Condoleezza Rice, Meeting With 'WSJ' Editorial Board, Gives Props to Scooter Libby

By: E&P Staff Meeting with the Wall Street Journal's editorial board, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who promoted the invasion of Iraq, disclosed the name of a cover CIA agent then was convicted of four counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, had "served the country really well." She hinted that a presidential pardon was in order.

Asked for her views on a pardon, Rice demurred but then came to the strong defense of Libby, stating that he should be treated "in accordance" with his public service. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison last week, convicted on four felony counts, despite letters of support from many highly-placed figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to Gen. Peter Pace.

The transcript of that part of the Friday interview follows. It has been posted at the Online Journal.

QUESTION: In today's Wall Street Journal there's an article by Fouad Ajami making the analogy that -- basically saying that the President's reluctance to pardon Scooter Libby is akin to leaving a wounded soldier on the battlefield. What do you think of that analogy?

SECRETARY RICE: Look, I'm not going to get involved in trying to give the President advice on how he ought to think about this. You know, he has to think about what he wants to do.

QUESTION: What's your own opinion?

SECRETARY RICE: You know that --

QUESTION: You think he should go to jail?

SECRETARY RICE: Look, let me tell you what I think about Scooter Libby. I think he's served the country really well. I think he did it to the best of his ability. I think that he is going through an extremely difficult time with his family and for him. And you know, I'm just desperately sorry that it's happening to him and I -- you know, the legal system has spoken, but I tell you, this is a really good guy who is a good public servant and ought to be treated in accordance with that.


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