“METHODICAL, DETAIL-ORIENTED, AND COMPREHENSIVE”….Did Scooter Libby pull a Nixon over Joe Wilson? In the LA Times this morning, Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger suggest he did:

“Scooter had a plan to counter Wilson and a passionate desire to do so,” said a second person, a former White House official familiar with the internal deliberations.

….Libby’s anger over Wilson’s 2003 charges has been known. But new interviews and documents obtained by The Times provide a more detailed view of the depth and duration of Libby’s interest in Wilson….After Wilson published a book criticizing the administration in April 2004, during the closely fought presidential campaign, Libby became consumed by passages that he believed were inaccurate or unfair to Cheney, former aides said. He ordered up a meticulous catalog of Wilson’s claims and public statements going back to early 2003.

Will anyone defend Libby? Mary Matalin basically says, hey, that’s just Scooter. He’s a “methodical, detail-oriented and comprehensive worker.”

Works for me. I guess if a smear is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.