What the I. Lewis Libby verdict shows beyond a reasonable doubt is that the first instinct of the White House when caught doing something wrong is to lie.
From the false intelligence about weapons of mass destruction, to Abu Ghraib, to Katrina, Walter Reed Hospital and the purging of eight U.S. attorneys, the urge to cover-up is reflexive and immediate. They bet they'll never be found out, and most times they aren't.
That's because it takes a village to expose the truth -- subpoenas, a special prosecutor, congressional investigations, investigative journalism, pictures and smoking guns. Against a powerful White House, which until recently was enabled by a complacent Republican Congress, no such village was likely.
But yesterday, the truth was finally catching up with the White House on three stages. As Libby's wife, Harriet, sobbed in court when the jury foreman answered guilty to four of five counts of lying, stories were finally coming out about grievously wounded soldiers returning to Walter Reed Hospital only to be ignored in filthy facilities and U.S. attorneys being fired for political reasons.
In some ways, the more shocking of the two dramas before Congress was about the treatment of soldiers the administration pretends to care so much about. Say a word about bringing them home and you're a traitor who wants to abandon the troops. Send them off without training or armor, and bring them back to poorly staffed, decrepit and vermin-infested Walter Reed hospital, the crown jewel of the military system, and you're a patriot.
Read the rest of the column here.