Pardon Libby Now!

Ronald Rotunda, law professor and former Watergate counsel for the Democrats, makes the case for an immediate pardon of Scooter Libby. He writes in today’s Wall Street Journal:

After Robert Novak wrote that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA, CIA Director George Tenet requested that the Justice Department start a criminal probe into the leak of Ms. Plame’s identity. The CIA insisted that it was vital to discover the source, although Robert Novak said at the time that the CIA “never indicated it would endanger her or anybody else” if he revealed her connection.

What’s more, Ms. Plame and her husband reacted to their “outing” in an unusual way. They appeared to revel in the publicity. I have worked with undercover FBI agents and Department of Defense officials whose jobs are classified. They do not pose for photo spreads in Vanity Fair. Unlike Ms. Plame, they do not have pictures of themselves in pajamas published in Time magazine.

The final nail in this case should have come when, right about the time of Mr. Fitzgerald’s appointment, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage told the FBI that he was the primary source who revealed Ms. Plame’s identity. Mystery solved! The circumstances did not show any violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, so there could be no indictment. But rather than going home, Mr. Fitzgerald asked Messrs. Armitage and Novak to keep that information quiet. He also asked for and received approval to expand his investigation and he kept going — like the Energizer Bunny.

The Journal’s editorial and Mark Steyn’s comment argue that, given Bush’s inept handling of this matter, he should immediately issue a pardon.

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