“Simple justice” should compel President Bush to pardon Lewis “Scooter” Libby, writes Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard. “Libby has either been punished far too severely for a very small offense,” writes Barnes “or he is an innocent man.” Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction—but not the actual leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity to columnist Robert Novak.
Libby’s conviction stems from whether the jury believed him or the late Tim Russert in a conversation about Plame. It’s possible that Libby simply didn’t remember, and was trapped in a “lie” when asked to repeat his story as testimony. In any case, the “crime” committed was miniscule and the impact on Libby—who, as a felon, is barred from practicing law—totally out of proportion, Barnes argues.