Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sir Richard, redux

Here's another beauty that I just had to throw out there:

Wow: I suspect I can guess the tone of most of the comments you'll get today, and I'll try to keep mine quite civil. It comes down to this: If somebody consciously and intentionally lies to a Federal prosecutor and a grand jury, isn't it appropriate for them to go to jail? Even if the prosecutor has no business having asked the question in the first place? Tell the truth or take the Fifth -- either is fine -- but intentional lying simply isn't acceptable in any witness, let alone a high-ranking government official.

Do you disagree with this basic observation? If so, please explain. If not, how can you still argue that Scooter shouldn't go to jail? I suppose you can simply disagree with the premise that Libby consciously and intentionally lied, but the jury made that determination, and that's what juries are for...

Richard Cohen: I don't quarrel with the jury. In fact, let me just say that my own reading of the trial was that he was guilty. I don't believe that he forgot. But I do believe that while it is inpermissable for anyone to lie to a grand jury -- I'm not quarreling with that -- I'm just saying that when you get called before a grand jury and you are a target, there ought to be a crime involved. More than that, in this government, in our government, we ought to make sure that the basis of it is not a political disagreement. I feel sorry for Scooter Libby. I don't agree with the guy's politics, I've never met him, I don't know him at all. But I do know that he was a successful lawyer probably making ... god knows, a lot of money ... and he chose to go back into government not because he thought he was going to get anything out of it, but because he thought it was good to serve. If he lied to a grand jury it was because he made money illegally or took bribes or some other crime, it was because he was covering up for embarassment or because he mistakenly thought he had committed a crime. So fine, convict him. But 30 months is excessive.

Good to serve? In Cohen's world, a guy who makes a lot of money in the private sector must be motivated by his better angels to leave the money behind for a few years and go into lowly government service as CHIEF of STAFF to THE VICE PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA?

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