“There will be a great deal written and said in coming days about the frustrations of the Scooter Libby verdict… .” So read the opening clause of the thoughtful editorial by The New York Times on the subject, which itself went on to be every bit as predictable as the volume of comment about those “frustrations”—or as the fact that the only frustrations it saw were in the verdict’s being not enough of a kick in the pants to the Bush administration. But before I plunged into what followed, a muddy torrent of cliché, political marketeers’ talking points, and innuendo (the verdict showed, said the editorialist, that Mr. Libby “appears to have been trying to cover up a smear campaign that was orchestrated by his boss against the first person to unmask one of the many untruths that President Bush used to justify invading Iraq”), my eye was caught by that word “Scooter,” used without...


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