The Libby indictment

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Man Bites Dog Department. Jeffrey Rosen of the New Republic

has written an article arguing that special prosecutor PatrickFitzgerald's indictment of Scooter Libby is "indefensible." Rosen notes that Fitzgerald in his defense of the indictment said that perjury, false-statement, and obstruction-of-justice indictments are common, even when, as in this case, there is no indictment for violation of any underlying crime. Rosen has taken the trouble to look at Justice Department statistics. He found that such indictments are not very common but that Fitzgerald as U.S. attorney in Chicago has brought a larger proportion of such cases than most prosecutors. But read it all. This is the most cogent criticism of the Libby indictment that I have read and all the more compelling because it comes from a liberal writer and appears in a liberal magazine. Read the whole thing.