Appearing on a June 12 broadcast of The O’Reilly Factor, Crowley claimed that when the former top aide to ex-Vice President Dick Cheney lied to investigators trying to determine who leaked the identity of a covert CIA agent, he was ultimately prosecuted “over nothing.”
“Look, in the Valerie Plame thing, the left pounded Cheney and they pounded Scooter Libby, and they ended up prosecuting Libby over nothing,” she said. “Plame was not even a covert operative. It was over nothing. Nobody did anything. There were no national security secrets to come out.”
It is not yet clear if a member of the Obama administration let those details slip, and Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed two U.S. attorneys to investigate how the press got this information. That move has led even some liberals and progressives to criticize the administration for “criminalizing investigative reporting.”
But that’s not all this administration has done. It is clear now that President Barack Obama has been tougher on leakers than any prior U.S. president. Take Pvt. Bradley Manning, for example, who’s been locked up for years now after he allegedly leaked vast amounts of data from the Pentagon’s internal social network to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. And that’s just a single case: prior to Obama, the Espionage Act had only been used in prosecutions three times since 1917, whereas this president has applied it on six separate occasions in just his first term.
This messaging strategy also involves a careful defense of the Bush administration, a member of which knowingly leaked the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, allegedly to get revenge on her husband, a U.S. ambassador who’d published an essay that undermined a key argument Republicans were using to make the case for war with Iraq.
Still, nobody was ever convicted for leaking her identity.
Instead, Scooter Libby, then chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, claimed he was scarified to protect the White House, and particularly chief political strategist Karl Rove, from potential criminal charges. Prosecutors alleged that he perjured himself and a jury agreed, convicting him on four counts of lying under oath and obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to more than two years in jail.
While President Bush commuted that sentence, Libby did not receive a pardon. As Bush explained: “I respect the jury’s verdict.”
But Monica Crowley? Apparently not so much.
This video was broadcast by Fox News on Tuesday, June 13, 2012, as snipped by the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters for America.
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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