Brad Smith (jesus_h_biscuit) wrote,
Brad Smith

On The Libby Commutation, & Why It's Not All A Bad Thing - In Fact, It's Actually Good In A Way

Okay, I'm just as pissed as the rest of you are- but I'm not surprised. First, what President Chimpy had to say for himself, my rebuttal in red:
"Mr. Libby was sentenced to thirty months of prison, two years of probation, and a $250,000 fine. In making the sentencing decision, the district court rejected the advice of the probation office, which recommended a lesser sentence and the consideration of factors that could have led to a sentence of home confinement or probation. I respect the jury’s verdict. HORSE SHIT! 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.

My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. BUT I'LL GIVE HIM A FULL PARDON AND EFFECTIVELY ERASE ALL OF THIS BEFORE LEAVING OFFICE NEXT YEAR. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. AND BY WORK I MEAN HE PUT THE SECURITY OF THE NATION AT RISK AND THEN LIED ABOUT IT, ACTIONS FOR WHICH A JURY AND A CONSERVATIVE JUDGE CONVICTED HIM. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. FUCK HIM, IF THEY'RE SUFFERING IT'S HIS OWN FAULT. He will remain on probation. FEH. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. ++ FEH. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting…." NOT UNLIKE THE CAREER VALERIE PLAME HAD THAT HE AND ROVE RUINED.

I posted this comment to the CNN Political Ticker Blog:

While I’m furious at this decision, I’m certainly not surprised. In fact, I find it typical. We as a nation should feel a deep and unyielding sense of anger not just at the powers that be for these sorts of actions, but at those who elect these people - because this is what they do, excusing their own at the expense of everything and everyone else. It never comes by them honestly, they have to sacrifice everything including justice in order to continue their agendas.

I want my country back.
Posted By Jude Bennett, Columbus, GA : July 2, 2007 11:34 pm

Two things I've found on C&L that offer more initial perspective:
  • Daddy Bush in 1999: “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.”

  • Duhbya, 2003: “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.
FDL has Fitzgerald's statement here. I don't know of anyone outside of the Wilson/Plame family who is entitled to more rage than Fitz. The bottom line? The justice system didn't work for Libby. Bush did.

Melanie Sloan, legal counsel to Joe and Valerie Wilson
“First, President Bush said any person who leaked would no longer work in his administration. Nonetheless, Scooter Libby didn’t leave office until he was indicted and Karl Rove works in the White House even today. More recently, the vice president ignored an executive order protecting classified information, claiming he isn’t really part of the executive branch. Clearly, this is anadministration that believes leaking classified information for political ends is justified and that the law is what applies to other people.”

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and presidential candidate
“This decision to commute the sentence of a man who compromised our national security cements the legacy of an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law. This is exactly the kind of politics we must change so we can begin restoring the American people’s faith in a government that puts the country’s progress ahead of the bitter partisanship of recent years.”

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York
“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.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada
“The President’s decision to commute Mr. Libby’s sentence is disgraceful. Libby’s conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq War. Now, even that small bit of justice has been undone. Judge Walton correctly determined that Libby deserved to be imprisoned for lying about a matter ofnational security. The Constitution gives President Bush the power to commute sentences, but history will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own Vice President’s Chief of Staff who was convicted of such a serious violation of law.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California
“The President’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison sentence does not serve justice, condones criminal conduct, and is a betrayal of trust of the American people. The President said he would hold accountable anyone involved in the Valerie Plame leak case. By his action today, the President shows his word is not to be believed. He has abandoned all sense of fairness when it comes to justice, he has failed to uphold the rule of law, and he has failed to hold his Administration accountable.”

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, presidential candidate
“Last week Vice President Cheney asserted that he was beyond the reach of the law. Today, President Bush demonstrated the lengths he would go to, ensuring that even aides to Dick Cheney are beyond the judgment of the law. It is time for the American people to be heard — I call for all Americans to flood the White House with phone calls tomorrow expressing their outrage over this blatant disregard for the rule of law.”

Former Sen. John Edwards, presidential candidate
“Only a president clinically incapable of understanding that mistakes have consequences could take the action he did today. President Bush has just sent exactly the wrong signal to the country and the world. In George Bush’s America, it is apparently okay to misuse intelligence for political gain, mislead prosecutors and lie to the FBI. George Bush and his cronies think they are above the law and the rest of us live with the consequences. The cause of equal justice in America took a serious blow today.”

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, presidential candidate
“It’s a sad day when the President commutes the sentence of a public official who deliberately and blatantly betrayed the public trust and obstructed an important federal investigation,” said Governor Richardson. “This administration clearly believes its officials are above the law, from ignoring FISA laws when eavesdropping on US citizens, to the abuse of classified material, to ignoring the Geneva Conventions and international law with secret prisons and torturing prisoners.

There is a reason we have laws and why we expect our Presidents to obey them. Institutions have a collective wisdom greater than that of any one individual. The arrogance of this administration’s disdain for the law and its belief it operates with impunity are breathtaking.

Will the President also commute the sentences of others who obstructed justice and lied to grand juries, or only those who act to protect President Bush and Vice President Cheney?”

Former GOP Sen. Fred Thompson, likely presidential candidate
I am very happy for Scooter Libby. I know that this is a great relief to him, his wife and children. While for a long time I have urged a pardon for Scooter, I respect the President’s decision. This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, presidential candidate
“Today’s decision is yet another example that this Administration simply considers itself above the law. This case arose from the Administration’s politicization of national security intelligence and its efforts to punish those who spoke out against its policies. Four years into the Iraq war, Americans are still living with the consequences of this White House’s efforts to quell dissent. This commutation sends the clear signal that in this Administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice.”

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, presidential candidate
“After evaluating the facts, the President came to a reasonable decision and I believe the decision was correct.”
So what's the good that is coming out of this? Consider the fence sitters who were loyal apologists and somehow stopped drinking the Kool-Aid long enough to unplug themselves and cop to the fact that maybe this IS a seriously corrupt administration - and they needed proof to renounce all of them, every last one. I think Chimpy just pushed them over that fence, and that is what will help secure us in '08 and hold more feet to more fires.

Yes, what happened today was bad. He's killed innocents and scrapped everything we as a country once stood for, and expedited the ruin of our reasonably good standing within the world community. He's raped the land and gotten himself and all of his buddies filthy rich doing it, and he's made a mockery of everything we're supposed to hold sacred and dear - and it will all come to an end when he leaves office - and the rebuilding can begin again. I have no faith that those who could pull it off would impeach him OR Cheney, though it is deserved and overdue justice. All we can do is wait our turn and hope it comes soon.

It will get better eventually - it has to.
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