Monday, July 02, 2007
Preznit Commutes Libby Sentence
Just when you think that the Bush administration can sink no lower into the criminal swamp than it already has, they amaze with their ability to find a deeper pit of muck in which to crawl to protect their criminal arses. The Preznit just commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence. The one that required him to serve 30 months for lying about the shit he pulled as Deadeye Dick Cheney's hit man in the Valerie Plame/Joseph Wilson case. Sickening Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:
WASHINGTON - President Bush spared former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from a 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case Monday, stepping into a criminal case with heavy political overtones on grounds that the sentence was just too harsh.
Bush's move came hours after a federal appeals panel ruled Libby could not delay his prison term in the CIA leak case. That meant Libby was likely to have to report to prison soon and put new pressure on the president, who had been sidestepping calls by Libby's allies to pardon the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.
So now it looks like the Preznit and the Vice Preznit no longer have to worry about Libby airing the dirty laundry on appeal. What this action lacks in substance, it more than makes up for in arrogance. Read on...
"I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison."
What is this? George Orwell's 1984? You respect the jury's verdict so much that you are erasing it?!? UGH. Oh, wait! In other news: Up is Down! Water is Dry! Horseshit smells so sweet you can use it as an air freshener for your living room!
Bush left intact a $250,000 fine and two years probation for Libby, and Bush said his action still "leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby."
Really? As if your supporters aren't going to come up with that cool quarter-mil. Christ, the oil reveune you are stealing from Iraq can cover that amount in twenty minutes.
Libby was convicted in March of lying to authorities and obstructing the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative's identity. He was the highest-ranking White House official ordered to prison since the Iran-Contra affair.
Reaction was harsh from Democrats. "As Independence Day nears, we are reminded that one of the principles our forefathers fought for was equal justice under the law. This commutation completely tramples on that principle," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said through a spokesman.
Harsh. Not hardly. Great sentiment though, Chuck. So, are you or your fellow Democrats going to DO anything about it other than talk?
Bush said Cheney's former aide was not getting off free. "The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged," Bush said. "His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant and private citizen will be long-lasting."
Will these "consequences" have as long-lasting an effect as the weakening of our nation's intelligence gathering abilities due to the actions of this now free convicted felon?
A spokeswoman for Cheney said simply, "The vice president supports the president's decision."
Right. More like Cheney MADE the fucking decision.
Bush's statement made no mention of the term "pardon," and he made clear that he was not willing to wipe away all penalties for Libby. The president noted Libby supporters' argument that the punishment did not fit the crime for a "first-time offender with years of exceptional public service."
NPR ran a short piece on the possibility that the Preznit might pardon Libby. I figured that such a course of action was a foregone conclusion, given the fact that Poppy pardoned most of his fellow Iran-Contra criminals in his last shameful act before leaving office. Too bad the Democrats didn't have the balls to follow Bartcop's advice and challenge the Preznit NOT to pardon Libby under any circumstances.
Yet, he added, "Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable." Bush then stripped away the prison time.
So much for your bullshit Campaign 2000 pledge to run the most ethical White House ever. And what about your pledge to find and punish the leaker(s)? Looks like that was just a bunch of bullshit too. Big fucking surprise...
The leak case has hung over the White House for years. After CIA operative Valerie Plame's name appeared in a 2003 syndicated newspaper column, Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald questioned top administration officials, including Bush and Cheney, about their possible roles.
Nobody was ever charged with the leak, including Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage or White House political adviser Karl Rove, who provided the information for the original article. Prosecutors said Libby obstructed the investigation by lying about how he learned about Plame and whom he told.
Plame believes Libby and other White House officials conspired to leak her identity to reporters in 2003 as retribution against her husband, Joseph Wilson, who criticized what he said was the administration's misleading use of prewar intelligence on Iraq.
Attorney William Jeffress said he had spoken to Libby briefly by phone and "I'm happy at least that Scooter will be spared any prison time. The prison sentence was imminent but obviously the conviction itself is a heavy blow to Scooter."
Again, is it as big a blow as the damage his lies have done to this nation's ability to gather and assess intelligence?
This is truly a travesty. Obviously is administration cares little about appearances. Hell, they've been committing their crimes out in plain sight for all to see ever since they stole their way into power. These actions have become second nature to them.
So now what? How the hell do we reconcile this action with Martha Stewart having to go to jail? Or by Tommy Chong having to go to jail? I'll take Mr. Schumer's lead and up the ante: Not only does this action trample the notion of justice for all for which our forefathers fought, it makes a mockery of the very ideals we as a nation claim to uphold. How can we truly claim the moral high ground when a petty little man like George W. Bush behaves like a feudal lord or a petty tyrant whose notions of right and wrong are seemingly decided on a whim, especially when those notions fly in the face of legislative or judicial action?
This man is not a patriot. His Vice-President is not a patriot. Scooter Libby is not a patriot. Neither are scum like Alberto Gonzalez, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld or Paul Wolfowitz. To call these men patriots is a grave insult to the real patriots of this nation's past and present. We would all do well to remember that this Wednesday as we celebrate this nation's 231st birthday.