President Bush commuted “Scooter” Libby’s farcical sentence and if there’s any justice, he’ll be pardoned:
Bush open to pardon for Libby
By Jon Ward
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
July 4, 2007
Associated Press White House spokesman Tony Snow said yesterday that I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr., who is appealing a March verdict and 30-month sentence, may petition for a presidential pardon.
President Bush yesterday said he will not rule out a pardon for I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr., while political blowback from the left, critical of his decision to commute Libby’s 30-month prison sentence, reached a crescendo.
“As to the future, I rule nothing in or nothing out,” Mr. Bush said, after visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he awarded three Purple Hearts.
However, Mr. Bush said that some of the punishments that were given to Libby — such as a $250,000 fine and probation — were “adequate.”
“I felt the punishment was severe, so I made a decision that would commute his sentence but leave in place a serious fine and probation,” said Mr. Bush, who admitted it had been “a very difficult decision” to make.
The president’s decision sparked denunciations by Democratic politicians, outrage and organizing among the liberal grass roots, and praise mixed with calls for a full pardon from conservatives.
Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted in March on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI and grand jury in an investigation into the disclosure of the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame. Libby is appealing the verdict.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said he would not rule out a presidential pardon because “Scooter Libby may petition for one.”
The Democrats screeched in unison:
Meanwhile, Democratic congressional leaders, presidential candidates, advocacy groups and bloggers clamored to denounce Mr. Bush’s decision.
“I’m outraged,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, in a letter asking supporters of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which he chairs, to sign a protest petition.
All the major Democratic 2008 presidential candidates issued scathing criticisms of the president.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, called the commutation a “clear signal that in this administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice.”
Internet moonbats and went on parade:
“Paris Hilton served more jail time than [Libby] will,” said an e-mail from the liberal organizing and advocacy group MoveOn.org. MoveOn started a petition drive aimed at pressuring Congress to push the White House harder for answers on Iraq war intelligence and domestic surveillance programs.
“Cheney won’t testify? Subpoena him. He won’t come? Hold him in contempt of Congress and send over the police. And if that doesn’t work, impeach the guy,” the MoveOn e-mail said.
The blog DailyKos.com advocated pressuring members of the House Judiciary Committee to begin impeachment proceedings.
Outside the White House, a small group of protesters marched, held signs, yelled into a bullhorn and gestured at pedestrians.
While Republicans pointed out the disingenuous motives of the Left:
Conservative author Richard A. Viguerie, however, decried what he said were “crocodile tears” being shed by Democrats. “This is an exact replay of President Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon in 1974. By a constant drumbeat of attacks on Ford for the Nixon pardon, they knew they would damage him politically in the 1976 presidential race,” said Mr. Viguerie, who wrote a book arguing that Mr. Bush has “betrayed” the conservative movement.
“This assault is an early artillery barrage to damage the Republicans and elect a Democratic president and Congress in 2008,” Mr. Viguerie said.
Others on the right also pointed out what they called Democratic hypocrisy on the issue of presidential pardons, since President Clinton was widely criticized for issuing 140 pardons and 36 commutations on his last day in office in 2001.
“Wasn’t it Bill Clinton who was handing out pardons like lollipops?” Mr. Romney told the Associated Press.
Conservative commentators pointed out that Mr. Schumer in 1999 came out in favor of a presidential pardon for convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, saying that Mr. Pollard, who had served 13 years in prison, met certain criteria: “No danger is posed to society, real contrition is shown, and the sentence is disproportionate to others who have committed similar crimes.” Mr. Schumer’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Clinton declined to pardon Mr. Pollard, despite fierce entreaties from the Israeli government.
Libby had no business being prosecuted in the first place. The whole episode was a three-ring circus orchestrated by disgruntled nutroots and the overzealous Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, hellbent on pursuing the biggest non-crime of the century. Libby was targeted for a “leak” he did not commit, and became the scapegoat for a couple of puerile political wannabes.
Valerie Plame’s occupation was one of the worst kept secrets in Washington. One of the places she was “outed” was on Page 5710, 2003 Edition of “Who’s Who in America”. Doesn’t say what her profession is, but “covert” agents aren’t supposed to have their name in print.
Actually, by 2003 she was assigned as a desk jockey at the CIA and hadn’t been “covert” since 1992.
As a matter of fact, her loser husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, introduced her to everyone they met as his “CIA wife”.
A month before conservative columnist Bob Novak published her name, disclosing her position as a WMD analyst at the CIA, an interview with then U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, was conducted by none other than Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward. During the exchange, Armitage explained that he already knew about her because Wilson ‘was calling everybody’, i.e. reporters and everyone else who would listen. Looks like Joe had a hand in his wife’s “outing”:
Woodward: Well it was Joe Wilson who was sent by the agency, isn’t it?
Armitage: His wife works for the agency.
Woodward: Why doesn’t that come out? Why does that have to be a big secret?
Armitage: (over) Everybody knows it.
Woodward: Everyone knows?
Armitage: Yeah. And they know ’cause Joe Wilson’s been calling everybody. He’s pissed off ’cause he was designated as a low level guy went out to look at it. So he’s all pissed off.
Woodward: But why would they send him?
Armitage: Because his wife’s an analyst at the agency.
Woodward: It’s still weird.
Armitage: He — he’s perfect. She — she, this is what she does. She’s a WMD analyst out there.
Woodward: Oh, she is.
Armitage: (over) Yeah.
Woodward: Oh, I see. I didn’t think…
Armitage: (over) “I know who’ll look at it.” Yeah, see?
Woodward: Oh. She’s the chief WMD…?
Armitage: No. She’s not the…
Woodward: But high enough up that she could say, “oh, yeah, hubby will go.”
Armitage: Yeah. She knows [garbled].
Woodward: Was she out there with him, when he was…?
Armitage: (over) No, not to my knowledge. I don’t know if she was out there. But his wife’s in the agency as a WMD analyst. How about that?
Joe Wilson became unhinged after the discovery of his lies and contrasting statements before and after Plame arranged his trip to Niger. He’s a has-been with a serious woulda/coulda inferiority complex, who used his wife to prop up his waning career.
That this could be blown to outrageous proportions by a couple of tantrum-throwing, Bush-hating attention whores, is indicative of just how slanted the media has become with its selective vindictiveness.
Bill Clinton issued a total of 456 clemencies–395 pardons and 61 commutations– which included perjurers, money launderers, tax evaders, child pornographers, rapists, FALN terrorists, and his DNC-contributing-fugitive-financier buddy Marc Rich.
Hillary’s two brothers, Hugh and Tony Rodham, received thousands of dollars from several of the criminals he pardoned. Hugh Rodham was forced to return money that he got from Almon Glenn Braswell (convicted of mail fraud and perjury) and cocaine trafficker Carlos Vignali.
Tony Rodham received a $107,000 “loan” from Vonna Jo Gregory, owner of the carnival company United Shows International, and her husband Edgar, who were pardoned for a bank fraud conviction. Edgar died, the carnival company went bankrupt, and the bankruptcy trustee filed suit against Tony Rodham, seeking the return of the money.
Clinton finished off his own eight-year crime spree by pardoning some of the worst dredges of humanity, yet the Left has seizures over Libby getting freed over trumped-up charges.
How comical….and pathetic.