Monday, July 2, 2007

Libby Goes Free

Tonight, George W. Bush commuted the 30 month prison sentence of Scooter Libby, who was convicted of perjury in the CIA leak investigation. I'm not surprised, but I'm disappointed. This sets a very disturbing precedent for the Bush administration, which is the shadiest administration since the Nixon era. Certainly, Libby is not the first Bush official to break the law, and certainly he will not be the last sentenced to go to jail. By using the power of presidential clemency to forgive internal wrongdoing, President Bush is placing his administration above the law. At the same time, I think it's also clear that Libby was the fall guy for the administration. When it comes to the special prosecutor for the case, Patrick Fitzgerald, what's most special about him is that he's not much of a prosecutor.


Anonymous said...

Above the law?

Libby still has a convinction on his record. He still has to pay a hefty fine (it's even greater than the cost of four years of Dartmouth, as inconceivable a sum as that may be). And he is still on probation.

All the President did was eliminate the jail time, which many legal experts on both sides of the political spectrum thought excessive for the crime for which he was convicted. That's why the President has the pardon and commutation powers, to correct injustices.

How much jail time did Bill Clinton serve for his perjury?

Nathan S. Empsall said...

Joe Biden and John Dean both say this guy's worse than Nixon.

To the other commenter, didn't the GOP WANT Clinton to be punished? Didn't they demand the impeachment? So regardless of what they actually got, isn't it hypocritical to demand something else with Libby? That's what really tees me off, the way they treat their guy as if he's above the law and the other guy as if he's the Son of Sam.

Nathan S. Empsall said...

BTW, Dave, just came across this on Daily Kos.

"It appears that President Bush made a serious mistake in his Commutation Order. As justification for invalidating Libby's prison sentence, he pointed out that Libby would still be subject to two years probation, a harsh sentence, Bush says (rolls eyes).


As Judge Walton just noticed, it looks like Libby won't even serve probation, since, under the federal system, "supervised release," as it is called, can only follow an actual prison sentence."

Nathan S. Empsall said...

Check this out. I love Olbermann.