Heterodox Views on Politics and Public Policy from Michael Blaine

Friday, July 13, 2007

Barry Bonds, "Scooter" Libby and the Integrity of American Justice

Relax, It's Just a Game

"SAN FRANCISCO -- AP, 7/12/07. An attorney [Troy Ellerman] who admitted leaking the confidential grand jury testimony of Barry Bonds and other athletes to a reporter was sentenced Thursday to two and a half years in prison, by far the harshest penalty to result from the government's sprawling probe of steroids in sports."

If obstru
ction of justice by I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby in the investigation into the leaking of the name of covert CIA counter-proliferation agent Valerie Plame was deemed not to warrant prison time by President Bush, can there be any doubt that Mr. Ellerman's sentence will be commuted as well? If the integrity of the nation's justice system can be eroded when issues of national security are involved, surely it can be obliterated when dealing with something as trivial as a summer game for boys. Mr. Ellerman should be able to rest easy tonight knowing the president will ensure he never serves a day in the slammer. Clearly, his sentence was "excessive." After all, thanks to the White House, the nation now understands that honesty in judicial proceedings isn't really necessary .