Here's the WashPost's take on Scooter Libby's commuted prison sentence:
Yet there were mitigating factors in this case. After two years of investigation, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald charged no one with a crime for leaking Ms. Plame's name; he never demonstrated that a crime occurred. Early on, the prosecutor had learned that the primary source of the disclosure to columnist Robert D. Novak was then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, who was not charged. Mr. Libby's trial provided convincing evidence that the revelation of Ms. Plame's identity was not the result of a conspiracy to punish her husband, administration critic Joseph C. Wilson IV -- the allegation that caused all the partisan furor surrounding the case and that led to Mr. Fitzgerald's appointment.The WSJ's Opinion Journal wanted a full pardon:
These columns have had cause to defend the Bush Presidency from what we've seen as often meritless or exaggerated partisan attacks, notably over national security and the Iraq war. This, however, will stand as a dark moment in this Administration's history. Joe Wilson's original, false accusation about pre-war intelligence metastasized into the issue of who "outed" his wife, Valerie Plame, as an intelligence officer. As the event unfolded, it fell to Mr. Libby to defend the Administration against Mr. Wilson's original charge, with little public assistance or support from the likes of Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell or Stephen Hadley.I'm uneasy about derailing the judicial process with a Presidential commutation, but certainly this case had facets that were opaque to the knee-jerk Left and the New York Times editorial board. Scooter Libby was convicted for a failure of memory that afflicted witnesses on the case, for a crime that did not exist, to (allegedly) discredit a report that was utterly false.
Extra - Some proper perspective on Presidential pardons from Petsy, uh, Betsy.
More - Excellent rant from Protein Wisdom.