I'll give the News editorial board partial credit for recognizing that Lewis Libby's sentence was over the top.
It does seem, however, that a very valid point about the rule of law could have been made without going to the extreme of sending a previously law-abiding, highly accomplished citizen off to prison for 30 months and fining him $250,000. That’s on top of the implosion of his career, emotional pain loaded onto his family and what must be millions in legal fees he now owes.
They're docked points, however, for this piece of spin.
Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald certainly left no stone unturned in his valid quest for the source of the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity. Valid because the CIA feared that one of its prized assets had been compromised just to lash out at a former ambassador — Plame’s husband, Joseph Wilson — who had publicly questioned the White House claim that Saddam Hussein had been shopping around Africa for the stuff to make nuclear bombs with.
Fitzgerald already knew who the "leaker" was before Libby was questioned -- former Clinton administration member Richard Armitage who, you'll notice, has never been charged. He also knew very quickly that Valerie Plame's name couldn't really be "leaked" because she wasn't in a protected CIA job. No crime had been committed, yet he continued to investigate until he found a scapegoat to indict on something so as to provide some atonement for the crimes that Democrats insist the Bush administration had committed.
It's all the more infuriating because Sandy Berger (another Clinton administration member, oddly enough) walks the streets a free man even though he admittedly stole classified documents from the National Archives. Lewis Libby committed perjury to a grand jury and deserves punishment, but his sentence is hardly justice and the Buffalo News isn't telling you the full story.