Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s criminal indictment Friday of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff, adds to a deepening crisis of confidence in the White House.
Libby is charged with several counts, including obstruction of justice and perjury, for statements regarding how he learned that Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson’s wife was a CIA operative.
This is not a small, technical offense. As Fitzgerald said, “compromising national security information is a very serious matter.” What the indictment of such a high government official also shows, as Fitzgerald said, was that “all citizens are bound by the law.”
Whatever political differences are behind this controversy, that fact is indisputable. What kind of fallout this will have for the administration is uncertain. Even if others haven’t been charged with criminal wrongdoing, questions remain about whether top White House officials acted unethically against political opponents.
This is a bad day for President Bush and for the nation. But it’s reassuring that Libby’s alleged lies have been exposed.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
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