WSJ: Pardon Libby (updated)

Clarice Feldman
Like me, the editors of the Wall Street Journal think Scooter Libby was wrongly convicted and the President should pardon him:
Mr. Bush's failure to manage his Administration's disputes on Iraq was a root cause of Mr. Libby's troubles. Many in his Administration failed to behave honorably, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. Mr. Hadley refused even to meet with Mr. Libby's lawyers, though Mr. Hadley's willingness to disavow the famous 16 words in the 2003 State of the Union address that Joe Wilson challenged kicked off the "scandal" hunt.

Mr. Wilson's 2003 op-ed claiming that "the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat" was the supposed animus for the Administration's leak of the identity of Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame. As the leaking whodunit became a media frenzy and others ducked for cover, Mr. Libby was nearly alone in defending the Administration for being honest (if wrong) about prewar intelligence, an act that landed him in the net of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
Mr. Libby didn't leak Ms. Plame's name to journalist Robert Novak; Mr. Armitage did that deed, though neither he nor his close friend, Mr. Powell, bothered to tell Mr. Bush or the world. Based on the trial record and our own long experience with Mr. Libby, we also don't think Mr. Libby lied. As Mr. Fitzgerald's prosecution circled back again and again, Mr. Libby's defense that his memory faltered in recalling the details of long ago conversations is entirely plausible for a busy White House aide. 

Update:
Michael Barone joins the editors of the WSJ in asking for a pardon for Scooter:

A Libby pardon will of course be assailed by many in the press, just as many in the press treated the Plame disclosure as the most serious breach of intelligence in years. But these are the same people who gleefully hailed the New York Times 's disclosure of NSA surveillance of suspected terrorists outside the United States and of the Swift bank system-two breaches of intelligence that, unlike the Plame disclosure, materially damaged the government's efforts to prevent terrorist attacks. It will be interesting to see if the press chooses to willfully damage U.S. intelligence operations in the Obama administration. In the meantime, please, Mr. President, pardon Scooter Libby.


Like me, the editors of the Wall Street Journal think Scooter Libby was wrongly convicted and the President should pardon him:
Mr. Bush's failure to manage his Administration's disputes on Iraq was a root cause of Mr. Libby's troubles. Many in his Administration failed to behave honorably, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. Mr. Hadley refused even to meet with Mr. Libby's lawyers, though Mr. Hadley's willingness to disavow the famous 16 words in the 2003 State of the Union address that Joe Wilson challenged kicked off the "scandal" hunt.

Mr. Wilson's 2003 op-ed claiming that "the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat" was the supposed animus for the Administration's leak of the identity of Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame. As the leaking whodunit became a media frenzy and others ducked for cover, Mr. Libby was nearly alone in defending the Administration for being honest (if wrong) about prewar intelligence, an act that landed him in the net of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
Mr. Libby didn't leak Ms. Plame's name to journalist Robert Novak; Mr. Armitage did that deed, though neither he nor his close friend, Mr. Powell, bothered to tell Mr. Bush or the world. Based on the trial record and our own long experience with Mr. Libby, we also don't think Mr. Libby lied. As Mr. Fitzgerald's prosecution circled back again and again, Mr. Libby's defense that his memory faltered in recalling the details of long ago conversations is entirely plausible for a busy White House aide. 

Update:
Michael Barone joins the editors of the WSJ in asking for a pardon for Scooter:

A Libby pardon will of course be assailed by many in the press, just as many in the press treated the Plame disclosure as the most serious breach of intelligence in years. But these are the same people who gleefully hailed the New York Times 's disclosure of NSA surveillance of suspected terrorists outside the United States and of the Swift bank system-two breaches of intelligence that, unlike the Plame disclosure, materially damaged the government's efforts to prevent terrorist attacks. It will be interesting to see if the press chooses to willfully damage U.S. intelligence operations in the Obama administration. In the meantime, please, Mr. President, pardon Scooter Libby.