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Bush Commutes Libby's Sentence

Update II: Crooks & Liars has a video of Joe Wilson's reaction. Below is some of Patrick Fitzgerald's response:

We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as "excessive." The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

Update: Reaction is starting to come in. I think Barack Obama's response is a good one:

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

MSNBC story:

President Bush commuted the sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on Monday, sparing him from a 2½-year prison term that Bush said was excessive.

Bush's move came hours after a federal appeals panel ruled Libby could not delay his prison term in the CIA leak case. That meant Libby was likely to have to report to prison soon and put new pressure on the president, who had been sidestepping calls by Libby's allies to pardon the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Their arrogance knows no bounds. None.

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Comments (12)

Steve Crickmore:

It is pretty unseemly, Bush has now shown the country that he feels he and his gang have the power and the impunity to break whatever laws they see fit.

Paul Hamilton:

It's just amazing. He either doesn't know or doesn't care that a big part of the electoral disaster last year was the corruption and arrogance of the Bush Bunch. And they just keep right on going.

Steve Crickmore:

Let's remember Libby never showed any contrition even on sentencing..Perhaps this was a done deal.. A month ago, The White House said that President Bush does not plan to intervene "now," in the middle of the appeals process.

"It's just amazing. He either doesn't know or doesn't care that a big part of the electoral disaster last year was the corruption and arrogance of the Bush Bunch. And they just keep right on going."

Well that's good news for you, Paul. Just remember that one undeclared elephant in the room is on record as saying that he would PARDON Libby, not commute his prison sentence, but PARDON him.
So, as they say in poker, one guy is all in.


This is not a surprise. Bush is loyal to the people who help him. He is not loyal to the law or the Constitution.

It would have been very surprising if Libby went to jail.

Paul Hamilton:

That sort of comment might appeal to the base, but would get a much less friendly reception among the voters in general. One error that's pretty common very early in a campaign is to do or say whatever your base wants, but it can come back to bite you in November. Ned Lamont was a perfect example of that -- he did exactly what it took to defeat Lieberman in the primary but it angered many more people and ultimate cost him the general election.


You got to admit Libby earned this commutation. He gave the WH the ability to say "we don't comment on ongoing investigations" for about two years and he threw enough sand in Fitz' eyes to keep the VP and the Pres off of the target list.
All in all, an easy bit of work for a WH that only cares about those who agree with them.

Any bets on a full pardon in Jan-2009?

Steve Crickmore:

Grammarian don't remind us..Feel free to bring this up when Hillary tells about the advantage of her experience at the White House..But, I'd like to know if Bush wanted to get to the bottom of this investigation, is he satisfied, or doesn't Libby owe sombody the truth be it the grand jury the American people or even the President?.. Libby hasn't even had to plea bargain like Berger, and as Fitzgerald says there is a still a cloud over this investigation (Cheney?).

Mark Rich anyone?

civil behavior:

The American people are still unwilling to get up off their collective butts and do what it takes to get rid of these 28% goosesteppers.

Same thing happened in another country not long ago.

1776 is too long ago for any to remember what tyranny acted like.

Happy freakin 4th of July.


wow...a nazi comparison. how utterly surprising....not.

i'd kind of like to know how you can compare a commutation of sentence. not a pardon, mind you, but a commuted sentence to a regime that orchestrated the mass slaughter of Jews, homosexuals, the mentally ill, the gypsies, and who ever else they thought was unworthy. get a grip, cb, and get a clue.

whether or not you agree with bush's action, it is well within his rights and powers as president to take this action.

you do realize that with a commuted sentence, that libby is still a convicted felon (assuminng it doesn't get overturned on appeal)? that means he loses his law license, he can't vote, there are many jobs he will not ever be able to do? commuting a sentence is not the same as getting off scott free. especially a felony conviction.

i've been following this case from the beginning. to be honest, given how screwed up the trial was, i'm not surprised that bush showed loyalty to someone who he thought was getting the shaft. bush demands loyalty, and rewards it. which can be both a good thing and a bad thing.

personally, i think he should have issued a respite until the appeals process was completed. that's where the sentence stands, but does not take effect yet. but a commutation works just as well.


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