29 Oct 2005

The Libby Indictment

As in the case of Martha Stewart’s alleged insider trading, we encounter in yesterday’s indictment of I. Lewis Libby the bizarre spectacle of a case in which the prosecutor chooses to bring charges alleging that the defendant lied to him and obstructed justice, that he is guilty of having interfered with his investigation, precisely because he is unable to prove that any other crime was ever actually committed in the first place.

It seems plainly wrong to me that it is possible in a free country to throw someone into jail simply by contradicting that person’s testimony in a matter which cannot be established to have involved any actual violation of law or real injury at all. The entire substance of such a proceeding amounts to a cruel and empty ritual inspired by an exaggerated, downright servile, reverence for the State. It is the literal prostration of Justice to Authority. One sees in an instant the veil of modernity and civilization slip aside, and one beholds the spectacle of supposedly intelligent modern men suddenly transformed into pagan priests presiding over a barbarous ritual immolation, an archaic and vicious ceremony venting irrational emotions, and one conducted with mindless indifference to the facts of the situation or the rights of the individual.

Investors Business Daily rightly calls it a witch hunt.

One Feedback on "The Libby Indictment"

Scott Drum

I disagree — slightly. In order to ensure that statements made under oath have extraordinary weight, there has to be the specter of serious penalty for perjury.
Having said that, in ordinary cases most prosecutors would look at these facts and decline to take action. Clearly Fitzgerald CHOSE to elevate the crime beyond normal consideration. Though he cites lofty rationales, I suspect that it really boils down to not wanting to come back from this lengthy hunt with literally nothing in the bag. It remains to be seen, however, whether a jury will actually convict. Either way Fitzgerald comes out with his reputation in the Liberal bar intact.


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