Facts Unclear: Let's Immunize!

The Washington Post's editorial page continues its Pravda act:

There is one major area of disagreement between the administration and House Democrats where we think the administration has the better of the argument: the question of whether telecommunications companies that provided information to the government without court orders should be given retroactive immunity from being sued. House Democrats are understandably reluctant to grant that wholesale protection without understanding exactly what conduct they are shielding, and the administration has balked at providing such information. But the telecommunications providers seem to us to have been acting as patriotic corporate citizens in a difficult and uncharted environment.

This is ludicrous. Democrats are "understandable reluctant" to hand out retrospective immunity "without understanding exactly what conduct they are shielding." But, according to the Post, since based on the limited information the administration has agreed to release immunity seems justified, Democrats should hand it out without asking harder what information the administration isn't releasing. Even better, the Post refers to the "difficult and uncharted environment" during which the conduct-whose-nature-we're-still-not-sure-about took place, bolstering the false impression the administration has started to give that this justified-and-no-we-won't-tell-you-what-it-was conduct took place only after 9/11, when in fact it began in early 2001.

It's reminiscent, I suppose, of the argument that since Scooter Libby, by committing perjury, had successfully blocked investigation of the Plame leak case, that Libby was entitled to be left off the hook for perjury. Call it the "it's not the crime, it's the fact that the coverup succeeeded" defense.