Here are some comments from Richard Cohen's column in the Washington Post about how unfair it is that Scooter Libby got caught committing a crime. Following each comment is the refutation of Cohen's distortion of the truth, misstatements of fact and outright lies.
Cohen writes: "...Government officials should not lie to grand juries, but neither should they be called to account for practicing the dark art of politics."
Libby was called to account for lying and perjury, not for practicing politics. Cohen equates lying, not with practicing politics, but with practicing Republican style politics. Cohen's point is that it's perfectly alright to lie and perjure yourself if you're a Republican.
Cohen writes: "The special counsel used the immense power of the government to jail Judith Miller..."
This is a misstatement of fact. The judge in the case jailed Miller. Contrary to Cohen, the prosecutor did not and could not do it.
Cohen writes: "...the special prosecutor...jailed a reporter..."
This is another misstatement of fact. Again, the judge did it, not the prosecutor.
Cohen writes: "But the underlying crime is absent, the sentence is excessive and the investigation should not have been conducted in the first place."
Cohen says that he cannot approve of lying under oath. It's not up to him to approve or disapprove of what the law is. He ignores the fact that the underlying crime that was presented to the jury was lying under oath.
Cohen ignores the fact that the "underlying crime" was not prosecuted precisely because Libby committed the crime of perjury and lied about the evidence that would have revealed the crime.
What Cohen doesn't write is that the evidence that the Republican Libby had committed a crime was presented to a jury in a court presided over by a Bush appointed Republican judge by a Bush appointed Republican prosecutor on recommendation of a Republican Justice Department official on a criminal complaint by the CIA, a branch of the Republican Bush administration. He blames the prosecutor for convicting Libby, when the fact is that the jurors looked at the evidence and convicted Libby of the crime he committed. He also doesn't mention the fact that had he, himself, been convicted of the crime Libby committed, he would be going to jail for whatever the judge decided was lawful.
Cohen's brand of Republican spin, distortion, misstatements of fact and ignoring of the evidence is to be expected as a matter of course from officials of the Bush administration. We've learned to dismiss anything they say as being in direct contradiction to the truth. But, Cohen has a forum from which to spout this stuff in a national newspaper. His column proves that the Washington Post does not do fact checking of Republican columnists, especially when they're writing good old Republican spin. The danger is that there just might be some few left in the country who would believe this crap and be misled into continuing to support the discredited Bush administration.
Another thing I wonder about is that we know that Plame's covert position at the CIA was leaked by Republicans. No Republican has been indicted or gone to trial for the crime. In the hierarchy of the leak process, we have Bush, Rove, Cheney and Libby. Only Libby was picked off at the bottom of the pile, not for the leak but only for lying, by a Republican prosecutor.
It's not likely that the Republicans who committed the crime will ever be prosecuted, since our Justice Department has been infiltrated by Republican loyal Bushies and is under the control of the inept amnesiac, Republican Gonzales. It's not true that they post someone at the entrance of the Justice Department every day to show Gonzales where his office is.