Monday, July 02, 2007

Glaring Hypocrisy From The Left, Scooter Libby

After President Bush issued a commutation of Libby's sentence today, while maintaining his conviction and imposed fine, Democrats came out in droves expressing their usual moral outrage.

Libby was convicted of covering up a crime that was never committed in "leaking Valerie Plames" name, while the real exposer of her name was known all along, Richard Armitage. Armitage, last I heard, faces no prosecution in what the left has declared to be a crime compromising our National Security.

From Democrats,

Senator Hillary Clinton issued the following statement on President Bush’s decision to commute the sentence of Scooter Libby:

"Today's decision is yet another example that this Administration simply considers itself above the law. This case arose from the Administration's politicization of national security intelligence and its efforts to punish those who spoke out against its policies. Four years into the Iraq war, Americans are still living with the consequences of this White House's efforts to quell dissent. This commutation sends the clear signal that in this Administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice."

Senator Harry Reid: Bush's Commutation of Libby's Prison Sentence Endorses Administration's Culture of Corruption

Washington, DC — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after President Bush commuted the prison sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby for obstruction of justice:

“The President's decision to commute Mr. Libby’s sentence is disgraceful. Libby’s conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq War. Now, even that small bit of justice has been undone. Judge Walton correctly determined that Libby deserved to be imprisoned for lying about a matter of national security. The Constitution gives President Bush the power to commute sentences, but history will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own Vice President’s Chief of Staff who was convicted of such a serious violation of law.”

Howard Dean,

“Once again President Bush and the GOP have undermined a core American value: equal justice under the law for every American. By commuting this sentence, President Bush is sending a clear message that the rules don’t apply to the Bush White House or loyal Republican cronies. After promising that anyone who violated the law would be 'taken care of,' President Bush instead handed Scooter Libby a get out of jail free card. Though Libby was convicted by a jury of lying about a matter of national security, President Bush is sparing him the consequences ordinary Americans would face. This conviction was the first moment of justice in a Bush Administration void of accountability. It’s a sad day for America when the President once again puts protecting his friends ahead of equal justice under the law.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on President Bush’s commutation of Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison sentence today:

"The President's commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence does not serve justice, condones criminal conduct, and is a betrayal of trust of the American people.

"The President said he would hold accountable anyone involved in the Valerie Plame leak case. By his action today, the President shows his word is not to be believed. He has abandoned all sense of fairness when it comes to justice, he has failed to uphold the rule of law, and he has failed to hold his Administration accountable.”

Senator Barack Obama statement on Bush decision to commute Libby's sentence

Barack Obama today released the following statement on President Bush's decision to commute the sentence of Scooter Libby.

"This decision to commute the sentence of a man who compromised our national security cements the legacy of an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law. This is exactly the kind of politics we must change so we can begin restoring the American people's faith in a government that puts the country's progress ahead of the bitter partisanship of recent years."

Former Senator John Edwards Statement On President Bush Commuting Libby's Sentence

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Senator John Edwards released the following statement today about President Bush commuting Scooter Libby's prison sentence.

"Only a president clinically incapable of understanding that mistakes have consequences could take the action he did today. President Bush has just sent exactly the wrong signal to the country and the world. In George Bush's America, it is apparently okay to misuse intelligence for political gain, mislead prosecutors and lie to the FBI. George Bush and his cronies think they are above the law and the rest of us live with the consequences. The cause of equal justice in America took a serious blow today."

Governor Bill Richardson Calls Bush Commutation of Libby Sentence "Breathtaking Arrogance"

Administration clearly thinks it is above the law

SANTA FE, NM -- New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today issued the following statement regarding President Bush commuting the sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was convicted on federal charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to investigators.

"It's a sad day when the President commutes the sentence of a public official who deliberately and blatantly betrayed the public trust and obstructed an important federal investigation," said Governor Richardson. "This administration clearly believes its officials are above the law, from ignoring FISA laws when eavesdropping on US citizens, to the abuse of classified material, to ignoring the Geneva Conventions and international law with secret prisons and torturing prisoners.

There is a reason we have laws and why we expect our Presidents to obey them. Institutions have a collective wisdom greater than that of any one individual. The arrogance of this administration's disdain for the law and its belief it operates with impunity are breathtaking.

Will the President also commute the sentences of others who obstructed justice and lied to grand juries, or only those who act to protect President Bush and Vice President Cheney?"

Senator Joe Biden Issues Statement on President Bush Commuting Scooter Libby's Sentence

Published: 07/02/2007

Hours after a federal appeals court ruled that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby would have to begin serving his prison sentence while appealing his conviction for crimes of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to investigators, President Bush commuted his sentence.

Last week Vice President Cheney asserted that he was beyond the reach of the law. Today, President Bush demonstrated the lengths he would go to, ensuring that even aides to Dick Cheney are beyond the judgment of the law.

It is time for the American people to be heard.

I call for all Americans to flood the White House with phone calls tomorrow expressing their outrage over this blatant disregard for the rule of law.

202-456-1414

Remind George Bush what he told staffers during a swearing in ceremony for White House staff back in January 2001:

"[We] must remember the high standards that come with high office. This begins with careful adherence to the rules. I expect every member of this administration to stay well within the boundaries that define legal and ethical conduct. This means avoiding even the appearance of problems. This means checking and, if need be, double- checking that the rules have been obeyed. This means never compromising those rules. No one in the White House should be afraid to confront the people they work for, for ethical concerns, and no one should hesitate to confront me as well. We are all accountable to one another. And above all, we are all accountable to the law and to the American people."

Senator Chris Dodd

"By commuting Scooter Libby's sentence, the President continues to abdicate responsibility for the actions of his Administration. The only ones paying the price for this Administration's actions are the American people."

Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, who is representing the Plame and her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson in a civil suit against Libby and other top Bush administration officials.

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."

Representative John Conyers (D-MI), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

"Until now, it appeared that the President merely turned a blind eye to a high ranking Administration official leaking classified information. The President's action today makes it clear that he condones such activity," he said in a statement e-mailed to RAW STORY. "This decision is inconsistent with the rule of law and sends a horrible signal to the American people and our intelligence operatives who place their lives at risk everyday."

Joe Wilson "Scooter Libby is a traitor." He also said that the White House was "utterly and totally corrupt...from top to bottom."

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald:

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.

Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter released the following statement in response to President Bush’s commutation of Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison sentence today:

“The President has claimed Mr. Libby’s sentence was excessive. But the only excessive actions taken were those of the Administration as it sought to exact retribution against a critic. As I learned personally from the testimony of former CIA agents, its actions were unconscionable.

“The case against Scooter Libby always involved much more than the fate of one man. By revealing Valerie Plame’s identity, the Administration endangered her life, the life of everyone in the field she had worked with, and America’s national security. This illegal action set back the work of our intelligence community immeasurably by breaking bonds of trust which take years to form. Two years is a paltry price to pay for the damage done to our nation, damage Mr. Libby made possible.

“With its decision, the Bush Administration has proven that to the very end, it is interested only in shielding its members from accountability rather than encouraging it, even when doing so comes at the direct expense of our nation’s security.”


Funny thing is, I can find no similar moral outrage over former President B.J. Clinton's unconditional pardons of terrorists, drug dealers, killers and his former cabinet member, Henry Cisneros, as well as his own brother, Roger Clinton (what was that Hillary said about cronyism?)convicted Democrat Congressmen and more. Best I recall, it was stated it was his legal and executive privilege to pardon anyone he felt like.

Of course, Hillary's brother, Tony Rodham, being paid to lobby on behalf of those pardons didn't play anything in the decision, right Hillary?

What was that comment again about cronyism?

Lew

UPDATE: Former Democrat New York mayor, Ed Koch, adds his two cents, It’s Only Fair To Commute Libby

24 comments:

Hard Cheese said...

Presidents have the power to grant clemency and pardons. But in this case,Bush did not sound like a leader making tough decisions about justice. He sounded like a man worried about what a former loyalist might say when actually staring into a prison cell.

Lonsdale said...

Lew: Stop acting like a partisan Republican and start thinking like an American. This stinks on ice.

Ron said...

“Scooter” Libby Is A Pawn in the Cheney/Neocon Foreign Policy Cabal

As President, Bush certainly has the right to pardon Libby but this disregard for the will of the majority of Americans in this situation is just business as usual for the politicians of both political parties. For too long they have generally ignored the will and views of productive, working Americans for the powerful special interests that control both political parties.

It is time to take control of Washington away from the special interests and return to a decentralized, limited federal government controlled by the voters. The best way to accomplish this is politically through the Ron Paul Campaign and by education of the American public on the benefits of direct democracy and limited confederation government like our first central government, The Articles of Confederation.

For more information, review the free, online book, “The Swiss Preserve Solution” which highlights how Swiss style confederation government and direct democracy could restore limited government to the United States. Read Restoring America's Original Republic with the Swiss Confederation Institute at http://www.swissconfederationinstitute.org/swisspreserve41.htm

Frank said...

There is a pattern to the pathetic practice.
What difference does it make anyway?

George Bush commuted "Scooter" Libby's sentence in 2007; Bill & Hill Clinton pardoned Marc Rick in 2000.

It doesn’t make any difference; the Bush and the Clinton political dynasties have always taken Americans for a ride by ensuring that their friends, donors, and relatives get away with crimes. Whether it's obstruction of justice by Scooter Libby or tax evasion by Marc Rich.

Some Hill & Bill Clinton’s 2000 pardon include the following:
• Marc Rich, a fugitive, was pardoned of tax evasion. Denise Rich, Marc's former wife, was a close friend of the Clintons and had made substantial donations to both Clinton's library and Hillary's Senate campaign. According to Paul Volcker's independent investigation of Iraqi Oil-for-Food kickback schemes, Marc Rich was a middleman for several suspect Iraqi oil deals involving over 4 million barrels of oil.
• Carlos A. Vignali had his sentence for cocaine trafficking commuted, after serving 6 of 15 years in federal prison.
• Almon Glenn Braswell was pardoned of his mail fraud and perjury convictions, even while a federal investigation was underway regarding additional money laundering and tax evasion charges. Braswell and Carlos Vignali each paid approximately $200,000 to Hillary Clinton's brother, Hugh Rodham, to represent their respective cases for clemency. Hugh Rodham returned the payments after they were disclosed to the public. Braswell would later invoke the Fifth Amendment at a Senate Committee hearing in 2001, when questioned about allegations of his having systematically defrauded senior citizens of millions of dollars.
• Susan McDougal, who had already completed her sentence, was pardoned for her role in the Whitewater scandal; McDougal had served 18 months on contempt charges for refusing to testify about Clinton's role.
• Dan Rostenkowski, a former Democratic Congressman convicted in the Congressional Post Office Scandal. Rostenkowski had served his entire sentence.
• Melvin J. Reynolds, a Democratic Congressman from Illinois, who was convicted of bank fraud, 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice, and solicitation of child pornography had his sentence commuted on the bank fraud charged and was allowed to serve the final months under the auspices of a half way house. He had served his entire sentence on child sex abuse charges before the commutation of the later convictions.
• Roger Clinton, the president's half-brother, on drug charges after having served the entire sentence more than a decade before. Roger Clinton would be charged with drunk driving and disorderly conduct in an unrelated incident within a year of the pardon. He was also briefly alleged to have been utilized in lobbying for the Braswell pardon, among others.

Hard Cheese said...

The difference I see is that none of the above lied about their involvment in the outing of a cover CIA agent to discredit a person who dared tell the truth about administration lies that got us into a war under false pretenses. They also could not incriminate Clinton was Libby could incriminate Cheney and Bush. Quite the conflict of interest. There is also the matter of treason and national security absent in the other pardons.

Lew Waters said...

Cheese, I don't think Bush or anyone else has a worry about what Libby might say in jail. I imagine he wouldn't have any more to say in jail than he did during his trial. What reason would he have to say any more?

Lonsdale, would it be better if I acted like a partisan Democrat? I am a conservative first and only lean towatds the Republicans because they were too. Currently, they aren't high on my popularity list unless they move back to conservatism.

Incidentally, my life started out as a conservative Southern Democrat. I now consider myself a recovering Democrat.

What stinks about all this is that it ever came to trail, much less any conviction. For the life of me, I can't understand why Fitzgerald had to involve the Iraq theater of the War on Terror so much if it was only about lying by Libby. In fact, all of the witnesses against him must have been lying as well since they too forgot portions of events they testified about.

Ron, Libby is indeed a pawn, but of partisan Democrats who went on a witch hunt against the Bush administration and had to try and convict someone.

While Paul may have some good thoughts on taxes, he is a pussy when it comes to protecting America, a most pressing issue at this time. Delivering babies might suit him better.

Frank, interesting you mention Clinton's pardons too. I have to correct myself, though. Some Democrats did speak out against those pardons, but with nowhere the zest and disgust as they did for Libby's commutation. Don't forget, he commuted, not pardoned, Libby. The legal process on this continues.

Schumer, after his soft condemnation of the pardon of Rich said, "I think the American people want us to move on. The appropriate places for this are, of course, the court of public opinion, which I don't think will judge the pardon kindly, and if there are real allegations of wrongdoing with the investigative authorities. I am not sure these hearings serve much purpose other than to flail."

Patrick Leahy said he disagreed with Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich. But, "I understand the right of a president to pardon ... and I understand people have different views on different crimes."

Cheese, allow me to query. Since everyone on the left is so bothered about Plame's name being outed and compromising National Security and such, why isn't there an outcry to try and convict Richard Armitage, the one who actually revealed her name?

Did everyone forget that the bi-partisan Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found against Joseph Wilson's claims? Senators Rebuke Joe Wilson Claims

Of particular note is Hillary's comments during the June 24 Demcrat 'Debate,' where she said, "Nonviolent offenders should not be serving hard time in our prisons. They need to be diverted from our prison system."

I guess it all depends on what party they belong to.

Also of interest is that in September 1999, Congress passed a non-binding resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the President Clinton should not have granted clemency to the 16 FALN Puerto Rican terrorists. It passed 311 to 41. All 41 no's were Democrats. 72 Democrats simply answered 'present.' 10 did not vote, 6 Democrats, 4 Republicans. Now Speaker Pelosi was one who did not vote due to being late due to traffic (her excuse, not mine). Of that missed vote, Pelosi said, on the record, "Mr. Chairman, on the last vote, H. Con. Res. 180, I was detained in traffic while returning to the Capitol. Had I been present, I would have voted "no.""

Lonsdale said...

“I didn’t vote for him,” an American once said, “But he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

That—on this eve of the 4th of July—is the essence of this democracy, in 17 words. And that is what President Bush threw away yesterday in commuting the sentence of Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

The man who said those 17 words—improbably enough—was the actor John Wayne. And Wayne, an ultra-conservative, said them, when he learned of the hair’s-breadth election of John F. Kennedy instead of his personal favorite, Richard Nixon in 1960.
“I didn’t vote for him but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

The sentiment was doubtlessly expressed earlier, but there is something especially appropriate about hearing it, now, in Wayne’s voice: The crisp matter-of-fact acknowledgement that we have survived, even though for nearly two centuries now, our Commander-in-Chief has also served, simultaneously, as the head of one political party and often the scourge of all others.

We as citizens must, at some point, ignore a president’s partisanship. Not that we may prosper as a nation, not that we may achieve, not that we may lead the world—but merely that we may function.

But just as essential to the seventeen words of John Wayne, is an implicit trust—a sacred trust: That the president for whom so many did not vote, can in turn suspend his political self long enough, and for matters imperative enough, to conduct himself solely for the benefit of the entire Republic.

Our generation’s willingness to state “we didn’t vote for him, but he’s our president, and we hope he does a good job,” was tested in the crucible of history, and earlier than most.
And in circumstances more tragic and threatening. And we did that with which history tasked us.

We enveloped our President in 2001.And those who did not believe he should have been elected—indeed those who did not believe he had been elected—willingly lowered their voices and assented to the sacred oath of non-partisanship.

And George W. Bush took our assent, and re-configured it, and honed it, and shaped it to a razor-sharp point and stabbed this nation in the back with it.
Were there any remaining lingering doubt otherwise, or any remaining lingering hope, it ended yesterday when Mr. Bush commuted the prison sentence of one of his own staffers.
Did so even before the appeals process was complete; did so without as much as a courtesy consultation with the Department of Justice; did so despite what James Madison—at the Constitutional Convention—said about impeaching any president who pardoned or sheltered those who had committed crimes “advised by” that president; did so without the slightest concern that even the most detached of citizens must look at the chain of events and wonder: To what degree was Mr. Libby told: break the law however you wish—the President will keep you out of prison?

In that moment, Mr. Bush, you broke that fundamental com-pact between yourself and the majority of this nation’s citizens—the ones who did not cast votes for you. In that moment, Mr. Bush, you ceased to be the President of the United States. In that moment, Mr. Bush, you became merely the President of a rabid and irresponsible corner of the Republican Party. And this is too important a time, Sir, to have a commander-in-chief who puts party over nation.

This has been, of course, the gathering legacy of this Administration. Few of its decisions have escaped the stain of politics. The extraordinary Karl Rove has spoken of “a permanent Republican majority,” as if such a thing—or a permanent Democratic majority—is not antithetical to that upon which rests: our country, our history, our revolution, our freedoms.
Yet our Democracy has survived shrewder men than Karl Rove. And it has survived the frequent stain of politics upon the fabric of government. But this administration, with ever-increasing insistence and almost theocratic zealotry, has turned that stain into a massive oil spill.

The protection of the environment is turned over to those of one political party, who will financially benefit from the rape of the environment. The protections of the Constitution are turned over to those of one political party, who believe those protections unnecessary and extravagant and quaint.


The enforcement of the laws is turned over to those of one political party, who will swear beforehand that they will not enforce those laws. The choice between war and peace is turned over to those of one political party, who stand to gain vast wealth by ensuring that there is never peace, but only war.
And now, when just one cooked book gets corrected by an honest auditor, when just one trampling of the inherent and inviolable fairness of government is rejected by an impartial judge, when just one wild-eyed partisan is stopped by the figure of blind justice, this President decides that he, and not the law, must prevail.

I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war.

I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people, a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.

I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons, and sisters and daughters, and friends and neighbors.

I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely-motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but to stifle dissent.

I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought.

I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents.

I accuse you of handing part of this Republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it.

And I accuse you now, Mr. Bush, of giving, through that Vice President, carte blanche to Mr. Libby, to help defame Ambassador Joseph Wilson by any means necessary, to lie to Grand Juries and Special Counsel and before a court, in order to protect the mechanisms and particulars of that defamation, with your guarantee that Libby would never see prison, and, in so doing, as Ambassador Wilson himself phrased it here last night, of becoming an accessory to the obstruction of justice.

When President Nixon ordered the firing of the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” on October 20th, 1973, Cox initially responded tersely, and ominously.

“Whether ours shall be a government of laws and not of men, is now for Congress, and ultimately, the American people.”
President Nixon did not understand how he had crystallized the issue of Watergate for the American people.

It had been about the obscure meaning behind an attempt to break in to a rival party’s headquarters; and the labyrinthine effort to cover-up that break-in and the related crimes.

And in one night, Nixon transformed it.

Watergate—instantaneously—became a simpler issue: a President overruling the inexorable march of the law of insisting—in a way that resonated viscerally with millions who had not previously understood - that he was the law.

Not the Constitution. Not the Congress. Not the Courts. Just him.

Just - Mr. Bush - as you did, yesterday.

The twists and turns of Plame-Gate, of your precise and intricate lies that sent us into this bottomless pit of Iraq; your lies upon the lies to discredit Joe Wilson; your lies upon the lies upon the lies to throw the sand at the “referee” of Prosecutor Fitzgerald’s analogy. These are complex and often painful to follow, and too much, perhaps, for the average citizen.

But when other citizens render a verdict against your man, Mr. Bush—and then you spit in the faces of those jurors and that judge and the judges who were yet to hear the appeal—the average citizen understands that, Sir.

It’s the fixed ballgame and the rigged casino and the pre-arranged lottery all rolled into one—and it stinks. And they know it.

Nixon’s mistake, the last and most fatal of them, the firing of Archibald Cox, was enough to cost him the presidency. And in the end, even Richard Nixon could say he could not put this nation through an impeachment.

It was far too late for it to matter then, but as the decades unfold, that single final gesture of non-partisanship, of acknowledged responsibility not to self, not to party, not to “base,” but to country, echoes loudly into history. Even Richard Nixon knew it was time to resign

Would that you could say that, Mr. Bush. And that you could say it for Mr. Cheney. You both crossed the Rubicon yesterday. Which one of you chose the route, no longer matters. Which is the ventriloquist, and which the dummy, is irrelevant.


But that you have twisted the machinery of government into nothing more than a tawdry machine of politics, is the only fact that remains relevant.

It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them—or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them—we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time—and our leaders in Congress, of both parties—must now live up to those standards which echo through our history: Pressure, negotiate, impeach—get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.

Resign.

And give us someone—anyone—about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, “I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

Keith Olbermann July 3, 2007

Lew Waters said...

Lonsdale, that you can quote a true lover of America like the Duke and Keith Olbermann, a staunch hater of traditional America, in the same comment boggles the imagination.

No one has yet shown any reason that commuting Libby's sentence to two years probation while retaining the quarter of a million dollar fine, much greater than that given to Sandy Berger for stealing classified documents and destroying them, has hurt America in any manner. It seems the hurt is that rabid Bush haters feel the need to trump up another non-scandal against Mr. Bush.

Olbermann is a moron! Where was his outrage at Clinton's commutation of the sentences of the 16 Puerto Rican FALN terrorists, that were responsible for the death of a Police Officer?

It must escape the feeble minds of partisan hacks like Olbermann and all 4 of his listeners that the verdict against Libby is unchanged.

And still, neither Olbermann or his 4 listeners express any outrage at Richard Armitage, the one responsible for the name of Valerie Plame being known to Robert Novak.

The rest of Olbermann's diatribe has been disproven several times and not worthy of comment.

I can only quote your own words back to you, "lonsdale: Stop acting like a partisan Democrat and start thinking like an American. The contrived and feigned outrage stinks on ice."

Once your Democrat party succeeds in stripping us of our methods of detecting and countering terrorist attacks, again, I look forward to the outrage you will express towards Bush because he didn't do enough to protect America.

It's long past time that you liberals learned that Bush isn't the enemy. The enemy is the radical Jihadists he is trying to fight that have been attacking us for three decades.

You can withdraw us from Iraq and Afghanistan and it won't change anything. They are going to continue to fight us.

Lew Waters said...

A Remembrance Of Pardons Past

Hard Cheese said...

"Justice: Those who criticize President Bush's decision to commute Scooter Libby's 30-month prison sentence should remember: The punishment should fit the crime. And in this case, there wasn't one."

What was the underlying crime for which Clinton was impeached and acquitted?????? Conservatives cannot seem to remember. Are there any liberals out there who can help?

Rightwingwacko said...

Hard Cheese;
Clinton was charged and acquitted of perjury and obstruction of justice.Libby was charged and convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice. The two are quite different don't you see because er, uh. Move along, nothing to see here. Oh, you could ask Fred Thompson. He voted for impeachment wanting to remove Clinton from office, but agreed with the commutation of Libby's sentence. He should be able to explain the difference.

Lew Waters said...

Cheesey & leftwingedwacko, you may find this odd, but I disagreed with going after Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair. I took that as more childish nonsense that we have been seeing from both parties ever since Alger Hiss.

That being said, and since you two apparently desire equality here, shouldn't Clinton have been tried in a criminal court as well? He wasn't acquitted of anything, the Senate failed to garner enough votes to agree to the articles of impeachment sent over from the House.

Then again, had Clinton ever faced a criminal court and was found guilty, would you two also be claabering for him to sit in jail 30 months while his appeals go through? I doubt it.

You all fail to recognize that Bush did not pardon Libby, just commuted the sentence.

As far as any underlying crimes of Clintons, he deliberately lied under oath about the Paula Jones affair. Clinton Impeachment

Libby was guilty at most of forgetting some dates, something that even the witnesses against him did as well. There was no crime committed over what he was being questioned about. If so, wouldn't you all be demanding Richard Armitage be prosecuted for the "outing" of a CIA broad? Fitzgerald knew who 'outed' her and that it was not intentional, but that did not stop the witch hunt in a desparate ploy to create a scandal where none existed.

Hard Cheese said...

"Libby was guilty at most of forgetting some dates, something that even the witnesses against him did as well."

You are lucky that your are not under oath. Fortunately the indicment and Libby's entire grand jury testimony are readily available on the internet for all to see.

As someone has said: Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. Everyone is not entitled to his own facts.

Lonsdale said...

When the charge is perjury and obstruction of justice those two charges are crimes in and by themselves. One wonders though why it was necessary for him to lie and obstruct if there WAS no underlying crime.

The crime wasn't charged because Libby's lies made it impossible to know exactly what happened. It is absolutely clear that a CIA operative's identity was disclosed.

Bush only commuted the sentence rather than giving Libby a pardon, so it's an admission he was properly convicted and deserves to have a felony conviction on his record.

Lew Waters said...

Cheesey, you should not only read Libby’s testimony, but that of the witnesses against him. Then ask why was the testimony of a memory expert witness denied in the proceedings? Then, and I ask again, why aren’t you and other leftists demanding Richard Armitage and Colin Powell be prosecuted for “outing” Valerie Plame, since it was Armitage that first revealed her name and Powell knew very early on it was he.

That is the travesty here. Libby had no motive to lie, he had nothing to cover up, Plame’s name was made known by Armitage, who admitted it before the witch hunt even commenced, but was kept from the public and the administration by Fitzgerald.

BY the law, Plame wasn’t underdcover so the law didn’t even apply. Libby was never charged with “outing” Plame, of did you neglect that part?

After Fitzgerald’s scathing condemnation of Cheney in his closing argument, not Libby, who was on trial, did you miss where the judge said to the jury, “The truth of whether someone could be harmed based upon the disclosure of people working in a covert capacity is not at issue in this case. Remember what I have told you several times. Mr. Libby is not charged with leaking classified information.”

I wonder too, since you all are so worried about a breach of National Security, why is it Fitzgerald has not and says he has no plans on charging anybody with “outing” the broad?

You really should consider all the facts, Cheesey, not just what DailyKOS feeds.

Lonsdale, “It is absolutely clear that a CIA operative's identity was disclosed.

Poor lonsdale, perhaps you should read Cheesey’s last words above first.

Armitage On CIA Leak: ‘I Screwed Up'

Of particular note is the very last sentence, “Armitage never did tell the president, but he's talking now because Fitzgerald told him he could.

And, why would Fitzgerald keep this from the public or from the administration when he knew all along who it was and that no law was broken? Can you spell witch hunt?

There was nothing for Libby to lie about, it wasn’t him, Cheney or any one else but Powell’s deputy, Armitage and Fitzgerald knew all along.

Now, I expect to hear an outcry to prosecute Armitage and Powell, if you can get past your hate of Bush.

Hard Cheese said...

"BY the law, Plame wasn’t underdcover so the law didn’t even apply"

Gen. Michael V. Hayden, CIA Director, George Tenet, former Director, Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, and Valerie Plame Wilson, under oath, all said that Ms. Plame was covert.

Stop the lying Lew.

As someone has said: Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. Everyone is not entitled to his own facts.

Lew Waters said...

Cheesey, at one time, she was covert. She was not at the time her name was revealed by Armitage. Maybe that is why no one, including Libby, was charged with the crime of "outing" Plame.

"Walton reminded the jurors of that at several points during the trial, adding a couple of times that even he didn’t know Mrs. Wilson’s status. Indeed, Fitzgerald never presented any evidence to show that her status was covert, classified, or otherwise. And of course, after three years of investigation, Fitzgerald did not charge anyone with leaking Mrs. Wilson’s identity. Yet throughout the trial, Fitzgerald attempted to create an atmosphere of accusation, an accusation that Libby and Cheney and the Bush White House criminally exposed a covert CIA operative."

In Closing Arguments, Fitzgerald Points the Finger at Dick Cheney

Why was no one ever charged with outing Plame, Cheesey?

You can stop making up your own facts anytime.

Lonsdale said...

Good call Hard Cheese. You caught Lew on that one.

Rightwingwacko said...

Pat Buchanan says:

"Will the student deferments for these fellows never end? The act reeks of cronyism. The perception is that Scooter Libby got preferential treatment, a get-out-of-jail-free card because he was chief of staff to Cheney and assistant to Bush. That perception is correct. Because of whom he knew, Scooter got preferential treatment, big-time. The Godfather took care of the consigliere.
Nothing new. After all, one recalls that the attorney who rustled up a pardon for Marc Rich from Bill Clinton was also a Beltway hustler by the name of Scooter Libby. The insiders take care of their own. And that is how the game is played in the big city."

Lew Waters said...

Sorry boys, but your cheerleading is meaningless. Even the Judge, Reggie Walton, said on the first day of the trial, “No evidence will be presented to you with regard to Valerie Plame Wilson’s status. That is because what her actual status was, or whether any damage would result from disclosure of her status, are totally irrelevant to your decision of guilt or innocence. You must not consider these matters in your deliberations or speculate or guess about them.”

You also have former counsel to Vice President Al Gore, David Boies who appeared on Hannity and Colmes March 7, 2007 who said, "Whether or not she was covert, I think that's an open question. But I think the prosecutor did understand early on that there was not an underlying crime here."

He also said, ": And under those circumstances, I think it's very troubling to use the criminal justice system to proceed in what is essentially a political case. I thought that way in the Clinton case... This is criminalizing the political process. And it's wrong, whether it's done on one side or on the other."

He continues, "Well, see, that's the problem. That's exactly the problem. People can't remember everything. Now, people have got to tell the truth in front of a grand jury. That's very important. And if you're conducting an investigation where you really need to get people's testimony, and they lie, they need to be prosecuted, even if you ultimately conclude there was no underlying crime.
But that's not really the situation here, as I see it, because, from the outside, it looks like the prosecutor knew before some of this testimony was taken that there was not an underlying crime. And then to go forward and try to get people maybe to slip up, make a mistake, so you can bring a perjury or obstruction charge, I think that is what's troubling here."

Victoria Toensing, who was one of the authors of the 1982 Agents Identity Act saidPlame was not covert, that she did not meet the criteria, in any way, shape, matter or form as a covert agent.

Again I'll ask, since you lefty's are up in arms over Plames name being made known, why aren't you deamnding the prosecution and conviction of Richard Armitage and Colin Powell? Armitage leaked her name and Powell knew, so why the outrage over Libby, who did not?

BTW, don't mistake me for someone who gives a damn what Pat Buchanan has to say. I place him down with Bill O'Reilly and Michael Savage.

Hard Cheese said...

Accordingly, the Director of Central Intelligence, General Michael Hayden, stated for the public record:

During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson [Plame] was under cover. 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. [EP emphasis] This was classified information.

Why does Lew accept political hack Toensing over the head of the CIA? Why in this time of a war on terror does Lew hate the CIA.

Lonsdale said...

GOP Senators Who Voted For Clinton Impeachment Dead Silent On Libby
By Bob Geiger

Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) was aghast. He was indignant as hell about how having a high public official involved in something like perjury and obstruction of justice can damage the very foundation on which our nation was built -- and he had the harsh words to show for it.

"By his words and deeds he chose to place himself above the law. By his words and deeds he has undermined the rule of law in America to the great harm of this nation," the Kansas Republican said. "By his own words and deeds, he has undermined the truth-finding function of the judiciary, at great harm to that branch of our government. By his words and deeds, he had done great harm to the notions of honesty and integrity that form the underpinnings of this great republic."

And here's the Brownback kicker: "We have lost many things over the past few months: trust in public officials, respect for the rule of law, confidence in the truth of the White House's public statements. But perhaps the most tragic loss has been the steady erosion of our societal standards."

That's Brownback in his closed-door impeachment statement on President Bill Clinton, that was read into the Congressional Record on February 12, 1999.
You didn't get all excited thinking he was commenting on that Scooter Libby thing, did you?

I can understand if you did. After all, Libby was convicted of those same charges and sentenced within federal guidelines to a 30-month prison sentence, only to have his friend George W. Bush decide on Monday that anything over, well, zero days in jail was "excessive" when it comes to a White House crony.

But then again, Brownback is hardly alone in the hypocritical silence being shown by the very same Republican Senators who in 1999 voted guilty on both the perjury and obstruction of justice charges against Clinton. The vote took place on that February 12, with the Senate acquitting Clinton of both articles of impeachment -- the perjury charge got 45 guilty votes while the obstruction-of-justice article resulted in a 50-50 split.
Of the 25 Republican Senators still in the Senate and who voted that day to convict Clinton on both articles of impeachment, not one of them has issued a public statement on the Libby sentence commutation in the three days since it occurred.

Not one.

There's not even a statement of support for Bush's lawless decision -- except from Fred Thompson who, while no longer in the Senate, has his sights set on convincing people that he's fit to be the next seedy Republican to occupy the White House.
All of this struck me as rather strange, so I thought I would go back and look at what some of them had to say about the rule of law, integrity and all of that stuff when it involved a Democrat and not one of their own.
And you're not going to believe this: What seems to be OK with them now, wasn't acceptable back in 1999.
Here's Wayne Allard (R-CO) on President Clinton:
"The Constitution is what preserves the rule of law, and guarantees that we remain a nation of laws, not of men.
"I hold the President to a higher standard because he is the chief law enforcement official of the nation. If he is above the law, then we have a double standard; one for the powerful, and one for the rest.
"The sworn oath is central not only to our Constitution, but also to the administration of justice. Our legal system would not function without it."
And John McCain (R-AZ) seems to think that swearing to tell the truth is a pretty darned important thing to abide by:
"All of my life, I have been instructed never to swear an oath to my country in vain. In my former profession, those who violated their sworn oath were punished severely and considered outcasts from our society. I do not hold the President to the same standard that I hold military officers to. I hold him to a higher standard."
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) gives a moving statement about how we should hope that history looks back kindly at how we observed the rule of law:
"I was reminded as well, however, that the laws of our Country are applicable to us all, including the President, and they must be obeyed. The concept of equal justice under law and the importance of absolute truth in legal proceedings is the foundation of our justice system in the courts.
"A hundred years from now, when history looks back to this moment, we can hope for a conclusion that our Constitution has been applied fairly and survives, that we have come to principled judgments about matters of national importance, and that the rule of law in American has been sustained."
And George Voinovich (R-OH) made a good case for impeachment no matter the circumstances -- are we listening Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid? -- when he said "I sincerely believe that this country can survive the removal of a popular president who has forfeited public trust. But, our country cannot survive the abandonment of trust itself."
Imagine how well we could survive the removal of a president who's about as popular as Ann Coulter at a Democratic National Committee mixer.

So given all of that and the equally strident statements made in 1999 by so many of their colleagues, it's odd that there's not one similarly scathing statement about George W. Bush deciding to effectively pardon a convicted criminal just because he's a loyal Bushie -- oh, and also to keep him from coming forward with the truth about the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame.

It could be that the Senate is in recess and that all of their press secretaries are vacationing in Nepal and simply can't get to their laptops. No, it can't be that, because they seem to be finding time to comment on other issues that, perhaps, they consider more pressing. Kit Bond (R-MO) has released three statements since Monday but they have titles like "Bond Attends New National Guard Facility Ribbon-Cutting" and "Bond: Good Vision is Fundamental to Learning." Judd Gregg (R-NH) is all atwitter this week over his support for "Granite State Ocean And Fisheries Research" and Dick Lugar (R-IN) is incredibly excited about the "...first E-85 ethanol pump in Washington, D.C."

But maybe it's just possible that all of these Republican Senators are a bunch of cynical, hypocritical cowards who simply don't have the guts to speak with what little conscience they have on this issue.
I think I'll go with that one.

Lew Waters said...

lonsdale > GOP Senators Who Voted For Clinton Impeachment Dead Silent On Libby.

So what? Another pathetic grasp at straws? Let me say this so even a liberal might understand.

Clinton was never tried. Libby was tried and convicted, no matter how trumped up the charges, he was tried and convicted. His conviction still stands; he was not pardoned, just commuted from a jail term. What is there for them to be upset over? Are you suggesting the Senate should have impeached Libby instead of a trial? Or, are you saying Clinton should have been tried and received jail time too?

Cheesey, let me type this real slow so that it might penetrate your little liberal brain.

Judge Reggie Walton, who presided over the proceedings, the main man, the head honcho, the one responsible for the legality of the trial, the one who makes all the calls said on day one, "No evidence will be presented to you with regard to Valerie Plame Wilson’s status. That is because what her actual status was, or whether any damage would result from disclosure of her status, are totally irrelevant to your decision of guilt or innocence."

ir·rel·e·vant adj. Unrelated to the matter at hand.

It doesn't and didn't matter what you say, I say, Hayden said, Plame herself said or even the Pope, it was IRRELEVANT because it was earlier determined she was not legally outed, as described by the law written by the "political hack" Victoria Toensing, was not violated.

That was the underlying crime Fitzgerald was supposed to be investigating. He knew early on it was Armitage who let her name slip to Robert Novak and that it wasn't deliberate, but he wanted bigger fish so he kept digging, knowing all along there wasn't a crime committed.

Then, once Libby said something different than he did before, boom, they charge him with perjury, something that never should have gone to court. It was a kangaroo court at best.

Libby was not charged with violating the Agents Identity Act, no one was nor has Fitzgerald said anyone will be.

After the scathing anti-Cheney rhetoric of Fitzgerald's closing remarks, who was not on trail, the same judge mentioned above, still sitting over the trial, said to the jury that even he didn’t know Plames status. Fitzgerald never presented any evidence to show that her status was covert, classified, or otherwise. And, after three years of investigation, Fitzgerald did not charge anyone with leaking Plames identity.

Judge Walton then said to the jury, “I’m going to give you another cautionary. The truth of whether someone could be harmed based upon the disclosure of people working in a covert capacity is not at issue in this case. Remember what I have told you several times. Mr. Libby is not charged with leaking classified information.”

We also have Robert Novak, who's column Plames name first appeared in saying to Alan Colmes, "Alan, you commented that Lewis Libby gave material to the media, gave the identity of Valerie Plame to the media. That is not true. Her identity came out in my column, which was given to me by the deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage. Libby had nothing to do with it!"

At an October 2005 press conference, you also have Fitzgerald himself saying, "We have not made any allegation that Mr. Libby knowingly, intentionally, outed a covert agent."

Now, let's look at some "testimony" of one the main witnesses against Libby, Judith Miller and what she said.

Defense lawyer William Jeffress, cross examining her after she gave an account of the June 23 meeting she had with Libby, where he supposedly "outed" Plame noted that she failed to mention the June 23 meeting at all when she first appeared before prosecutor Fitzgerald’s grand jury. Jeffress asked her, “That conversation on June 23 in the Old Executive Office Building, when you first appeared before the grand jury, you didn’t remember that at all?”

“Nothing about it,” Miller answered.

Jeffrees then said, “And today you’ve described that meeting in great detail.”

“That’s correct,” Miller answered, but quickly added, “No, not in great detail. The highlights of it.”

Yet, Miller isn't charged with anything and she did the same thing Libby was accused of, tried and convicted. In fact, Millers testimony is quite intriguing, considering it was used to convict Libby. Judith Miller at the Libby Trial: “I Don’t Recall.”

During the trial, the Libby Defense retained a Memory Expert to support his argument that he innocently confused facts rather than intentionally lied to investigators. Judge Walton ruled that Libby cannot present the testimony of a memory expert in part because the testimony could be unduly influential to the jury.

Add to that the yes, People were trying to discredit Joe Wilson due to his provable lies about his Niger trip, as stated by the bi-partisan Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. No one needed to attack him, his own lies "outed" him.

Still, the facts are, it wasn't Libby who revealed Plames name, it was Arnitage and Fitzgerald knew right away, but concocted an investigation, a witch-hunt.

The law was not broken as even Fitzgerald stated, no one, Armitage, Libby or anyone else, was or will be charged in that.

Libby is still convicted of a felony, which I feel will be overturned on appeal. He has paid a quarter million dollar fine already, much greater than Clinton or Sandy Berger had to pay.

This whole affair was a travesty, a kangaroo court designed to get at Cheney through Libby.

Libby was rail roaded and even though I feel his verdict will be overturned on appeal, his serving actual jail time is unwarranted, it accomplishes nothing. If you feel it does, there are a whole lot of Democrats that also should be sitting behind bars with him, starting with Clinton, Berger and some more.

When a strong anti-Bush attorney like David Boies calls it an abuse of the judicial system, it stinks!

Snooper said...

When will Fitzboy go after the REAL crook Armitage?