No Liberty for Libby

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 5, 2007 | Go to article overview

No Liberty for Libby


Byline: Bruce Fein, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Lewis "Scooter" Libby deserves a stiff prison term to deter his erstwhile Bush administration colleagues, for example, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and White House political guru Karl Rove, from equivocating with Congress and the courts. A stiff punishment is imperative also to honor the rule of law, the nation's crown jewel.

Libby committed his crimes while chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, serving under oath to support the Constitution of the United States. He was a role model for youths because of his position and prestige. His prevarications to the FBI and grand jury were reminiscent of former President Clinton's perjury and obstruction of justice that occasioned his impeachment by a Republican-controlled House of Representatives. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton should reject Mr. Libby's plea for an anemic sentence of probation.

Nothing is as dangerous to the Constitution's checks and balances and protections against government abuses as a belief among high-ranking officials that they are above the law and may lie or connive with impunity. Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis sermonized in Olmstead v. United States (1928): "In a government of laws, existence of government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it invites everyman to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy."

Truthful testimony is the lifeblood of the rule of law. Justice John Paul Stevens elaborated in ABF Freight System, Inc. v. NLRB (1994): "False testimony in a formal proceeding is intolerable. We must neither reward nor condone such a 'flagrant affront' to the truth-seeking function of adversary proceedings." Yet Libby, thoroughly schooled in his constitutional obligations, lied to both the FBI and a grand jury during special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of the leak of Valerie Plame's CIA nexus. Libby was convicted of false statements, perjury and obstruction of justice. Mr. Fitzgerald, a highly regarded Republican United States attorney, was appointed by then Attorney General John Ashcroft. Libby was not the victim of a political witch hunt.

Like Mr. Clinton, the vice president's former chief of staff has sneered at confessing to the reprehensibility of his wrongdoing, an attitude that encourages imitation. Libby also defiled his constitutional oath, which further demonstrates prison would not be incommensurate with his crimes. The first article of impeachment voted against Mr. Clinton nicely illustrates the gravity of Libby's lies to the FBI and grand jury. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

No Liberty for Libby
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.