Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A double standard on public duplicity

Letter Published in the Baltimore Sun--March 20, 2007

Words and sentences in red were cut out by the editors:

Thomas Sowell's lament over the prosecution and conviction of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was a classic case of the double standard exhibited by himself and his fellow conservatives ("Meat-grinder politics in 'Scooter' Libby case." March 15).

He maintains that the outing of a CIA operative, Valerie Plame, was not a crime and, therefore, memory failures on the part of Mr. Libby did not merit an investigation, much less prosecution for perjury. In committing to an investigation, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald consumed three years, and as a result, "a man's life is ruined," according to Mr. Sowell.

Yet, I don't recall Mr. Sowell protesting the lengthy, costly and fruitless investigations into the Clintons' Whitewater land deal. While conservatives gleefully cheered on special prosecutor Kenneth Starr as he pursued of evidence of wrongdoing allegedly taking place several years prior to Mr. Clinton's being elected president, he managed to stumble on Mr. Clinton's extramarital affairs.

It was President Clinton's lying under oath during a civil lawsuit brought on by one of his alleged mistresses that worked up the conservatives and had them storming the windmill with torches in a continuing effort to damage Mr. Clinton and his presidency. The ultimate result was a needless impeachment process and a severe bruising of our nation.

Ironically, Mr. Libby's deficiency in disclosing the truth (which led to his conviction on four counts) not only fails to similarly anger the disingenuous Mr. Sowell but garners his sympathy. Maybe "meat-grinder politics" are indeed at play.

Steve Charing

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