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Majority Leader Reid Is Right: No Libby Pardon


Note: I worked in the core group writing the original CIA Identities Law with Senator Lloyd Bentsen, its original sponsor.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is 100% right: the President should immediately and publicly state that there will be no pardon in the Scooter Libby case.

The jury has spoken: powerfully, decisively, and authoritatively.

This is now about the integrity of the judicial process.

This is now about the integrity of intelligence information and the integrity of intelligence in the decision about whether to go to war, and in the conduct of war.

As Patrick Fitzgerald observed, the defense has the option of approaching the prosecution to seek a lower sentence, in return for new testimony.

As the prosecution stated at trial, there is a cloud over the Vice President and a cloud over the White House.

The President should say, as Majority Reid stated: no pardon.

Any other action would be perceived as a Nixon-like maneuver and would further erode the crediblity of the President and our country, throughout the world.

America's word in the global community should be sacrosanct. The integrity of our intelligence should be sacrosanct whether it involves Iraq, Iran, Korea of any other matter.

Finally, having been so involved in the writing of the CIA Identities Law:

First, there is not one iota of doubt that Valerie Plame's identity was classified as the CIA said, as Patrick Fitzgerald said, as her colleagues including my friend Larry Johnson said.

Second, these disclosures were unpatriotic, reckless, damaging to our country and to brave men and women who serve covertly.

Third, the conduct of the President and the Vice-President throughout this episode was shameful and disgraceful.

As I have predicted earlier, in my view this case is far from concluded and the period between the verdict and sentencing will be very interesting. Lets watch for possible plea bargaining and prepare for a battle royal over the pardon.

The jury has spoken powerfully and the jury was correct. This sordid episode must never happen again and every law abiding and patriotic American should stand 100% against any pardon for those found guilty.

Let the chips fall where they may.