A couple months ago, I wrote a post titled “Rove must go” that declared if a White House official revealed the name of a covert source while the country is at war, there can be no excuse. Over time, however, I came to believe that Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame made a conscious and deliberate effort to undermine U.S. policy by misrepresenting the origin and conclusions of Wilson’s trip to Niger. As an extension of this, I believed the White House had an obligation to set the record straight by exposing Joe Wilson’s duplicity.
But, for heaven’s sake, what was Scooter Libby thinking? Although he wasn’t charged on the underlying crime of exposing an agent, he apparently invented from whole cloth conversations that simply did not take place. Sure, Rove wasn’t indicted (and probably won’t be) but there’s no mistaking that Libby’s testimony has brought shame to an administration that promised a higher standard.
What now? Libby has promised a fight and exoneration. But it’s extremely unlikely that Libby will go to trial if there’s a sliver of a chance it will expose Dick Cheney and President Bush to further discomfort. The only way I see a trial going forward is if there’s the belief there’s more to gain by exposing Wilson’s varied lies than lost in the media circus of a Washington trial. Although some might believe this a palpable scenario, I just don’t see it. Scooter Libby will likely fall on his sword and plead out a deal with Fitzgerald.
Extra - Here's an excellent review by Byron York over on the Corner.