Jul 02 2007

Bush Commutes Libby Sentence

Published by at 4:59 pm under All General Discussions,Plame Game

Apparently from all the hits my site is getting and an alert at DrudgeReport it seems President Bush has commuted Scooter Libby’s jail sentence in the lame Plame Game.

President Bush commuted the sentence of former aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Monday, sparing him from a 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case. Bush left intact a $250,000 fine and two years probation for Libby, according to a senior White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced.

This is what I backed as the proper solution a while ago. Libby was tried by an abusive prosecutor out for fame and name who knew Libby had nothing to do with the exposure of Valerie Plame’s identity to the media, but all the same caught Libby in misrecollections of events.

One misrecollection, with Tim Russert, was where Libby recalled DISCUSSING Plame with Russert, but Russert and Fitzgerald claimed this NON-EXPOSURE of Plame’s identity was perjury in covering up for other times Libby also did not expose Plame’s identity. Only in the warped world of DC can someone be tried for perjury for wrongfully admitting to have had the conversation which would be a crime and the prosecutor claiming no such discussion happened.

And for these non-events Fitzgerald convinced a judge, in dire need of a lesson in the law, to sentence Libby to the crime he was not convicted of! Bush is right to let this whacked out judgement stand (because it is a product of our courts, just like the OJ verdict) and simply apply some justice to the sentence. Good decision on the President’s part. At least he did not do what Clinton did which was pardon drug dealers and tax evaders.

And thus ends another chapter in the lame Plame game. Next up, the Wilson’s go to civil court where all their efforts to plant a political story in the DC press to help Kerry’s Presidential aspirations come out.

Update: Bush’s statement on the commutation:

From the very beginning of the investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame’s name, I made it clear to the White House staff and anyone serving in my administration that I expected full cooperation with the Justice Department. Dozens of White House staff and administration officials dutifully cooperated.

Critics of the investigation have argued that a special counsel should not have been appointed, nor should the investigation have been pursued after the Justice Department learned who leaked Ms. Plame’s name to columnist Robert Novak. Furthermore, the critics point out that neither Mr. Libby nor anyone else has been charged with violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act or the Espionage Act, which were the original subjects of the investigation. Finally, critics say the punishment does not fit the crime: Mr. Libby was a first-time offender with years of exceptional public service and was handed a harsh sentence based in part on allegations never presented to the jury.

Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable. They say that had Mr. Libby only told the truth, he would have never been indicted in the first place.

In making the sentencing decision, the district court rejected the advice of the probation office, which recommended a lesser sentence and the consideration of factors that could have led to a sentence of home confinement or probation.

I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.

My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.

The far right might howl in rage because Bush will not do “a Clinton” and just wipe the slate clean, but Bush has proven to be above partisanship and an American first. Good decision and a well expressed rationale for the decision.

Update: I said the far right would not be satisfied and they are beginning to moan. They far right has showed its impatient, bow-to-us-alone, side so much they do not feel the need to hide their arrogance any longer. Don’t forget, this Plame mess was all Bush’s fault!

27 responses so far

27 Responses to “Bush Commutes Libby Sentence”

  1. SallyVee says:

    From the Novak piece – “Libby’s sentence pleased but did not fully satisfy restive conservatives…”

    Yeah, what’s new. The “restives” are nestless and the natives are restless haha. They will never be satisfied and now that they’ve figured out how to wag the dog I’m afraid there will be no stopping their demands. This is the crowd Fred Thompson has decided to court… it will be interesting to see how that relationship holds up…

  2. patrick neid says:

    still a lot of crying in your spilt milk over here. i see a far right obsession developing. missed in all the hissy fitting will be the attacks on bush from the left via editorials and all the cheapshot artists in the dem party that also supported the failed immigration bill causing so much anxiety here.

    don’t forget there is still plenty of time for all you “supposed” border enforcement types to call for the visa act of 1996 and the fence act of 2006 to be acted upon—thereby solving most of our future illegal immigration problems…..

  3. AJStrata says:

    Gee Patrick,

    So you admit the right attacking Bush is just like the left attacking him? What, you folks asking for forgiveness after what you put the party through?

    LOL! Too funny.

  4. AJStrata says:

    SallyVee,

    You are right. Bush has allowed these people to think they can make demands on the country to fit their views. His one mistake – he never Sister Soldjah’d them. Now watch as they did what the left did when it got into power. It will make all these fringe demands and the counrtry is going to say “no thanks”. No thanks to the Lamonts and no thanks to the Tancredos.

  5. ivehadit says:

    Great posts here.

    For the record, you don’t need a pardon if you are not guilty. :)
    The appeals have to be done to out the fitzfong and stop this witchhunt. Even Kristin (sp) on O’Reilly and her dem cohort both agreed that this was a bad, bad waste of taxpayer money to try and “entrap” someone when it was known from the start who leaked the name.

    If the “restives” can’t see that they are more lost than I thought.

    And off the subject, did anyone see Malkin last night on O’Reilly?
    She was absolutely over the edge. Completely jumped the shark. She was sarcastic, snarky, nasty and so anger-filled. Full of her own demons, imho. Vdare is proud of her, I am sure!

    Yuk. Not remotely like anyone I want to emulate.

    Her continuing theme seems to be “you can’t trust government”. Ya think that plays to a certain pathology in this country? Not good.
    Imho, she is inciting the lowest not the highest and best self.

    I think Michelle should be in charge of something in Homeland Security…so she could be held accountable and we could watch her every move and make financial hay from criticizing her every move…publically.

  6. Jacqui says:

    I just don’t see the anger on the right over commutation. Rush, NRO, Levin, they all say that even though they would have liked a pardon they thought that Bush did a courageous act.

    AP says Libby was the highest ranking administration member convicted to a prison term. Actually Henry Cisnero, Clinton cabinet member was the highest ranking and was pardoned by Clinton.

    Finally, the pro-amnesty folks as well as the immigration hypochondriacs both share any damage to the GOP …. I don’t think that you can excuse the hate and name calling on either side.

  7. The Macker says:

    Bush acted prudently. It was a slap at a weak judge and ambitious prosecutor, not the jury.After the appeals,pardon is still an option.