Everything that could possibly be said about the commutation of "Scooter" Libby's sentence has been said. Whether or not one accepts the reasons for the President's actions, it is the hypocrisy of those who support it and also sought the impeachment of President Clinton that I find so irksome. President Clinton lied in a civil proceeding in an effort to conceal a sexual relationship. True, his conduct and its concealment demeaned the presidency, but it had no relationship whatsoever to the conduct of his office or his administration. Nonetheless, those seeking impeachment were intent upon causing the President of the United States to be removed from office, humiliated and embarrassed, and the nation disgraced in the process.
Compare that with the subject matter of Mr. Libby's conduct in a criminal investigation and what it was he was trying to conceal. The administration sought to discredit a critic of its justification for the war against Iraq; was willing to use secret information to do so, and as a result outed a CIA agent and endangered other operatives as well as our national security. The cover-up involved an outrageous abuse of power to silence opposition to the war and exposed a willingness to take any action to accomplish it, even if illegal.
The crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice are serious and in these two cases may be the same on their face, but Mr. Clinton's lie was to avoid causing him and his family embarrassment. The lies of the Bush administration brought us to war, killing and wounding thousands of our own soldiers and innocent citizens of Iraq, brought about world hatred against us, the loss of the respect of our allies and a government, apparently so intent in spreading democracy abroad, that it has forgotten to practice it here at home.
The irony is summed up by the fact that no one has been indicted or punished for the outing of Valerie Plame, despite President Bush's assurances that he would do so. The sentence of the one person charged and convicted of covering up the underlying crime has been commuted, and the only person imprisoned as a result, was a newspaper reporter for her stand in protecting the First Amendment.