July 2, 2007

Bush Commutes Libby Sentence--updated--again--again

You are all going to have to just forgive me this afternoon. I am a little pissed off about this even as I suspected it was coming. Bush was getting a lot of pressure from that remaining 25% of the American people who don't think he is a complete disaster. No real political capital to spend here.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't piss me off. So if you don't like strong language, go back to surfing for something else. I am going to collect my favorites from the web of people as outraged as I am.

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Bush Commutes Libby Sentence | TPMCafe

I don't ever want to hear the phrase "rule of law" from any Bush supporter.

These people suck. Criminals helping each other out.

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Or, as Sullivan put it:
"Perjury in defense of wartime deception is now okay, as far as the president is concerned. I'm surprised by Bush's chutzpah. I retained some minimal respect. No longer. We now know full well what his beliefs are: the law is for other people, not himself, his friends or his apparatchiks. "

Exactly. Laws are for chumps. Rules are for chumps. The constitution is for chumps. Bush, according to the WaPo this morning, thinks he is doing God's work.

God needs better employment screening processes.

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Bush: Rule of Law My Ass at Shakesville: Bush: Rule of Law My Ass
Published by Mustang Bobby July 2nd, 2007

From the New York Times: "President Bush spared former White House aide I. Lewis ”Scooter” Libby from a 2 1/2-year prison term on Monday, issuing an order that commutes his sentence.

The next time I hear some Republican carry on about The Rule of Law, I’m going to find something rather large with a lot of splinters on it — an industrial-strength fencepost comes to mind — and plant it in them where the sun does not shine.

Jesus H. Christ in a birchbark canoe.

But then again, what the fuck did you expect.


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For a pretty reasoned approach, I like The Anonymous Liberal and he once again nails this with his post: " One-Off Justice, Republican Style"
So apparently President Bush has commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence, ensuring that he will spend no time in prison for the multiple felonies of which he has been convicted. Because this is not a full pardon, I presume the President believes that Libby did in fact commit these crimes. And because he is not pushing Congress to change the sentencing guidelines that apply to crimes like perjury and obstruction of justice, I presume he thinks that they are fair and reasonable (at least when applied to people not named Scooter).

So what we have here is a case of one-off justice, Republican style. Libby, apparently, doesn't deserve to be treated the way the law demands that others be treated. He's special. And what makes him special? Clearly nothing other than the fact that he is a well-connected Republican.

It's hard for me to put into words how totally indefensible I find this move. While I can't say I'm surprised, the reality of it is still a little shocking to me. It's just so brazenly unprincipled. If I were Patrick Fitzgerald (or really any of the prosecutors who devoted time and energy to this case), I would quit in protest. To go through a two year investigation and a lengthy trial (all the while dealing with countless motions filed by a team of lawyers doing everything they can to stall the process), to finally win a resounding conviction, and then to have the sentence commuted for no apparent reason other than the fact that the convicted felon is a close friend of the Vice President (and likely lied to protect him), well, that must be pretty difficult to take for people like Fitzgerald who have devoted their entire careers to the criminal justice system. That's how justice works in banana republics. It's not supposed to be the way our system works.


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Question of the Day at Shakesville: Is there a bigger asshole in America right now than George Bush? If your answer is yes, make your case.

(Let’s grant that Cheney’s at least a tie…)


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Different Bush: "And you know at the end of his term Bush 43 will issue Scooter a full pardon so all those crowing that Scooter is still suffering will be get the happy ending…mcjoan has the reactions from the Democrats posted…

Bush 41: “I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors.”

On September 30, 2003, just after this investigation began, the President said:

“If there’s a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is . . . If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.”

We now know exactly what he meant."

6 comments:

steve s said...

Someone posted this article on another forum I belong to. It didn't take long before the Bush fan boi's started saying it was no big deal...he is still getting a fine and probation...Clinton pardoned Marc Rich...etc.

This is such BS. It is a big deal. Libby committed a crime and deserved a fair punishment. He is not someone that received an unfair sentence or was somehow unjustly accused. He got what he deserved. Probation is no big deal and a fine?!?! I am sure some wealthy donor will take care of that. Clinton never should have pardoned Marc Rich, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't expect better.

I am sure that future presidents from both parties will pardon their suppoters in similar circumstances, but that doesn't make it any more palatable.

I don't know what the statute of limitations on Libby's stuff was, but I think they should have waited until Bush was out of office to try him.

At this point, if any Republican wants me to vote for them, they better do a convincing job of distancing themselves from this administration.

Streak said...

Good for you, Steve. I agree completely. And I was disgusted by the Marc Rich pardon and several of Clinton's last minute pardons. But this is pardoning one of the people who did his bad stuff for Bush.

steve s said...

Despite the ramblings of BUsh supporters, there does seem to be a very vocal group of conservatives that do not support this decision. Unofortunately, Fred Thompson is not among those critics. It is doubtful that I can vote for him at this point.

Streak said...

I hope you are right about vocal conservatives. I saw poll where some 40% of republicans opposed the commutation, but have only heard supporters.

Fred Thompson is not only not a critic of the President here, but a leading supporter of Libby's legal defense fund.

Tony said...

I know I am preaching to the choir, but this should tick every conservative in the country off. But all I hear are crickets chirping.

Streak said...

Agreed, Tony, and to be fair, there are some who are outraged. The Daily Dish posted a diagram of the instant poll taken after the commutation which shows 1/3 self-described conservatives who think that Scooter should have served his term.