Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Bush commutes Libby, delights the "Party of Law and Order"

So Bush commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence yesterday, and the "Party of Law and Order" cheered him on. Some of the best commentary on this case comes from Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy:

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.
What's particularly outrageous is the way that Republicans have portrayed the Libby sentence as "politically motivated." Kerr points out the obvious:
I find this argument seriously bizarre. As I understand it, Bush political appointee James Comey named Bush political appointee and career prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the Plame leak. Bush political appointee and career prosecutor Fitzgerald filed an indictment and went to trial before Bush political appointee Reggie Walton. A jury convicted Libby, and Bush political appointee Walton sentenced him. At sentencing, Bush political appointee Judge Walton described the evidence against Libby as "overwhelming" and concluded that a 30-month sentence was appropriate. And yet the claim, as I understand it, is that the Libby prosecution was the work of political enemies who were just trying to hurt the Bush Administration.
But for the case to have been purely political, doesn't that require the involvement of someone who was not a Bush political appointee?
My personal favorite defense is that Libby's perjury didn't matter because no one was convicted in the case, sort of a no harm no foul defense. But where were these enlightened Republicans when Bill Clinton lied about his affair?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is no way to stop Bush. His republican party especially in the Senate backs him preety much blindly with the exception of the immigration bill.

I smell victory in the next election. Anyone and anything associated with bush, will be removed from office bye the voters