Bush commutes Libby's prison sentence.

#1
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CIA_LEAK_TRIAL
Jul 2, 5:51 PM EDT

Bush Commutes Libby Prison Sentence
By MATT APUZZO
Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush commuted the sentence of former aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Monday, sparing him from a 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case.
Bush left intact a $250,000 fine and two years probation for Libby, according to a senior White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced.
In other news:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/02/libby.prison.ap/index.html
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby cannot delay his 2 ½-year prison term in the CIA leak case, a federal appeals court unanimously ruled Monday.
So, before the general washington pundit curcuit declares how Bush is now no longer a lame duck, and the Bush- administration as strong as ever, and in continuous fight against the evil opposition - how do we stand on a president who will respect's the jury's decision in general, but will nevertheless commute the part of the sentence that would have Libby serve prison- time? In light of, apparently, the "service" Libby has given to his administration, and therefore the country?

Is this, for instance, a good compromise between simply breaking the law, and ignoring the court's decision? Since it means Bush will not simply declare the court's decision void, but still establish how loyal servants will not be punished, even though they are breaking the law? (This will, undoubtedly, be the main line the pundits will discuss the next couple of days).

Or is this simply contempt for the law, contempt of the justice system, and arrogant exploitation of sketchy, hitherto unknown, and possibly illegal executive powers - for political purposes? I.e, that the executive branch is holding itself above the law, while nevertheless asserting that they are within the law, and only using the process more skillfully than others?


edit:
For a summary of the "very difficult" legal question on whether the sentence should be served or not during the "appeals process", refer to here.

Also note that the president commuting part of a sentence meted out by a judge, without challenging the actual substance of the case, is something that hasn't actually been done that often - but will still no doubt be referred to as then going to simply be part of the "legal process".

In that case, what do you think should stand in the meantime? The president's curious interpretation of the law - or the sentence by a jury of libby's peers, and another special panel's decision to uphold that verdict (in spite of Libby's considerable defense in court)?

more edit:
The president's statement on respecting the court's decision..

Fitzgerald responds, via spokesperson.
We fully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment on the exercise of that prerogative.

We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as “excessive.” The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

Although the President’s decision eliminates Mr. Libby’s sentence of imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies, and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process.
even more edit:
http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/07/03/marcy-wheeler-on-hardball/

Marcy Wheeler (emptywheel), on Hardball. She's been following this from the beginning, and is one of the people who covered the Libby- trial and forced it to the headlines. When the usual suspects could not see the importance of doing so. Or just how far- reaching and illustrative this particular case would be. She is the author of a sizeable amount of "blog- script" from the trial, which has given us the opportunity to check much of the media- coverage and punditry about the case for accuracy. Which, of course, would not have been possible otherwise. She is conducting some very interesting original reporting and analysis right now.

yet more edit:
http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2007/07/isikoffs-worst.html
-re. the paragraph over this one. It's true, of course, that without people with contacts inside the Administration, we wouldn't have access to the WH thinking on anything (unless they'd tell us, you know, straight up, instead of going through their inofficial spokespeople... *cough*). Anyway.. note the parts of Isikoff's "reporting" that references fairly obvious errors. Which don't appear too jarring in the context it's given. Even though this is not presented as the White House narrative, but instead a "balanced" and nuanced account of what happened.

added:

"Libby's sentence not unusually long
(Though Bush calls the 30-month prison term 'excessive,' records show defendants convicted of similar crimes served jail time.)"
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-na-libby4jul04,0,6710317.story
 
T

top gun

Guest
#2
It just kills me the Republican audacity. This was an inside job with Libby taking the fall for Vice President Cheney & Karl Rove and everybody knows it. Then before even one single day in jail. Here comes the Republican get out of jail free card.

Remember Bush and the big big press conference standing at the Presidential podium going on about how he'd come down hard on anybody in his administration that leaked or covered up any leak about any CIA operatives name... lies all lies! There's our Homeland Security my friend!

The Bush administration is run just like Enron was. It's all crooked and as far as they're concerned the end always justifies the means. Whether it's Iraq or Libby, Gonzales or halting stem cell research it's just a travesty what this Republican President has done to the United States of America!

Well at least Cheney and Rove can rub their grubby little hands together tonight and say... We took care of it Scooter... thanks for takin' the rap for us.

I knew Bush would do this but I always thought he'd do it right as he walk out of office. It makes sense though for him to do it early like this. The Republicans always think the American people are stupid and short sighted. They're betting we won't even remember this come the next election.

WHAT DO YOU ALL SAY... LET'S ALL REMEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
#3
I heard a theory this morning from a caller to the Young Turks, and it makes a lot of sense. I'm sure ol' Scooter called up his pal DICK and said "get me out of this or I'm going to talk".
 
#4
WHAT DO YOU ALL SAY... LET'S ALL REMEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!
..Better yet, write your congressperson, and help shuffle the issue of respecting the rule of law into the next election- campaign. Then donate a few bucks to whoever follows suit. Or, alternatively, join some action- group, write a few talking points on the rule of law, and get the message sent around. There are actually a few to choose from, where the point is to push the message out to be debated, and not just to preach towards a specific solution to a particular issue, etc. (You're kind of privileged in that way, at least, overseas ;) ).

I heard a theory this morning from a caller to the Young Turks, and it makes a lot of sense. I'm sure ol' Scooter called up his pal DICK and said "get me out of this or I'm going to talk".
Does he really have to talk? After the trial? Really, it's the same old thing - the ones Bush are catering to are those who are a little bit impressed by someone willing to pull out all the stops, even if it means pissing on the rule of law. And they feel that the more Bush can "survive", the better leader he is, and the greater his legacy is. Some even think that if Bush is powerful enough to break the law completely out in the open, and still get away with it - that is simply an unconditional plus for a leader they feel are on their side.

And these people are not going to be convinced unless the president actually goes up and admits defeat. Which, of course, the Bush- administration simply is not going to do.
 
T

top gun

Guest
#5
fleinn;146253]..Better yet, write your congressperson, and help shuffle the issue of respecting the rule of law into the next election- campaign. Then donate a few bucks to whoever follows suit. Or, alternatively, join some action- group, write a few talking points on the rule of law, and get the message sent around. There are actually a few to choose from, where the point is to push the message out to be debated, and not just to preach towards a specific solution to a particular issue, etc. (You're kind of privileged in that way, at least, overseas ;) ).
I couldn't agree more!!!!!!!!!

Write letters to the editor of your local newspapers and continue to post everywhere you can highlighting the need to remove Republicans from office. As if lying us into invading Iraq was not enough now they out undercover CIA agents just to take cheap shots at their spouses.

There are several great groups like MoveOn and of course the Democratic Party itself that can always use donations to help fund the cause. Even just $20 or $30 adds up if enough people contribute!
 
#6
There are several great groups like MoveOn and of course the Democratic Party itself that can always use donations to help fund the cause. Even just $20 or $30 adds up if enough people contribute!
..if you want my advice, please avoid that. And seek out individual representatives with backbone enough to aim for substance, instead of appeal to the least common denominator. (Which is what you'll get very quickly at Moveon, and particularly at the DNC. They're just not as good at driving narratives like the Bush- administration).

And if that's not possible, instruct them. It's really very simple, and the issue should have the most bi- partisan appeal since the declaration of independence. I.e, to reestablish the checks and balances put in place in the Document, in order to balance and advise the deliberately strong executive office the founders chose.

Of course, there would be a few different views on what that should lead to eventually, but the lack of actual discussion (in place of simplistic tales-for-children on that topic), is what is silently enabling the Bush- administration to get away with what's going on at the present. That, and an utterly useless opposition that either 1. goes along with the Bush- administration style rhetoric, or 2. fundamentally agrees (or has no particular opinion) on just what the limits of executive power should be.

And until that changes, the DNC really has no good argument against the Bush- administration's conduct. Just their own general promises that "things" will "change", once they get (total) power. (..imo.. probably, etc).




...btw. Is this really "world news"? I'm sort of imagining "World news" would be something like, ah.. "The American executive Administration flaunts the rule of law - Declares general and unrestricted presidential prerogative to intervene in all Court decisions. Rest of the world says: what else is new". But this probably is about the specifics of the case in relation to american courts, and american politics. And possibly the implications this has for american courts and american politics in the long run. So, not really a, you know, global event, but more of a philosophical question on what this might end up causing in the US.
 
M

MrCarolina77

Guest
#7
I couldn't agree more!!!!!!!!!

Write letters to the editor of your local newspapers and continue to post everywhere you can highlighting the need to remove Republicans from office. As if lying us into invading Iraq was not enough now they out undercover CIA agents just to take cheap shots at their spouses.

There are several great groups like MoveOn and of course the Democratic Party itself that can always use donations to help fund the cause. Even just $20 or $30 adds up if enough people contribute!
I hate the Republican Party too but the democrats are just as bad. The democratic party sucks too. I would donate money to 3rd parties.
 

Duke1985

EatsApplePieShitsFreedom
#8
Keep in mind this is another kind of cross over to the watergate thing.

Ford pardoned Nixon not long after saying he wasn't going to.
I know its not a full pardon but its just another one of those things.

But hell who didn't see this coming, I for one knew it would happen. It be might unproper to let your fallguy stew in jail, especially since the whole damn country knew he was just the scapegoat. Hell commuting the sentance was the least ol' G.W. could do.

Truth be told, I'm not going to care to much about this, unless the commuted sentance somehow magicly gets reversed by some court or descion or whatever I believe they do technicly have the authority to pardon.

I also think honestly the only hope we have of seeing Cheeny or Bush held accountable for anything is if one of their own people starts spilling his guts and pointing at them. Even then its doubtful, but I guess time will tell on this.
 

tipsycatlover

Registered Member
#9
The only problem is, Libby didn't OUT anyone. That's why he was not convicted of it. That's why there was no trial over whether a CIA agent was outed.

The Judge in the Libby case made a ruling early on that Valeria Plame was not a covert CIA agent under the law protecting the identiy of covert CIA agents. Libby was convicted of giving misleading statements to an investiator. The only reason why he was convicted is because the investigator chose to believe someone else giving a conflicting statement. Had the investigator made a different decision and believed Libby instead of the other person they'd be in prison now. There is no change in circumstances no matter who the investigator believed because no CIA agent was ever outed. It was an easy way to get at the administration and it was taken.

Apparently I'm alone in being alarmed at the growing propensity of putting people in prison without a crime being committed at all. It happened with Scotter Libby, it happened to Martha Stewart. It's unbelievably easy to convince people that a crime has been committed even when the judge ruled that there was no crime! How many people think that Libby was convicted of outing a CIA agent? How many people believe that Martha Stewart was convicted of insider trading? Yet, in both cases the judge ruled that not only did Libby not out a CIA agent, but that no CIA agent had been outed at all. Just like the Judge ruled that no only did Martha Stewart not engage in insider trading, but no insider trading had taken place at all.

There should be a massive outcry over this kind of abuse, but the American People have become so bizarre, so easily led, that they just accept it. Right now it's public figures, but it can just as easily be anyone. It probably is, only we don't hear about just ordinary people going to prision for a crime that never happened.
 
#10
..no, there were no 'other' convictions because of a successful obstruction of justice. Which Libby was convicted of, and now rewarded for by the president.