Brits should not congratulate themselves that Libby’s show trial could never happen in the UK – it already has, and there may be more to come.
Of course many aspects of the Libby trial couldn’t happen in the UK: the prosecutor knew that no crime had been committed and entrapped Libby; the judge ordered that fact – and others – suppressed; and the jury wore fancy dress while sitting in judgment on a man facing years in prison.
Still, fools and knaves exist in every society, and the US legal system may restore its reputation on appeal.
If not, Mr Libby will be another casualty of our war against Islamofascism – and unlike our soldiers killed and mutilated on the battlefield he’ll still be alive and healthy.
Brits should not be complacent because their own legal establishment has also spent the years since 2003 pursuing those involved in the liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan. But, unlike the US, they went after our troops. In the face of public disgust and honest judges, the flood of prosecutions has stopped, but that still leaves Brit soldiers jailed for war crimes.
And the people in the Ministry of Defense who brought the prosecution are as dishonest as Libby’s prosecutor. In contrast, Americans cherish their military, and have only prosecuted real crimes – for example the sadistic guards at abu gharib.
And maybe the London cops will bring one of Blair’s aides to trial, enabling us to directly compare the integrity of the Brit and US legal processes.
Meantime, I’d recommend Brit readers to stick with the old rule to never, ever appear in a court outside the UK.