Wednesday, July 4, 2007

More on Scooter Libby

I have taken so long to provide a post on Scooter because Dave beat me to the punch and really, what else is there to say? I'm not one of those wackos who thinks that for whatever reason Libby was the definition of a true patriot (I suppose anyone associated with the Bush Administration is a true patriot in some people's eyes). So, I obviously don't have a counter argument. But, perhaps there is more to say about this anyway. A respected professor of mine directed me to this post by Sanford Levinson on The New Republic's blog, Open University.

As DC points out below, Bush has not used his pardon power very often as President, and indeed, did not use it very often as Governor of Texas, or as Levinson says,

as Governor of Texas he exhibited almost blithe disregard--enabled, to be sure, by his lawyer Alberto ("Fredo") Gonzales--of the poor wretches condemned to die under a notably slipshod system of Texas criminal justice.

So, he didn't pardon any people wrongly sentenced to death by Texas's "justice" system, but all of a sudden he has boatloads of compassion for someone who was sentenced to (and fully deserves - 30 months is not "excessive" for this sort of crime) 30 months in prison? I don't buy it. Team Bush/Gonzales have always fought for tougher criminal sentencing. Indeed, this isn't compassion. This is paranoia. Levinson quotes George Mason, one of the founding-era patriots who opposed the pardon power:
the President of the United States has the unrestrained Power of granting Pardon for Treason; which may be sometimes exercised to screen from Punishment those whom he had secretly instigated to commit the Crime, and thereby prevent a Discovery of his own guilt.

Could Bush be doing something similar? Certainly, Scooter is not guilty of treason, but as Levinson notes,
The best explanation of the pardon is not compassion but, rather, fear that Mr. Libby might be tempted to provide more information about the cabal to turn the presidency (and vice-presidency) into "regal," if not out-and-out dictatorial, authorities totally independent from any scrutiny or accountability. This is simply one more illustration of the mendacity and corruption at the heart of the Bush Administration.

In other words, Bush has to look out for those who know damaging secrets. If Bush hadn't commuted Scooter's sentence, and if he ultimately does not pardon him completely, would Scooter be more inclined to reveal more of the dictatorial secrets of the Bush Administration?

I suppose the world may never know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

..but you can’t hide.

If Ravenel is convicted of distribution of cocaine, he can serve as much as 20 years in prison. I would say that it is more likely that he will cut a “plea deal” to serve a short amount of time behind bars along with probation.

If Ravenel cuts a “plea deal”, in other words, “pleads guilty” then the Feds should insist that he roll over on a “Bigger Fish” If he does not roll over, then he should do some serious jail time with the rest of the “Cocaine Distributors”.