As you may recall, the matter was over a supposed "outing" of Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a covert agent in the CIA. Someone supposedly "leaked" that information to a journalist, thus blowing her cover. Now the verdict is in: There was not even enough evidence to charge Scooter Libby with such a leak, much less convict him. Nor was there enough evidence to charge anyone else. In fact, it turns out that Plame wasn't an undercover agent at all when the information was published, so the act wasn't a crime in the first place. Prosecutors found early in the investigation that the (unclassified) information had been provided by someone else - Richard Armitage of the State Department. And they knew by then that the release wasn't a crime at all - hence the absence of any charges against Armitage or anyone else. During the investigation, Libby was questioned closely and repeatedly about conversations that had happened years before. On a few, Libby rememberd the details one way. When re-questioned on the same thing later, he remembered them a different way. Later still, he remembered them the first way again. For this, he was indicted for perjury, convicted, and now faces up to twenty years in a Federal prison. He has exhausted his savings and bankrupted his family defending himself . This is the result of an investigation that established, after three years, that no crime had been committed at all in the first place. Got him! ------------------------------------- http://OpinionJournal.com from "Best of the Web Today" by James Taranto March 6, 2007 The Libby Travesty http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/03/06/cia.leak/index.html We won't gainsay the jury's verdict in the Scooter Libby trial--"guilty" on four of five counts on perjury and obstruction of justice in the investigation of the Valerie Plame kerfuffle. Life is too short to immerse oneself in the tedious details of the case. (If you're interested in Libby minutiae, we recommend Tom Maguire http://justoneminute.typepad.com/ .) But it remains a travesty that Libby was ever prosecuted to begin with. This was a political show trial, and partisans of Joe Wilson will use the guilty verdict to declare vindication. But along the way we learned that virtually all the claims Wilson and his supporters made were false: -On his trip to Niger, Wilson found no evidence that contradicted the famous "16 words" in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address, contrary to his New York Times op-ed claim. -Plame, his wife, who worked for the CIA, did recommend him for the Niger junket, contrary to Wilson's denials. -Plame was not a covert agent under the definition of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, contrary to Wilson's insinuations, which many of his backers, including in the press, presented as fact. -No one from the White House "leaked" Plame's identity as a CIA functionary to Robert Novak, who received the information from Richard Armitage at the State Department. Libby stands convicted of lying in the course of Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of the Valerie Plame kerfuffle--but that investigation was undertaken on the basis of a tissue of lies. When Fitzgerald began the case, in 2003, no one had committed any crime in connection with the kerfuffle, and that was fairly easy to ascertain, given that Plame was not a covert agent and Armitage had already owned up to the so-called leak. Fitzgerald looks like an overzealous prosecutor, one who was more interested in getting a scalp than in getting to the truth of the matter. Of course, Libby could have avoided indictment and conviction if he had simply said "I don't remember" a lot more during the course of the investigation. Therein lies a lesson for witnesses in future such investigations--which may make it harder for prosecutors to do their jobs when pursuing actual crimes.