Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol appeared on Fox News Sunday (Think Progress has the video) and advocated the immediate pardoning by Mr. Bush of Scooter Libby. In his words, "It would be fantastic." As I'm sure most of my readers are aware, Libby has been charged with obstructing justice, making false statements to a grand jury and perjury. Serious charges, I believe. Serious enough, one would think, to impeach a president of the United States, perhaps? Kristol goes on to say that Libby “didn’t lie in any serious meaning of lying before a grand jury" which seems to imply that while Kristol acknowledges that Libby did indeed lie, it wasn't necessarily anything important.
A quick history lesson: Kristol was one of the leading voices in the runup to impeaching President Clinton. According to Tom Hayden:
In the Clinton years, [Kristol] played "cheerleader" to the inquisitive Kenneth Starr and anchored the impeachment movement from the pages of The Weekly Standard . According to one interviewer, "if not for Kristol's obsessive marshaling of the pro-impeachment forces, said a number of conservatives, independent counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation might have petered out, and House Republicans might have allowed the public's disapproval of their course to dissuade them from voting to impeach the president".But impeach they did. The charges? Only perjury and obstruction of justice, ostensibly for lying under oath to cover up an extramarital affair.
So, for those of you keeping score at home, the president of the United States was impeached (though not convicted) for lying under oath in an effort to cover his ass because he got caught doing something that would cause no end of grief and embarassment for him, but ultimately affected no one in the world outside of his immediate family.
Meanwhile, Libby has been charged with lying to a grand jury and obstrusting an investigation brought about because an undercover CIA agent's identity was compromised, and all indications were that the agent's identity was compromised as part of a political vendetta.
So, in Kristol's mind, one is an impeachable offense while another is a pardonable offense. So much for intellectual honesty and consistency. But then, why would I expect something like intellectual honesty and consistency from the editor of the Weekly Standard?