Patrick Fitzgerald’s sentencing brief in the Libby case was released today. He concludes:
Mr. Libby, a high-ranking public official and experienced lawyer, lied repeatedly and blatantly about matters at the heart of a criminal investigation concerning the disclosure of a covert intelligence officer’s identity. He has shown no regret for his actions, which significantly impeded an investigation.
Yet conservatives continue to openly defend this convicted felon. As Newsweek reports:
Since his conviction last March, a number of conservative partisans—who shared with Libby his ardent support of the Iraq war—have mounted a vigorous public campaign in his defense and sought to lay the groundwork for a presidential pardon. In mid-May, Libby was a featured guest at a New York dinner honoring Norman Podhoretz, one of the neo-Conservative movement’s intellectual godfathers. According to reports from the scene, the dinner, organized by Commentary Magazine, opened with cheers and a “standing ovation” for Libby.
Think about that for a second. This is a man who was convicted of four felonies by a jury that was clearly conscientious and deliberative (they even acquitted him on one of the counts). He was prosecuted by a Republican political appointee, a man who is widely-regarded as one of the best and least political prosecutors in the country. He was represented at trial by the best legal team money can buy. Yet somehow this man has become the cause celebre among the conservative intelligentsia, the very symbol of injustice. How completely and totally absurd.
(Glenn Greenwald on the now totally clear proof that Valerie Wilson was a covert agent. )
Podhoretz obviously is part of the Cheney/Libby/BombIraq/BombIran/BombSyria circle of madmen. But there’s more to it than that. … worshipping lawlessness is a part of modern conservatism, and it is an important part of Bush’s (and certainly Rove’s) deliberate behavior.
Not my father’s conservativism, that’s for damned sure.