While Scooter Libby has the presumption of innocence with respect to the five-count indictment for perjury, making false statements and obstruction of justice handed down yesterday, one thing should still be made clear. He is a liar. There is no doubt on that point. Whether or not he is ultimately convicted of a crime related to that lie will not change the fact that he did indeed lie repeatedly, and not just the innocent "it slipped my mind" kind of lie. It was an elaborate deception told over and over again to try and cover up and hide crucial facts from the special prosecutor.
Another thing that should be made clear is that he was without a doubt involved in the outing of a covert CIA agent, as was "Official A" who we now know to be Karl Rove. Whether or not he is eventually charged and convicted of a crime specific to that action will not change the fact that he played a central role throughout this entire scandal.
Those who would argue that Libby and Rove are thoroughly exonerated of all responsibility for this mess if they are never found guilty of a crime under the IIPA must also believe that Al Capone was an upstanding citizen who never did anything wrong beyond failing to pay his taxes.
They should also explain why they continue to allow themselves to get away with trashing Bill Clinton as a liar and perjurer despite the fact that he was exonerated of those charges by the Senate.
If President Bush had stuck by his initial promise to remove anybody from his administration who was involved with outing a CIA agent, then Rove and Libby both would have been gone a long time ago, along with a number of other officials. But then the man who promised to bring a new era of accountability to the White House set a new standard that they have to be indicted of a crime before he would take any action.