Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What, he worry?

Helpful life hint: If you find yourself convicted of a couple of counts of perjury -- actually, let's throw in convictions for obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal investigators, too, just for good measure -- make sure you stay on good terms with the president so you don't have to get within a country mile of a prison cell.

Double bonus if you used to hold a high post in the executive branch and/or the Cheney branch. Triple bonus if the president in question is so unpopular that he doesn't seem to think there's much downside in talking about pardoning you completely, even though almost 70 percent of Americans don't want that to happen.


Anonymous Kathy said...

Bush said he'd stay the course even if the only ones supporting him were Laura and Barney. Of course, we thought he was only talking about Iraq, but apparently he was referring to any idiocy he might undertake.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Honestly, what does the guy have to lose? I mean, if these 26% or so of Americans haven't determined him to be a "poor president" haven't abandoned him already, they never will. Besides, Dick probably told him to do it, and the Constitution clearly states that the President serves at the pleasure of his Viceroy, I mean the VP. At least the copy in the Oval Office says that...

12:10 AM  
Blogger WesCrimson said...

This whole Libby episode was mild in comparison to the times in the Clinton administration where FALN terrorists sentences were commuted and others were pardoned that donated to the Clinton Presidential Library. On his last day in office Clinton issued 140 pardons as well as several commutations.

Well Scooter Libby should have been completely pardoned, not just had his jail sentence commuted to zero time in jail. There was no underlying crime committed and Libby was ordered by the President to cooperate with the Investigation, otherwise he could have responded much like Hillary Clinton did time after time, when testifying in Investigations during the Clinton Administration, "I do not know" and "I do not recall."

Sixty-Nine percent of U.S. Citizens have no clue who Libby is or his circumstances. You would be lucky to find 15 to 20% of a good sample of citizens that knew who Scooter Libby was and the issues involved, so a poll is meaningless. Anyway the President gets to make the decision on his own.

Additionally the crime being investigated involving the female one of the lying Wilson's "cartoon" characters was never proven to be a crime ( that Valerie Wilson, a CIA Clerk, was a spy whose identity was protected by existing laws) or even that someone had violated the law.( I mean other than her husband who seems to be promoting her status for fame's sake and to sell a book. No other person was found that had intentionally exposed her claimed status as a spy.)

Meanwhile the two real villains in this episode, the Wilson's, get off scot-free. These two need to be prosecuted.

On the other hand, the President needs to pardon the two border agents, Ramos and Compean,
wrongly convicted and sentenced to jail.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

Wes, this post was about the Libby commutation, not Bill Clinton. Whether Clinton made some bad pardons during his tenure -- and I think he did -- has nothing to do with whether Bush was right to commute Libby's sentence.

Perjury is illegal, no matter the circumstances under which it is committed. As a recent example, the Clinton impeachment alleged that he committed perjury while testifying in a civil case. But had Clinton been found guilty of the crime of perjury, the fact that the underlying matter was civil, not criminal, wouldn't have been a defense, nor would the judge's eventual dismissal of the underlying lawsuit.

So if special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald thought Libby committed perjury during the investigation of whether Valerie Plame was undercover, he could charge Libby accordingly even if she wasn't undercover and no underlying crime was committed.

(As a side note, Fitzgerald seems to think Plame was undercover, according to the sentencing memo exhibits in the Libby case: "At the time of the initial unauthorized disclosure in the media of Ms. Wilson's employment relationship with the CIA on 14 July 2003, Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States." Whether that disclosure was a crime is, of course, something you'd have to ask Fitzgerald.)

The public doesn't need to be very familiar with the details of the case to oppose the commutation. All they need to see is that a former Bush administration employee was convicted on four criminal counts and sentenced to 30 months in prison but didn't serve a single day behind bars. Then they have to ask themselves if they would have gotten the same treatment.

You're right that it was entirely Bush's decision to make. But that doesn't necessarily mean he made the right decision here.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Nick Beadle said...

So Judy Miller served more time for this than Scooter...

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Wes, this post was about the Libby commutation, not Bill Clinton.

Oh... in that case, 9/11 Terrorism bin Laden Unpatriotic

4:05 AM  

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