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Libby Goes Free

Posted on Jul 2, 2007

Just hours after a federal appeals panel told I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to go directly to jail without passing go, President Bush stepped in to commute his sentence, thus setting the former Cheney aide and star of Plamegate free. Libby will still have to pay a $250,000 fine, so look for him on the lecture circuit.

AP via New York Times:

President Bush commuted the sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter’’ Libby on Monday, sparing him from a 2 1/2-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.

“I respect the jury’s verdict,’’ Bush said in a statement. “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.’‘

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By cyrena, July 2, 2007 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

I have the same question for KYjurist, even though I didn’t bother to read the link. Didn’t need to, because the rule of law is supposed to speak for itself, which is why we have it.

So, while I’m not sure that the question of Clinton’s impeachment would be a comparable comparison, (since this was not an “impeachment” of Libby, but just a regular old CRIMINAL charge and conviction, I don’t get how there can be any possibility that this was the “right” thing to do, even from a legal standpoint, but surly not from any moral or “just” point of reference.

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By aaron, July 2, 2007 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment
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Libby’s sentence was not excessive or politcal. He was convicted in a court of law for lying to the grand jury. And Bush is not judge and jury. I was not surprised but again, this doesn’t help Bush.

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By cann4ing, July 2, 2007 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Nah, cerena, no surprise here!

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By don knutsen, July 2, 2007 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

re: KYJurisDoctor: Why was the decision to commute the right decision ?..I’m curious what your reasoning is. Were you in favor of impeachment for Clinton over lying to the grand jury ?

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By Tony B., July 2, 2007 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

The Right got their second do-over on Watergate.  Again they won.  Our tactics need to change.  We should have learned this before Iran-Contra.  They did.  We keep relying on entities that no longer represent our interests.  Namely, the press.

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By bob, July 2, 2007 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment
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Plame was never undercover.  The CIA isn’t even allowed to have undercover opperatives within the united states.

And it wasn’t even Libby that gave her name to the press.  During the trial it was revealed that it was Richard Armitage at the state department that did that.

All Bush did was prevent an innocent man from being punished for something he didn’t do.

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By Hank Van den Berg, July 2, 2007 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment
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With this news about George W’s complete disrepsect for the rule of law, does anyone still fell patriotic enough to celebrate July 4th?  I think I will take the money I’d spend on beer and fireworks and instead contribute it to the ACLU or any other group that still tries to stop this fascist administration.  It makes no sense to celebrate our independence from England in 1776 now that we have thrown away our independence for a much more sinister King George W.  At least George III had to respect the Magna Carta and common law as a limit to his power!  In fact, this whole independence thing has not really turned out very well, has it?

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By Pragmatique, July 2, 2007 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment
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Libby will never pat the fine either, and my guess is that he’ll still get a complete pardon from Bush, just not yet.

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By jbart, July 2, 2007 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
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The sheer,unabashed,arrogance of these neocon fascists is nothing short of disgraceful.  What Dum-Dum did speak volumes to just that. Idiot America, indeed.

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By faith, July 2, 2007 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

This is indeed a very sad day in America.  Our government allows politicos to treasonously and treacherously “out” our undercover spies.  Fully knowing this endangers not only the covert operative, but any person in any country who is associated with the operative.  The danger of these acts is astonishing.  The fact that a sitting president of the United States, would “benevolently” disable any fair and reasonable punishment for such crimes is beyond the pale. 

Congress.  You must step up to the plate and investigate and charge, even though it is a difficult and dangerous thing to do.  Allow your integrity and fairness to prevail.  Do what is right.  What is just.

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By cyrena, July 2, 2007 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

You were right Ardee.

I guess I am still naive. I honestly did expect him to do his time quietly. What’s 2 1/2 years when you’ve been responsible for the destruction of a country, and the initiation of a regional war without end, and the shredding of the U.S. Constitution.

It’s a sad day for the rule of law, but then for the past 7 years, they’ve all been this way.

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By KYJurisDoctor, July 2, 2007 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Though a little premature, decision to commute was the right one.

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