BREAKING: Bush Commutes Libby Sentence

Couldn't Say No To Mark I

By Dan McLaughlin Posted in Comments (256) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Just hours after the DC Circuit affirmed the order requiring Scooter Libby to face jail time pending the appeal of his conviction, President Bush used the presidential pardon power to commute Libby's sentence, thus sparing him jail time while leaving in place the conviction - thus, an unsentenced conviction for a victimless crime:

President Bush Monday spared former vice presidential aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby from going to prison for 2 1/2 years for obstructing the CIA leak investigation, a White House official said.

The official said Bush "has commuted the prison sentence ... leaving intact the probation and fines handed down by the court."

"That means he is not going to jail," the official said.

Now, we get to hear what Hillary Clinton thinks about the proper uses of the pardon power.

UPDATE: Come to think of it, we can also hear Mrs. Clinton discuss whether losing your high federal office is insufficient punishment for perjury.


« Toward an Understanding of the Obamian LanguageComments (4) | Round-up of the Glasgow airport attack.Comments (15) »
BREAKING: Bush Commutes Libby Sentence 256 Comments (0 topical, 256 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

Libby did this country a good service. He didn't deserve jail time for a crime that is not even related to why this investigation even began.

donates to the Bush Presidential Library.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

either he is guilty or he deserves a full pardon. Leave it to Bush to go for a half measure and please no one.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

He said that he felt the conviction was right and fair but that the sentence was excessive.

That's a perfectly fair point of view. I'm not sure I fully agree with it. Some people will think he shouldn't have been convicted of anything. Others will say that he should have the book thrown at him.

But passions abound on either side of the question. Here, he respected the rule of law and allowed the conviction to stand and a portion of the punishment.

Again, I'm not sure I agree with it - but it seems a pretty good middle ground.

Who commented on this from a responsible position said that even though the sentence was just in terms of perjury he shouldn't have to serve time. That's because they knew the initial charges were completely trumped-up. Scooter Libby got convicted of being stupid when he was shocked after someone charged him with a crime he didn't commit, and then nailed him on something he did. Arthur Sulzburger will never go to jail for his many, many crimes, and so nobody at the NYT has anything to complain about, but believe me:

Wait until tomorrow morning's editorial. They're still going to complain. To them, Lewis Libby and Dick Cheney are the font of everything evil in the universe. They've staked their journalistic reputations on it. Nothing to do now but complain and keep their acolytes breathing heavily.

Libby either committed a crime, and was sentenced for one or he didn't. We are either a nation of laws or we aren't. I personally think Libby is innocent but thats matter for the courts to ultimately sort out. Punishment for a crime is (and should be) up to the judge and jury in this case.

A half-assed attempt at a pardon is sickening no matter how you slice it. Doing so cheapens the Presidency and rightfully (as well as pointlessly) gives libs ammunition. Bush should no better.

Slither away.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

he's a 30-minute wonder. Probably a Kos refugee...

but respond to the post if you can.

Marc Rich or the FALN terrorists pardoned by Clinton?
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Denise Rich has a much larger endowment (monetarily and physically) than Harriet Grant.

They were pardoned criminals. Libby's not.

New Survey USA poll shows most people don't think it was right. This officially ends the Bush Presidency and makes it harder for Republicans to win in 2008

Of course it wasn't right to commute the sentence of Scooter Libby. And just because there was no "underlying crime", you still don't get a free pass to lie to the FBI. If my house gets mistakenly raided because my neighbor is selling drugs, and I punch a cop in the nose, I'm still going to jail.

And if a 30 month sentence is "too severe", then what about all the people doing 10 years for minor drug offenses?

The worst thing about this is that it reinforces the notion that regardless of party, if you are "politically connected" you don't have to worry about legal repercussions if you break the law. If you are poor or non-white, you can expect to bear the full weight of the law.

" in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
Abe Lincoln

Bush still retains the right to issue a full pardon at a later date. In the meantime Libby can appeal his conviction and possibly get it overturned.

Overall an exceptionally deft move by the president.
______________________________
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

I hadn't considered that and it's a good point...

However, consider this fine man has this conviction hanging over his head. He cannot get on with his life, get a job and begin to put this behind him. He has to plan his appeal, meet w/ lawyers, etc...

I still think that Bush should have pardoned him so he can move on.

president.

Sure the hardcore left is going to go up in flames over it, but I doubt those in the middle will remember this too much.

He isn't running for office again, he is done in two years, so this move this far before the election cycle pretty much means it probably won't be real news by the time the races start to heat up for primary season.

I agree. This is good timing for Bush, Libby and the other GOP candidates running for the top spot. Now if only Souter will retire....

The various early polling doesn't look good in terms of public reaction. I forget which poll it was that showed that even 40 of Republicans didn't think commutation was a good idea.

You think that a year and a half from now voters will still be so angry that they will cast a protest vote against a different person who happens to be from the same party? You are either Chicken Little or a Kos lurker

That said, I don't like it. I think there is a much better justification here than in the Clinton pardons, but the sentence was standard for the conviction. I believe in minimum sentencing guidelines and the fundamental principle that no one is above the law. What Bush has done is admitted that he was a felon, but given him a break that other people who are convicted of perjury don't recieve. It looks like blatant cronyism and it draws attention away from the flaws in the investigation. If he had given a full pardon, he would have been making a case for Libby's innocence; as it is, he is saying that he is guilty, but subject to a different standard.

A pardon is the forgiveness of a crime or offense, not an indication of innocence. By commuting the sentence, Libby still has the ability to appeal the convictions and be found innocent. A pardon would remove that ability and label Libby as a pardoned felon.

I'm glad he didn't pardon the guy, but it's really hard to cry about this when we now know there was no underlying crime over in the Vice President's office, given that we know who the leaker was.

So life goes on I guess.

Run like Reagan!

If a jury found him guilty....

What blows my mind is the screaming from the left about this - how could any person with any conscious who defended Bill Clinton and defended Bill Clinton's pardons say ANYTHING about this let alone scream of the injustice in this case?

They are so full of it.

the problem, as I see it, is that both sides are right. Clinton's pardons were wrong. This action is wrong.

The rule of law either stands in this country or it doesn't.

It proves that neither side has the market cornered on misleading the public and lying about it later. You can argue all you want about degree of offense, but neither Clinton nor Bush have a clue that what they do is wrong.

Sadly, I'm as shocked as I would be to find gambling going on in Rick's Cafe American.

Where have all the Statesmen gone?

How about your read Article 2, Section 2 first para. Then talk to me about the rule of law.

Our framers provided the President with this power for a reason. When the systems fails (and it did in this case) our President was specified this power, under the law, to intervene.

If we want to talk about abuse, lets talk about Chuck Schumer, et al, who were able to use the law for political purpose. The crime for which the SP was empowered never occurred and he knew that early on; normally that would mean case closed. But in this case, it did not and Fitzgerald obfuscated the law and any semblance of legal decorum.

This was a political witch hunt of the worst kind and is a perfect example of proper Article 2, Section 2 powers.

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"
Contributor to The Minority Report

But there is a difference between the literal letter of the law and the spirit of the law. The president has special powers to be used in extreme circumstances, but that does not mean that he should use them with impunity. Bill Clinton's pardons were technically legal, but a travesty of justice. Would you say that they upheld the rule of law?

Actually, the President has powers enumerated in the Constitution to be used at his discretion. Whether his decisions align with historical use of that power is certainly another subject. Accordingly, in practice any President uses powers under discussion here with relative legal impunity.

Mr. Clinton’s pardons are not subject of this thread. However I would briefly say while obviously legal, pardoning convicted sex offenders, embezzlers and campaign contributors requires make them a very special subject.

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"
Contributor to The Minority Report

The rule of law even provided Clinton cover for the Marc Rich pardon, as indefensible as it was.

I really hate it when a politically motivated prosecutor goes after someone for purely political reasons.

Signed,

Scooter Libby...and Bill Clinton.

As an aside, I was merely answering the question posed by the previous poster, not commenting on the Constitution. The President can pardon anyone. Even Clinton can pardon campaign contributors. So you can talk about Schumer, and I'll talk about DeLay.

We could go on, and on, and on.

Where have all the Statesmen gone?

So you have presented some disassembled thoughts totally unrelated to the subject. But let’s see Clinton deliberately perjured himself to avoid prosecution and complete impeachment (“I did not have….”). Either the encounter was less than memorable or he lied; your choice, I suppose. But he lost his law license amongst other things…

Delay has been convicted of… nothing.

Good points; none.

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"
Contributor to The Minority Report

Clinton did not avoid "complete impeachment." He was impeached. The statement was made in a civil case, not a prosecution.

My mention of DeLay was in response to a prior mention of Schumer. Neither have been convicted. My point, and I didn't take much time in making it, was simply that republicans find fault with Schumer, whether it's there or not.

Dems do the same with DeLay.

Repubs justify this decision, but disagree with similar Clinton decisions. Dems do just the opposite.

You can point to all the minor differences in each case, but the overriding similarity is this: Dems hit Repubs, and Repubs hit dems. Change the facts, names, circumstances all you want, and the maxim always holds.

and the country loses.

Where have all the Statesmen gone?

Yes, the framers provided the President with this power for a reason. Commuting the sentence of a crony is not that reason.

You would be right if this was cronyism; which means your wrong.

Communting the sentence of a man charged with a crime, obtained in the course of investigating a case where there was no crime, which is the purpose for which the prosecutor was empowered, in which the prosecutor knew before commencing there was no crime, than sentenced under guidelines argued by the prosecutor to be consistent with committing the crime for which he was originally empowered, which did not occur, is.

Thanks for playing.

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"
Contributor to The Minority Report

The fact that there may not have been an underlying crime does not mitigate the fact that a jury found him guilty of the crimes he was charged with. He should have gone to jail.

Libby's case is like an illegal search and seizure. Fitzgerald already had what he was looking for before Libby but continued. Libby never should have been in the position to be prosecuted in the first place.

Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you. Washington Elected Elite

He should never have been in the position of being questioned by the US Attorney.

He broke the law by lying, as determined by a jury and a judge. It doesn't matter that he should not have been questioned, he lied.

I like it. It might empty out the capitol but its a cost we will have to bear.
______________________________
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

complain about what happened not what you are complaining about.

Bush didn't pardon Libby. So the decision of the jury stands. What Bush did was overrule one portion of the sentence imposed by the judge.

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

The judge accepted Fitzgerald's sentence recommendation based on argument that Libby should be treated as if the original crime, for which he (the SP) was appointed (and never occurred) was committed. That is a gross miscarriage of justice, irrespective and separate from any purported crime.

Both the DOJ and others knew that Armitage was the leaker and could not be charged under IIPA before the SP was appointed; thereby making the entire affair a political kangaroo court. There is more than sufficient grounds for a successful appeal (remember this is commutation, not pardon).

That under these circumstances Libby was questioned and reporters spent time jail is a grotesque abrogation of justice and misapplication of law.

The basis of his perjury conviction was an abstract comparison of Libby's vs. the reporters memories. That any fair minded person could convict another based on their interpretation of that individuals memory, based on a third party's comparative recanting is somewhat specious.

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"
Contributor to The Minority Report

Under the guidelines, Libby could have gotten up to 33 months. What was the judges bases for going to 30? Who knows, but Libby got inside the guidelines...http://www.ussc.gov/2006guid/

If it was a political Kangaroo Court, where were all the Dems? You can't argue that Fitz was politically motivated, as he is a republican.

So what is his bias? Self-promotion by killing a big fish? Perhaps. But why then did he not go after Rove, who maintained he wasn't a source, but later "remembered" he was. If you want to self-promote, why not go after Rove?

I can't find bias from Fitzgerald. I just can't.

Where have all the Statesmen gone?

Your characterization of Fitzpatrick is right on.
Mark
USN, Ret.
"Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth." - Mahatma Gandhi

If the appeals process hasn't run by the time Bush leaves office, he could still fully pardon him. Nothing will happen before the election, though.

I wonder if some wealthy conservative will step forward and donate an amount to pay the fine. That would annoy the Clinton appointee judge and Fitzpatrick to no end.

____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Maybe even a Bush 43 one, but can't remember for sure on that one.

I am sure this ticks off Fitzgerald enough as it is.

It was Bush43. Given the rant the judge made about all the law professors who would write an amicus brief on Fitzgerald's scope of authority, but who wouldn't help out the indigent (which most of them do, actually,) I think there was some class envy in the sentencing.

That Judge Walton was a stalled Clinton nominee who Bush renominated in a fit of unilateral bipartisanship.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

Judge Walton was originally a Reagan appointee then a Bush 41 appointee then a Bush 43 appointee.

http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/walton-bio.html

"Victimless Crime"? Isn't this a term usually used by liberals to describe the actions of drug dealers and underage drinkers? I miss the days when my party took criminal conduct seriously.

would agree with you that there is no such thing as a victimless crime. And no, I never heard anyone calling drug DEALING a victimless crime. That is usually reserved for those who partake in vices.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

Libby was convicted for misleading an investigation into a whodunit where the investigators already knew whodunit and didn't prosecute. Granted, his false statements to the FBI preceded Fitz's appointment and Armitage's confession, but even so, the "harm" to the investigation was pretty fleeting and substanceless.

I don't underrate the seriousness of perjury, but in sentencing you consider mitigating factors. Unlike the Paula Jones case, no individual litigant was harmed. And unlike the Sandy Berger case, there was no successful coverup.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

but I don't see many liberals advocating tax reform.

lesterblog.blogspot.com

Re: "Tax evasion is a victimless crime"

Hardly. It means the rest of us pay more or incur more government debt.

Bush split the difference between a full pardon and seeing Libby serve time for something that should never have been prosecuted in the first place. It's not completely satisfactory, but I'm glad to see Scooter isn't going to have to be behind bars thanks to the efforts of the New York Times.

I wish Bush could have given him a full pardon but the political reality right now is probably that if he did...

Well, you know what would happen.

In the aftermath of this I think everyone Republican shoud be working to give Scooter and his family the best chance they have to put this behind them.

Warning: KosKidz at Work!

Here's the major reaction at Kos, I think. Aside from the people who never understood what happened thanks to reading DailyKos in the first place.

Judging from that reaction, I think this was as about as good as we could have expected! Of course, if Bush had fully pardoned him, it probably would have driven this Kossack to suicide, so Bush was right in both senses.

Now that this has happened, I hope someone offers Scooter an incredibly lucrative job so that he and his family can get back on track.

...many of them with the Speaker of the House for not stroking their impeachment fantasies.

(shaking head) They'd look at her oddly if Nancy started incorporating the wishes of her breakfast cereal into her forward planning: so why are they so surprised at the similar treatment? It's not like they're real to the Establishment Democrats, after all.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

There's really nothing more ironic than to see those lunatics at Kos complaining that now there is no rule of law in this country. Is that why they are always careful to follow the plain sense of the Constitution so closely?

Mr. Bush will have the opportunity to go the extra step in January 2009.

Now he will need relief.

I wonder if there were any way for us to publicize his defense fund on the web?

bring up pardons and commutations.

How about Bubba?

Should we start with Mark Rich?

How about the 16 members of FALN?

No .... Roger Clinton ...... Susan McDougal .... Carlos A. Vignali the cocaine trafficker ......... or the other 136 pardons on your last day.

Bring it on beatch!

--------------------
Vista really sucks!

Though a little premature, decision to commute was the right one.

http://osi-speaks.blogspot.com/2007/07/though-premature-bushs-commutatio...

With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see right.

"...thus, an unsentenced conviction for a victimless crime"

Come on I think we can all agree he committed a crime just like Bill Clinton committed a crime. They were both victimless.

Just my 2 cents

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

...when a fair comment is made?

You appear have no grasp of the differences between Clinton's case and Libby's. Take the next five years and study up on the cases, then come back and comment. Or not. Or just take the next five years off.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Being called a "jerk" is an insult. Being called a "stupid jerk" is a bigger insult.

Except in your case we get a waiver for simply pointing out fact.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Both lied.

Both got busted.

Both deserved punishment.

The "quality" of the lie does not change the fact that it was a lie, and a lie committed under oath.

Wether you're lying about an affair or lying about who said what when to who, it is still a lie.

It's very simple: one does not lie under oath, under penalty of perjury. The circumstances leading up to that moment are irrelevant. If you are on the stand and you are directed to answer a question, you answer it honestly or you face a perjury charge.

Why you are on the stand is irrelevant.

The question you are asked is irrelevant.

If you lie, you are in danger of being charged with perjury, wether you conceal a murderer or lie about the color of your socks.

That is a basic tenet of law.

I don't need 5 years of studying cases to understand that fundamental truth.

This is the issue that many of us independents have with this case. The republicans are raging that he was framed, the democrats are screaming that it's a conspiracy. But it all boils back down to a simple issue, a simple point of law.

You know, the law...that thing that we're all supposed to respect?

Well, from the fence, all I see is that someone lied on the stand, and he was convicted of perjury.

The end.

Just another guy from the shallow end of the gene pool.

You agree that the President's action was correct, since these cases, which you say are the same, now carry similar punishments?

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. -- Abraham Maslow

The appeals process isn't played all the way out yet, so we'll see what happens. This has been discussed here before, but here goes again. For whatever reason, Libby was not allowed to present as part of his defense that there was no underlying crime. That seems a critical point to me. Could his conviction be overturned because of that?

Look at the possibilities:
1) He was covering up a crime. (We know now that's not the case, and Fitzgerald presumably knew it early on.)
2) He THOUGHT he was covering up a crime. (Certainly possible.)
3) He has a bad memory or said some dumb things, e.g. should have said "I don't recall" more often. (Also possible.)

It seems to me that Fitzgerald was happy to let the jury assume 1) was the case. That would seemingly makes jury members think it has to be 1) or 3), and since Libby would have had something to gain from 1), guilty. But if it's a choice between 2) and 3) as was the reality, perhaps jurors might be more inclined to cut him some slack if there was nothing illegal to cover up.

Someone who's studied the case more closely can comment in more detail, but this point of blocking part of his defense seems crucial.

I haven't been following the case very closely, but my impression of reactions to it -- and the pardon/commutation question -- is that Dems who thought Clinton should have escaped punishment say that Libby shouldn't and Republicans who say Clinton shouldn't have escaped punishment say Libby should. Someone please help me out here. If there's no underlying crime, do yo think perjury (and/or something similar like lying to investigators) should be punished or not? Seems like each side often accuses the other of hypocrisy when the shoe is on the other foot, and their both right. Again, I don't claim deep knowledge on this topic so by all means please correct me if I'm missing something.

typo: meant to say "they're" both right (also "you" not "yo")

Libby contends that he "didn't remember" what he said to a couple of reporters (real short form). His role in the original reason for the grand jury/special prosecutor also had nothing to do with the charges. Clinton, OTOH, willfully lied about HIS role to a grand jury. His memory was never in question.

And IMO, the only person who should do jail time here is Patrick Sullivan.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

So, according to that argument, the fact that there was no underlying crime -- which is often offered as the reason why Libby did not deserve to be punished -- is NOT the reason Libby shouldn't be punished. Instead, it's because Libby wasn't really guilty, just honestly mistaken. Put differently, your argument is that the Libby jury was wrong.

As for the other point re: being the original reason for the grand jury/special prosecutor, I respectfully disagree that that is much of an argument. If someone commits perjury or other obstruction of justice to protect someone else it's still a crime.

The moment Sullivan discovered WHO gave the information to Novak, the ONLY question should have been, "Did Mr. Armitage break the law?"

If the answer was "NO" (which it apparently was) then he should have sent the GJ home with thanks for their service and gone about his other business.

If the answer was "YES", then he should have indicted Armitage (and maybe Powell(?)) and never called Libby - or shredded any testimony/statements he had from Libby.

Even if Libby DID commit perjury (which I think is a stretch of the first order), his actions were specifically NOT to obstruct justice nor were they to protect himself or his boss. No crime.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

No snark intended (nor evidence thereof, IMO -- please, no double standards for those who readily agree vs. those raising questions). OK, so it sounds like your argument is (1) inappropriate decision by the prosecutor to prosecute (or perhaps to even question) Libby, and (2) He either did not really commit perjury or if he did, he still wasn't really guilty of obstruction of justice (i.e, the jury was wrong). Is my understanding of your view correct?

With respect to his questioning Libby, I don't have the timeline. If he questioned Libby before Armitage fessed up, the transcript of the questioning should have been filed and forgotten. If it was after, he never should have been questioned.

With respect to whether the jury was "wrong", I'll withhold comment. I do think the prosecution should never have been brought (for reasons I've discussed) and I think the judge was absolutely wrong to disallow both expert testimony and to not allow Libby impeachment witnesses v Russert.

I'm not commenting on whether the jury was wrong because I don't know what their charge from the Judge was, and I think most juries are dearth to rule in direct contravention to a judge's instruction (jury nullification).

And, finally, it was MY snark switch I was turning off. I wasn't implying you were being snarky. :>)
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Thanks for the clarification. On the jury being "wrong" I just meant that it seemed that your assertion was that Libby made an honest mistake rather than deliberately lied, as the jury presumably concluded.

As for inappropriate questioning -- if Fitzgeral knew Armitage was the source of the original leak AND that Libby did nothing illegal (and I don't know sequence either) -- I can see how that would be viewed as an inappropriate fishing expedition.

If the questioning took place BEFORE Fitzgerald knew about Armitage, as for inappropriate prosecution, I guess I would still see it as worthy of prosecution if an investigator believed that someone lied about something potentially material to a case of a potential crime, but I'm not settled on that view.

Re: my misunderstanding re: "snark", my apologies. Thought it was directed at me. It occurred to me that perhaps you were referring to yourself, but I thought otherwise. Please don't tell Franz I goofed. He's my hero.

being "wrong", I think they wrongly decided but, again, I don't know how they were charged. It takes big ones to ignore a judge's charge.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

check out the diary i just posted. it relates to that idea i briefly told you about recently - to increase public support for the war.
let me know your thoughts if you get a chance.
thanks a lot.

(and excuse me for the interruption, everyone.)

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

and a DC jury is going to convict every Republican they see. Let's just tell it like it is and be done with the lip service to our exceedingly corrupt legal system.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

Gimme a freaking break you old fart.

I'm working on my "kinder gentler" self. If Moe can take a shot at KG, so can I.

So go bust somebody else.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Just one differece: Libby is convicted for his recollection of events that weren't illegal from two or three years earlier that conflicted with others also reaching back over that time frame to remember. No underlying crime... not motive to lie. He tried to cooperate.

Clinton purposefully had his lawyer draw up a fraudulent legal document and submitted it to a court of law in order to avoid an ongoing lawsuit. The lawsuit was a threat and avoiding it was Clinton's motive for lying. Clinton admitted (!) in court he did this and was found guilty and sentenced by a judge. Not to mention he lied repeatedly to his cabinet and the American public regarding his affair with Lewinsky. Whether there should have been an impeachment is another issue.

Jack
The World's Ruined

Sounds like your points are essentially the same as mbecker's. Please see my reply above, and please correct me if I'm missing something fundamentally different in your points vs. his.

On this; and you of all people should know that debating the finer points of the story that led up to this point is only going to waste people's time. It's a little like the kinds of decisions that I've read about so often in divorce courts, and I think it was fair, even though it really isn't going to satisfy anyone.

Unless Richard Armitage is willing to extend a hand privately to Scooter Libby for starting this entire godawful thing in the first place.

And secondly, I hope Joseph Wilson IV winds up sucking the marrow out of bones in Haiti.

I'm just trying to understand what appears to be an inconsistency. My sense -- again, without having read up on it, so open to correction, which is why I'm asking -- is that both sides are being hypocritical based on who's foot the shoe is on. If there's an explanation -- things I'm missing that account for the discrepancy and refute the perception I have -- I'm hoping to hear it and I assume I can get some useful facts & opinion from those on this thread. Just trying to learn about it and refine my understanding, whether that means reinforcing my perception or being persuaded to alter it.

We've rehashed the Scooter Libby/Karl Rove/Joseph Wilson/Niger Uranium story so many times here on RedState in the past two years that it's frankly tiresome to even provide the links to repeat it. All of the information you seek about why some of these statements are being made are in the archives; I'm not going to invite anyone to restart the whole thing here.

It might just be that you haven't been around long enough to read them; who knows? But I don't expect anyone here to reinvent that wheel: there have been at least a half a million words written here on RedState in the past two years about Scooter, Karl, Dick, Joe, Valerie, Arthur, Bob, Richard, and all of the rest of the cast of thousands. I've even written about Jane Hamsher over at FireDogLake for the coverage the Times gave her as she holed up and roughed it in a D.C. condo. to cover the trial.

I hope most people will be wise enough to realize that rehashing the story in depth doesn't serve anyone at this point. If you want to rehash it, quit your job as a management consultant and become a historian.

Indeed, I've missed discussion of it on RedState and if no one wishes to respond to my queries, that's perfectly understandable and I'll assume nothing by it. If, however, someone doesn't mind at least sparing a few minutes for a couple of short paragraphs (i.e., just the basic points in a nutshell), I'll be glad to follow up inependently with my own homework (fact-checking, opinion seeking, etc.).

I mean, the main thing anyone has to understand is that after the President gave his State of the Union speech mentioning Yellowcake in Niger, lots of people decided that they'd help Chuck Schumer take down the Bush Administration. From that point forward, all else follows, and is exquisitely documented here and in many, many other places around the world.

I wish you luck on your journey.

This is one of Steven Foley's older posts that I recovered via the way-back machine. It's as good a place to start as any for background. Read all of the comments too.

***

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

Thanks, but apparently that post is no longer available.

***

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

If you can't access it, send me your email address and I'll copy it and forward it to you...
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Thanks. I sent you email. I tried accessing the post logged off and logged on and keep getting "Access Denied".

I did come across this http://www.rightwingnews.com/mt331/2007/06/qa_friday_67_scooter_libby_bi...
Do you think it's a good nutshell of the arguments?

mbecker refers to Clinton's Grand Jury testimony and Libby's. I am talking about Clinton's felonious actions via his Lawyer Robert Bennett in the Jones Lawsuit case.

See my other post below. There are many potential areas for this Libby case being overturned. Mark Levin of Landmark Legal Foundation (among others) makes a strong case for the railroading nature of this conviction.

The Clinton and Libby cases are very different.

Jack
The World's Ruined

If possible, please provide any links to the info at the sources you've mentioned. I just read this piece by Levin: http://levin.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZjU2NDNiNzY5NDBlYWZkNDhiYmRlOWU2...

I believe the key excerpts are:
"Clinton's lies had nothing to do with issues of recollection or confusion, but were both overt and conspiratorial"
"Unlike Libby, Clinton was the subject of the investigation. Libby was a bit player. Clinton had every reason to lie and cover-up...Libby had no reason to conceal anything"

It seems that his arguments boils down to an assertion that Libby was not really guilty, that he didn't intentionally lie but rather was honestly mistaken.

I think this is the (Sept. 2006) post by David Frum to which Levin was responding: http://frum.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NTVhNTRkYTgzYTQzNTI0NWU3NjgzOTQwY...

If Bush had pardoned Libby, then as the left went wild, he could state that this conviction was unjust in that there was no underlying crime of "outing" a covert agent. If no crime then no motive for Libby to lie. There is much information and sound reasoning put forth by the likes of Mark Levin to show the absolute filmsy legal ground this thing stands on. In fact if Libby, being a smart lawyer, had something to hide from the law regarding his role he would have just said "I don't recall." Instead he cooperated and his recollection differed from others. Fitz wanted a scalp. And Fitzgerald knew from almost the beginning of the investigation who (Armitage) "leaked" Plames name to Novak, so that Fitz should have closed up shop then. Bush could have said he remained out of this to let the process go forward, but that he would not allow an injustice to take place with Libby going to jail for what was a policy dispute gone wild. Let the issue bubble up again if the left wants it to. Bush would be delivering the full loaf of a pardon, rather than the half a loaf of this commutation. And then there'd be an opportunity to set the record straight on Plame-Wilson, the justifications for our war in Iraq, as well as rallying the base back toward Bush. Now... the record stays muddy... but no jail for Libby which is good. Still a felony on his record. Libby taking an unnecessary fall for Bush... just not as bad a one as it could have been.

Oh well...

Jack
The World's Ruined

why did Libby lie?

Can anybody tell me why?

His recollection differed from others. Fitz argued that showed an intent to lie. Witnesses' versions of events often vary. One can be honestly mistaken, rather than lying. it's how the human memory works. Libby wanted to call a memory expert on this, especially when one is overtaxed with many duties. The judge refused to let him.

...albeit not a very good one - did you really think that we wouldn't check you for retreads? - anyway, I see no reason why we should give you pointers.

Now shoo.

Moe

PS: Alright, we'll give you one. It's because Libby hates you, BarbaraB. They all hate you. You can hear them whispering at night, right? It's OK; you don't have to hide it, any longer...

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

If the DC Court of Appeals reverses the conviction, probably because Libby couldn't call the memory expert (or also because he couldn't call Andrea Mitchell to impeach Russert), Libby gets his name cleared. (I don't really know the issues about the Fitz appointment issues, but refusing to let a defendant call witnesse when his liberty at stake looks like an obvious abuse of judicial discretion.)

Think of how satisfying it would be to have the DC Court of Appeals publicly tell the judge and Fitz they screwed up.

That said, it will be a painful wait for the appeals process.

____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

FUMING ! (slight giggle)

Yep, Chuck Schumer is calling the President's pardon an outrage. I think the only thing outrageous is that Chuck Schumer hasn't been taken down. I propose that every minute, every second of Schumer's life be investigated and reinvestigated and that this piece of excrement be hung out to dry. Let's see who needs a pardon after that is all done and said, Chuck.

Dem reaction

Nothing from the Clintons. They're in IA for a joint appearance. No doubt wondering how to spin this one.

And the reason is that he is a very good friend of the official watchdogs over at C.R.E.W.

Those people regularly make the news, in particular Melanie Sloan. And for that very reason alone, Chuck Schumer will never be investigated, because everyone knows how squeaky-clean he is.

Melanie is Chuck's ventriloquist's dummy and principal agent-provocateur in Washington, and here's her statement:

2 Jul 2007 // Melanie Sloan, legal counsel to Joe and Valerie Wilson in their civil suit against Vice President Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Richard Armitage, released the following statement today in response to President Bush’s decision to commute Mr. Libby’s sentence.

“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 an administration that believes leaking classified information for political ends is justified and that the law is what applies to other people.”

So there you have it. You have a better chance of finding unicorn pelts or establishing jackalope ranches than investigating Chuck Schumer in today's Washington.

I think a ruling is due on the motions to dismiss the Wilsons' civil case against the Bush officials, including Armitage. I think the judge is a fairly conservative jurist, who wants solid law to back your arguments. She basically just followed Fitz' indictment, and he had to jettison some stuff during the trial. Some of his timelines were a little off, as I recall.

If the Wilsons somehow make it past the motion to dimiss, I hope the officials join Joe Wilson as a third-party defendant saying he is liable to Valerie for outing her by getting his name in public, and turning the spotlight on his CIA connections.

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER had just finished his last sputtering of outrage at the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court when news broke that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which he chairs, had a small problem. Newsday and the New York Post both reported that the DSCC was in illegal possession of the credit report for Maryland's Republican Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele. Two of Schumer's staffers, Katie Barge and Lauren Weiner, used Steele's Social Security number to fraudulently get his credit history.

I'd like to know what kind of "special relationship" existed/exists between Sen. Schumer and the US Attorney's office that allowed Sen. Schumer to avoid prosecution.

"The U.S. attorney's office also confirmed that the DSCC, as it has repeatedly said, did not use the credit report for any financial or political purpose and that Mr. Steele suffered no economic harm," Singer said. He said he believes "this matter is now closed."

But...

"You have a better chance of finding unicorn pelts or establishing jackalope ranches than investigating Chuck Schumer in today's Washington."

Alas, this is reality as it exists in Washington.

(Regarding CREW: This is a little bit more descriptive and a lot more revealing.)

***

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

NOW...

The glass is half full

But let’s be reasonable here…

This was a half-a$$ case
Pursued by a half-a$$ prosecutor
That resulted in a half-a$$ charge
That resulted in a half-a$$ conviction
That is now “ended” with a half-a$$ action by Bush…

Who some might say has become a half-a$$ President

But I'm not bitter you know...

Lots of New York City Democrats are going to have to get mighty drunk and stoned tonight and punch holes in their bedroom walls (or their spouses/partners) to get over the anger that's being vented over there:

The Lede

These people really want to see everyone in the Bush Administration strung up and quartered (what else is new?). Arthur Sulzburger & Pals got what they wanted, in that sense.

and a discredit to his race along with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. The Fool speaks. President? No, Lackey of the Left.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

The honorable Senator Obama indeed seems to be confused...as do many others.

Richard Armitage is the individual who outed V. Plame, secret agent!

Richard Armitage! Deputy Secretary of State! For SoS Colin Powell! Richard Armitage!

Why is he getting a pass on this from the media, Fitz et al.
(rhetorical question!)

Really? So when a person acts, he brings favor or disgrace on his race? Or is it just when a person of color acts?

I'm just curious.

Seems like people here have been banned for less ignorant statements. Disagree with Obama all you like. But until you accomplish more than he, treat him with at least a little bit of respect.

Where have all the Statesmen gone?

A credit to his race went out with Kipling and the white man's burden. I would also agree that, while I don't think he is Presidential timber yet and I don't agree with most of what he says, he does deserve respect as an elected Senator, which is certainly a great accomplishment for anyone.

And Rightly So!

Chris Dodd; John Edwards, I could continue
but, you probably get my drift.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

About Obama...is he ready. I'm not sure.

Here's the problem, though, as I see it. We don't discuss issues in America anymore. We stopped sometime around 1996, when Newt v. Clinton was heating up. Since then, we talk past each other...each side armed with half-truths that lead you to believe the other side hates America. What do we accomplish? Nothing.

And the Country loses. Neither side has all the answers. Truth comes from airing of differences...respectfully. That's how you learn. We don't do that anymore.

Bush said he wanted to change that tone. He didn't change it. He quickly became invested in the division, and profited off it. Bill did the same. Hillary is completely invested in it.

I would hope for two candidates that aren't bent on perpetuating this. However, a quick scan of the wires is depressing....all Dem candidates condemn the commutation, and all repub candidates support.

I believe it would be completely reversed if it were a dem president doing the exact same thing under the exact same circumstances.

and the country loses...

Where have all the Statesmen gone?

I hadn't really thought much about this before, but in looking back over our history, we find periods of sharp partisan divisions alternating with periods of relative consensus among the parties. Federalists vs. Hamiltonians; North vs. South. We've have fights on the floor of the legislature; breakup of a party and formation of new parties.

In more recent times, the post-WWI prosperity created a period of relative consensus in Congress that broke down during the 70's - and subsequently trust has broken down to. With our modern historical myopia, we tend to mythologize that our nation has always had consensus until...pick your scapegoat (school prayer, sexual revolution, Nixon, Vietnam, etc.)

The bright side of the coin is that consensus periods tend to be complacent eras, which shatter on the shoals of history; partisan periods, however, historicall have led to growth and change.

What may be a new factor that may splinter our governance is the increasing pursuit of partisanship for its own sake, a mindset of competitive sport that's been more characteristic of the House of Commons than the U.S. Congress. When party spirit becomes more importance than the content of the message, then listening stops and we end up with an unceasing series of skirmishes and battles - as worldviews continue to diverge and reinforce each other with more segmented media; the left and the right don't read the same papers, listen to the same shows, visit the same websites.

That's where I find RedState an exciting prospect because it constitutes one of the few sites where actual discussion takes place to help define a coherent core of conservative and/or Republican beliefs. Whether this internet process will eventually enable discussion across the right-left chasm remains to be seen.

It may well take an external crisis to bring us to a point that we will find a national vision once again or under the external force, we will disintegrate into quarreling clans that become prey for our enemies.

And Rightly So!

And I search for the candidate least likely to preserve the current division. Least likely to benefit from the "sport" as you so eloquently put it.

Hillary, I will say as a Dem, ain't it. McCain might have been it 8 years ago, but not it now.

We'll have to wait and see on Obama and Thompson....perhaphs those two may be the best we could hope for in this day and age.

Where have all the Statesmen gone?

Gone to be politicians, everyone.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

and I certainly would not trade my life experiences for his. All I see in his background is typical parasitical behavior culminating in its maturation into his becoming a politician.

And, yes, when a person uses his race as a banner, tool or weapon, in the manner of Jackson or Sharpton, he either brings credit or discredit to it. Now, tell me Obama has not made his race a factor in his political persona so that I can mock your disingenuity.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

You challenge to me prove Obama "has not made his race a factor" but refuse to site examples of him doing so. But I think point is actually irrelevant.

Here's the rub.

You paint the entire african american race with Obama's views. You generalize, and assume all african american's rise and fall with Obama.

Now think if an african american read that. Think if he were republican, and think if he disagreed with Obama. You've just lumped Alan Keyes in with Obama. Alan Keyes race was discredited, according to you, by Obama.

Nicely done.

You hold other races to the same standard? If you're white, do you rise and fall with Timothy McVeigh?

Where have all the Statesmen gone?

"You hold other races to the same standard? If you're white, do you rise and fall with Timothy McVeigh?" That's the way it works, like it or not.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

And, yes, when a person uses his race as a banner, tool or weapon, in the manner of Jackson or Sharpton, he either brings credit or discredit to it.

No, that person either brings credit or discredit to himself, not to his race.

(Just as that person does not bring credit or discredit to his eye color or his foot size.)

And Rightly So!

I may not agree with you on Iraq (judging by your diaries) or other issues, but I'd bet we'd learn from each other...

at least I would respect your opinion.

Where have all the Statesmen gone?

Bush is loyal to his subordinates perhaps to a fault.This is a great way to right an injustice and it will also please the base. Now pardon the boder patrol agents.

the President did half the right thing today.

. . . to not giving amnesty to lawbreakers?

Or at least go for something more amusing; this one wasn't even funny to someone who wasn't fighting against the recent immigration bill.

Sheesh. You've been here long enough to learn the community standards for snark.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

The Dhimmis have been trying to beat back their base, especially Hillary, with limited success. As Obama and Edwards have continued to frame the debate, Hillary has had to move Left to keep pace. Obama's fundraising championship season has kept him in the game and has forced Hillary to face facts.

As the Democrats have failed to pass significant legislation, they have been forced to substitute "oversight" hearings for action. Thus, Henry Waxman goes after Condi Rice over rather irrelevant issues concerning the "manipulation" of intelligence leading to the outbreak of the Iraq war. Pat Leahy, for his part, is trying to threaten criminal charges over the White House attorney's kerfuffle.

The commutation of Scooter is going to enrage the Left, and force the Democrats to do things to pacify them. Remember, the Kos Kiddies are not the Kids in the Street. They are a Monied Left, and they know how to direct money to campaigns. More hearings. Perhaps a Contempt of Congress citation against Condi. Definitely an impeachment move against Darth.

This was a dadgum good move by Bush. Smartest move he's made since firing Rumsfeld and appointing Petraeus, imho. Plus, it will help bring back some of the base so recently alienated by the hideously stupid immigration campaign by the President.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it"-Winston Churchill

Those that loved President Bush the day before, love him now even more

Those that used to love him, but have had “issues” with him... now like him a bit more than they did the day before.

And those that hated him the day before now hate him more… if that is possible.

In the grand political scheme of things this changed nothing.

Plus…

It gives the left to do what they do best… scream louder and look crazier… and with any luck scare the snot out of folks.

It gives our guys running in ’08 to take a stand on things allowing our voters in primaries to make better choices

It hits their frontrunner, Hillary, the hardest… this isn’t a subject she can stay on all that long or hard.

Little downside… a good deal of up side…

Give him the full pardon. What the heck is going on in the White House?
End this thing once and for all.

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."
John Paul Jones (letter to M. Le Ray de Chaumont,16 Nov.1778)

A pardon would cut-off everything and leave the precedent of
Fitzgerald's actions in place. This way, Libby avoids jail while continuing his appeals. And if he does get the appeal overturned, this will set an important limit on future political prosecutionspersecutions.

And Rightly So!

of it in that light. But for Libby to have to go through all he has had to go through for some kind of peeing contest is pathedict to me.
Ol' Fitz ruined a mans life for (what seems to me) another man's ego.

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."
John Paul Jones (letter to M. Le Ray de Chaumont,16 Nov.1778)

You learn that perjury is, at it's core, typically a whizing contest. The true context of why Fitz went after Libby will never be known unless he writes a book and others respond for some balance.

Remember, Libby admitted inconsistent statements, but claimed a bad memory.

Rove, according to the tales, also gave the grand jury inconsistent statements. He told the GJ he had nothing to do with it, but later changed after being "reminded" by a reporter that he was a source of Novak's.

Why no prosecution of Rove? On the surface, there appear to be two similar situations, but only one prosecution.

I'm not advocating Rove's prosecution, but merely pointing out that the prosecutor in this case (appointed US Attorney for Chicago by President GW Bush) made a judgement in one set of facts that he declined to make against the other.

I'm not sure we'll ever know why. It doesn't appear politically motivated, given Fitz's party affiliation. It wasn't to slay a big fish, or why not go after Rove?

So why?

Again, we'll have to wait for a book we may never get.

Where have all the Statesmen gone?

A reversal says the conviction was wrong. A pardon just erases it, and leaves the wrongness forever open to debate. As I said above, waiting for reversal may be difficult, but better in the long run.

I figured that that mental image expresses my feelings MUCH better than anything I could write...so there!

Kudos, GWB

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

That stuff's catching, smagar

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

Tonight I really need a drink. Or a meeting. Or something.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

...just remember, it's almost like Hillary Clinton: One's too many and a 1000 isn't enough!

For those of us in the REPUBLICan party that still believe in the rule of law, this decision is just further evidence of how much our party has imploded to ideological and political expediency. Note: the President commuted his sentence...thus he has acknowledged that Mr. Libby is still guilty of a felony--that is a felony that completely undermines the law. Apparently jail time is not a part of paying for thi most serious of offenses.

Just because Mr. Libby is a favorite amongst many of you for his "loyalty" and defense of the EOVP, does not make his actions any less illegal.

I remember when President Clinton was impeached for the same offense (rightly) and we all pulled our hair out when the democrats sought to defend his ILLEGAL behavior.

What do I find today? Rejoicing. Rejoicing for what?

Individuals like yourselves are hypocrites and have undermined our party. If I were you I would take a good long look at the Constitution---because slowly but surely it fades away thanks in large part to your selfish actions.

Ed Nigma

The president has the right and power to do this under law. So how does it erode the rule of law ?

______________________________
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Try harder, you're completely unconvincing.

Here's the thing; I can take being accused of hypocrisy ... but not by a group of people who openly and proudly do what they're castigating me for (whether true or untrue).

You and your fellow Leftists didn't consider perjury to be a serious crime before, so I'll be d@mned if I'll let y'all lecture me on why perjury demands a death sentence today ...

George W. Bush: He's A Folder ... Not A Fighter.

A leftist? Perhaps you ought to look in the mirror before you attack the messenger rather than the message. Frankly, that I am one of the few people in this forum remaining CONSISTENT to my principles, I would have expected a well constructed argument to the contrary. Usually, that is how CONSERVATIVES behave.

Let me ask you Martin, did you support the Clinton impeachment? If you did, then you're a hypocrite. If you didn't, you're the leftist. Those are the facts...would you care to argue them or would you rather continue to support this corrupt group of individuals because they happen to call themselves republicans?

As to the argument that President Bush has the right to do this...Yes, of course he does. But just because he has the right to do something doesn't make the action itself right. Let's bring this to the logical extreme: Congress has the "right" to suspend haebus corpus. At 12PM today, Congress exercises that right because they feel as though the country has become unruly in its lack of support for their actions. Does that make their action "right"...NO, obviously most of us would look upon that action as an abuse of power.

While the President's actions in this case are certainly his right under the Constitution, commuting Mr. Libby's sentence is an abuse of power. Mr. Libby was CONVICTED by a jury of his peers. Mr. Libby's sentence was the result of underlying LAW applied properly. By commuting his sentence Mr. Bush has effectively undermined justice by ignoring the proper application of the law. (By the way, for all of you Mr. Libby is innocent folks, Justice refers to the application of the law, it does not refer to outcomes because positive and negative outcomes are in the eye of the beholder aka bias---our system of laws, though obviously imperfect, is designed to be impartial).

To support this decision is to say that ANY PRESIDENT, now, in the past, and in the future, is always doing the "right" thing when they commute the sentence of an individual who has received their due process. Well done. It's at times like these that I hope that Hillary Clinton becomes our next President and drives a Mack Truck through all of the moral and legal loopholes that individuals like yourselves have created.

For some of us, principles are the foundation upon which our Republic rests. For others, they are merely political tools to be used to further one's selfish agenda. Whether you think that Mr. Libby is guilty or not, ask yourselves, did Mr. Bush commute his sentence help the Republic or to help Mr. Libby? Looking at his statement, I would argue the latter--which, in this case, is at the cost of the former. That is inconsistent with being a REPUBLICan ladies and gentlemen.

Ed Nigma

Mr. Libby was CONVICTED by a jury of his peers. Mr. Libby's sentence was the result of underlying LAW applied properly. By commuting his sentence Mr. Bush has effectively undermined justice by ignoring the proper application of the law.

You're not a lawyer, are you? (Well, I know what you actually are, but we have a facade to maintain here, don't we.)

Relatedly, you're not a moderator here, are you? No? I am. The tone gets peeled back, post haste. I'm sympathetic to your argument, but cut the crap now, or we end this experiment in 11th Commandment violations.

(By the way, for all of you Mr. Libby is innocent folks, Justice refers to the application of the law, it does not refer to outcomes because positive and negative outcomes are in the eye of the beholder aka bias---our system of laws, though obviously imperfect, is designed to be impartial).

Actually, due process refers to the regular, impartial application of the law. Justice comes from a Latin word with a specific set of meanings, which we've imported from that tongue pretty much wholesale. So, not to put too fine a point on this, but don't preach if you didn't study your text first.

For some of us, principles are the foundation upon which our Republic rests. For others, they are merely political tools to be used to further one's selfish agenda. Whether you think that Mr. Libby is guilty or not, ask yourselves, did Mr. Bush commute his sentence help the Republic or to help Mr. Libby? Looking at his statement, I would argue the latter--which, in this case, is at the cost of the former. That is inconsistent with being a REPUBLICan ladies and gentlemen.

Thanks for the lecture. Somehow, we survived that arch-leftist Ronald Reagan pardoning all over the place at the end of his term without the REPUBLIC crashING.

-----------
We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

Cut the crap? What crap? I'm accused of being a leftist for merely pointing out the logical inconsistencies in your argument and your attacking me is somehow ok? Since when does that make me the lefty and you the guardian of the right?

Fine, if you'd like to ban me, that's your prerogative since, as you point out, it's your blog. But if you'd actually like to engage in a useful discussion with someone who is more interested in the actions of the "leaders" of our party rather than the 11th Commandment, you'll let me respond:

On my pseudonym, yes Ed Nigma is a pseudonym, considering what I do for a living, I don't think that I should be precluded from trying to inject some sense into our party. Would you prefer that individuals that fear retribution from their employers by trying to participate in the public discourse keep quiet?

On Justice: While you're scholarship is certainly commendable, I would direct you to look at a picture of her...note the blindfold? The reason why she's blindfolded, ironically, is so she is not influenced by the signals of the sovereign. In other words, she remains impartial. Justice, in this country, has always been understood to refer to the process rather than the outcome. In this case Justice has been served (pending appeals). Thus, the decision to commute Mr. Libby's sentence is a usurpation of Justice.

Finally, on my "lectures"--I would hope that you'd be the first to admit that all of President Reagan's actions were not Conservative. That having been said, in total, President Reagan was without a doubt one of the greatest Presidents our country has ever produced. With respect to your theory about the Republic however, it is not that I worry that tomorrow the Republic will end suddenly, instead I worry that over time, it will morph, much like the Republic in Rome into an Empire (which interestingly, individuals like Max Boot would like to see happen). Empires require emperors and that is incompatible with the Constitution, which individuals like myself, CONSERVATIVES, are trying to CONSERVE. Like many people, your problem is that you don't see the slippery slope until you've fallen down it. For every action that ignores the Constitution, you open up a loophole for that individual, or a future individual to push the envelope a bit further. You're obviously a learned individual, doesn't history impart that lesson on you? Perhaps I'm more hypersensitive to it because I have a family now, and I don't want to see my daughter grow up in a world where potential tyrants are seeing how far they can go before someone notices. Unfortunately, we've reached that moment in our lifetime and God knows what will happen if a person like Hillary Clinton steps in in 2008.
Ed Nigma

In this case Justice has been served (pending appeals). Thus, the decision to commute Mr. Libby's sentence is a usurpation of Justice.

In that copy of the the Constitution you guys all profess to carry around in your pocket or wherever have you ever read the Article II powers of the President. Funny the Founding Fathers didn't consider this to be an "usurpation" of justice but rather a means to ensure justice could be done despite the law.

"He who is merely just is severe" and all that.

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

I refer to my comment on abuse of power. Just because the government has the "right" to do something, doesn't mean it's can't be an abuse of power.

Would it not be an abuse of power if Congress suspended Habeus Corpus because they felt the country was in "rebellion" over their lack of support for their legislative agenda?

Ed Nigma

Moreover, where did you read about "Justice" in Article II? If you haven't guessed I'm also an originalist, and I don't know of any mention of ensuring Justice in either the Constitution or the writings of the Founders. Could you guide me to that discussion perhaps?

Ed Nigma

What other purpose is the pardon power for?

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

I don't think that we ought to study the power through process of elimination, rather, I would argue that the power ought to be reserved for those cases in which the judicial system is actually shown to have failed.

I realize that this might cut down on the number of pardons, but I strongly believe that this extraordinary power should only be reserved for extraordinary cases. This is certainly not one of them. I mean, is anyone prepared to argue that Mr. Libby's case was a miscarriage of justice? Not even the President was prepared to argue that.

Ed Nigma

where Presidential pardons were given for what you consider to be "a miscarriage of justice", or where "the judicial system is actually shown to have failed". You can confine yourself to Presidents from Gerald Ford forward.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

>>>I would argue that the power ought to be reserved for those cases in which the judicial system is actually shown to have failed.<<<

...found this somewhere in the Constitution, I suppose?

bs, do yourself a favor and look up the term "originalist." or perhaps you'd enjoy picking up and reading some of Justice Scalia's most prominent decisions.

as to where in the Constitution, well, looking at Article II Section 1, it states that the President shall take the following oath or affirmation:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

can you tell me how commuting the sentence of scooter libby or pardoning marc rich complies with "preserv[ing], protect[ing] and defend[ing] the Constitution of the United States[?]" it seems to me that when the judicial system fails, that the President would be upholding his oath by protecting the Constitution. though details on early Presidential pardons are difficult to come by (save the pardon of the Whiskey Rebellion Rebels) i don't think that my "err on the side of the law" argument is unreasonable and frankly, less Constitutionally sound then an argument that posits, "if you have the power, use it." limited government anyone?

on that note, let me pose that question to many of you in the forum that are prepared to support the Presidential use of this power in nearly all circumstances. is there a case (beyond the restrictions outlined in the Constitution) where you think a President should not pardon an individual accused of or convicted of a crime? in other words, are there limits, can it ever be an abuse of power? additionally, is there anyone in the forum that defended the Marc Rich pardon or some of President Clinton's more nefarious 11th hour pardons? please, don't be bashful...at least it's a consistent argument.

bs, i'll look forward to your summary of Scalia's magnus opus which is Casey v. Ferguson. everyone else, i'll look forward to your answers.

Ed Nigma

There's nothing in the Constitution that spells out your particular definition of "pardon," your condescension notwithstanding. Your sniveling pseudo-intellectual blather doesn't impress.

Do YOURSELF a favor and go back through the history of presidential pardons, as was already recommended. The model has been set.

dodge the issue eh? i'll just assume then that you support a version of the pardon power whereby the President can pardon anyone that he pleases---and you would support and defend that as the right of the Executive. have you considered the logical ends of that? what about Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen and a man that planned (not very well) to detonate a radiological device that might have ended up killing innocent human beings. what if someone pardons him? is that something that you fight for to defend the President's Constitutional right?

I just want to make sure that you and I both recognize exactly what you're proposing...power without ends. That is tyrannical and it has no grounding in either Constitutional law, common law or Conservative thinking.

If you're comfortable with that. Fine. As to my condescension, it's not condescension, it's impatience and frustration with individuals that don't think about the ramifications of their actions and how they effect others. I suppose that you and Mr. Libby would make a heck of team then considering what he and his boys missed on the way to Baghdad.

Ed Nigma

got a reference that demonstrates that it is illegal for the president to pardon persons charged with/convicted of a federal offense.

want to explain how a president exercising his authority under his clear Article II powers is unconstitutional.

want to further explain how a presidential pardon for "Jose Padilla" would prevent a state from filing murder charges rendering the pardon moot?

Please include citations. This is important.

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

Please excuse me, I'm just an attorney, but I can find no record of a case called Casey v Ferguson in the Supreme Court or the DC Circuit, much less one relating to the original meaning of the pardon power. Can you provide the cite?

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

was obviously conceived by the Founding Fathers to give Ed a chance to simultaneously demonstrate his lack of knowledge and skill at sophistry. All we're missing now is a paean to the inherent genius and goodness of Ron Paul to make his appearance a true trifecta of dissimulation.

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

ah personal attacks...the last refuge of the democrat. seriously are you that busy to not think? or perhaps you're young...yes, I remember when I was your age and used my heart more than my head. you should read Marcus Aurelius or perhaps some Burke...that will also give you a bit of a lesson in Foreign Policy as well.

for the record, i will not be supporting Ron Paul in the election because he is a libertarian, not a Conservative. streiff, you might want to read up on the differences between those as well.

Ed Nigma

compared to "Old Ed" here.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

knows is obviously limited. As is probably his time here.

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

the last refuge of the democrat.

Could a bigger insult be lobbed at streiff? ;-)

or perhaps you're young...yes, I remember when I was your age

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

yeah, when i was young i used to quote people too because i had difficulty putting my thoughts into words. it's always easier to use someone else's words when one finds it difficult to write...kinda like that first grade-school speech where "a great man once said..."

seriously, Kipling? can't you find me something a bit more obscure, like Augustus or Homer or perhaps even the Cyrus the great...yes, yes they're all in wikipedia one need only search.

Ed Nigma

A bit of advice: Unless you want to get booted by one of the moderators/editors (of which I am NOT one), stick purely to arguing the substantive points and drop the personal attacks and snark, even if you think the latter are justified. I don't know how long you've been on RedState (and I get an error message when I click on your handle so I can't check), but particularly if you're new and you're aggressively arguing a position that conflicts with those of the Republican/conservative base, you're skating on thin ice even without personal attacks and condescension.

____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"
Contributor to The Minority Report

His stuff got old quick.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

Article

"The underlying theory about the Bush administration seeking retaliation against Joseph Wilson for writing a column in the New York Times accusing the Bush Administration of “twisting” evidence to justify going to war against Iraq was false, and it was Wilson who played fast and loose with the truth. And it is well known that it was Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State under Colin Powell, not anyone from the White House, nor a supporter of going to war in Iraq, who told Robert Novak and Bob Woodward that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, worked for the CIA and had recommended her husband for the trip to Niger."

This is a case that had no basis in fact, and got worse from there.

pagar, again, this has no relevance to Mr. Libby's fate. it doesn't matter whether or not there was an underlying crime (I'm not convinced there was) since the prosecutor decided to go forward with the questioning and Mr. Libby lied on a number of occasions for which he was ultimately convicted. without a doubt, Mr. Libby was entitled to raise that defense (which he did)...unfortunately for him this charge of prosecutorial misconduct fell on deaf ears and was adjudicated. let me repeat...MR. LIBBY WAS CONVICTED BY A JURY OF HIS PEERS. ACCORDING TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HE REMAINS A FELON.

i would just like to ensure that like many felons, he is treated like one.

Ed Nigma

supposedly supported by FBI notes that cannot be found, supposedly made by an FBI agent that is not allowed to testify, supposedly supported by another agent who claims that the notes that she is testifying to are not hers is all that is needed to conflict someone so you can demand equal treatment for felons. You live in a different world than most Americans, IMO.

Article

The appeals in this trial are no wheres near over.

1. The circumstances of Clinton's perjury charge and Libby's are entirely different. Go read up on it. Take your sweet time.

2. Mr. Bush acknowledged nothing.

3. Mr. Libby's case is under appeal, frequently defendants such as Mr. Libby are allowed to remain free, on bail, during their appeal.

4. Libby isn't a "favorite" here. I doubt if the vast majority of us care about him one way or another. The issue here Ed Iot is one of a special prosecutor run amok and whether a charge should have ever been brought. Again, read up on the case.

5. Look up the definition of "selfish", you're not even close. It does comport well with the rest of your post, however.

6. If this case is all it takes to undermine a national party, it wasn't much of a party to begin with.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

1.) NO mbecker908, they're not. Both individuals violated the law by lying to prosecutors. It doesn't matter what the circumstances were in either case because the outcomes were the same. If you'd like to argue that the outcome was unfair or that the sentence handed down was too harsh, speak to the appropriate legislator. That's how laws ought to be changed in this country rather than usurpation from the executive and judicial branches (or even the mob in this case).

2.) Yes, he didn't verbally acknowledge anything, but his actions most certainly did. Didn't your parents ever tell you to judge a person by their actions rather than their words?

3.) I don't know what that has to do with anything...So you're arguing that because Mr. Libby doesn't ever have to serve a day in prison for his crime, that that is consistent with common practice. Pardon me, but I would argue otherwise.

4.) Libby isn't a favorite here huh? Ok, I'll let you believe that if it really makes you feel impartial. For the record, I don't much like Mr. Libby for his ACTIONS if that helps to make you feel as though I'm the biased party. I would hope though that we could continue this discussion on the merits of the facts, which you have done to a great degree (to be applauded).

5.) You're right to point out my selfish interest in seeing that our President not undermine Justice and that participants in this forum stick to their supposed Conservative Republican principles. Tell me, what are your selfish interests?

6.) On this point I think you misunderstand me. This is not the only issue that has undermined our party--it's just another glaring example of how far we've fallen. Where there's smoke there is fire. Either you ignore the fire and let it burn, you put it out, or unfortunately, in this case, you add more fuel.

Ed Nigma

one could really stretch things and turn his commuted sentence into a denial of free health care :)

lesterblog.blogspot.com

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

Tbone, catchy phrases are not a substitute for a serious analysis. If you're more inclined to come up with a sound-bite then to debate me on the facts, there will always be a place for you in the democrat party.

Ed Nigma

Self-righteousness doesn't get you very far. You've just come into our house and accused us of all kinds of things; when you're invited into people's houses do you urinate all over the living room? That's what you've done here.

Oh, and a free safety tip from a peon: when you blatantly ignore the advice of moderators like Thomas and Moe, you don't tend to last too long here. I don't care who you are, there are a lot of people around here that have been into politics a lot longer than you have. And 'serious analysis'? I didn't see anything remotely resembling that from you anywhere.

I don't expect you to take any of my advice to heart; I just wanted to tell you that none of us will miss you in the slightest if/when you're blammed, just like you don't miss the neighborhood dog that barks all day and night and fouls your yard all the time when it's taken to the pound. Contributors here are valued by their contributions, and your tally is pretty much in the negative so far.

---
(Formerly known as bee) / Internet member since 1987
Member of the Surreality-Based Community

Self-righteousness doesn't get you very far.

---
(Formerly known as bee) / Internet member since 1987
Member of the Surreality-Based Community

I don't need to analyze it to see what the dog ate to know I don't want to step in it. What makes you think your drivel deserves a serious analysis and response? It didn't. What you call facts, aren't. One debates a question, not an opinion. Go seek the difference.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

judge agreed with the conviction and the sentencing? Two of the three Appeal Court judges were appointed by Bush (Sr.). Something's wrong here?

Perhaps there was a crime even before there was a leak.....

And the prosecutor was appointed by a Republican Attorney General. I guess that could lead one to question if there several bad appointments all leading to obvious errors of judgment or lack of fairness in this case, OR to question if their decisions actually constitute errors or injustices?

There was a "crime" before there was a leak...

***

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

You wouldn't want to be going after the brave and loyal people at the cia. I mean next you will be saying they have been meddling in our internal politics. < / snark >
______________________________
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

I would never, ever suggest there are rouge elements within the CIA who seek to advance their own subversive political agenda, and I certainly would not suggest that they be summarily drawn and quartered.

Nope!...Not me!!...Not Mr. Dwiggins!!!

***

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

Do you suggest waiting a week or two, or what? Personally, I would opt for tar and feathers.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

but I was thinking more in line of a rather lengthy "show-trial" conducted by the Senate Intelligence Committee...then drawn and quartered (feathers optional).

***

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

...watching Paris Hilton's internet sex videos continuously until they beg for execution.

And Rightly So!

is selected to be a witness during the torture viewing. Wouldn't want them to be afforded more constitutional rights than the "run-of-the-mill" enemy combatant.

***

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

Rogue, as in, those who contrived decided to send an unqualified diplomat such as Joe Wilson to Niger in the first place.

I caught that after I hit post.

***

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

the breakdown of the 38% who agree goes like this: 17% agree with the decision as it was, and 21% wanted Libby pardoned completely.

Survey USA poll

since that's about where the opinion balance was on his CIR bill...

I just love these "Who's an idiot" type polls. 38% is about the percentage of hardcore idiot Democrats in this country so it figures.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

In this case, the 38% appear to support the Bush decision...and are probably therefor Repub's.

Where have all the Statesmen gone?

...to see the polls immediately following Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon. Because, to listen to the commentary around the time of President Ford's death, it was about the best thing any president had ever done, an act of courage, etc.

People were apoplectic at the time -- and I heard no shortage of pundit types say that they thought it was awful at the time, but they'd realized later that it was courageous and right, etc. etc.

So much wind from those types.

Frankly, I just don't think this is going to resonate as much of a real political issue outside of the Beltway. I'm really not moved by it and I was somebody who generally thought that justice was served in the Libby case.

That said, the man didn't belong in jail.

Will Libby still have a felony conviction on his record? If he still has to pay a fine, that means he is guilty of something. If you are U.S. civil service, or military, you cannot receive your pension as a convicted felon (unless you get a special act of Congress). I believe that Ollie North needed Congressional action to get his pension.

Not my area of law, but as I understand it, the conviction still stands, but Bush has absolute authority to commute, or delay the sentence indefinitely. So no jail time. Libby will continue to appeal the conviction.

He may lack a pension for now. I wouldn't bet against a full pardon in early 2009. That, I would imagine, would restore the pension.

Somehow I don't think he'll hurt for money.

Where have all the Statesmen gone?

Typical Bush.

This response is a wishy-washy half-measure which not only outrages his detractors and gives them ammo (which they were primed for anyway) but which frustrates and alienates his friends.

The sentence was excessive? Nonsense!! The entire case from begining to end was a total load of crap. SO VOID IT!!! Issue a pardon.

Don't even BOTHER to triangulate this issue in order to squeeze a few kind words out of the MSM--it isn't going to work, you moron!! The weasel-words of this pardon are just humiliating.

Gerald Ford 409 pardons less than one term
Jimmy Carter 566 pardons one term
Ronald Reagan 406 pardons two terms
Bush 41 only 77 pardons one term
Clinton 450 pardons two terms 140pardons and 36 commutations his last days.

Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you. Washington Elected Elite

If anyone believes this was anything but a political witch hunt from the beginning is dillustional. The only motive behind it was to get Cheney and/or Rove.

The Democrats are still at it with Leahy and Henry(Nostrildamus) Waxman. It's investigate, investigate, investigate until they find something. Anything.

Wilson lied and asked for the attention by going public.

The leak came from a man who did not sympathize with the Bush Administration - Armitage.

Wilson's wife recommended Wilson for the trip to Niger - not Cheney.

In the end, no crime was committed and the investigation and prosecution should have been stopped.

Libby tried by a jury of his peers? I've not done a head count and I could be mistaken, but if you can find a jury that doesn't contain 12 liberal Democrats in Washington DC, you are truly gifted. That goes for the judge too.

Where was the uproar regarding the so called journalists who supposedly never forget the facts to a story. Many of them could not recollect things that happened accurately any better than Libby.

If ever there was a reason for a pardon, this was it.

It also amazes me that Hillary has the gall to even complain about President Bush's pardons after looking at the number her husband granted.

Libby lied to federal investigators and prosecutors in the wake of this nations worst domestic terrorists attack, in essense throwing sand in the eyes of anyone who looked and somehow this is OK? Outing a NOC, resulting in the near complete destruction of our on the ground intelligence assets in the part of the world where we need it most and in a time of war....and some Americans still believe prosecution of such was political.... odd since nearly everyone involved in the investigation and prosecution of the case was appointed by the President himself.

The commuting of Libby sentence was predictable. His eventual pardon, inevitable....the longlasting damage to Brand America, (and all that implies), incalculable.

Libby lied to federal investigators and prosecutors in the wake of this nations worst domestic terrorists attack, in essense throwing sand in the eyes of anyone who looked and somehow this is OK?

Clearly we are dealing with different meanings of the phrase "in the wake of." Generally speaking, the phrase means "within a very short period of time after, and related to the aftermath of." You, however, appear to be treating it more expansively as merely "after." This does harm to the English language, and make a clown out of you. Reading this wastes all of our time.

Outing a NOC

Why isn't Richard Armitage in jail?

resulting in the near complete destruction of our on the ground intelligence assets in the part of the world where we need it most and in a time of war

Do you have a mouse in your pocket? Because otherwise, the use of the first person plural seems wildly out of skew. Do you have any evidence that any intelligence assets were burned? Do you even know where Valerie "Cocktail Circuit CIA" Wilson, pardon, Plame, was officed, ever?

Do you, in short, know anything that B. Hussein Obama hasn't taught you about this case?

and some Americans still believe prosecution of such was political

Yeah, I know. Go figure.

odd since nearly everyone involved in the investigation and prosecution of the case was appointed by the President himself

Who appointed Kenneth Starr?

The commuting of Libby sentence was predictable. His eventual pardon, inevitable....the longlasting damage to Brand America, (and all that implies), incalculable.

...the ridiculous hyperbole of a wandering troll, as certain as the tides.

-----------
We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

If you put aside the "controvery" over this commutation and look at those most enraged by it, there is an obvious conclusion: those most opposed to it tend to be those who could care less about America's security.

>>>The commuting of Libby sentence was predictable. His eventual pardon, inevitable....the longlasting damage to Brand America, (and all that implies), incalculable.<<<

...by middle of next year, I suspect that the American people won't even remember who Scooter Libby was or what this was all about. Oh, except maybe the KosKidz and the Dems who have conveniently forgotten about the Clinton legacy for pardons. Wow, that really did "longlasting damage to Brand America", didn't it?

Incalculable? I can calculate it... the answer is zero.

It's such a fine line between stupid and clever. - David St. Hubbins

dumped a load in this thread.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

in anything like the supercharged atmosphere of the Bush WH under assault from the Left and the Press, but I did spend many years in the swirl of political decision-making. You live in a world of lies, rumors, and self-serving half-truths. The very hardest thing for anyone in or near political power is to know what is REALLY going on. No matter how well-intentioned, or not, they might be, I am convinced that if you had five people involved in making ANY policy decision or taking ANY action, you would have five different recollections of how that decision was made and what factors entered into or were determinitive of the final decision.

I would never accept mere incongruity of recollection as compelling evidence of dishonesty. I would have to have evidence that the incongruent statement in some fashion benefitted the maker of that statement before I would act on it.

I think I probably threw out more charges of dishonesty in an investigation than any other charge, and I think this is demonstrative of why an investigator should not have the ultimate prosecutorial power; a real systemic problem with unsupervised special prosecutors. I've had lots of very ugly meetings with managers and investigators and lots of ugly recriminations about not "backing them up." "I don't believe him" is not evidence of dishonesty/perjury. It is only natural for an investigator to become very angry with a subject who games him, is coy with him, or whose story is vague and inconsistent. Having been there, your natural inclination is to look for something to charge the subject with or to just slap them around. That's why investigators and prosecutors should have a boss who isn't directly involved in the investigation.

At the heart of the matter, I believe that Libby simply pissed Fitzgerald off and Fitzgerald charged him because he didn't believe him. With all due deference to the majesty of the Law and all that, a jury trial is a contest before twelve morons with drivers' licences to determine who has the best lawyer. If anyone with any ability to engage in critical thinking winds up on the jury in a criminal case, it is only because the respective attornies ran out of challenges.

I'll admit that in my advocate/investigator days, I'd have probably wanted to slap Libby around and even lobbied the boss to charge him with something. Fortunately, in those days I had bosses who usually could remain detached enough to tell me to get over it. When I later was the boss myself, I tried to follow the same prescription. Fitzgerald didn't have a boss, and that is the heart of the matter. My money says the conviction doesn't survive appeal. On that basis, I think GWB's action was the right one, and should the conviction stand, GWB can pardon Libby - or not.

In Vino Veritas

According to an "Unclassified Summary of Valerie Plame's CIA Employment and Cover History" as secured from a FOI request"

ON 1 January 2002, Valerie Wilson was working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations (DO). She was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD)at CIA Headquarters, where she served as chief of the CPD component with responsibility for weapons proliferation issues related to Iraq.

While assigned to CPD, Ms. Wilson engaged in temporary duty (TDY) travele overseas on official business. She traveled at least seven times to more than ten countries. When traveling overseas, Ms. Wilson always traveled under a cover identity---sometimes in true name and sometimes in aalias--but always using cover--whether official or non-official cover (NOC) --with no ostensible relationship to the CIA.

At the time of the initial unauthorized disclosure in the media of Ms. Wilson's employment relationship withthe CIA on 14 July 2003, Ms. Wilson was covert CIA employee for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.

Or at least, I'm sure you think it is.

But two things:

(1) Use the "Reply to This" feature. Failing to do so one more time will result in deactivation of your account.

(2) What this has to do with my comment, any other comment on this board, the crime with which Libby was charged and convicted, the alleged crime the special prosecutor was investigating, the original post, or indeed, anything, is lost on me (and clearly cut and pasted from elsewhere, with spelling errors intact). If you wish to continue posting here, you will do all of the following:

a. Produce a citation;

b. Compellingly explain the relevance of this block of text to the discussion we are having; and

c. Stay on-topic.

Good luck.

-----------
We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

If your statement was true, why hasn't anyone,(Armitrage) been indicted for breaking the law? Are you too stupid to comprehend that or did you just come out of a 3 year coma?

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

Can we argue on the basis of facts/reality? The following are uncontested facts:

On March 16, 2007, at these hearings about the disclosure, Chairman Henry Waxman read a statement about Plame's CIA career that had been cleared by CIA director Gen. Michael V. Hayden and the CIA:

During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson was undercover.

Her employment status with the CIA was classified information prohibited from disclosure under Executive Order 12958.

At the time of the publication of Robert Novak's column on July 14, 2003, Ms. Wilson's CIA employment status was covert.

This was classified information.

Ms. Wilson served in senior management positions at the CIA, in which she oversaw the work of other CIA employees, and she attained the level of GS-14, step 6 under the federal pay scale.

Ms. Wilson worked on some of the most sensitive and highly secretive matters handled by the CIA.

Ms. Wilson served at various times overseas for the CIA.

Without discussing the specifics of Ms. Wilson's classified work, it is accurate to say that she worked on the prevention of the development and use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States.

In her various positions at the CIA, Ms. Wilson faced significant risks to her personal safety and her life.

In the Ben Smith column in today's Politico.com, Smith writes that Libby, in private practice, successfully represented Marc Rich in his securing a pardon from Clinton.
Any other word on this?

Your point? Apparently he's in favor of the pardon process.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

I don't think Libby was truly culpable for exposing Valerie Plame but I have to wonder if he isn't receiving some late justice for his role in securing a pardon for Marc Rich.
What did Libby know about the Clinton bribery?

I'd like to see an investigation of his pardon. Rich was the biggest tax cheat in the history of the universe. If Libby were involved in bribing President Clinton to secure a pardon for Rich, I'd want to see his behind in jail for that.

Southern Governors and Selling Pardons go hand in hand. I can't even believe that Hillary can get up and bloviate about the Libby commutation. Oh, wait; yes, I can.

It's such a fine line between stupid and clever. - David St. Hubbins

The commutation decision was a good one. If "Scooter" deserves jail, then so are ALL those who leaked the identity of Valerie Plame to begin with!

http://osi-speaks.blogspot.com/2007/07/though-premature-bushs-commutatio...

With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see right.

None dare call it ..... amnesty?

For we have a peculiar power of thinking before we act, and of acting, too, whereas other men are courageous from ignorance but hesitate upon reflection.

-----------
We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

Neither was the immigration compromise; yet, amnesty it was called because, you see, words don't actually mean what they mean. They mean what we want them to mean. Today. And because the full force of the law was not being applied, and because we didn't like the bill, it was amnesty. Pure and simple, some would say. And so it is here too.

I will urge again: It is very important that we not misuse language. There has been too much of that of late.

Incidentally, I'm not ascribing any view to you and I'm certainly not criticizing you personally.

For we have a peculiar power of thinking before we act, and of acting, too, whereas other men are courageous from ignorance but hesitate upon reflection.

------------
[F]or by the fundamental law of Nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred...

-John Locke

Because we have no other word for "we will give criminals what they want, let them keep it, and then reduce or alter to the point of meaninglessness their penalty." "Amnesty" is not as correct as "partial amnesty," which is not as correct as the thing I just typed out before; but humans being humans, we latch onto simple concepts.

If you're suggesting that Libby is getting something he unlawfully acquired, and that his punishment is being reduced to paying the administrative costs of his prosecution, then you have a profoundly good point. Oh, you're insane, and wrong on the facts, but your analogy is surprisingly apt. (The better analogy would be Sandy Berger, who got to keep what he stole, and simply had to pay a price for it.)

I'm quite fond of English, but I'm aware that words stretch and take on shades of meaning over time. It irritates me, but, as they say, ain't nothin' I can do about it.

-----------
We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

Thomas by von

Respectfully, your post makes no sense. Amnesty is an act by which the state restores those who may have been guilty of any offence against the state to the position of innocent persons. It's generally more than a pardon -- it completely erases the offense -- although I'll accept pardon as a synonym.

A change in the law is not amnesty. By definition. A legislative change in the law that includes a registration, a heavy fine (particularly when weighed against the average income of the illegal immigrant), and a seven to ten year normalization period is also not amnesty by implication.

Incidentally, President Bush's partial commutation of Libby's' sentence is also not amnesty. But my point, of course, is that a misuse here creates a misuse there.\

I can think of many, many ways to describe the Senate bill -- a bill that I ultimately opposed in these pages. None of those descriptions include, much less require, the word "amnesty." Moreover, even if amnesty were the only word available, it still is improper to redefine it to suit your purposes and then pretend that the redefinition never occurred.

Finally, your overreaction to my single-line remark -- intended to provoke a smile, by the bye, not a debate -- says far more about the weakness of your position than anything I could say. Feeling a bit defensive, no?

For we have a peculiar power of thinking before we act, and of acting, too, whereas other men are courageous from ignorance but hesitate upon reflection.

Amnesty is an act by which the state restores those who may have been guilty of any offence against the state to the position of innocent persons. It's generally more than a pardon -- it completely erases the offense -- although I'll accept pardon as a synonym.

Didja read the first paragraph of my comment?

A change in the law is not amnesty. By definition. A legislative change in the law that includes a registration, a heavy fine (particularly when weighed against the average income of the illegal immigrant), and a seven to ten year normalization period is also not amnesty by implication.

An ex post facto change in the law that alters the punishment for a crime committed before the change in the law is something akin to amnesty. Lacking a more precise term, people grasp what they can to describe something new; thus our language shows both more and less flexibility than it should. (Didja read the first paragraph of my comment?)

As we're tangenting all over, and as I suspect you've never actually dealt with an illegal immigrant before (and I've represented them in lawsuits):

(1) You are aware that the average illegal Central/South American or European immigrant has an income around $30,000+, right?

(2) If you add a seven-to-ten year "legalization period" where no "legalization period" was present before -- you give, in other words, the criminal precisely what he wants in return for a little extra bling -- you're going to have a few people with twisted panties.

Incidentally, President Bush's partial commutation of Libby's' sentence is also not amnesty. But my point, of course, is that a misuse here creates a misuse there.

It's also not an ex post facto change in the law that alters the punishment for a crime committed before the change in the law. It's also not a duck. I presume there was a point in all this.

I can think of many, many ways to describe the Senate bill -- a bill that I ultimately opposed in these pages.

Can we safely rule out its status as a duck? Also, not actually having the stomach to read the fifteen billionth diary on the topic, perhaps you can point me to your work, as I missed it? Or was this cut and pasted from elsewhere?

None of those descriptions include, much less require, the word "amnesty."

No, but they also don't require that we spend every sentence discussing "the Senate bill that is an ex post facto change in the law that alters the punishment for a crime committed before the change in the law." Say that five times really fast, and you'll get an idea why.

The defensiveness about the word "amnesty" kinda surprises me, given that the alternative would be something like "an ex post facto change in the law that alters the punishment for a crime committed before the change in the law, applied only to a single group of people in a limited circumstance" which, if you ask me, sounds much less fair than "amnesty." I suspect it's because there's a real sense that people like seeing laws enforced, and absent something like the pardon power, even politicians don't want to be seen as unfair.

Eh. Their problem, not mine.

Moreover, even if amnesty were the only word available, it still is improper to redefine it to suit your purposes and then pretend that the redefinition never occurred.

von, I know you get a tremendous kick out of rushing out half-cocked to prove a point, but I seriously have to ask: Didja read the first paragraph of my comment?

Finally, your overreaction to my single-line remark -- intended to provoke a smile, by the bye, not a debate -- says far more about the weakness of your position than anything I could say.

That you believe this to be an "overreaction" on my part shows that you've been spending more time at that sewer than here by leaps and bounds.

Feeling a bit defensive, no?

Hardly. More like "rushed with work." Again, let's not lecture if we don't have perspective, hm? (Or at least if we haven't read the comment to which we're responding.)

-----------
We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

Read it, Thomas, mostly understood it, still generally disagree -- and happy to leave it at that.

Also: I really didn't meant to veer all of us so off topic: although I'm at odds (it seems) with most of this site on immigration reform, the Libby pardon, and a host of other issues, I'm trying to confine my comments on Redstate to points of (a) improving agreement or (b) substantive disagreement on issues on which minds (mine or someone else's) might change. Because, despite it all, there is still a lot of common ground. Intraparty squabbles weaken those common causes.*

Obviously, the original, sparking comment doesn't fit into either category, but it was just too on the nose to let pass.

Happy 4th.

von

*And I, of course, have other venues for my unrestrained id. Hence the general lack of commentating -- though I check the site nearly every day (if not several times per day).

For we have a peculiar power of thinking before we act, and of acting, too, whereas other men are courageous from ignorance but hesitate upon reflection.

How about we discuss the meaning of "threadjack" and "strawman" then irritate the Directors enough to get them engaged?

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"
Contributor to The Minority Report

I didn't jack any thread, Marcus, nor did I build any strawman. I made a single-line remark that was intended to make folks smile -- yes, even those who disagree with me on immigration.

For we have a peculiar power of thinking before we act, and of acting, too, whereas other men are courageous from ignorance but hesitate upon reflection.

I was referring to your latter elucidation of "amnesty".

It's always fun until someone gets hurt or takes you seriously:-)

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"
Contributor to The Minority Report

For we have a peculiar power of thinking before we act, and of acting, too, whereas other men are courageous from ignorance but hesitate upon reflection.

Partial amnesty, actually. He's still got legal problems a Z visa holder wouldn't face. Heh.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

I decided to let it pass, Crank, but am glad you didn't.

But I won't let this one pass: he still has problems Sandy Berger doesn't have. Go figure.

By definition, amnesty is granted to a group of people rather than a single individual.

But, touché. You made me chuckle.

------------
[F]or by the fundamental law of Nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred...

-John Locke

I'm proud of him for commuting Libby's prison sentence. The entire Fitzgerald prosecution was a sham, and everyone (including my lib friends) have said the same thing.

The entire enterprise was a 'Get Karl Rove' operation from the very beginning, even the mainstream press corps has admitted as much. It was a travesty and shows what happens when the press decide to manufacture a scandal for political reasons.

It is my earnest hope that Libby will get the entire sentence overturned on appeal.

How many lefty invaders are going to get tagged and banned in this thread, making it harder to moby later?

Run like Reagan!

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

We have this going on in the World at this very moment:
1. The Iraq War - fueled by Al Qaeda in Iraq forces
2. Iranians training, arming and supervising death squads in Iraq
3. Iran building a nuclear bomb
4. Hamas taking over Gaza, killing Christians
5. Hezbollah fully re-armed , taking new aim at Israel
6. The Taliban engaging NATO troops in Afghanistan
7. The Taliban slowly taking over the NW territories of Pakistan
8. The Red Mosque in Pakistan is now a blood field - with Taliban supported extremists forcing a war with Musharaff
9. Al Qaeda directed bombings in Great Britain.
10. Germany and Czechoslovakia on high alert for terrorist attacks.

With all of that (and of course, more than 20 other items could be listed), I have been perusing the internet to find the response to all of these "happenings" by Presidential candidates Clinton, Obama and Edwards. You know what I have found? Crickets. Nothing but the sound of bloody crickets!

These three people want to lead this country, they wish to be the most powerful man or woman in the World and the only thing out of their mouths about the fate of this World is outrage over a commutation of a peon's sentence.

These people are the answer???!!

Only if one believes Al-Qaeda should win and America should lose.

It's now Czech Republic and Slovakia - they are two separate countries.

because their separation was perfectly civil and done for mostly administrative reasons. I don't think many people even raised their voices much in that process.

lesterblog.blogspot.com

of what happened around the trial (maybe like me, you didn't pay much attention to it earlier) this National Review editorial has a pretty good, brief summary. Back in March, they were already urging GWB to pardon Libby, and I think they had a good case for it. Bush exercised the law appropriately, considering the dubious nature of the trial.

And for those who can't understand why one might support clemency/a pardon for Libby, just think about this: if your son/daughter was convicted in a sham trial for a crime they didn't commit, would you a) say "we need to follow the laws of the land and the decision of the jury" and let them hang, or b) hope for a miracle and accept any kind of assistance to get them off the hook? If you say a), I'd say you're probably being intellectually dishonest...

That's a bit of a straw man. It presumes certainty that no crime was committed and a "sham" trial took place. While perhaps there are some purists out there who don't think pardons or commutations are justified under any or almost any circumstances (even if the executive believes the verdict to be clearly incorrect or the sentence extremely excessive), I would guess that most people who oppose the commutation do not have such a pure anti-pardon/anti-commutation view, but rather think that there is at least some substantial possibility that the process was appropriate, the jury decided correctly and the sentence was appropriate, and I think reasonable people can disagree on -- or at least have reasonable questions and doubts about -- those conclusions.

of those on RS are of the opinion that the Libby trial was just such a "sham trial" as you indicate. And that's precisely my point.

Rather than griping about Bush commuting the sentence, the objectors should be trying to make a case about why the result of the trial was just, instead of blindly accepting it.

As I said, I did not follow the trial closely when it was taking place, but in reading about it after-the-fact, it seems pretty apparent that there was some shady circumstances surrounding it.

Fair enough, but you seemed to be saying that those who object to the commutation hold that objection despite believing that the result of the trial was clearly unjust. I was just pointing out that I don't think that's the belief of most people who object to the commutation or who raise questions about its appropriateness.

And for those who can't understand why one might support clemency/a pardon for Libby, just think about this: if your son/daughter was convicted...

I'm quite certain that all of the parents and relatives of persons convicted of crimes and who have received arguably excessive sentences, including those 4,000 or so commutation requests that have been denied and whatever others are still pending, would really hope and pray for this kind of assistance on the President's behalf:

The President spent weeks and weeks consulting with senior members of this White House about the proper way to proceed, and they looked at a whole lot of options, and they spent a lot of time talking through the options and doing some very detailed legal analysis. [Tony Snow]

Among those hoping for a miracle? See, e.g., David Henson McNab.

 
Redstate Network Login:
(lost password?)


©2008 Eagle Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Legal, Copyright, and Terms of Service