Rarely can Presidents improve their legacy in an Administration's twilight days. But President Bush now has that opportunity, by undoing a measure of the injustice inflicted on I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.Rarely can a publication get away with such a statement unless they are called the Wall Street Journal. Libby is widely seen as either a criminal, traitor or a fall guy, based largely on the reportage of the MSM. Just today CNN said Bush's pardons were being watched closely to see if Libby would be on the Christmas list. He wasn't.
But nobody seems to know the true story as to Libby's role. Between the Plameologists, nutroots, media types and investigative reporters, everyone seems to have their own set of facts.
In other words yes, a Libby pardon could hurt Bush depending on which set of facts one uses. Since current conventional wisdom (which isn't likely to change) seems to suggest Libby was a crooked crook, a Bush pardon would make it look like a quid pro quo for not dropping a dime on Cheney.
Personally I've always found it hard to believe Libby could have forgotten a tasty revelation on the level of Plame and thought his explanation sounded somewhat ridiculous. Granted, we never heard from David Gregory as to what Tim Russert might have known but surely Mr. Gregory will clear all this up on his new show one day. Ahem.
Anyway, it's likely Libby fell on his sword to protect Cheney (and himself) regardless of whether there was any underlying crime or not. The elections were coming up and Wilson's "Bush lied" salvo was only going to become a juggernaut if left unchecked.
It's possible the whole thing was a set up by current or former intel types in collusion with political operatives designed to get Kerry elected and save the party. Plame's cover seemed about as solid as that of Don Adams and Wilson was already working for Kerry. Curiously, Plame has never been pressed to identify the mysterious co-worker she claimed recommended hubby for the job, maybe because it was her? Of course, this is all trivial pursuit for those who entered the story firmly convinced of the administration's guilt. Such as most of the MSM and Henry Waxman.
That's why it's interesting to finally see Cheney talking, albeit not about Plame. His bombshell revelation on Fox News Sunday has still not evoked a visceral reply from, well, anyone of substance:
Glenn Greenwald did react as pointed out by Maguire, but we're still waiting for the calls of "liar, liar" from the "gang of nine". The muted response rings similar to that of Syria after the Israeli airstrike on that little Kim Jong mini-me nuke plant--we're still waiting for the feared Syrian/Hizbollah military response. Instead Mughniyah was taken out amidst the crickets.
So....if Cheney is widely considered to have broken the law in helping Bush with the TSP program (and secret prisons, torture, Plame, etc) and is subject to possible investigation as mentioned by Levin last week, then Darth might be subtly advertising his retirement strategy: periods of fly fishing interspersed by taking down bleeping Democrats who politicized the war at the administration's expense. It'll be interesting to see how deeply Obama's rays of government sunshine are allowed to peer down into that cavern. Judging from current events, not very far.