PlameGate – Libby Lies About Lying

Parsing through the indictments against Scooter Libby one thing jumped out at me – Libby is being charged for lying about lying to NBC’s Russert and Time’s Matt Cooper.

All of this goes to show why The New York Times, Time, and The Washington Post were so dead set against cooperating with this special council. The main reason Libby faces indictment today (at least on the perjury and false statements counts) is because those reporters either agreed or were compelled to cooperate. For news organization todays indictment is bad for business. Not only is there no journalistic shield, but now the journalist a government official speaks to can be a witness against them…

Libby, of course, bears complete responsibility for lying the grand jury and to investigators, but the main reason they caught him telling tall tales about what he knew and when he knew it is because Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald was so dogged in getting the cooperation of the various reporters.

Note: The indictment does clear up the seeming discrepancy between Fitzgerald’s assertion last year that his work was “effectively completed,” as Judith Miller’s role in the indictments is minimal.

Feel free to add your thoughts as you try to wade through the indictment…

Update: The New York Times and CBS’s Public Eye blog have blogger reaction roundups and the Times has a full transcript of the press conference.

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