Andrew Northrup more or less declares Richard Cohen the Wanker of all time and before and after.
Warning the post has an illustration which is not work safe in Iran or Saudi Arabia and which should not be viewed immediately after taking a drink.
I have boring comments partly in response to comments.
Failure to prosecute is not proof that no crime was committed. In the trial, the accused must be presumed innocent. In discussing a sentence, it is not necessary to assume that anyone who might have been accused if Libby had told the truth is innocent. Also it is very important that Fitzgerald's decision not to ask the grand jury for indictments may well have been based on the risk of a mistrial due to greymail not absence of proof of guilt.
The IIPA is very hard to break. It would be necessary to prove that the accused "knowingly" blew Plame's cover. Also it is necessary that the accused learned of Plame's true occupation using his security clearance (this is the reason for the "a journalist told me" lie). This can only be shown if it is demonsrated that the accused read some secret document or had some secret discussion with someone else with security clearance. The defense team would definitely not concede this point, but demand that the secret communications be shared with the jury so they could argue ... well it doesn't matter what, the communications are definitely relevant.
They can only be shared with the jury with the permission of the Bush administration. Obviously this permission would not be granted. As a result, Walton would have had to declare a mistrial and let Libby walk. The strategy of demanding access to secret information is called greymail.
To get off on a technicality is bad enough. To ge off because the prosecutor chose to prosecute only the crimes which were not vulnerable to greymail is beyond absurd.
Also a law, the espionage act, was clearly violated. Fitzgerald chose to interpret it as referring to, you know, espionage for exactly all of the reasons regularly given by Cohen.
On other issues.
I don't think the sex lies and audiotape scandal is responsible for 9/11 via the almost election of Bush. Gore would have done what could be done instead of nothing, but it probably wouldn't have worked.
tigrismus : Clinton's alleged perjury did not occur during the Whitewater investigation. He was accused of lying to Paula Jones' lawyers in a deposition concerning Jones Vs Clinton. Starr was only brought in after the alleged perjury by Linda Tripp who he wired up even though the alleged perjury had nothing to do with the issues he was originally authorized to investigate. Clinton definitely lied on TV. Whether or not he lied under oath really does depend on what the definition of "is" is. He said something along the lines of "There is no sexual relationship between me and Monica Lewinsky" which was true at the time as they had broken up already. Deliberately misleading when under oath is not (always) perjury. Also, if he lied, his lie was immaterial as his affair with Lewinsky had nothing to do with sexual harassment. Also there was no reason to find the facts about Jones and Clinton, because, if the events occurred exactly as described by Jones, Clinton would owe her 0 damages as being a jerk is not a tort. My two last claims are findings by the trial judge which are authoritative as they were never challenged. Also, come on, it was just a blow job.
Does being a total bore make me a wanker too ?