The one fundamental question that Bush's commutation of Libby leaves unanswered is; how much was Libby protecting the vice-president and the president, that compelled such an extraordinary act by President Bush in mid-term, to commute the prison portion of Libby's sentence? Two articles in Brad DeLong's blog have attracted my attention.
The first one, and here real credit is due, because it was written with foresight, a few weeks ago, (but not published as an op-ed piece) by Jeff Lomonaco is 'Why Bush will Commute Libby's Sentence - but Not Pardon Him'
The second article written by Mary Wheeler in 'the Guardian' and picked up Brad DeLong as well, underscores the allegation that Libby is protecting both the president and the vice-president Just another obstruction of justice 'There are lots of unanswered questions surrounding the Valerie Plame saga, but Scooter Libby's commutation ensures they won't be answered.'
If Bush were to pardon Libby, he and Vice President Cheney would give up the rationale they have used successfully for four years to avoid addressing their own roles in the case..
At the trial, the event that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said was at the heart of the case was Libby's July 8, 2003 conversation with New York Times reporter Judith Miller at the St. Regis Hotel....
That in turn raises troubling questions about Cheney and Bush's role in sending Libby on his secret mission? And what was the substance of Cheney and Bush's discussion shortly before Libby went on his secret mission to disclose previously-classified information to the press with the President's permission? Published reports have indicated that Bush told Cheney something to the effect of "Get it out," or "Let's get this out,"...
But more importantly, it would enable Bush and Cheney to continue the strategy they have successfully pursued in deterring journalists seeking their explanations with claims that they shouldn't comment on an ongoing legal proceeding. If Bush were to pardon Libby, he and Cheney would no longer have such a rationale for evading the press' questions - nor would Libby be able to claim the right against self-incrimination to resist testifying before Congress about the role that Cheney and Bush played in directing his conduct.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!