Skip to comments.If Libby were lowly, he'd be doing time (Barf Alert)
Posted on 07/05/2007 6:54:43 AM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
No prison time for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Not a year, not a month, not a day. Unlike the unconnected, the unrich, the uncelebrated who are shunted off to do their time unceremoniously the former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney has been spared the indignity of a prison cell.
President Bush says he commuted Libby's sentence because he considered it "excessive." So, while the president "respects the jury's verdict," he clearly disrespects the values of U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, who was first appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan.
If 30 months in prison well within federal sentencing guidelines is "excessive," what is reasonable or prudent about no time to serve? How about a year? Six months? Thirty days? Wasn't it conservatives who came up with the line, "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime?" Isn't it the law-and-order crowd that's been chanting "no amnesty" for illegal immigrants? So why does Libby deserve amnesty?
By denying Libby a pardon, Bush claimed, he "leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby." Spare me. His defenders have probably already raised his $250,000 fine. Even if he loses his license to practice law, he has supporters who'll find him a lush sinecure. There's probably an office at Halliburton already being redecorated for him.
Libby was convicted on four counts related to his lying to federal investigators looking into a breach of national security the disclosure of the identity of a covert operative for the Central Intelligence Agency. If such a thing had happened during the Clinton presidency, there would have been a procession of Democrats hustled off to prison as a thunderous chorus of hardliners demanded justice. Indeed, outing an American spy would have justified the venom and hysteria toward a sitting president that marked the Clinton years.
While the right-wing echo chamber has insisted from the start that Valerie Plame Wilson was not a secret agent, she was an inconvenient fact confirmed in a CIA memo that surfaced during the sentencing phase of Libby's prosecution.
"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," the document stated. In other words, a spy.
The conservative commentariat also made much of the fact that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald never charged anyone with the central crime of disclosure (if any crime was committed, a fact they were not willing to concede). But that's the point, isn't it? If Libby had not committed perjury and obstructed justice, perhaps others would have been charged. Perhaps, Darth Cheney would be in the dock right now.
It's true, though, that Libby's lies cannot be counted as the most outrageous acts of mendacity from the Bush White House over the last several years. This administration dissembles, distorts and fabricates with ease rarely troubled when it is caught in its own contradictions. Wilson's outing grew from the biggest lies of all: those used to justify the invasion of Iraq.
But even Cheney's machine of mendacity and manipulation couldn't cover up the facts indefinitely. The rich tapestry of fabrications about Iraq liters of anthrax, tons of chemical agents, unmanned drones, mushroom clouds was blown apart by Shiite militias and Sunni suicide bombers, revealing a misguided and mismanaged invasion. The American public has already made its judgment: 55 percent believe the administration intentionally misled us to justify its war.
And we have every reason to suspect something else: The Bush White House thinks it is above the law. When the president told us that he wanted to export democracy, he didn't say he wanted to export all of it. I'd prefer that he leave some of it here. In such a country, Scooter Libby would stand before the same bar as the powerless, and suffer the same punishment.
Two words: Mel Reynolds.
I will take up his rant right after I find his article denouncing Sandy Burglar’s soft landing after stealing classified 9-11 related documents.
If Algore’s son were lowly, HE’D be doing time.
What total BS! If Libby were lowly, FitzFong would not have wasted 3 years and millions of dollars going after his “trophy scalp”.
Well, Cynthia, if Libby weren't a former top aide to VP Cheney he never would have been indicted in the first place.
Stuff it Cynthie -tired of your imagined injustice rhetoric.
Fact is I’m tired of Democratic rhetoric.
Samo, samo, samo ...
Sandy Burglar. “Spared the indignity of a prison cell.”
If Bill Clinton were lowly, he’d have been impeached and removed from office, and safe behind bars.
if Libby were lowly he’d be doing time, eh?
how about Bill Clinton for lying under oath?
Hillary Clinton for lying under oath?
Sandy Berger for theft and destruction of classified documents?
Chris Dodd for his waitress sandwich?
Ted Kennedy for (fill in the blank here - he’s done just about everything)
talk about people who should be doing time...
If Libby were lowly, nobody would have ordered a special prosecutor who would knowingly gone after minor crimes while full knowing there was no major crime.
Fitz is a scumbag.
If Libby were guilty, he’d be doing time.
If there were honest judges, Libby would be exonherated.
What about Slick Willie’s last hour pardons?
Hmmm, did Ted Kennedy ever do time for killing somebody, Mary Jo unavailable for comment.
Plame is neither an American nor a spy.
She and her CIA gang are/were working against US interests, and working for the enemy in Iraq.
Ted Kennedy was the pickle in that waitress sandwich.
Today, from Novak himself:
” Even before he began his long investigation, Fitzgerald was aware that the leak to me (Novak) that started the case was made by then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. No proponent of the Iraq intervention, Armitage did not neatly fit left-wing conspiracy theory about Iraq policy. Consequently, he disappeared from the Internet blather about the CIA leak constituting treason. Armitage was not indicted because the statute prohibiting the disclosure of an intelligence agent’s identity was not violated. But Fitzgerald ploughed ahead with an inquiry that produced obstruction of justice and perjury charges against Libby though there was no underlying crime.
At the time, I found it hard to believe that Bush did not know Armitage’s identity as the leaker. But his is a strange presidency, and nothing is stranger than the way he handled the CIA leak case.
At any point prior to Monday, Bush could have engaged the case by publicly posing questions: Why did Deputy Atty. Gen. James Comey name Fitzgerald as special counsel when the identity of Armitage already was known at the Justice Department? Why did Fitzgerald pursue the investigation when he knew Armitage was the leaker and had determined no evidence of a crime committed? Why did Armitage, Secretary of State Colin Powell and the Justice Department fail to notify Bush about Armitage’s culpability?”
Bill Clinton, universally hailed as the most brilliant American political operator of his generation, has spent nearly as much of his career in the public eye for bad reasons as for good. Some say that his need to remain centre stage at all costs is behind his seemingly inexplicable series of public relations blunders, while others argue that Mr Clinton has a naive streak that enables people to manipulate him.
He was busy negotiating his own immunity from prosecution in his final hours in the White House, which might have made it hard for him to concentrate on other matters - but his 11th-hour pardon of 140 people and the reduction in sentence of another 36 is unprecedented in modern political history, and Democrats and Republicans alike are demanding an explanation for some of them.
Marc Rich fled the US in 1983
the billionaire commodities trader, is said to have lobbied hard for his pardon via a network of high-powered associates in the US, Israel and Switzerland. Jewish and Israeli leaders put in good words on his behalf, and Mr Clinton defended his pardon partially on the grounds that Mr Rich’s charitable contributions in the Middle East had aided the peace process. In 1983, the financier fled to Switzerland to avoid prosecution on 51 counts of tax evasion, fraud and violating a US trade embargo with Iran.
Carlos Vignali, 30, had his 15-year sentence for conspiracy to sell cocaine reduced to time served, and walked free on Mr Clinton’s last day in office. His father, Horacio, is a rich and powerful leader in the Los Angeles Hispanic community who has made large donations to the Democratic party. A number of high-profile Los Angeles figures, including the archbishop, the man who is now sherrif and two current mayoral candidates appealed for clemency for Vignali, but several have now said they should not have done so.
Almon Glenn Braswell, a Miami-based businessman, was convicted in 1983 of fraud and perjury in connection with a mail-order treatment for baldness he sold. Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles, where his business is based, were stunned by the pardon because it could throw a spanner into the works of the current investigation of Braswell on new charges. Mr Clinton said he was not aware that Braswell was facing a new investigation, and that his pardon was only intended to apply to the 1983 conviction. Braswell’s lawyers argue it applies to the present circumstances as well, but LA prosecutors say they will proceed with their investigation anyway.
Roger Clinton has been arrested on new charges
the former president’s younger half-brother, was pardoned for a 1985 cocaine-related offence. Roger Clinton pleaded guilty to the charge and served more than a year in prison. The presidential pardon erases his criminal record - but he was arrested and charged with drink driving in California a month after the pardon. He also faces a charge of disturbing the peace for allegedly challenging a nightclub doorman to a fight.
Senator Hillary Clinton,
Hillary Clinton is distancing herself from the pardons
the former president’s wife, was elected to the Senate in November, making history as the first former First Lady to win national office. Widely assumed to have presidential ambitions of her own, Senator Clinton has worked to distance herself from her husband’s problems, referring questions about pardons to “the president and his staff”. Opinions are divided as to whether she is a victim of Bill Clinton’s political and personal shenanigans or an essential part of them.
Hugh Rodham has returned nearly $400,000
Hillary Clinton’s younger brother and a Miami lawyer, accepted nearly $400,000 from Braswell and the Vignali family to act on their behalf. When news of the payments became public, he returned the money at the Clintons’ insistence. Bill Clinton denied knowing Mr Rodham had taken money for the clemency work, but not having discussed the cases with him. Senator Clinton denied any involvement in the pardons whatsoever.
Mary Jo White,
Mary Jo White pushed hard for an investigation
the United States attorney in New York, was reported to have been furious that her office was not consulted about the Marc Rich pardon. It was her predecessor - Rudolph Giuliani, now the mayor of New York City - who brought charges against Mr Rich in 1983. Ms White convinced the Justice Department to allow her to open a preliminary criminal investigation into the pardon, in an effort to discover a “quid pro quo” cash-for-pardon deal. She is coordinating her investigation with the Justice Department.
If Libby were lowly it’s unlikely he would have been charged.
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