July 2, 2007

Bush spares Libby.

AP reports:
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.

Bush's move came hours after a federal appeals panel ruled Libby could not delay his prison term in the CIA leak case.
MORE: From the NYT:
“I respect the jury’s verdict,” Mr. Bush said. “But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend 30 months in prison.”

Like a pardon, a commutation is a form of clemency, granted to the president by the Constitution. But a pardon is an official act of forgiveness, whereas a commutation simply reduces the penalty, without making an official judgment of forgiveness.

Mr. Bush has been urged by some conservatives to grant Mr. Libby an outright pardon.

The president noted in his statement that that the decision to commute “leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby.”

“The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged,” Mr. Bush said. “His wife and young children have suffered immensely. He will remain on probation.”

AND: Earlier in the day, there was glee from some quarters when the Court of Appeals denied Libby's motion for release pending appeal. Firedoglake:
What this says to me is that Libby — or, as I like to call him Inmate 28301-016 — is headed to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect anything.

[COMMENTS SECTION]

is the frog marching?...

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!....

Scooter Libby, convicted felon, is going to prison.

4th of July present. Barbeque and drinks all around…

The Fitz of July?

ADDED: If you want to know what I think, click the "Libby" label below. I've got nothing new to say.

206 comments:

1 – 200 of 206   Newer›   Newest»
Doyle said...

"Bush abandons any pretense of respect for the rule of law."

All hail King George.

Michael said...

Commute in 07, allowing appeals to continue, then Pardon in 09.

The best of both worlds.

Comrade X said...

well done Bush. Fake case about nothing other than partisan journalists refusing to protect their sources to get Bush. Except Corn & Kristoff. They never revealed their source as Plame herself.

Comrade X said...

Happy No-Fitzmas Doyle!

Maxine Weiss said...

Uh-oh. This is not a Fourth of July post.

Althouse has committed to going to an all-Fourth of July format, starting right this minute!!!!!

Ann Althouse said...

Isn't the 4th on the 4th? To me the whole summer is a big blur.

Krishnan Viswanathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jacques Cuze said...

What does the Constitutional Law Professor think of commuting away the prison time?

If Libby was guilty, shouldn't he have served the whole time? What are people being told about committing perjury?

If Libby was innocent, why should he serve any time?

Is this a compromise or a payoff?

Ann Althouse said...

It's a commutation not a pardon. It expresses the idea that the sentence was too harsh, not that Bush is controverting the jury's finding of guilt. Bush clearly has the power to do this and he will absorb the political consequences. I don't like the message that if you perjure yourself in service to the President he will spare you, but he doesn't go entirely unpunished.

Luckyoldson said...

what a shocker.

within 1 year libby will be a lobbyist, consultant and author.

he won't make less than $1,000,000 a year for the rest of his life.

as for his license to practice law...when was the last time he did anything legal?

The Exalted said...

bush says that 30 months is "excessive" ... so he gives him zero!

haha!

Luckyoldson said...

ann,
you're so full of crap it's laughable.

you say: "he doesn't go entirely unpunished."

really?

and exactly WHAT is it libby won't be able to do, ann...during this "punishment" faze?

practice law??

he's hasn't been anything more than a gofer for cheney for years...and you know full well that he'll be a full-on lobbyist, consultant insider within days.

and then the BOOK.

are you sure you're a lawyer??

Methadras said...

This is just another nail in the coffin for the system of justice people perceive it to be in this country. If you serve in high places, under high officials and you commit a crime, are indicted, found guilty, and are sentenced to prison, then those in high office you worked for will come to your defense to spread their influence to get your sentence commuted or pardoned completely.

I realize that this may be standard practice amongst the presidents, but it just leaves a bad taste in peoples mouths when it's so blatant. Hardly anyone batted an eye when Clinton pardoned tax-cheat and all-around scum bag, Mark Rich, but these types of proceedings are just not good. If you commit a crime, you must be subject to the consequences of it. Libby was found guilty of lying. Whether he did it or not, isn't the issue anymore. It's whether he should be punished in whole for what he was convicted for.

All this does is feed into the argument that Bush cronyism, favoritism, and disproportionate loyalty is real and that the good old boy network will never be busted up in Washington.

Luckyoldson said...

Ann Althouse said..."Isn't the 4th on the 4th? To me the whole summer is a big blur."

you go, girl.

Ann Althouse said...

I said "entirely." I didn't say he got the punishment he deserved. I just said he didn't escape all punishment (at least not yet). I've said before I thought he should go to prison and not be pardoned. Sorry if I don't scream with outrage for you.

Jacques Cuze said...

Well, he called it a commutation.

Here's the deciderer as guvnor

Bush, on overturning on the deeply-held philosophy with which he presided over 152 executions in Texas:

I don’t believe my role [as governor] is to replace the verdict of a jury with my own, unless there are new facts or evidence of which a jury was unaware, or evidence that the trial was somehow unfair.

It's okay if you're a republican. And I was a democrat until the democrats drove me away, right Ann?

Ann Althouse said...

Why are you acting like I've expressed support for what he did?

Tim said...

"Bush abandons any pretense of respect for the rule of law."

All hail King George."


Indeed.

Because we all know that at 12:01 p.m. January 20, 2009, President Bush and Vice-President Cheney will still be such, having annoiting themselves King and Vice-King for life...

While hyperole has a limited value, some folks just have inordinate difficulty assessing and discerning simple facts. Sadly, the law gives those of them who are both 18 years and older and citizens the right to vote. The process allows for the president to do this - deal with it - just as some of us have to accept the right of the terminally moronic to vote.

Mindsteps said...

AND: Earlier in the day, there was glee from some quarters when the Court of Appeals denied Libby's motion for release pending appeal. Firedoglake:

Was their glee in appropriate?

Is the glee of the conservatives appropriate?

Doyle said...

It expresses the idea that the sentence was too harsh, not that Bush is controverting the jury's finding of guilt.

You've got to be kidding me.

It doesn't just "express the idea" that the sentence was too harsh. It excuses him from serving the duly administered sentence.

Sure, he has the legal authority to do it, but it's so improper I can't believe he actually did it.

Even if you're convicted of perjury in this country, you don't have to go to jail... as long as you perjured yourself to protect your boss, Dick Cheney.

glen said...

I'm beginning to think this country needs a King. One who can lop off the heads of you pathetic bastards.

Maxine Weiss said...

The 4th on the 4th?

Wow, you need to get out more.

WalMart has their Christmas decorations up already !

Cedarford said...

Libby is about prosecutor misconduct in the same way the Duke Lacrosse case was. Within a week or so, both prosecutors had compelling evidence of innocence available to them. Both elected, for self-aggrandizing political motives - to proceed.

The difference is that, as opposed to Michael Nifong - Fitzpatrick was smarter about not exposing his ass to ethical violations as he jailed reporters and tried setting up people with contradictions in testimony in a case where he already knew no law was broken because Plame was not in covert status and where he knew who the leaker was the 2nd week he was "investigating".

Worse, he ordered the leaker and the leaker's boss (Armitage and Powell) not to tell anyone that they had revealed Novak's source to the Special Prosecutor, so Fitz was then free to spend 10s of millions in taxpayer funds to proceed on his crusade.

Like if Nifong had grilled a Lacrosse player he KNEW was innocent of any crime and the player either remembered wrongly or said something to protect someone else he knew hadn't done anything...then hauled that player up on criminal charges in front of an almost all black, 100% Democratic criminal jury for a guaranteed conviction.

Pretty much what the Democrats have in DC in any politics they attempt to criminalize Republicans for - a huge advantage in Black DC where locals the comprise the jury pool are 5th Generation Democrats, see Republicans as the enemy.

As sure as OJ was innocent in his ghetto jury's minds, Libby was doomed in front of his. And many a crooked Democrat benefits from being in front of such a jury and starting his defense with how much he cares about the locals and all the oodles of free welfare goodies he has delivered and how he has voted for DC Statehood and 2 Senators for the District...

IMO, Federal trials of leaders in the 3 branches should be moved outside DC to a more representative jury pool.

*****************
As for the sentence being commuted, great...knowing now how Fitzgerald pursued a non-crime and manipulated the legal system. I wish Bush was similarly compassionate to 2 Border Patrol agents doing their duty and trying to stop a Mexican drug smuggler from invading our nation and adding more illegal drugs to it. And for the record, I opposed any criminal prosecution of Clinton for lying about a BJ to protect his marriage. He should have been censured for lying about the non-crime, but as no underlying crime had been done and everyone knew it, his fibs were fibs to the "vaunted legal process" only.

And the vaunted legal process should NEVER be used to try and entrap people for a process-related crime when at the beginning of the day, those prosecutors know no crime was committed and are only out to entrap the innocent into committing a fresh crime.

Maxine Weiss said...

But, you're a Constitutional Law professor (or is that Professora?)

I would think the Fourth of July would be a big deal for you.

Doyle said...

Why are you acting like I've expressed support for what he did?

I'll take a crack at that. It's because you follow up this:

I don't like the message that if you perjure yourself in service to the President he will spare you...

with this:

but he doesn't go entirely unpunished.

You see, what isn't the point at all, by a long shot, is whether Libby will go entirely unpunished.

He was convicted and sentenced to prison, and he should go where everyone else who gets convicted and sentenced to prison goes.

Maxine Weiss said...

You do go to WalMart quite regularly, right?

Maxine Weiss said...

It is a cultural experience of sorts.

ricpic said...

The baying hounds of the Left have been denied a human sacrifice they can rip at and tear to pieces. Poor meatless hounds, go whimper in a corner. Good for you, Mr. President.

John Stodder said...

The POTUS has the legal authority to commute sentences.

So how does Bush's exercise of his authority implicate his respect for the rule of law? It's a power the Constitution gives him, unequivocally and uniquely. Whether you like this particular result or not, Bush's role in the US criminal justice system is as clear and well-defined as any judge's.

Were you in such high dudgeon when the governor of Illinois commuted every death penalty in that state?

Gahrie said...

In a case in which the prosecutor refused to prosecute the person he knew actually committed the crime, (Armitage) reducing the harsh sentence for a person prosecuted convicted of perjury (Libby) is entirely warranted.

For those of you so outraged that the President commuted Libby's sentence, where is the outrage for the decision not to prosecute Armitage, who actually committed the crime, if any crime was committed?

Maxine Weiss said...

Well, nothing is worse than Carter giving Patty Hearst a pardon, after she'd already been pardoned (TWICE) by Jimmy Carter. Another pardon, and the next stop for Ms. Hearst will be sainthood.

Maxine Weiss said...

Didn't President Ford pardon Richard Nixon.....

I really hope this blog is either going to an All-Holiday format, or shut down completely for the holiday....out of respect.

John Stodder said...

Here, I'll rip the wound open a bit further for the left on this.

At the time of Libby's questioning, Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald reportedly knew who leaked the information. What do you think of the ethics of continuing the investigation, creating legal vulnerabilities for Libby and every other witness? Libby's perjury, and for that matter Judith Miller's contempt-of-court, were said to have deprived Fitzgerald of information he needed. But it turns out he didn't need it -- and apparently wouldn't have used it.

Obviously, my own experience colors this. Some of you see federal prosecutors, get the vapors and say, "My hero!" I see them and see...something quite different. It's quite amazing to this old fart that the left wing are now leading the fanboy club for federal law enforcement. I guess we'll have to look elsewhere for protection of civil liberties.

XWL said...

Doyle said above, "He was convicted and sentenced to prison, and he should go where everyone else who gets convicted and sentenced to prison goes.

Where would that be, Switzerland?

Jacques Cuze said...

Why are you acting like I've expressed support for what he did?

" Do you mind...
...if I continue not paying any attention to news stories with the word "Plame" in them? That's been my policy up until now, and it's saved me a lot of time. Occasionally, I've glanced about the 'sphere and noticed the slavering hyenas waiting for the Fitz-kill, but I've never felt the call to express how repulsive I find them."

" Did Patrick Fitzgerald act improperly?...Do you want to unleash the prosecutors of the world to follow that theory, that they ought to go ahead and investigate what they know is not a crime, because by exercising your prosecutorial powers you might cause someone to commit a crime? But Fitzgerald did not defended that theory. He only tried to justify indicting someone for perjury when he had no one to indict for the crime he was investigating. These are two different things!"

John said...

If I were Bush, I would be reading Daily Kos right now.

And laughing my ass off.

B said...

Ah Lucky,

There is no hater like a liberal hater.

There can be no bigger hypocrite than the hating liberal. Belief in the accuracy of one's judgement about the worth and humanness of others. Hating the "haters". Oh yes, only the hater liberal knows whose heart is good and whose heart is dark, and who is less than human and to be reviled and cursed and.

The hating liberal (insert name) is, by virtue of his ability to judge the hearts and motives and humanness of others, the equivalent of the slave owner and the Nazi.

How can they be anything else?

Jacques Cuze said...

From TPM:

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/014963.php
link
DOJ manual on Commutations (emphasis added) ...

Section 1-2.113 Standards for Considering Commutation Petitions

A commutation of sentence reduces the period of incarceration; it does not imply forgiveness of the underlying offense, but simply remits a portion of the punishment. It has no effect upon the underlying conviction and does not necessarily reflect upon the fairness of the sentence originally imposed. Requests for commutation generally are not accepted unless and until a person has begun serving that sentence. Nor are commutation requests generally accepted from persons who are presently challenging their convictions or sentences through appeal or other court proceeding.

John Stodder said...

Even if you're convicted of perjury in this country, you don't have to go to jail... as long as you perjured yourself to protect your boss, Dick Cheney.

Did Fitzgerald ever argue that "to protect your boss, Dick Cheney" was the motive or intent behind Libby's perjury? I believe Libby's perjury was (if you buy the verdict) an attempt to protect himself, not anybody else.

Sorry, folks, but no one has managed to tie Cheney to this leak. It was one of Cheney's worst enemies in government, the Beltway-beloved Richard Armitage, who put out the word about Plame, as we all now know. And no one has suggested Libby lied to protect Armitage.

It's time to update your talking points. I would think that especially with regard to a story about perjury, your first obligation would be to be truthful yourself.

I don't like Cheney any more than most of you do, but that doesn't give me license to rearrange the facts to make him look like part of a criminal conspiracy, when that has never been alleged much less proven.

Bissage said...

I was quick-skimming, trying to catch up on the comments, and look what I found:

steve simels said...

Scooter Libby's going to jail!

Finally, some good news!!!!

12:51 PM


Here's some free advice for Mr. Simels: Don’t quit your day job, kid.

Revenant said...

I don’t believe my role [as governor] is to replace the verdict of a jury with my own, unless there are new facts or evidence of which a jury was unaware, or evidence that the trial was somehow unfair.

Um, "Jacques"... Bush had no direct knowledge of any of the death row cases he denied commutations for. In contrast, he probably knows more about exactly what happened during the Libby fiasco than anyone else in the world except Libby himself, and certainly far more than the jury did (since he knows everything they heard and plenty of stuff they didn't hear).

Requests for commutation generally are not accepted unless and until a person has begun serving that sentence. Nor are commutation requests generally accepted from persons who are presently challenging their convictions or sentences through appeal or other court proceeding.

Note the word "generally". It also crops up in phrases like "people are generally allowed to remain free pending appeal". The reason commutations are not generally granted prior to the end of the appeals process is that punishment is normally delayed until them, and hence no commutation would be appropriate. Since the "unjust" portion of Libby's punishment was due to begin immediately, the commutation obviously had to happen immediately as well.

Internet Ronin said...

Why are you acting like I've expressed support for what he did?

Because they are blind with partisan rage and have been feeding their rage and anger daily for seven years. Some of them are definitely frightening to behold.

So, pointing out the obvious makes no difference. They were denied the opportunity to masturbate while watching Libby get frogmarched to jail, so they screech and howl and claw at anyone and everyone, including people who agree with them. I pity whoever has to deal with these hate-filled people in 3D.

Doyle said...


Were you in such high dudgeon when the governor of Illinois commuted every death penalty in that state?


Wow. I'm caught totally off guard! How will I wriggle free of my hypocrisy?

How about: No. I'm anti-death penalty, and if Scooter had been sentenced to death, I would advocated life in prison instead.

As it happens, he was sentenced to 2.5 years, which a little Googling will show is hardly at the high end for perjury. Apparently Lil' Kim got less, but 5 and 7 year sentences are not rare.

Plus, Bush has declined to commute the sentences of many, many other criminals. Surely in some of those cases, there could be doubt as to whether the trial was fair. Maybe because the defendants weren't represented by the 2006 Lawyer of the Year. But there's no question of guilt here, and he knows it. That's why he has to use the ridiculous "critics of the investigation have argued..." constructions.

Seven Machos said...

I support Bush's decision and I'm happy about it. The president has every right under the Constitution to commute and pardon.

There are tons of good arguments against this, but the rule-of-law argument is dead on arrival.

Did you really think that the top aide of the sitting vice president was going to spend any time in jail over a politically motivated verdict?

Doyle said...

Sorry, folks, but no one has managed to tie Cheney to this leak.

!

Seven Machos said...

Is that Jacque Cuse making a comeback? The woodwork is going to come out for this one, I guess. Where's Mary?

Revenant said...

Jacques,

The two quotes off Ann's that you're offering up express two points of view:

(1): That the lefties howling for blood were repulsive, and
(2): That Fitzgerald's behavior was not something we should tolerate.

Neither point suggests a belief that Libby shouldn't be punished for perjury. In fact all three beliefs are true: Libby deserves punishment, the lefties did behave in a repulsive manner, and Fitzgerald abused his power.

Similarly, the (entirely accurate) beliefs that American communists were repugnant and the American Communist Party was led by traitors paid by the USSR in no way implies or requires the belief that McCarthy was a good and noble man.

B said...

I pity whoever has to deal with these hate-filled people in 3D.

Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned.

I was a liberal years ago. I find conservatives to be a wider range, and overall, just not as self-righteous.

Or as hateful by a long shot.

DKWalser said...

In saying Libby does not go entirely unpunished, our hostess takes into account that Libby still must pay a $250,000 fine. In addition, he's on probation (subject to jail, al la Ms. Hilton, if he violates the terms of that probation).

That sentence compares favorably (that is, it is just about as harsh) as the punishment meted out to Clinton's former National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, who intentionally removed classified materials from the National Archives, destroyed some of those materials (thereby impeding the investigation into the government failures that preceded 9/11), and then lied to law enforcement about his actions (thereby obstructing their investigation). Berger's actions were unarguably worse -- unlike Libby, who was never accused of violating the rules regarding the use and care of classified information, Berger destroyed classified documents AND committed perjury and obstructed justice (the crimes of which Libby was convicted). Yet, Berger was given a $50,000 fine ($200,000 less than Libby), 2 years probation (the same as Libby), 100 hours of public service (100 hours more than Libby) and NO jail time (36 months less than Libby, until Bush restored some balance).

Ann Althouse said...

Let me add that I though Clinton was guilty of perjury, but I nevertheless signed the lawprofs' letter against impeaching him.

And I do not like the glee on either side over this. I find partisanship disgusting and immoral in the criminal context.

Luckyoldson said...

ann says: "Sorry if I don't scream with outrage for you."

it's not for US, ann...it's for the rule of law.

bush disregarded every single guideline relating to issuing a pardon or commutation.

libby never admitted a crime, never served a day...and, as for your claim that he "didn't escape all punishment" that's a crock, too.

his appeal continues.

Seven Machos said...

Come on, Althouse. This is the aide of Cheney who committed perjury. This is different.

Jacques Cuze said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/watergatedoc_3.htm
Washingtonpost.com Special Report: Documents From the Starr Referral

n the [Constitutional] convention George Mason argued that the President might use his pardoning power to "pardon crimes which were advised by himself" or, before indictment or conviction, "to stop inquiry and prevent detection." James Madison responded:

[I]f the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds [to] believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty...

Madison went on to [say] contrary to his position in the Philadelphia convention, that the President could be suspended when suspected, and his powers would devolve on the Vice President, who could likewise be suspended until impeached and convicted, if he were also suspected.


As an originalist, I am glad to know Ann that you will be joining the calls for impeachment.

Seven Machos said...

...Wherein the left discovered originalism vis-a-vis the Constitution.

Luckyoldson said...

ann says: "And I do not like the glee on either side over this. I find partisanship disgusting and immoral in the criminal context."

really???

and exactly which part of this do you find to be MOST "partisan???"

the fact that 72% of america thinks libby should do time (based on a jury trial and a bush appointed judge)...or that bush feels he should no NO TIME??

Seven Machos said...

Bush won't be elected in 2008. This seals it.

Luckyoldson said...

DKWalser said..."In saying Libby does not go entirely unpunished, our hostess takes into account that Libby still must pay a $250,000 fine. In addition, he's on probation (subject to jail, al la Ms. Hilton, if he violates the terms of that probation)."

but the appeal process continues so he may never pay a dime...and bush can pardon him on on the way out the door...which he will.

The Exalted said...

John Stodder said...
Here, I'll rip the wound open a bit further for the left on this.

At the time of Libby's questioning, Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald reportedly knew who leaked the information.


more than one person can leak the same information...

B said...

Lucky,

Please keep it up . . .

I can see an exploding head coming . . . .

Ann Althouse said...

"can impeach him" doesn't equal must impeach him. This is why I signed the letter against impeaching Clinton.

Seven Machos said...

Exalted: Don't worry. Bush is fair. If more than person was prosecuted here, Bush will surely commute all of their sentences.

Ann Althouse said...

But I don't think this commutation is done to screen the President's "high crimes and misdemeanors." How do you get that?

The Exalted said...

Seven Machos said...

Did you really think that the top aide of the sitting vice president was going to spend any time in jail over a politically motivated verdict?


of all the canards in here, this has to be the dumbest and easily refuted. all of the state actors here were republicans.

Seven Machos said...

Clinton should not have been impeached. That was laughable in retrospect. Libby should not have been charged. That was laughable, too.

I know this view is crazy to our Very Angry Leftists right now. How perplexed you fellows must be.

Luckyoldson said...

seven,
you're comments would be cuter if you were smarter.

bad combo.

Seven Machos said...

Exalted -- What's the canard?

Internet Ronin said...

And I do not like the glee on either side over this. I find partisanship disgusting and immoral in the criminal context.

As do I. But those who are busy spewing their seething hatred, or tap-dancing with partisan glee, as a result of this don't care and never will understand.

DKWalser said...

but the appeal process continues so he may never pay a dime...and bush can pardon him on on the way out the door...which he will. - Lucky

Hey, Lucky, if Libby avoids the fine by winning on appeal, just how many days of his sentence should he have served?

If Libby loses his appeal and Bush pardons him, I'll join you in being outraged.

The Exalted said...

"politically motivated"

John Stodder said...

Doyle, I assume you said "!" to my statement about Cheney and the leak because saying any more would put in the position of having to parse words to get to your desired result.

But rather than go the "john, you're a fucktard" route, why don't you just explain the following:

Which reporter did Cheney himself leak Plame's name to?

When did Libby or anyone else testify that Cheney asked or ordered him to leak Plame's name and expose her covert status?

Don't use the dodge of quoting news stories this way: Cheney...authorized...Libby...to leak...classified information...about...Iraq...Wilson...Plame. We're wise to the elipses trick. I know Libby was told by Cheney to leak NIE material to the press. I know Cheney was aware of Wilson's relationship with Plame and her role in the Niger trip; and was the source of Libby's knowledge, allegedly. However, that's not an answer to this question.

Seven Machos said...

I don't think Libby will get a pardon ultimately. The reason is because the $250,000 is going to get raised quickly and the other part of the punishment isn't career-threatening, let alone liberty-threatening.

Joe American is going to look at this and shrug, certainly by the time 2008 comes around.

The Exalted said...

libby had a 12 million legal defense fund -- i think the fine is already spoken for

B said...

Can't breathe . . .

Must continue anti-Bush rage . . .

Fit all scenarios into bad Bush parameters . . .

Ignore own hypocrisy . . .

Doyle said...

So while you don't condone the president's intervening to keep a convicted felon out of jail (because he was your VP's chief of staff), you don't think it's worth getting outraged about.

But "partisanship...in the criminal context"? That's "disgusting and immoral." Evidently worse than criminality or at least preventing its due punishment.

And it bears pointing out again: Fitzgerald is a Republican, appointed by Bush, and two out of three of the judges who unanimously denied Libby's appeal were appointed by Republicans.

Even Tony Blankley said this stinks.

Luckyoldson said...

B said...this about conservatives: "...I find conservatives to be a wider range, and overall, just not as self-righteous. Or as hateful by a long shot."

have you run this by gays, blacks, the seculars, the poor and women?

what an ass.

Internet Ronin said...

Well said, John Stodder, well said. Hope you feel better after saying it, because the minds you are trying to reach cannot deal with the facts. They must have their distortions of reality and pet conspiracy theories accepted without question or they go ballistic and lose their tenuous grasp on coherence as the foam accumulates around their mouth.

Thorley Winston said...

I don't think Libby will get a pardon ultimately. The reason is because the $250,000 is going to get raised quickly and the other part of the punishment isn't career-threatening, let alone liberty-threatening.

I have to disagree in part. If you have a felony conviction, it may serve as a bar to employment, practicing law, or voting depending on where you live.

Joe American is going to look at this and shrug, certainly by the time 2008 comes around.

Agreed although if I were President Bush, I probably wouldn't try running for office in 2008. ;)

B said...

Liberal compassion failing . . .

Bush hatred welling up . . .

must give up logic and reason to continue hating . . .

B said...

have you run this by gays, blacks, the seculars, the poor and women?

Yup.

You lose again . . .

Your move

Luckyoldson said...

B said..."Must continue anti-Bush rage . . ."

the man's lugging around a 26-30% approval rating, you moron. the "anti-Bush rage" as you call it...

...is america's rage.

*are you new to america??

AntonK said...

Commuting the sentence is fine as far as it goes, but I think Ace of Spades nails it with this one: http://ace.mu.nu/archives/232229.php

Our long national silly fantasia is over.

Suggestion: Bush should have reduced the fine to a more reasonable $50,000, which just so happens to be how much Sandy Berger was fined for stealing and destroying classified documents and lying about it to investigators (he wasn't charged for the latter, but subsequent revelations has made it clear he did just that).

Making the fine $50,000 would have been more in line with Libby's transgressions, and it would have made it harder for Democrats to argue against it. The penalty -- no jail time, $50,000, probation -- would have been so similar to Berger's that one could scarcely mention it without also mentioning Berger.

Seven Machos said...

Gays, blacks, the seculars, the poor, and women are no doubt oppressed that a political aide got a commuted sentence.

Luckyoldson said...

methinks "b" is new to the planet.

he just can't fathom this strange "bush rage."

maybe reading a newspaper...or even a book?

John Stodder said...

Note the word "generally". It also crops up in phrases like "people are generally allowed to remain free pending appeal". The reason commutations are not generally granted prior to the end of the appeals process is that punishment is normally delayed until them, and hence no commutation would be appropriate.

Actually, this isn't true. Under federal law, the burden of proof is on the defendant to show he/she has a close question that is likely to result in an overturn of the verdict or sentence. I was a little surprised Libby's case didn't reach this threshold, but it's an uphill climb for most defendants.

To the larger point of the Justice Department "guidelines" and whether Bush followed them. He is under no obligation, legally, to follow anything but his own conscience. The remedy for those who are unhappy with what Bush did is impeachment. Have at it!

Luckyoldson said...

seven,
you're so frigging dumb, you're not worth the time.

get back to that little b&w t.v.

Thorley Winston said...

Suggestion: Bush should have reduced the fine to a more reasonable $50,000, which just so happens to be how much Sandy Berger was fined for stealing and destroying classified documents and lying about it to investigators (he wasn't charged for the latter, but subsequent revelations has made it clear he did just that).

Commute it to $49,999 instead and suspend his national security clearance for a day shorter than the period that Berger’s was suspended.

The Exalted said...

stodder, more than one person can leak the same information...ignoring this?

seven, the prosecution of a republican by republicans can hardly be "politically motivated"...ignoring this?

easier to argue on the basis of lies and strawmen, isn't it? you guys are good at it.

Seven Machos said...

Exalted -- Do you really believe that Fitzgerald is a Republican?

mcg said...

No need to mess with the numbers---Bush could have included the comparison to Berger's sentence in his press release :)

DKWalser said...

What I find disgusting was the glee on the left that Libby was going to serve jail time. Since when is someone going to jail something to be celebrated? Even when justified, a jail sentence is not something to be handed down with jubilation. It's something to be mourned. The dancing on Libby's grave was more than a tad unseemly.

It strikes me that too many have been viewing this think as if it were a football game. They shout for joy when something bad happens to the other team. In this case, such merriment is completely out of place. It would be like Giant's fans cheering when Joe Theismann's leg was snapped by Lawrence Taylor's tackle.

Pogo said...

Libby charged.
Meh.

Libby convicted.
Meh.

Libby commuted.
Meh.

I guess there was a crime in there somewhere, in the way any prosecutor lacking oversight can find on literally anyone at some point. The IRS has been known to target individuals in just this way. The technique was refined by Stalin, who created a culture where anyone could be taken away at any time because everyone is guilty of something, if the law is vague enough or one is given sufficient questioning or one's victim runs out of money.

It's a terrible precedent, and it will be used again and again. State attorneys general are now using this ploy to shake down businesses and punish foes.

The rule of law has been damaged, but not in the way the left appears to think. Our founders feared just such an outcome. And here we have it: the left clamoring for the Monolith State.

B said...

Oh Lucky, Lucky

It's just that liberals are so hating easy to figure.

Wrong on every major social reform

Let's see, welfare, no not that one, bussing, no , can't use that, uh, college admissions, uh no . . .

So, if you lose all the time in the real world, what's left top vent your rage on?

Rage rage rage rage rage rage
hate hate hate hate hate hate

to the tune of "Blowing in the Wind"

How many times does a man have to hate someone he diasgrees with,
before you can call him a liberaql man? . . .

Doyle said...

John -

I think you're taking a narrower view of what would be required to "tie Cheney" to the leaking. Like, that it would require a direct conversation between Cheney and a reporter. There are only 3 or 4 "reporters" on earth that Cheney would ever talk to: Hume, Hannity, Hewitt...

Libby is Cheney's right hand man. The notion that he was freelancing in his discussions about Plame is laughable. Cheney was pissed at Joe Wilson. At a minimum he was interested enough in not to let his chief of staff go around doing/saying whatever he wanted in regards to Plame.

The Exalted said...

yup, pat fitzgerald successfully prosecuting a government official for perjury and obstruction of justice is just like stalin, wow, you nailed it.

downtownlad said...

A gay man having sex in the privacy of your own bedroom - Bush will lead the charge to have you incarcerated. In fact, a gay soldier was sent to prison for 90 days just for having gay sex. And not a pardon or commutation in sight. And one of the biggest pro-pardon blogs, Powerline led by John Hindraker, are upset that we can no longer kill people for having gay sex.

Driving with a suspended license - 30 days in jail. Unless you're George Bush, who does a DUI, and gets zero time in jail.

Use crack cocaine instead of powder cocaine (which Bush used) - 1 year in prison for you.

Purjure yourself to cover up for a lying Vice President. And with absolutely zero remorese for the crime. Well - we have a pardon for you.

Bill and Hillary Clinton must be happy today, because this makes their end of term pardons look like childs play.

And let's be serious, Scooter isn't paying a dime of his own money

Zeb Quinn said...

The BDS mouth-frothers are unable to keep their perspective. So let's recap. Libby wasn't accused of nor was he convicted of leaking Valerie Plame's supposed status as a supposed secret agent. He was convicted of telling a lie about something else to the special prosecutor, at a time when the special prosecutor already knew that it was Richard Armitage who had leaked Plame's name, and at a time after the special prosecutor already had concluded that it was no crime. Then on top of that it was a highly partisan and highly partial DC jury with jurors who were right up front about the fact that they convicted Libby because what they really wanted to do was convict Cheney of something but, drat, Cheney wasn't charged with anything, so Cheney's lawyer would have to do as the next best thing. It's understandable that Bush commuted the sentence.

So settle down.

The Exalted said...

Seven Machos said...
Exalted -- Do you really believe that Fitzgerald is a Republican?

7:34 PM


you're right, even though he was appointed USA by president bush, he is far too principled, must be in name only.

thanks for helping to clear that up.

downtownlad said...

Why did Scooter lie?

Inquiring minds want to know.

DKWalser said...

Why are we supposed to believe the fact the prosecutor was a Republican somehow proves the prosecution was not politically motivated. Armitage was a Republican, yet he was running a war against the the President's Iraq policy. This just demonstrates that it's not impossible for two Republicans to have strong differences. The same's true for Democrats. Witness how they treated Lieberman when his views on the war were inconsistent with their own. Republicans can, and do, have political disagreements with other Republicans. So, too, do Democrats. The fact a prosecutor shares a political affiliation with a target does not mean the prosecution is not, in part, politically motivated.

Seven Machos said...

Scooter Libby was the attorney for Marc Rich.

John Stodder said...

Doyle,

Agreed. In the cosmic sense of how this story travelled, the falling dominos certainly include Dick Cheney himself. But that was in the nature of a policy argument, which is all this ever should have been. Wilson's column was a direct attack on the credibility of the White House, and the intelligence sources on which it relied. Cheney, among many others in the Administration, thought Wilson distorted reality in order to make his case. One thing that obviously stuck in some knowledgeable people's craw was that his wife might have had something to do with sending him on the Niger mission. So they made sure that part of the story got out.

Now...at this point the left got into what I continue to believe was a hypocritical fit about violating national security and/or putting Plame in personal danger. I don't think that was the intent of the Plame leak, nor the result. I think it was meant to call Wilson's credibility into question. You know the expression: Politics ain't beanbag. It was a hard hit, and it wasn't fair to Ms. Plame, although Wilson had nothing to complain about, since his article put her CIA status at risk.

It's the criminalization of this policy dispute that disturbs me. Maybe Libby or Armitage or even Rove should have been fired for what they did. I would have been fine with that. But prosecuted? That's a misuse of the awesome might of our government, especially when it was being used so selectively.

We need to step back from the brink here. The liberal glee at putting Libby in prison is disgusting, but no more disgusting than the right's glee at the legal problems of the Clinton administration. I mean...Mike Espy? Henry Cisneros? All those now anonymous aides to Mr. and Mrs. Clinton who had to go out of pocket for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills due to the obviously political Whitewater and Lewinsky cases?

It's creepy that anyone in the political arena would take joy in the imprisoning of the loyal opposition, the ruining of lives for a cheap headline and a talking point.

downtownlad said...

Let's not forget. Plame was a covert agent. That was verified several weeks ago by the mainstream media (but ignored by the conservative blog).

Wilson was right about Niger too. But his TRUTHFULNESS was distracting from Bush and Cheney's LIE about WMD's. So his wife had to be targeted and her life put at risk.

Pretty sick if you ask me.

Seven Machos said...

Downtown -- You have the story remarkably wrong.

downtownlad said...

Oh really Seven - care to point out where I was wrong?

Because you can't. Unless you only read conservative blogs and are absolutely oblivious to the facts.

Plame was an uncercover agent - FACT

Wilson discovered that uranium was NOT sold to Iraq from Niger, and he was proven correct. - FACT

Bush made false statements ("The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa") about the yellowcake in his State of the Union address, in order to justify going to war. - FACT

In fact, the Bush Administration stated "these 16 words should never have been included".

The Bush Administration attempted to defame Joe Wilson for telling the TRUTH - FACT.

Valerie Plame, a covert agent, was outed by the Bush Administration, via Richard Armitage - FACT.

Armitage claimed he didn't know Plame was covert, but obviously SOMEONE told him that.

Thanks to Scooter's lies, we will never know, even though it's quite obvious that he's covering up for Cheney. And now thanks to the pardon - he'll get away with it.

The Exalted said...

It's the criminalization of this policy dispute that disturbs me. Maybe Libby or Armitage or even Rove should have been fired for what they did. I would have been fine with that. But prosecuted?

during fitzgerald's investigation into whether crimes occurred during this so-called "policy dispute" where a covert agent lost her front (and her front organization as well), libby lied to federal investigators. that is a crime. then he lied to a grand jury. that is another crime. he was convicted for those crimes.

when, when, will you get this.

Thorley Winston said...

Downtown -- You have the story remarkably wrong.

That's usually the case.

downtownlad said...

Whatever Thorley - I give facts. You're just your usual bigoted self.

downtownlad said...

This is a must read for anyone who wants an objective viewpoint on the case.

http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2007/06/12/opinion/22075048.txt

Doyle said...

The liberal glee at putting Libby in prison is disgusting

Your mistaking glee with a desire not to see a criminal avoid jail. I don't savor the thought of Libby being imprisoned, but them's the breaks if you commit a felony.

What's disgusting is the suggestion that he shouldn't have to do it because he was "loyal." So are thousands of imprisoned drug dealers who didn't cooperate with the police. Aren't Republican's supposed to be tough on crime?

Sloanasaurus said...

it's not for US, ann...it's for the rule of law.

bush disregarded every single guideline relating to issuing a pardon or commutation.

libby never admitted a crime, never served a day...and, as for your claim that he "didn't escape all punishment" that's a crock, too.


Who said this BS

The Pardon is part of the rule of law, idiot. It is granted by Article II. Carter pardoned thousands of draft dodgers. Did he violate the rule of law with them? What is not part of the rule of law is what Fitzgerald did in the trial to convict Libby.

Justice guidelines have nothing to do with the rule of law. They are in place to minimize the political impact of pardons and to give people who the President does not know a chance at a pardon.

Libby was convicted in a set-up trial by Fitzgerald who realized he could not convict anyone under any other crime.

Fitzgerald should be disbarred for continuing the trial after he found out who the so called leaker was.

Libby should have received the same sentence as Clinton... a loss of his law license for 5 years.

Sloanasaurus said...

I don't savor the thought of Libby being imprisoned, but them's the breaks if you commit a felony.

You mean like Clinton did?

Seven Machos said...

The crime at issue is an act passed by Congress which everyone agrees was not violated.

Also, none of this matters, Downtown, because the issue here is not that act, and the lies Scooter Libby told don't relate to it. But, for the sake of truth...

Possibly, Plame had been covert. She was no longer covert by the time her husband went on his "mission."

Niger and Africa are not synonymous. Niger is in African, but there are many more countries. Look at a globe sometime.

This is a true statement: "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Joe Wilson attacked the administration in an op-ed. Defamation has an element of falsehood. The whole point of this is the accusation that someone told a truth -- that someone was a covert CIA officer. Defamation cannot be true.

Richard Armitage was and is very much against the Bush administration's Iraq policy.

downtownlad said...

Sloansaurrus doesn't understand squat about how the law works.

Libby was convicted. Clinton wasn't.

Sloanasaurus said...

Dowtown you are the worst liar.


Plame was an uncercover agent - FACT

LIE - by Law Plame had passed the 5 year mark for being covert.

Wilson discovered that uranium was NOT sold to Iraq from Niger, and he was proven correct. - FACT

LIE - Iraq purchased uranium from Niger in the 1980s. besides, Wilson was trying to confirm if Iraq "attempted" to buy uranium - that was the statement Bush made in his speech. He reported to the Senate that he could not disprove this.


Bush made false statements ("The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa") about the yellowcake in his State of the Union address, in order to justify going to war. - FACT


LIE - This is a true statement. Britain stands by this statement. Wilson did not disprove this statement.


The Bush Administration attempted to defame Joe Wilson for telling the TRUTH - FACT.


LIE- Wilson lied in his NY Times article. A fact that became clear when he testified under oath to the Senate telling a contradictory story that he found no evidence to disprove the uranium claim.


Valerie Plame, a covert agent, was outed by the Bush Administration, via Richard Armitage - FACT.


Plame was not covert. That is why Fitzgerald could not prosecute. Besides, Plame outed herself long before she use nepotism to send Wilscon, an enemy of The Bush Administration to Niger.

downtownlad said...

Care to provide sources for any of those claims?

Because Powerline just doesn't cut it.

Zeb Quinn said...

Doyle, DTL, et. al.,

Bush had the power to do it, he did it, and it's done. So take your meds or do some bong hits for Jesus or whatever it takes, but get over it.

Internet Ronin said...

Someone will correct me if I am wrong, but IIRC, the crime that Libby was convicted of was perjury. Reading much of what has been written here, I would have thought it was conspiracy (no charge and no conviction) or revealing an undercover agent's identity (no charge and no conviction). Now the people who are thrilled to the gills about this go on and on (and on) about a whole lot of stuff they are mad about, as if those were the crimes that Libby was found guilty of committing. He wasn't. His crime was perjuring himself while testifying before a grand jury.

With that in mind, I assume that everyone is happy with the idea that a $250,000 fine and 30 months in jail is approriate for someone who commits perjury while testifying before a grand jury (don't know about DC, but in California I believe one's personal attorney is excluded from the hearing). Remember now, it doesn't matter what he lied about, it matters that he lied under oath before a grand jury, without benefit of counsel. I'm probably fine with that, but I doubt almost all of you are, unless the accused is someone you hate.

Sloanasaurus said...

Libby was convicted. Clinton wasn't.

I know... it's that pesky what is the "meaning of is" stuff with you liberals.

Sloanasaurus said...

Care to provide sources for any of those claims?

Because Powerline just doesn't cut it.


Ouch... hmmm... I better pull out my Mother Jones to double check my references.

Wait, there it is page 1 - by Dan Rather titled... "fake but accurate."

How quaint.

George Orwell would have loved today's leftys. There is so much material.

downtownlad said...

Plame was not covert. That is why Fitzgerald could not prosecute

Why do conservatives LIE.

Valerie Plame was covert and an undercover operative when she was outed.

But people like Sloansaurrus just lie, lie, lie until they actually believe themselves.

Of course, the entire world knows this EXCEPT those who solely rely on conservative blogs.

Because NOT ONE conservative blog linked to this article.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18924679/

Sloansarrus - Liar - Just like Scooter Libby.

Seven Machos said...

Downtown -- It's simply untrue that Valerie Plame was covert under the CIA's definition of covert.

Even if it was, Libby was convicted of telling lies that have nothing to do with that.

Doyle said...

Get over it? It happened 5 hours ago!

How long did it take the wingnuts to get over the Duke rape case? Oh that's right, they haven't.

downtownlad said...

That's absolutely untrue seven.

Read this article - She WAS covert.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18924679

Fitzgerald knew that, although it wasn't officially made public until it came time to sentence Scooter.

And you can absolutely bet that Fitzgerald thinks that Scooter was involved with the leak - he just didn't have direct evidence of that.

Why not? Because Scooter lied.

And why exactly do YOU think he lied? We all know why Clinton lied. Because he wanted to cover up an affair.

But why did Scooter lie?

Seven Machos said...

Richard Armitage outed Valerie Plame, though she was not covet. Scooter Libby lied in testimony that had little if anything to do with Valerie Plame.

Sloanasaurus said...

Because NOT ONE conservative blog linked to this article.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18924679/


Just because she was called covert in a report does not mean she was. Covert was specifically defined by law. And she wasn't covert under the law because she had not been out of the coutry within 5 years.

Read it for yourself.

(4) The term “covert agent” means—
(A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency—
(i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information, and
(ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States; or

downtownlad said...

Well Seven - you keep insisting that Valerie Plame was not convert, despite the evidence I have given you.

That makes you either

1) A moron or
2) A liar

I vote for #2. Must be fun living in a fantasy world.

Seven Machos said...

(4) The term “covert agent” means—
(A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency—
(i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information, and
(ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States...

Doyle said...

Downtown -- It's simply untrue that Valerie Plame was covert under the CIA's definition of covert.

Seven -- No, it's not.

The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, "sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias -- but always using cover -- whether official or non-official (NOC) -- with no ostensible relationship to the CIA."

But again, her covert status was not at issue in the Libby trial, and has no bearing on his guilt.

Zeb Quinn said...

Libby was convicted. Clinton wasn't.

Clinton was never charged. He was president at the time. All agencies of federal law enforcement answered to him. Nevertheless, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright did what she could do, and held him in contempt of court for his "willful failure" to testify truthfully.

And I think it's fine and dandy to stand on the principle that perjurers, however incidental or innocuous, should be held accountable because the justice system cannot withstand assaults on its integrity, such as the condoning perjury would do.

So, with that said, Ann, where exactly did you stand on the issue of the impeachment of Bill Clinton, specifically Article I, that the president "...willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony to the grand jury..."?

Sloanasaurus said...

continued:

B) a United States citizen whose intelligence relationship to the United States is classified information, and—
(i) who resides and acts outside the United States as an agent of, or informant or source of operational assistance to, an intelligence agency, or
(ii) who is at the time of the disclosure acting as an agent of, or informant to, the foreign counterintelligence or foreign counterterrorism components of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; or
(C) an individual, other than a United States citizen, whose past or present intelligence relationship to the United States is classified information and who is a present or former agent of, or a present or former informant or source of operational assistance to, an intelligence agency.

downtownlad said...

Try again liar Sloanasarrus:

"There is the claim that the law to protect intelligence identities could not have been violated because Valerie Wilson had not lived overseas for six years. Too bad this is not what the law stipulates. The law actually requires that a covered person “served” overseas in the last five years. Served does not mean lived. In the case of Valerie Wilson, energy consultant for Brewster-Jennings, she traveled overseas in 2003, 2002, and 2001, as part of her cover job. She met with folks who worked in the nuclear industry, cultivated sources, and managed spies. She was a national security asset until exposed."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Plame#Career

Seven Machos said...

1. She was not covert at the time of the "outing."

2. Armitage "outed" her.

3. CIA officers (and diplomats) are lackeys for the executive branch, whether they like it or they don't. When they have spouses who write op-eds slamming the administration for its current policy after going on junkets to Africa (anywhere in Africa, you know), they out themselves.

zzRon said...

Doyle said ..."How long did it take the wingnuts to get over the Duke rape case? Oh that's right, they haven't."


Are YOU over it? Or, did you never care about the Duke players in the first place? Just curious.

downtownlad said...

And Bush knew she was covert the entire time. He had access to that info.

But, LIARS THAT THEY ARE, they deliverately fed FALSE information to media outlets that she wasn't covert.

And gullible people believe it.

And lapdog liars like Sloanasarrus do their best to make sure objective people don't know the truth.

downtownlad said...

Looks like seven is a lapdog liar as well.

FACT - She was an undercover, covert agent when outed.

No matter how many times you lie about that not being true, doesn't make it so.

How did Armitage know she worked for the CIA?

Sloanasaurus said...

The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times."

Plame had been residing in the U.S. when she met Wilson at a cocktail party in 1997.

Plame was covert in the eyes of liberals who wanted her to be covert so they could attack Bush. But she was not covert under the statute.

Seven Machos said...

Downtown -- I'm surprised you haven't introduced the gay angle here. Could you argue that a certain prison population will be without Scooter Libby? Might work.

It sure beats saying the same thing over and over. Also, email me, and I'll show you how to use html so you don't have to USE CAPITAL LETTERS SO MUCH.

Sloanasaurus said...

FACT - She was an undercover, covert agent when outed.

No matter how many times you lie about that not being true, doesn't make it so.


Okay, I will believe you if you show me under the statute how she was covert.

Seven Machos said...

Gosh. How would the second-ranking person at State know that someone works for the CIA? It does boggle the mind.

downtownlad said...

Why don't you just read her Wikipedia entry. It's not that difficult.

And wikipedia is notoriously accurate - with links to all supporting documents.

Seven Machos said...

wikipedia is notoriously accurate

Yeah. Nothing is ever wrong at wikipedia.

downtownlad said...

Well if it's wrong Seven - you're free to correct it. Nobody's stopping you.

Seven Machos said...

I'll get right on that.

Sloanasaurus said...

Why don't you just read her Wikipedia entry. It's not that difficult.

Yeah, that says Plame did not work outside the US after 1997. The statute requires at a minimum that you worked within 5 years to be considered covert. The reason why there is a rule like that is because people come back and although they are labeled "covert" they don't live that way. Plame was a great example. She had a desk job, two new babies, she was listed in whos who, people knew where she worked on the party circuit, etc... They have a 5 year time limit so the law doesn't get ridiculous.

rcocean said...

Does anyone take liberals seriously anymore?

- Say the pompous liberals:

"-Libby must go to Prison. Perjury is a serious crime. We must enforce the rule of law.

-Except for immigration (amnesty 12 million or your a racist) and the drug laws. Oh, and sure Clinton committed perjury but that was DIFFERENT.

-And uh that Marc Rich Pardon and the FLA terrorist pardon, well that was Different too. And Kennedy killed a women in 1969 but that was OK."

What a joke! Liberals your hatred and hypocrisy is laughable.

Mindsteps said...

But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend 30 months in prison.”


It would be interesting to do a longitudinal examination of Bush's behavior regarding the relationship between crime and punishment. His comment leaves me with the sense that our legal system, in practice, is often incompetent, dishonest, or both. Maybe it has always been this way, however the accumulation of publicized legal atrocities (and some that I have witnessed first hand) have led me to place zero trust in how it operates. It is so profoundly corrupted by money and politics that the faithful application of legal procedures, ideas, and principals seem to be the exception, rather than the rule within the system. Obviously, with such a complicated human endeavor, it would be unrealistic to expect perfection. However, from my vantage point, there is little quality control and even less accountibility.

I do not have much money and even less political clout. In addition, I have my intellectual limitations. How can anyone confidently claim that the legal system provides me with a level playing field.

I have more confidence in Althouse's psychoanalytic interpretations than I do our legal system's capacity to competently operationalize the principals and procedures upon which it is supposedly based.

Internet Ronin said...

What about the judge?

I didn't notice anyone talking about the judge who pronounced this sentence, Reggie B. Walton.

Here, for your consideration, is a portion of his Wikipedia biography:

He earned his law degree from The American University, Washington College of Law, in 1974. Judge Walton is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans. In fall 2005, the judge was driving his wife and daughter to the airport for a vacation when he came across an assailant attacking a cab driver on the side of the road.
Walton tackled the assailant and subdued him until police arrived. The D.C. police spokesperson noted in response, "God bless Judge Walton. I surely wouldn't want to mess with him."

Walton served as an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia from 1981 to 1989 and from 1991 to 2001. He also served as associate director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and was appointed in 2001 to his lifetime seat on the federal bench by President George W. Bush. In 2004, Bush appointed him to chair a commission investigating ways to curb prison rape. In May 2007, [U.S. Supreme Court] Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. appointed him to a seat on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Despite his appointments by Republican officials, The Washington Post reported, "fellow judges and lawyers who appear before him say Walton's decisions do not appear to be guided by politics but by a tough-on-crime mentality". Walton is known by local defense attorneys as a
"long ball hitter" - a judge willing to impose long sentences in order to deter future crimes.

Quite a fellow. Appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Without a doubt, tough on crime. A timely reminder that people ought to be careful what they ask for, they might get it.

EnigmatiCore said...

'In this administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice'...

Right message.

Absolutely positively the wrongest person ever to try to deliver a particular message.

SGT Ted said...

Heheh

The President exercises a clearly delineated Constitutional prerogative and the lefties all shriek about "disrespecting the rule of law" and start quoting originalist texts.

All the while it escapes them that what W did IS the RULE OF LAW. That is, the Constitution grants it to the President to use as he see's fit.

Get it, lefties?

Zeb Quinn said...

Whether Plame was covert within the meaning of the law was pretty much answered when Fitz didn't prosecute Armitage. So all that is moot.

But the part I really love the most about this whole story is the part where the leftwingers posture and preen to try to pass themselves off as super-duper patriotic and vigilant defenders of the sanctity of covert CIA field operatives, when in truth we all know that in their black little heart of hearts they actually *hate* the CIA, especially covert field operations, and that they'd expose an undercover covert agent in a heartbeat just for the sport of it whenever given the opportunity to do it. In fact they've done exactly that numerous times over the years. So it all has just just always rang hollow and hypocritical when they sanctimoneously put on this act, pretending to be oh so worried poor little Valerie Plame.

EnigmatiCore said...

"All the while it escapes them that what W did IS the RULE OF LAW. That is, the Constitution grants it to the President to use as he see's fit. "

The President had the right to do this. That does not mean he was right to do it, or that we should applaud.

I think Joe Wilson is a lying scumbag. I believe Valerie Plame was no innocent.

But I also believe that Libby broke the law when he lied to the investigators and/or grand jury. And I do believe he lied.

I believe he deserved his sentence. I also believe Bill Clinton deserved to be charged with perjury.

Maybe now each side will say they got one of theirs off and missed getting the other guy, so enough's enough.

But I doubt it. More of the same.

John Stodder said...

What's disgusting is the suggestion that he shouldn't have to do it because he was "loyal."

Just to clarify, when I alluded to the "loyal opposition," I meant that in the parliamentary sense. Opposed to party, loyal to country.

The genuine bad guys -- Abramoff and the guys he bought off, for example -- should be prosecuted as criminals. I look at Libby as in a different category, for all the reasons stated above.

during fitzgerald's investigation into whether crimes occurred during this so-called "policy dispute" where a covert agent lost her front (and her front organization as well), libby lied to federal investigators. that is a crime. then he lied to a grand jury. that is another crime. he was convicted for those crimes.

when, when, will you get this.


1. When it is established as fact that Plame "lost her cover" as a "covert agent." This fact is not established. It has been asserted by many, confirmed by none.

2. When Fitzgerald acknowledges that by the time of Libby's questioning, he was no longer investigating the leak, because he had the answer to the core question, but was instead on a fishing expedition in hopes of finding some idiot like Libby who would fall into a perjury trap and justify his costly probe.

2. When Joe Wilson takes a measure of responsibility for the exposure of his wife. He had to have known that by calling attention to his mission to Niger, and especially by inserting it into the debate in such a disingenous way (by making it seem as if his findings in Niger refuted Bush's SOTU 16 words, when in fact they did not), his wife's status, whatever it was, might become an issue. Especially because of her role in getting the mission in the first place, which he must have known.

4. When the left stops the crocodile tears about the damage to Plame's career. The left is very, very picky about which intelligence breaches will spur their outrage. Pretty much Plame is the only case I've ever seen the left take this position. When you guys sign up for the investigation of the numerous damaging links about our methods of monitoring terrorists, then you might convince me you're sincere.

EnigmatiCore said...

John, ya got two twos there and no three.

(What a dick I am.)

John Stodder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Stodder said...

"damaging leaks," I meant to say.

Oh, and yeah, 1, 2, 3, 4, not 1, 2, 2, 4.

If Fitzgerald finds out about these blunders, I'm done for!

Pogo said...

The historian Paul Johnson has noted that America has a long history of loopy conspiracy theories embraced by intellectuals. The Valerie Plame folderol is but one such example in the Bush Conspiracy Library.

Me? I've lost count (and interest) in them. I can fight the she was/was not covert linking game as well as anyone I suppose. But what a colossal bore.

This is already a minor footnote to an asterisk to a vague reference in American history. About as interesting as Grover Cleveland's bastard child. At least the kid was real though. Criminey, but this was a case only for policy wonks, wanking to every turn of the grand jury page, in an internet circle jerk of causus interruptus. Their whispers of "yellow cake" yield to moans of "sixteen words", and then to muffled cries of "Fitz!!", and then the detumescent afterglow of a surreptitious cigarette, lit by a rolled up page from Sandy Berger's pants.

We're gonna need some bleach in here.

Luckyoldson said...

i bet this really helps all of the republican candidates.

except of course, when the 2008 elections comes about.

2008 will be the biggest democratic sweep in our nation's history.

why?

well, we can thank little georgie for that.

he never disappoints.

*and by the way...the WHINING by the right nuts here today...about how georigie did the "right thing"...is hilarious.

keep em' comin' ...

Luckyoldson said...

johnny the whiner says: "When the left stops the crocodile tears about the damage to Plame's career."

you really think plame is going to suffer? millions via winning lawsuits, book deals, etc.

you really need to read more and blather on less.

it's g.w. who has to live on with horrible legacy.

worst ever...bar none.

SGT Ted said...

But I also believe that Libby broke the law when he lied to the investigators and/or grand jury. And I do believe he lied.

So do I.

But, The idea that Libby might have served more jail time than that woman who shotgun murdered her husband in cold blood is perverted. Bush was right to commute the jail time. The huge fine and probation are appropriate here.

The idea that this will be an issue come election day is ludicrous.

Cedarford said...

POGO has it pretty right in the "big picture" sense. Respect for the rule of law is badly damaged not by pardons or other mericies allowed under our system, but by runaway prosecutors like Michael Nifong and Patrick Fitzgerald abusing their powers to entrap innocent people in the system.

And by the public seeing how easy it is to manipulate juries.
And seeing that prosecutors routinely lie to courts, the public, and juries and only rarely face consequences.

That Fitzgerald knew from week one of his "investigation" that Plame did not have covert status so no crime was committed and proceeded was bad. That he knew on week two the leaker's identity and ordered the leaker not so say that Fitz's little investigation was unecessary is far worse. Because with no crime and the leaker known, he then proceeded to spend tens of millions for His Greater Glory and prominence....caused innocents swept up by him millions in legal costs...jailed reporters or threatened them with jail over source protection.

POGO - I guess there was a crime in there somewhere, in the way any prosecutor lacking oversight can find on literally anyone at some point. The IRS has been known to target individuals in just this way. The technique was refined by Stalin, who created a culture where anyone could be taken away at any time because everyone is guilty of something, if the law is vague enough or one is given sufficient questioning or one's victim runs out of money.

It's a terrible precedent, and it will be used again and again. State attorneys general are now using this ploy to shake down businesses and punish foes.

The rule of law has been damaged, but not in the way the left appears to think. Our founders feared just such an outcome. And here we have it: the left clamoring for the Monolith State.


Michael Nifong got burned only because he wasn't slick enough. Schumer parlayed his threats to crack down on corporations into getting enough donations from them that he could run for Senator. Same with his successor Spitzer getting governor off greenmail kickbacks from Wall Street. CT's Richard Blumenthal and other AG's spread the megabillions of the tobacco lawsuit money around to fellow connected partisan lawyers for favors down the road or a guaranteed million plus salary "walk-in" to a prestigious law firm sharing the tobacco windfall as a profit-sharing partner. Giuliani was not above engaging in groundless prosecutions and his patented perp walk media spectacles for political gain.

When you think about how stupid the Left was about this, it is stunning. The Left now endorses The State jailing reporters if they refuse to divulge sources anytime a crime like publishing classified info is being investigated. The Left now endorses The State, while knowing no crime happened, nevertheless going with a full investigation and use of all the legal powers of the State to entrap and criminalize opponents, just as Stalin and Hitler were masters of..

Just Great!

They can squawk when the shoe is on the other foot, but legal precedents have been set in the Libby case.

Wade Garrett said...

This used to be one hell of a great country. Its difficult to find motivation to study for a bar exam when the President of the United States is so blatantly thumbing his nose at the rule of law.

James Comney is a Republican and a Bush appointee, and he appointed Fitzgerald, who is a Republican and Bush appointee, who argued before a trial judge who in turn is a Republican and Bush appointee. This was not a political prosecution. The fact that the criminal used to be a politician doesn't make his prosecution political.

He committed perjury when he was being investigated outing an undercover (if not "covert" under the official definition) CIA agent for NO reason other than political payback. I love how Republicans line up to defend him, saying that what he did wasn't really that serious. As a Democrat, I know that if anybody in the Democratic party did this, Grover Norquist would never let us hear the end of it.

History is going to judge George W. Bush very harshly, and anybody who thinks otherwise is smoking too much weed for their own good.

John Stodder said...

History is going to judge George W. Bush very harshly, and anybody who thinks otherwise is smoking too much weed for their own good.

Quite possibly. But that doesn't justify the unfair prosecution of, and a long sentence for, Libby. And it's not just "right-wingers" who think this.

Mr.Murder said...

Failure to act implies an endorsement of the deed, Ann. Forgive persons if they do not see your photography and smile as values in their own right worthy praise. Some people have hangups over things like procedure and consistency.

I'm calling Congress persons in the morning to request a Resolution of Inquiry, albeit vague, for a summary of damage to Intelligency Community assets. Be they persons on official payroll or contacts, persons working abroad or home who dealt with persons on a basis of their value to our interests abroad.

Just something enough to drive discovery and further empower a sitting Independent Prosecutor...

B said...

Whoa!

Wait a minute! Hold the Presses!

Wikipedia is held up as an as an accurate source? (!)

We have descended beyond partisan hell to depths almost hopeless.

Wikipedia is, at best, a jumping off point as an outline to begin searching for accurate facts and figures. Try as people may, it is far too inaccurate and suspect to use as a primary source.

As someone who personally knows over a dozen people who were listed in biographical articles inaccurately (I was able to assist in the corrections, but who knows what else is inaccurate?) as well as had my own name listed once in a Wikipedia article - with wrong facts attached - I speak the voice of haunted experience.

Think of Wikipedia's rate of accuracy as being of the same level you would expect to find in a newspaper or news network you hate.


By the way, Ann - is your Wikipedia article accurate today?

hdhouse said...

Couple of funny things of note:

1. Scooter's legal defense fund still has more than enough in it to pay the fine.

Actually the use of the fund may constitute a taxable event for him - certainly however, there must be a loophole that gets him out of it..

2. If the 30 month sentence was "excessive"..how many months constituted "not excessive"? 3? 20? 7? Could Mr. Bush have commuted his sentence to some inbetween number of months instead of going to "0"?

Frankly, I am happy to see all the zealots jumping for joy over something Mr. Bush has done for them. Its like they get a "fix" or a "high" when Mr. Bush rewards the base. Well more power to ya'. I mean, to hell with the country, you got yours I guess.

MadisonMan said...

No one is responsible for anything in Bush World. Do what you want, you won't face any consequences.

If Libby has paid the $250K fine when he is pardoned by Bush in '09, does he then get the money back?

rebel said...

This is one of the happiest days of my life including the election of George Bush.

I was down on the president recently because of the immigration bill but I have bounced back regarding his decision to commute Libby's conviction. This was a sham suit that was definitely politically motivated.

It is obvious that Libby is a good man who does not deserve to go to prison. George Bush has done the right thing and I expect is poll number to go up because of this.

The legal system worked in this case and it is a great day to be an american. Well done Mr. President as most have expressed on this blog.

hdhouse said...

rebel said...
"It is obvious that Libby is a good man........."


Obvious to whom?

EnigmatiCore said...

"The idea that Libby might have served more jail time than that woman who shotgun murdered her husband in cold blood is perverted."

True. But I think the part of the equation that is off here is the side where she got so little time, and I do not think that injustice is rectified by letting Libby off.

It's a steep fine, though.

MadisonMan said...

This was a sham suit that was definitely politically motivated.

I don't understand -- unless you mean that it was politics that started this whole road to perjury for Mr. Libby, felon. The prosecutor and the judge were both Republican appointees.

(Republican) Patrick Fitzgerald's statement of reaction is spot-on. I think he'd make a good elected official.

rebel said...

Just because the judge and prosecutor were republican appointments does not mean they are republicans. Many activist judges have been appointed be republicans. You think they will honor and respect conservative causes and then they become liberal after being on the bench for a long time.

The Exalted said...

sweet jesus, reading the gibberish of seven machos and sloanasaurus kills brain cells. they just lie, lie, lie with impunity.

and john todder, the CIA confirmed that plame was "covert," indeed, that is why they recommended the case to the Justice Department for prosecution.

the board here seems to think they know better than the CIA as to the covert status of its own agents, fine, but Fitzgerald, during the course of his investigation on behalf of the CIA, was lied to, repeatedly. even if you deny that plame was covert, you cannot deny that libby lied and obstructed justice.

its not like poor libby was caught forgetting if he ordered the extra shrimp at applebees 4 years ago.

he lied about the core of fitzgerald's investigation, he obstructed justice, and was convicted for it. did fitzgeralds so-called "fishing expedition" force libby to lie and obstruct justice?

save me any bs that he was forgetful, he was convicted of lying, not forgetting. as the judge said, "evidence of his guilt was overwhelming."

and, again, more than one person can leak the same information. its quite possible this concept is too difficult for some of you to understand, though that baffles me. or perhaps, and more likely, lies and strawmen are your purposeful choices. whatever the case may be, there were indeed multiple sources of the leak, one of which, surprise, was scooter libby.

"but he wasn't prosecuted for it, wah wah wah" -- in a criminal case, you have to prove the requisite mens rea as well, perhaps that was too difficult. and, lets not forget, libby lied, repeatedly, and obstructed justice, and that alone may have made the prosecution of the underlying crime impossible. indeed, that is why people lie.

and, in a case involving lying to prosecutors and grand juries, and obstruction of justice, where the convicted felon has his sentence commuted by the very people his lies helped to protect, the fact that not a single "conservative" here is the least bit outraged is, well, breathtaking.

is it not clear that the WH and scooter reached an under the table agreement that he would never serve a day of prison time, probably immediately following the speech of ted wells, scooter's top flight attorney, proclaiming that he was the "fall guy" for rove + cheney but then completely abandoned that defense? if you don't see that possibility, then you're just a loser in the game of life. thanks guys, you've been great.

MadisonMan said...

Judge Walton was appointed by George Bush -- he's been on the bench since late 2001. Does that constitute a long time?

Roger said...

I love it--President Bush just stuck it all the way up all those tight-ass liberal butts and they are squealing like stuck pigs: rule of law, yada yada yada.

Politics aint bean bag and Bush just stuck it to you. Now if there were any gonads present in the democratic controlled congress, you could impeach him if you are so outraged. Or do what good liberals do: Bend over and take it.

Simply stated: you can impeach or whine--take your choice, otherwise STFU.

roger said...

The last, best thing about Bush is his ability to drive moonbats into fits of impotent rage.

Wade Garrett said...

And Fitzgerald is a life-long Republican who was appointed specifically to prosecute this case. The Republicans wouldn't have chosen somebody who was out for blood - they appointed somebody with a great resume, who would do a professional job, and that's what they got. Remember when the Republican party used to stand for high standards?

Wade Garrett said...

You're right, Roger. Unless we impeach him, we have no right to complain. What happened to free speech? This used to be a great country.

SGT Ted said...

I love the way the lefties conflate the perjery charge with the original charge of exposing the ID of a covert agent to argue for Libbys getting no clemency and absolutely ignore and dismiss that Armitage leaked Plames name to the press, which is supposed to be the crime in the first place. They merrily skip over that glaring elephant in the room as it serves no purpose in their quest to throw their political enemies in jail for something, no matter how trumped up.

Granted, Libby was convicted and will be on probation.

But, where's the outrage that Fitz DIDN'T bring Armitage up on the original charge, if Plame was indeed "covert"?

Of course this reveals that the original charge doesn't really matter to them except as a jumping off point to throw Republicans in jail.

MadisonMan said...

where's the outrage that Fitz DIDN'T bring Armitage up on the original charge, if Plame was indeed "covert"?

Did Armitage actually know that Plame was covert? If he didn't, he can't have broken the law.

If he did know, it's not clear to me why he wasn't prosecuted. However, if I were outraged about all the politicians who had broken laws and were not charged, well I'd be terminally outraged.

Comrade X said...

what's the opposite of schadenfreude?

AlphaLiberal said...

There is so much hypocrisy oozing out from the right wing, it's difficult to know which is the worst.

Is it the hypocrisy of a top Republican fixer being convicted for purjury and obstruction of justice being defended while for Clinton. convicted of nothing, they sought impeachment?

Is it the fact that Cheney orchestrated a leak of a CIA covert agent's identity? (a fact established beyond a doubt)

I think, for today, the most offensive Republican hypocrisy in this case is the spectacle of the "lock `em up and throw away the key" crowd getting all queasy when one of their own has to serve the long sentences Republicans have pushed around the country.

Yeah, long sentences suck. Bad conservatives want them for everyone else - but themselves.

AlphaLiberal said...

Meet Victor Rita, a 25-year military veteran (including Vietnam and in Operation Desert Storm) and former civilian federal employee. He was given a 33-month sentence for perjury and making false statements.

Will the Republicans take up his case next for a sentence too long? Come on, all you conservatives! Time to be consistent!

AlphaLiberal said...

"the CIA confirmed that plame was "covert," indeed, that is why they recommended the case to the Justice Department for prosecution. "

This has been proven by the whole reason the case was conveyed for prosecution as you note.

It's been elsewhere confirmed. But the hard righties insist on having their own set of facts. That is, they exist in their own personal reality, a conservative fantasyland where facts and history can be mangled at will to suit their political needs.

This is probably some type of mental disease that has metastasized throughout our body politic. Massive therapy is called for.

But no long prison sentences. Not for conservatives. That's for the suckers.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann Althouse:
But I don't think this commutation is done to screen the President's "high crimes and misdemeanors." How do you get that?
This is a surprising question when the answer is rather obvious.

The leak was done to discredit an American dissenter who blew the whistle on Bush's false claims that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium from Africa (those 16 words from the SOU).

Bush's lie over the supposed uranium purchase was a key element in the campaign to launch the war.

Further, the uranium claim was also based on a forged memo that surfaced from Italy. That forgery has never been investigated.

Ann, I hope you can grasp this and don't suffer the amnesia so many in our press corps wake up with everyday.
---
I've not felt or expressed "partisan glee." But I took some small silent solace knowing a lawless Presidency suffered the slightest comeuppance before the law.

The Bush-Cheney mob are escaping justice, getting away with high crimes, looting, misdemeanors, and -- worst of all- trashing the US Constitution.

I can see how someone would take some glee at a little justice done.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here is one link about Victor Rita, sentenced to a similar term to Libby's for similar offense which I forgot to add.

Here's another one.

Again, I'm looking forward to the all the Republicans who oppose long sentences for perjury etc to rush to this man's defense.

I'm just not holding my breath.

Beth said...

Wade asks, "Remember when the Republican party used to stand for high standards?"

No.

Justin said...

And now AlphaLiberal goes from troll to spammer.

Beth said...

Justin, did you receive unsolicited email from AlphaLiberal? Or are you just throwing names around because you don't like people who disagree with Bush? BDS=Bush Disagreement Syndrome. They must be caaarraaaazeeee!!!!

AlphaLiberal said...

I've never sent email to Justin, for the record.

I was busy working yesterday and wasn't able to join the debate.

Note, though, how unassailable Justin finds my arguments that he must resort to name-calling. That speaks volumes.

Thanks for playing, Justin.

Justin said...

Beth said...

Justin, did you receive unsolicited email from AlphaLiberal? Or are you just throwing names around because you don't like people who disagree with Bush?

Neither. Spam is not limited to email. And hyperbole is not limited to those with BDS.

Beth said...

Justin, how is Alphaliberal spamming you, then? And trolling? It appears to me he's participating in this discussion, just like the other commentators. You don't like his position, clearly, but why those labels?

Beth said...

Justin, AlphaLib's made six comments out of the 191 in this thread. I can only conclude your use of "spammer" and "troll" is your way of whining about an opposing argument. Did you expect an Althouse forum to be an echo chamber for your side? You need to get out of the rightwing blogosphere more.

Justin said...

Beth said...

Justin, how is Alphaliberal spamming you, then?

He's not spamming me. He's spamming the comment thread. But don't get distracted by definitions. I was using hyperbole.

I can only conclude your use of "spammer" and "troll" is your way of whining about an opposing argument.

What opposing argument am I whining about?

Did you expect an Althouse forum to be an echo chamber for your side?

What side am I on?

You need to get out of the rightwing blogosphere more.

Really? How much time do I spend in the rightwing blogosphere? What rightwing blogs do I read? How often?

You and AlphaLiberal are both assuming that because I made a negative comment about his posts that I disagree with what he's saying.

In fact, I agree with a lot of what he did say (rightwing hypocrisy, Victor Rita, etc). But I think he went over the top with his comments. And the rapid-fire nature only made it worse. So I responded with my own over-blown analysis as a way of making that point.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You know, if they'd just repeal that whole presidential pardon thing, we won't have to deal with this flouting of the rule of law.

AlphaLiberal said...

Well, Justin, I posted less than others here who you spared the same criticism. I just didn't do it in real time.

Thanks for the substance, though.
---
To add my own substance, we've seen a lot of spin here that Valerie Plame was not covert. This is false.

Here's a story from NBC that Valeria Plame was covert at the time of the leak. Live in reality, and accept the fact.

Robert Cook said...

In re: the oft-repeated charge that "Armitage is the leaker," I saw an interesting comment on another blog by someone who pointed out that Armitage himself was not authorized to know Plame's status as a C.I.A. agent, and thus the person who told HIM (Armitage)is actually the still-undiscovered original leaker. (I don't think anyone can deny that Armitage was fed this information specifically so he could pass it along.)

The commenter also claimed that, Armitage, not being authorized to know Plame's status, cannot be held legally responsible for passing along the information, just as Novak was not.

I'm no lawyer and I cannot speak to the legal validity of this analysis, but it certainly sounds possible, and might explain why Fitzpatrick did not--or could not--charge Armitage.

EnigmatiCore said...

"The leak was done to discredit an American dissenter"

This characterization leaves out a very important distinction-- The leak was done to discredit an American dissenter by revealing a pertinent truth that the dissenter found inconvenient and damaging to said dissent.

I have absolutely no problem with the facts about how Joe Wilson came to be sent being revealed. Honestly, if anyone who leaked that information was not covered by existing whistleblower laws, they should have been and I would be completely on-board with the President if he issued a full-blown pardon for anyone who leaked such information who had been charged with leaking such information.

But that is not what Libby was charged with. He lied to investigators and/or the grand jury. Even though I believe Plame should have had her inconvenient truth exposed, I believe that Libby had a duty to answer the questions posed to him truthfully. Just as Bill Clinton had a duty to answer the questions posed to him about Monica Lewinsky truthfully.

The leak here doesn't bother me at all. I would be bothered if such relevant and pertinent information had remained buried. It is the lying under oath which bothers me here.

AJ Lynch said...

The commutation is wrong - a jury convicted Libby . He is the consummate insider and this stinks.

ShadowFox said...

Ann wrote back in March:

Whatever you think of the Plame affair and the whole investigation, why should Bush condone that?

This sentiment should still hold, should it not? But, if anyone thinks that the commutation is a compromise, allowing Libby to escape jail time, but not the conviction, think again!

The latter part is true--no jail, but fine and probation stand. It's the other part--that it's a compromise--that's false. Quite to the contrary--it's a cynical end-around the courts and the Congress.

Libby gets off with a slap on the wrist--and, lest the wingers forget, it's for perjury, not for blowing a cover of a CIA agent--and with probation. The chances of him blowing his probation are pretty slim--Scooter is no Paris Hilton. But the question that should be asked is, "Who benefits?"

Scooter gets a mild reprieve from Club Fed, but he's still a convicted felon (no guns for Scooter!). The real beneficiaries are the Cheney gang--with a conviction over him, Scooter can keep his mouth shut. Had he been pardoned, he would not be able to plead the fifth before Congress. Someone else will happily pay his fine--or give him a job that pays more than enough to cover it.

Anyone who cheers for Bush in this affair has got his head so far up his ass, it's not going to come out even with a high colonic. A firing squad might have helped, but we don't do that around here. Not even for treason.

ShadowFox said...

The leak was done to discredit an American dissenter by revealing a pertinent truth that the dissenter found inconvenient and damaging to said dissent.

The problem with this mode of thinking is that it simply rehashes the original White House talking points that have been resoundingly debunked by evidence and testimony.

The "dissenter", Wilson, has not been damaged by the revelation that his wife worked at the CIA. Nor was this information relevant to the issue that was being discussed.

No one at the CIA ever said that Plame was involved in selecting Wilson for the mission--in fact, all testimony was to the contrary. She was consulted AFTER Wilson was selected. She had NO role in the decision.

She, however, WAS a covert agent, working on nuclear proliferation, particularly, in the Middle East. Revealing her affiliation might not have been literally treason, but it comes pretty damn close.

But forget Plame! Even without this episode, it is quite obvious that no one in this administration has any regard for the rule of law. They'll do anything to get their way or to cover their asses. This is why there has been a parade of felons through the upper tiers of this administration--some convicted for "unrelated" activities, such as theft and child porn, but others for corruption and graft. Had the DoJ not been impeded by a combination of stalling tactics (such as one that Libby has been convicted off) and illegal internal politicization, the ranks of White House Felons would have multiplied ten-fold, if not more.

All that aside, let's focus at least on the ones who have been convicted. Orin Kerr commented on the commutation:

I find Bush's action very troubling because of the obvious special treatment Libby received. President Bush has set a remarkable record in the last 6+ years for essentially never exercising his powers to commute sentences or pardon those in jail. His handful of pardons have been almost all symbolic gestures involving cases decades old, sometimes for people who are long dead. Come to think of it, I don't know if Bush has ever actually used his powers to get one single person out of jail even one day early. If there are such cases, they are certainly few and far between. So Libby's treatment was very special indeed.

For those ignorant of facts (as there seem to be many among those who comment here), Kerr is no Lefty Nut-job--he just received an award from the Federalist Society past February. Polls taken immediately after the announcement staked the anti-commutation position at 60%, including over 40% of Republicans. This is not a partisan issue--breaking the law should have consequences.

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