From sources that I am not at liberty to disclose, I've just received the following transcript of a confidential memo to the President of the United States written by Vice President Richard Cheney.
Now that you've commuted that rotten sentence, it's time to look ahead -- not just to pardon, which I'm glad you haven't ruled out, but to fit recognition of Scooter's extraordinary services to this country, by which I mean to our administration, because of course you and I both know they're the same.
Ever since Scooter was convicted by that goddam left-wing, pot-smoking, terrorist-coddling judge who doesn't begin to understand what is expected of anyone appointed by a Republican president, the whole debate about Scooter has been utterly wrong-headed. The vindictive left longed to see him rot in prison, while our loyal base -- sorely tried in the immigration wars just ended -- wanted him pardoned. Well sir, you've thrown the base a bone, and you've hinted that more meat is on its way. But why stop at pardon? Since we know that Scooter has faithfully served his country -- meaning our bold, resolute, unflinching anti-terrorist agenda -- in everything he did, why should he get no more than PARDON for his acts of heroic self-sacrifice? In a few weeks, after the left has stopped moaning over this commutation, it will be high time to stop talking about pardon and start talking about recognition. In my opinion -- and you know how strongly I can make my opinions stick -- Scooter merits nothing less than the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Now I know very well what Reid and Schumer and Pelosi and all the other Democrat ranters on Capitol Hill will say. They'll shriek at the idea that such a medal could go to a man convicted of perjury. If Libby gets the medal of honor, they'll say, it will demean every other medal awarded to a man or woman who earned it by extraordinary valor in the heat of battle.
OK then, here's what I'll say. Those who risked their lives in the heat of battle -- guys who leaped on a hissing grenade or charged a machine-gun nest or dragged a wounded man to safety through a hail of bullets -- they don't know what true valor is. True valor isn't facing a storm of bullets or a blast of bombs. It's facing down the scorn of the liberal media. It's making the case for war in the face of skepticism. It's keeping the faith in weapons of mass destruction even when all the so-called "evidence" says they don't exist. In the run-up to our invasion of Iraq, true valor meant fighting anyone who questioned our justification for going to war.
Scooter fought for us, sir. After you claimed in your State of the Union address that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium from Niger, Joe Wilson went there to discredit you. Not to find evidence that supported you, but to undercut you, to slash your credibility, to undermine our case for war. Once Wilson published that pathetic op-ed about what he "didn't find" in Niger, Scooter knew -- I didn't even have to tell him -- that Wilson had to be destroyed. He knew and I knew and you knew that we had to destroy anything that stood between us and war, because taking the country to war is the greatest thing an American president can do -- not to mention what it did for your re-election.
So Scooter spread the word about Wilson's wife. He talked to Novak and Cooper and Russert and Miller. With no pressure from me, he volunteered for this mission because he knew that nothing less than the honor of our administration was at stake. Many people out there have never understood this. All they see is a guy who "outed" a CIA agent -- as if that gang of nitwits ever knew or did anything that mattered -- and then lied about having done so. If the goddam liberal media knew anything about true valor, Scooter wouldn't have had to lie. And if that goddam prosecutor hadn't gotten into such a ridiculous snit about perjury, of all things, the whole world could have seen Scooter for the hero he was.
Now it's time, or nearly time, to make the world see. If you could give George Tenet the Medal of Freedom for backing us up on the road to war, surely you can do as much for Scooter. To discredit one of our most unscrupulous critics, he risked the most precious thing he had. He risked his job in my own office -- and his professional standing -- to ensure that thousands of American men and woman would get the chance to sacrifice their lives in the war against terrorism. How could anyone serve his country more valiantly than Scooter has?
So let's not stop with a pardon. Let's not stop until Scooter proudly wears the Congressional Medal of Honor. And if anyone in Congress squawks, I'll tell them what I once told Patrick Leahy on the Senate floor: go inseminate yourself.