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This just out, in email:

Me? I just can’t and have never been able to muster any energy for this event. From day one, over two years ago. Not a single word on my blog about it, ever.

My view? This is a bit different than Martha Stewart in that she was a private citizen just trying to save her own ass; and what do you expect anyone to do when prosecutors come knocking? It’s like asking someone what they’d do if, you know, both children fell in a swift river and you can only save one, etc., etc..

Libby is near the top of the top. It’s hardball, there. Those who choose that sort of thing for their lives know and understand that it’s fast, furious, and unforgiving.

He knew the stakes, took his chances, and came up short.

I got no tears.

That said, I just have a problem with this chickenshit way of prosecutorily leaning hard on someone until you can catch ’em in a lie, and then gettin’ ’em for that — and not the "crime" you were investigating in the first place.

My book? There’s a big difference between crime (i.e., doing unjustifiable harm to people), and lying about crime.

Here’s how it is, objectively: should someone go to prison for lying to me? To you? If your answer is no, then there is not a moral justification in the world for imprisoning someone for lying to the government. Do you grasp all the implications of that?

10 Comments

  1. Allan on October 29, 2005 at 00:05

    Now that makes sense.

    Way to much for Martha, just an envy thing.

    Way too much for anyone. Lose the job, yep. Time in jail, too much.

  2. gary on October 29, 2005 at 09:00

    Well, when you put it like that, I think the Dems must have been right about Starr and Clinton should never have been impeached. Oh, wait. No, I don't think obstruction of justice and lying to grand juries is trivial at all.

  3. Rich on October 29, 2005 at 21:14

    Gary:

    Impeachement (getting fired) is a far cry from doing jail time. Should Clinton have been fired for lying? You betcha.

    Doug:

    If you did the crime and they have enough to charge you, then lying about your guilt is irrelevant. They've got you on the crime. But in these cases, there either was no crime, or they can't prove it. In other words, there's no crime by the legal definition of it. Therefore, lying about your involvement is also irrelevant.

    Moreover, government, the state, is nothing more than individual people. If a person ought not be jailed for lying to an individual person, there is nothing magical or magnificent about "the government" that suddenly makes lying worthy of imprisonmnet. Dissacociating with a liar? Firing a liar? Sure. Absolutely, which is what sane people do with liars.

  4. Doug Wolf on October 29, 2005 at 18:31

    Rich,

    I disagree with you on this one. If a crime is prison-worthy, then helping cover-up that crime should also be prison worthy.

    'nuff said.

    — DW

  5. Rich on October 30, 2005 at 15:38

    Dread Pirate says:

    It's more than just lying to someone – it's obstructing a national security investigation.

    Who is conducting such investigation, and to whom does it matter? In the end, a lie is told to someone. What is it that makes a lie to one person not reason for imprisonment, and a lie to another person reason for imprisonment?

    Obstruction? By whose definition? Think about that. It's important. If you want to get to the bottom of something and people lie to you, would you normally think of it as "obstruction," or would you more likely think of it as non-cooperation? What right do you have to the truth at someone else's expense? The government has no more right to my cooperation in any investigation that you do, and they have no right to my honesty and objectivity. They simply assert and coerce it, 'cause they've got the guns.

    There is no moral imperative for me or anyone to ever tell the truth to a thug, regardless of whether that thug does a good deed any some given day.

    Outing a covert operative is almost treason

    Treason, eh? That was settled a long time ago. There is no "treason." You can read all about it, here:

    http://www.lysanderspooner.org/

  6. Rich on October 30, 2005 at 15:47

    Tran:

    If that is the case, we should just do away with the entire court system, as it will be worthless.

    What's your premise when you say "the entire court system?" Whose court system is it? Who's in charge? Why should I have any respect for it?

    Justice is of fundamental and crucial importance to me: as an individualist; as an anarchist. That's why I don't demonstrate lockstep allegiance to it. I understand that it does justice, sometimes, and it's about the only way to get most forms of justice done because the govenment won't allow competitors, even if they could demonstrate 100% quality.

    Which boils down to the crux of it. "The entire court system" is just euphamism for a part of the Big Thug's private security detail. It's a part of the fox that guards the henhouse, and I don't trust it as far as I could throw a marble column.

    I undertstand it's all we got, and there is some justice too important to be left undone. But I'm certainly not going to get all teary eyed about it.

    It is what it is, and that's about it.

  7. Tran Sient on October 30, 2005 at 15:17

    'If your answer is no, then there is not a moral justification in the world for imprisoning someone for lying to the government.'

    If that is the case, we should just do away with the entire court system, as it will be worthless.

  8. Dread Pirate Robert on October 30, 2005 at 11:08

    Sorry, but I disagree. It's more than just lying to someone – it's obstructing a national security investigation. Outing a covert operative is almost treason and to do it for political payback ought to be punished. Anyway, here's what Fitzgerald says about your point: here.

  9. Rich on October 31, 2005 at 05:40

    Greywulf:

    The law is clear.

    That's debatable, but we've not been talking about "the law." We've been talking about right and wrong. That you're unable to distinguish between the two simply means that you're ill-equiped for discussion at this level; so there's really no point in responding point-by-point to your comment, most of which is utter nonsense.

  10. greywulf on October 31, 2005 at 02:49

    Lying under oath IS a crime. Period. Yes, he should be fired for bringing disrepute to his office. Yes, if he lied and he's convicted for it. then he should serve time.

    Answer me this: if someone murders, then goes straight to the police and confesses, he should serve time, right?

    If he murders, then denies it continuously under oath, but is found guilty, should he serve MORE time? Yes, of course he should.

    The difference is the lie, because the lie – and continued lying – it a denial of their guilt. Same with this case. By lying, he was denying any part in it. At the least he was obstructing justice. At the most, he was covering up a larger crime.

    He should go down, and ANYONE above him who has continued this lie or had ANY PART in this and not come forward should be investigated for criminal acts too.

    The law is clear.

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