to get America into a war with Iraq; to bolster that lie, Bush said that Saddam had acquired uranium in Niger; Joe Wilson – a very moderate former ambassador — went to Africa for the CIA where he disproved the claim; the Bush administration would not listen so he went public; in reprisal, the Bush administration decided to punish him by revealing that his wife was an undercover CIA operative, thereby endangering her life and the lives of all those who had worked with her; an Eliot Ness-style prosecutor (the fact that he is Irish-American was emphasized on this show) dug into the case and convicted Lewis Libby of perjury and obstruction of justice; right-wingers who attacked Clinton now hypocritically want Libby pardoned.
What could I say after that? All I could think to say was: “That’s simply not what happened. It’s a fable. It’s wrong in just about every particular. If you told that story to a grand jury you’d be committing perjury.” I doubt one listener in thousand believed me.
Bill Kristol makes the case for a pardon sooner rather than later:
Everyone who would be outraged by a pardon now would in any event spend the next year and a half being outraged at the prospect of a postelection pardon. But many of those who are demoralized now by Libby’s conviction, and by the administration’s passivity in defense of its people and policies, would be reinvigorated by a pardon.
As the Bard put it in a slightly different context, “If it were done when ’tis done, then ‘twere well / It were done quickly.”