July 02, 2007
Free Scooter!!!

News has just broke that the 30-month prison sentence given to former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been commuted by President Bush. A $250,000 fine and two year probation handed down by a jury for Libby's role in the CIA leak case has been left in place by the president.

Cue the standard histrionics, screaming and projectile throwing from the monkey house which is the liberal blogosphere. For a synopsis just follow the bouncing ball and sing along at home; Chimpy-Hitler-Cheney-Rove-Haliburton-BushLiedPeopleDied-FaceonMars-BloodforOil-Wiretaps-Guantanamo-Mothman-StolenElection.

Backslapping alert. Today's announcement also shows how prescient I was back on June 5 during the Republican Presidential Debate after I criticized CNN producers for wasting precious time on a subject which will be as dead as the iPhone craze two Novembers from now.

"...the question of pardoning Scooter Libby will be no doubt decided before any future president is sworn in."

The Libby story will not be an issue in the 2008 election.

The fact that this has warranted any press coverage and what little attention by the American public probably has everything to do with the fact Libby's nickname sounds downright silly.

It also shows a disconnect from the powers-that-be which reside "Inside the Beltway". In the middle school clique which is Washington D.C. the fact that Libby misremembered facts differently from NBC talking head Tim Russert might be of the utmost importance when it comes to who gets to sit at the cool table in the school cafeteria.

But when it comes to the real America and not the 30-second snippets you watch on television, the Scooter Libby case is irrelevant.

Bonus Coverage

A Sound Politics No-Prize will go to the first commenter who correctly identifies the true source of the leak that "outed" Secret Squirrel Special Agent Valerie Plame.

Update

Ragnar Danneskjold has copied a list of former President Bill Clinton's pardons and commutations at Post #25 thus saving me the time.

Posted by DonWard at July 02, 2007 03:13 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Now, if Bush would wise up and free Compean, Ramos and the others!

Posted by: Tracy Oetting on July 2, 2007 04:20 PM
2. What a croc....hell why not pardon Jack Abramoff too. Guilty people go to jail.

Posted by: Cato on July 2, 2007 04:22 PM
3. armitage, employee of the soon to be democrat 'prize' endorsement- colin powell.

Now, give me my prize.

Posted by: swatter on July 2, 2007 04:24 PM
4. Good Job GW...

You just handed the Dems more ammunition for 2008.

I love this coming from the "party of accountability"... gag.

Posted by: Splinter on July 2, 2007 04:31 PM
5. Just to get this up high on the thread, for the benefit of Cato and others who will continue to refer to this as a pardon...

Mr. Libby was not pardoned - his prison sentence was commuted. And it was done legally. The President clearly explained that he respected the jury's verdict and as such would not overturn it.

However, he determined that the sentence was excessive and using his Constitutional authority, commuted the prison term, leaving the fine and probationary period intact.

Mr. Libby is still a convicted felon who is on probation and must pay the court ordered financial punishment. This seems fair. Richard Armitage - the actual so-called "leaker" in this investigation - not only did not out a covert agent (since there were no charges filed) he also did not (apparently) commit perjury during the course of the investigation. Mr. Libby (apparently) did.

All in the anti-Bush crowd who are getting their shorts in a bunch and crying foul, should perhaps take a deep breath and realize that the President acted well within his authority. There was no stretching, breaking or bending of law. While the MoveOn.org crowd surely will not agree with the decision, it was legal, and compared to many past presidential pardons (I believe Marc Rich has been mentioned a time or two on this subject...) a perfectly reasonable judgment.

Posted by: Brian White on July 2, 2007 04:32 PM
6. Nice of the President to still stick Libby with the $250,000 fine. Why the hell didn't he just pardon him and then tell the left to stick it where the sun don't shine?

I don't think Bush will ever figure out that it makes no sense to be nice to the left. I'll give him a little credit for commuting Libby's sentence, but why settle for half a loaf? The left is going to savage him anyway. I just don't get Bush's thinking. Maybe he's listened to his dad too much.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on July 2, 2007 04:35 PM
7. Richard Armitage and Joe Wilson's entry in Who's Who in America should share the honor of leaking the name of double-naught spy Jethro Plame.

Give my prize to Swatter.

Posted by: jimg on July 2, 2007 04:36 PM
8. Swatter,

Your "No-Prize" is in the mail...

Posted by: Don Ward on July 2, 2007 04:48 PM
9. Expect to hear this theme repeated over and over and over and over again...

"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."
B.Obama today

Posted by: Splinter on July 2, 2007 04:52 PM
10. To anyone defending Bush , Cheney , the Repukes and or defending the commuting of the sentence of Libby , you are not Americans but friggin lunatics and traitors . You'd made great little brown shirt Nazis for Hitler .

Posted by: John Kooma on July 2, 2007 04:55 PM
11. How cute. The same people that applaud the President for overruling the sentence of the court and freeing a convicted felon also want illegal aliens rounded up and shown no mercy.
The double standard is alive and well in conservative America

Posted by: egeefay on July 2, 2007 04:56 PM
12. So sad.

This sets a new low for a sitting president who isn't about to leave office.

The message is loud and clear:

"Steal, lie or cheat for me and I'll ensure you get off."

The saddest part is this blogs claims to dislike "activist judges".

Here's a judge who upholds the law and the ultimate disdain for fair and reasonable, legal process is shown without the slightest realization of its complete hypocrisy.

I expect even most readers of this blog will rise against this disgusting move.

Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 2, 2007 04:57 PM
13. Republicans won't lose a single liberal over this; they were never for this anyway. But they'll lose some swing voters in 2008. It will be an issue when it casually appears in campaign ads and slip of the tongue.

(Simpson bully laugh) Ha ha

Posted by: Bushjustlost on July 2, 2007 04:57 PM
14. The point isn't whether it's in the president's authority.

Hell, he has authority to pardon all criminals convicted everywhere in the US. Of everything. He'd be within his authority.

The point is he chooses to commute the sentence of a guilty felon convicted fairly...a felon who was seen to do the personal president's bidding.

If Clinton had done a similar thing *during* his presidency, this blog would be calling for his impeachment.

Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 2, 2007 05:01 PM
15.
Valerie Plame was too hot to be a "secret" agent.

Also, who is that old guy who looks like Napoleon Solo that hangs around her?

Posted by: John Bailo on July 2, 2007 05:08 PM
16. John,

How many times have I warned you about public projection?

Brownshirts? Hitler? Really. Take the blue pill and seek immediately medical attention if it lasts for more than three hours.

Posted by: John Kooma's Doctor on July 2, 2007 05:09 PM
17. Rationalize it all you want, but the idiots who are happy about this are hypocritical in every sense of the word. Weren't you the same morally outraged people calling for Paris Hilton's head when she went home early from jail? I guess I shouldn't be too hard on you, since the past few years of Conservative control of government have shown very plainly that your ideology is flawed. Enjoy the backlash and the continued implosion of you party.

Posted by: Croaker on July 2, 2007 05:10 PM
18. Any of the exploding headed liberals care to explain why Richard Armitage isn't in jail?

Posted by: jimg on July 2, 2007 05:13 PM
19. It's about time.

Posted by: George on July 2, 2007 05:15 PM
20. Ain't it great how this thread has been taken over by spitting, angry liberal trolls?

What a bunch of pathetic hypocritical crybabies. And they're still mad as hell that they were only able to snare Libby in the phony Valerie Plame affair and not get their slimy hands around Rove and Cheney.

As Theresa Heinz-Kerry would say, "shove it!"

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on July 2, 2007 05:15 PM
21. I thought that I had given fair enough warning with my Chimpy-Hitler, etc. paragraph.
It's interesting how some of the commenters above fall right into the Brown Shirt, Nazi rant.

Posted by: Don Ward on July 2, 2007 05:18 PM
22. We all know Mr. ex-president blowjob pardoned many criminals for personal finacial gain.

What's the difference?

Repulicats and Democans...

Posted by: kettle on July 2, 2007 05:22 PM
23. Interesting that the responses to the posts have been all name calling about the idiot extreme posts.

No one has argued with the basis of my posts. I can conclude therefore that my arguments are accepted without argument and that most folks here agree that a president commuting a convicted felon's sentence where the convicted felon was judged, independetly to be desrving of a sentence but, at the same time, was doing the bidding of the President, is outrageous on its face.

Embarassing really.

Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 2, 2007 05:22 PM
24. Don -

Your post clearly indicates how morally lost the Republican party is. Your only concern is for how politically relevant the issue of Scooter Libby is rather than whether he committed a crime or not. It's just sad to read such posts.

Come this Fall, most Republicans will be running from Bush in droves. Not because of any crimes this Administration has committed but because they just want to save their own political careers and golf outings with lobbyists.

Have you figured out how to spin it when Dick Cheney makes the decision to nuke Iran?

Posted by: Just Judy on July 2, 2007 05:24 PM
25.

How soon they forget:

On August 11, 1999, Clinton commuted the sentences of 16 members of FALN, a violent Puerto Rican nationalist group that set off 120 bombs in the United States mostly in New York City and Chicago, convicted for conspiracies to commit robbery, bomb-making, and sedition, as well as for firearms and explosives violations

Clinton issued 140 pardons as well as several commutations on his last day of office (January 20, 2001).

Carlos A. Vignali had his sentence for cocaine trafficking commuted, after serving 6 of 15 years in federal prison.

Almon Glenn Braswell was pardoned of his mail fraud and perjury convictions, even while a federal investigation was underway regarding additional money laundering and tax evasion charges.[12] Braswell and Carlos Vignali each paid approximately $200,000 to Hillary Clinton's brother, Hugh Rodham

Marc Rich, a fugitive, was pardoned of tax evasion.

Susan McDougal, who had already completed her sentence, was pardoned for her role in the Whitewater scandal.

Melvin J. Reynolds, a Democratic Congressman from Illinois, who was convicted of bank fraud, 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice, and solicitation of child pornography had his sentence commuted on the bank fraud charged and was allowed to serve the final months under the auspices of a half way house.

Roger Clinton, the president's half-brother, on drug charges after having served the entire sentence more than a decade before.

List of people pardoned by Bill Clinton:

BB>Verla Jean Allen (1990 false statements to an agency of the United States)
Nicholas M. Altiere (1983 importation of cocaine)
Bernice Ruth Altschul (1992 money laundering conspiracy)
Joe Anderson Jr. (1988 income tax evasion)
William Sterling Anderson (1987 defraudment of a financial institution, false statements to a financial institution, wire fraud)
Mansour Azizkhani (1984 false statements in bank loan applications)
Cleveland Victor Babin Jr. (1987 using the U.S. mail service to defraud)
Chris Harmon Bagley (1989 conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine)
Scott Lynn Bane (Unlawful distribution of marijuana)
Thomas Cleveland Barber (Issuing worthless checks)
Peggy Ann Bargon (Violation of the Lacey Act, violation of the Bald Eagle Protection Act)
David Roscoe Blampied (possess with intent to distribute cocaine)
William Arthur Borders Jr. (Conspiracy to corruptly solicit and accept money in return for influencing the official acts of a federal district court judge (Alcee L. Hastings), and to defraud the United States in connection with the performance of lawful government functions; corruptly influencing, obstructing, impeding and endeavoring to influence, obstruct and impede the due administration of justice, and aiding and abetting therein; traveling interstate with intent to commit bribery)
Arthur David Borel (Odometer Rollback)
Douglas Chrles Borel (Odometer Rollback)
George Thomas Brabham (Making a false statement or report to a federally insured bank)
Almon Glenn Braswell (1983 mail fraud and perjury)
Leonard Browder (Illegal dispensing of controlled substance and Medicaid fraud)
David Steven Brown (Securities fraud and mail fraud)
Delores Caroylene Burleson, aka Delores Cox Burleson (Possession of Marijuana)
John H. Bustamante (wire fraud)
Mary Louise Campbell
Eloida Candelaria
Dennis Sobrevinas Capili
Donna Denise Chambers
Douglas Eugene Chapman
Ronald Keith Chapman
Francisco Larois Chavez
Henry Cisneros (former HUD Secretary)
Roger Clinton, Jr. (half-brother of President Bill Clinton)
Stuart Harris Cohn
David Marc Cooper
Ernest Harley Cox Jr.
John F. Cross Jr.
Reickey Lee Cunningham
Richard Anthony De Labio
John Deutch (former Director of Central Intelligence Agency)
Richard Douglas
Edward Reynolds Downe
Marvin Dean Dudley
Larry Lee Duncan
Robert Clinton Fain
Marcos Arcenio Fernandez
Alvarez Ferrouillet
William Dennis Fugazy
Lloyd Reid George
Louis Goldstein
Rubye Lee Gordon
Pincus Green
Robert Ivey Hamner
Samuel Price Handley
Woodie Randolph Handley
Jay Houston Harmon
Rick Hendrick
John Hummingson
David S. Herdlinger
Debi Rae Huckleberry
Warren C. Hultgren Jr.
Donald Ray James
Stanley Pruet Jobe
Ruben H. Johnson
Linda Jones
James Howard Lake
June Louise Lewis
Salim Bonnor Lewis
John Leighton Lodwick
Hildebrando Lopez
Jose Julio Luaces
James Timothy Maness
James Lowell Manning, (1982, aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false corporate income tax return)
John Robert Martin
Frank Ayala Martinez
Silvia Leticia Beltran Martinez
John Francis McCormick
Susan H. McDougal
Howard Mechanic
Brook K. Mitchell Sr.
Samuel Loring Morison
Charles Wilfred Morgan III
Richard Anthony Nazzaro
Charlene Ann Nosenko
Vernon Raymond Obermeier
Miguelina Ogalde
David C. Owen
Robert W. Palmer
Kelli Anne Perhosky
Richard H. Pezzopane
Orville Rex Phillips
Vinson Stewart Poling Jr.
Norman Lyle Prouse
Willie H.H. Pruitt Jr.[1]
Danny Martin Pursley Sr.
Charles D. Ravenel
William Clyde Ray
Alfredo Luna Regalado
Ildefonso Reynes Ricafort
Marc Rich - tax evasion fugitive
Howard Winfield Riddle
Richard Wilson Riley Jr.
Samuel Lee Robbins
Joel Gonzales Rodriguez
Michael James Rogers
Anna Louise Ross
Dan Rostenkowski - Former Democratic Congressman convicted in the Congressional Post Office Scandal
Gerald Glen Rust
Jerri Ann Rust
Bettye June Rutherford
Gregory Lee Sands
Adolph Schwimmer
Albert A. Seretti Jr.
Patricia Campbell Hearst Shaw
Dennis Joseph Smith
Gerald Owen Smith
Stephen A. Smith
Jimmie Lee Speake
Charles Bernard Stewart
Marlena Francisca Stewart-Rollins
Fife Symington III - former Arizona governor
Richard Lee Tannehill
Nicholas C. Tenaglia
Gary Allen Thomas
Larry Weldon Todd
Olga C. Trevino
Ignatious Vamvouklis
Patricia A. Van De Weerd
Christopher V. Wade
Bill Wayne Warmath
Jack Kenneth Watson
Donna Lynn Webb
Donald William Wells
Robert H. Wendt
Jack L. Williams
Kavin Arthur Williams
Robert Michael Williams
Jimmie Lee Wilson
Thelma Louise Wingate
Mitchell Couey Wood
Warren Stannard Wood
Dewey Worthey
Rick Allen Yale
Joseph A. Yasak
William Stanley Yingling
Phillip David Young
Keith Sanders
Darren Muci
John Scott (not a full pardon)
Anthony M Pilla

List of people commutations by Bill
Clinton
:

Benjamin Berger
Ronald Henderson Blackley
Bert Wayne Bolan
Gloria Libia Camargo
Charles F. Campbell
David Ronald Chandler
Lau Ching Chin
Donald R. Clark
Loreta De-Ann Coffman
Derrick Curry
Velinda Desalus
Jacob Elbaum
Linda Sue Evans
Loretta Sharon Fish
Antoinette M. Frink
David Goldstein Honest to God... look it up!
Gerard A. Greenfield
Jodie E. Israel
Kimberly Johnson
Billy Thornton Langston Jr.
Belinda Lynn Lumpkin
Peter MacDonald - President of the Navajo Nation
Kellie Ann Mann
Peter Ninemire
Hugh Ricardo Padmore
Arnold Paul Prosperi
Melvin J. Reynolds - Democratic Congressman from Illinois - bank fraud and obstruction of justice
Pedro Miguel Riveiro
Dorothy Rivers - lead official in Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, plead guilty to theft of 1.2 million dollars in federal grant money
Susan Rosenberg
Kalmen Stern
Cory Stringfellow
Carlos Anibal Vignali - convicted of cocaine trafficking
Thomas Wilson Waddell III
Harvey Weinig
Kim Allen Willis
Kimba Smith
Antonio Camacho Negron - FALN militant

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on July 2, 2007 05:29 PM
26. "Have you figured out how to spin it when Dick Cheney makes the decision to nuke Iran?"

How many times do we have to say it? You don't have to make this stuff up.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on July 2, 2007 05:30 PM
27. I love it.

Bush decided to go half way and it got liberals writing that they are republicans and they will no longer be republicans.

Scooter can scoot all he wants now. Bush is the best president ever!!

Posted by: frank on July 2, 2007 05:32 PM
28. There was nothing illegal about the whole Plame matter. Just a Dem led circus to try and get someone in the Administration to fall into a perjury trap. Libby fell in. Good that Bush exposed the charade, while still leaving justice intact for the benefit of the irrational left that would not be able to figure out how Clinton got away with much more.

But Don, you are wrong about the iPhone. It's a game changer. I've been in the handheld industry for many years. This is just the beginning of a bright future for Apple phone products.

Posted by: Jeff B. on July 2, 2007 05:35 PM
29. We should have a fundraiser to pay off his fines.

Posted by: Long F. on July 2, 2007 06:02 PM
30. Bush only commuted the sentence, didn't pardon it, because he wants Libby to be able to win on appeal. Otherwise there will be a permenant cloud over Libby's head that he was pardoned.

Libby was convicted of not remembering conversations accurately. There was no underlying crime, so there was no justice to obstruct. There was no conviction of exposing an agent and endangering national security.

Did any of you read the amicus brief submitted by a dozen law scholars, including Alan Dershowitz? Seems that some of the best legal minds in the country think that a prosecutor with no supervisor and not accountable to anyone is unconsitutional.

Posted by: janet s on July 2, 2007 06:23 PM
31. Free Scooter, free at last, free at last, thank God free at last!!!

Posted by: St Claire on July 2, 2007 06:38 PM
32. I suspect that Libby will ultimately prevail on appeal, and as such, our President will be proven to have done the right thing in commuting his sentence. In the meantime, the D's will continue to whine, even though they would have done the same. Expect another couple of months of Bush Bashing, but that's OK because the longer the D's keep running against Bush the more likely it is that they will get beat by Thopmson or Giuliani. Its also good to see Thompson coming out in support of the President's action as being the right thing to do, rather than worrying about the political fall-out.

Posted by: old timer on July 2, 2007 06:51 PM
33. To the person who posted the long list of sentences commuted by Bill Clinton: you missed the point. GW just pardoned a guy who was found guilty of a felony while acting on behalf of GW!

Not sure how much clearer that can be.

To the person who said he commuted rather than pardoned because he'll win on appeal -- what an argument of non-logic. An independent judge found, via a preponderance of the evidence, Libby guilty of a felony. To pre-suppose a win on appeal would subvert our entire legal process.

When will any right minded republican stand up and say what Bush did was wrong?

Again, replace Libby with a Clinton apointee (who acted illegally on behalf of Clinton) and Bush wiht Clinton and you'd be screaming for impeachment at the least.

Your defense of this action suggests a blind loyalty to Bush and a blind eye to our justice system, the law and basic things that are right (like not letting a felon who became a felon for you out of a prison sentence).

This one is really clear. Really easy. Take your partisan hats off and look at the facts. Please.

Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 2, 2007 07:00 PM
34. First for the "b-b-but Clinton..." crowd...

It's common at the end of a Presidency to pardon lots of people. How many of the people Clinton pardoned were charged with committing crimes within his administration? Uh... that would be "none of them." Thanks.

Second, as to commuting the FALN sentences, you need to read up. It wasn't all that long ago:

"None of the 16 were convicted of bombings or any crime which injured another person, though they were sentenced with terms ranging from 35 to 105 years in prison for the conviction of conspiracy and sedition. Congress, however, recognizes that the FALN is responsible for "6 deaths and the permanent maiming of dozens of others, including law enforcement officials." All of the 16 had served 19 years or longer in prison, which was a longer sentence than such crimes typically received, according to the White House."

The people Clinton cut loose never injured anyone and had already served 19 years or more in prison. How long should they have served for not injuring anyone? That's the definition of an excessive sentence.

Having to go away for 3 years for obstruction of justice is a fair and just ruling. Something that Libby should have been held accountable for.

But then we all know the Republican party knows nothing of justice or accountability.

Posted by: Jordan Lund on July 2, 2007 07:10 PM
35. It is a sad testimonial to the moral and ethical bankruptcy of Bush supporters that they support the decision to commute Mr. Libby's sentence of perjury. Perjury, one must remember, is onerous to the system of justice that is the keystone of our society. Mr. Bush's actions endorse the idea that the rich, the powerful and the politically connected can and should receive different treatment under the law than the rest of us. This should not be cause for hurrahs; it should be cause for shame. Without ideals and the courage to live by them, our system of government cannot endure. When the powerful flaunt that system and call into question the fundamental concept that we are all equal under the law, they do a profound disservice to our country. Liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between, we should all be shocked and appalled that our president chose to use his authority and privilege in such fashion. To add that Bill Clinton did the same is not an argument, but further proof of the debasement of moral integrity in American leadership today.

Posted by: G Force on July 2, 2007 07:14 PM
36. It is a sad testimonial to the moral and ethical bankruptcy of Bush supporters that they support the decision to commute Mr. Libby's sentence of perjury. Perjury, one must remember, is onerous to the system of justice that is the keystone of our society. Mr. Bush's actions endorse the idea that the rich, the powerful and the politically connected can and should receive different treatment under the law than the rest of us. This should not be cause for hurrahs; it should be cause for shame. Without ideals and the courage to live by them, our system of government cannot endure. When the powerful flaunt that system and call into question the fundamental concept that we are all equal under the law, they do a profound disservice to our country. Liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between, we should all be shocked and appalled that our president chose to use his authority and privilege in such fashion. To add that Bill Clinton did the same is not an argument, but further proof of the debasement of moral integrity in American leadership today.

Posted by: G Force on July 2, 2007 07:14 PM
37. Bill,

So Clinton never pardoned anyone convicted of a crime...Really?

You really need to dig your head out of your ass.

Here is the official list from the Department of Justice web site:

http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pardonchartlst.htm

ALLEN, Verla Jean Everton, Arkansas False statements to agency of United States
ALTIERE, Nicholas M. Las Vegas, Nevada Importation of cocaine
ALTSCHUL, Bernice Ruth Sherman Village, California Conspiracy to commit money laundering
ANDERSON, Joe, Jr. Grove Hill, Alabama Income tax evasion
ANDERSON, William Sterling Spartanburg, South Carolina Conspiracy to defraud a federally insured financial institution, false statements to a federally insured financial institution, wire fraud
AZIZKHANI, Mansour T. Huntsville, Alabama Conspiracy and making false statements in bank loan applications
BABIN, Cleveland Victor, Jr. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Conspiracy to commit offense against the United States by utilizing the U.S. mail in furtherance of a scheme to defraud
BAGLEY, Chris Harmon Harrah, Oklahoma Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine
BANE, Scott Lynn Mahomet, Illinois Unlawful distribution of marijuana
BARBER, Thomas Cleveland Hampton, Florida Issuing worthless checks
BARGON, Peggy Ann Monticello, Illinois Violation of the Lacey Act, violation of the Bald Eagle Protection Act
BHATKA, Tansukhlal Income tax evasion
BLAMPIED, David Roscoe Ketchum, Idaho Conspiracy to distribute cocaine
BORDERS, William Arthur, Jr. Washington, D.C. Conspiracy to corruptly solicit and accept money in return for influencing the official acts of a federal district court judge (Alcee L. Hastings), and to defraud the United States in connection with the performance of lawful government functions; corruptly influencing, obstructing, impeding and endeavoring to influence, obstruct and impede the due administration of justice, and aiding and abetting therein; traveling interstate with intent to commit bribery
BOREL, Arthur David Little Rock, Arkansas Odometer rollback
BOREL, Douglas Charles Conway, Arkansas Odometer rollback
BRABHAM, George Thomas Austin, Texas Making a false statement or report to a federally insured bank
BRASWELL, Almon Glenn Doravilla, Georgia Conspiracy to defraud government with respect to claims; perjury
BROWDER, Leonard Aiken, South Carolina Illegal dispensing of controlled substance and Medicaid fraud
BROWN, David Steven New York, New York Securities fraud and mail fraud
BURLESON, Delores Caroylene, aka Delores Cox Burleson Hanna, Oklahoma Possession of marijuana
BUSTAMANTE, John H. Cleveland, Ohio Wire fraud
CAMPBELL, Mary Louise Ruleville, Mississippi Aiding and abetting the unauthorized use and transfer of food stamps
CANDELARIA, Eloida False information in registering to vote
CAPILI, Dennis Sobrevinas Glendale, California Filing false statements in alien registration
CHAMBERS, Donna Denise Memphis, Tennessee Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, use of a telephone to facilitate cocaine conspiracy
CHAPMAN, Douglas Eugene Scott, Arkansas Bank fraud
CHAPMAN, Ronald Keith Scott, Arkansas Bank fraud
CHAVEZ, Francisco Larios Santa Ana, California Aiding and abetting illegal entry of aliens
CISNEROS, Henry G.
CLINTON, Roger
COHN, Stuart Harris New Haven, Connecticut 1. Illegal sale of gold options
2. Illegal sale of silver options

COOPER, David Marc Wapakoneta, Ohio Conspiracy to defraud the government
COX, Ernest Harley, Jr. Pine Bluff, Arkansas Conspiracy to defraud a federally insured savings and loan, misapplication of bank funds, false statements
CROSS, John F., Jr. Little Rock, Arkansas Embezzlement by a bank employee
CUNNINGHAM, Rickey Lee Amarillo, Texas Possession with intent to distribute marijuana
DE LABIO, Richard Anthony Baltimore, Maryland Mail fraud, aiding and abetting
DEUTCH, John Described in January 19, 2001 information
DOUGLAS, Richard False statements
DOWNE, Edward Reynolds Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and tax evasion; securities fraud
DUDLEY, Marvin Dean Omaha, Nebraska False statements
DUNCAN, Larry Lee Branson, Missouri Altering an automobile odometer
FAIN, Robert Clinton Aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false corporate tax return
FERNANDEZ, Marcos Arcenio Miami, Florida Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana
FERROUILLET, Alvarez Interstate transport of stolen property, money laundering, false statements
FUGAZY, William Denis Harrison, New York Perjury in a bankruptcy proceeding
GEORGE, Lloyd Reid Mail fraud
GOLDSTEIN, Louis Las Vegas, Nevada Possession of goods stolen from interstate shipment
GORDON, Rubye Lee Tampa, Florida Forgery of U.S. Treasury checks
GREEN, Pincus Switzerland
HAMNER, Robert Ivey Searcy, Arkansas Conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute
HANDLEY, Samuel Price Hodgenville, Kentucky Conspiracy to steal government property
HANDLEY, Woodie Randolph Hodgenville, Kentucky Conspiracy to steal government property
HARMON, Jay Houston Jonesboro, Arkansas 1. Conspiracy to import marijuana, conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute, importation of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute

2. Conspiracy to import cocaine

HEMMINGSON, John Interstate transport of stolen property, money laundering
HERDLINGER, David S. St. Simons Island, Georgia Mail fraud
HUCKLEBERRY, Debi Rae Ogden, Utah Distribution of methamphetamine
JAMES, Donald Ray Fairfield Bay, Arkansas Mail fraud, wire fraud, and false statement to a bank to influence credit approval
JOBE, Stanley Pruet El Paso, Texas Conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and bank fraud
JOHNSON, Ruben H. Austin, Texas Theft and misapplication of bank funds by a bank officer or director
JONES, Linda Conspiracy to commit bank fraud and other offenses against the United States
LAKE, James Howard Illegal corporate campaign contributions, wire fraud
LEWIS, June Louise Lowellville, Ohio Embezzlement by a bank employee
LEWIS, Salim Bonnor Short Hills, New Jersey Securities fraud, record keeping violations, margin violations
LODWICK, John Leighton Excelsior Springs, Missouri Income tax evasion
LOPEZ, Hildebrando San Isidro, Texas Distribution of cocaine
LUACES, Jose Julio Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Possession of an unregistered firearm
MANESS, James Timothy Conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance
MANNING, James Lowell Little Rock, Arkansas Aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false corporate tax return
MARTIN, John Robert Gulf Breeze, Florida Income tax evasion
MARTINEZ, Frank Ayala Elgin, Texas Conspiracy to supply false documents to the Immigration and Naturalization Service
MARTINEZ, Silvia Leticia Beltran Elgin, Texas Conspiracy to supply false documents to the Immigration and Naturalization Service
McCORMICK, John Francis Dedham, Massachusetts Racketeering conspiracy, racketeering, and violation of the Hobbs act
McDOUGAL, Susan H.
MECHANIC, Howard Lawrence 1. Violating the Civil Disobedience Act of 1968

2. Failure to appear

3. Making false statement in acquiring a passport

MITCHELL, Brook K., Sr. Conspiracy to illegally obtain USDA subsidy payments, false statements to USDA, and false entries on USDA forms
MORGAN, Charles Wilfred, III Little Rock, Arkansas Conspiracy to distribute cocaine
MORISON, Samuel Loring Crofton, Maryland Willful transmission of defense information, unauthorized possession and retention of defense information, theft of government property
NAZZARO, Richard Anthony Winchester, Massachusetts Perjury and conspiracy to commit mail fraud
NOSENKO, Charlene Ann Phoenix, Arizona Conspiracy to defraud the United States, and influencing or injuring an officer or juror generally
OBERMEIER, Vernon Raymond Belleville, Illinois Conspiracy to distribute cocaine, distribution of cocaine, and using a communications facility to facilitate distribution of cocaine
OGALDE, Miguelina Glendale, California Conspiracy to import cocaine
OWEN, David C. Olathe, Kansas Filing a false tax return
PALMER, Robert W. Little Rock, Arkansas Conspiracy to make false statements
PERHOSKY, Kelli Anne Bridgeville, Pennsylvania Conspiracy to commit mail fraud
PEZZOPANE, Richard H. Palo Heights, Illinois Conspiracy to commit racketeering, and mail fraud
PHILLIPS, Orville Rex Waco, Texas Unlawful structure of a financial transaction
POLING, Vinson Stewart, Jr. Baldwin, Maryland Making a false bank entry, and aiding and abetting
PROUSE, Norman Lyle Conyers, Georgia Operating or directing the operation of a common carrier while under the influence of alcohol
PRUITT, Willie H. H., Jr. Port Richey, Florida Absent without official leave
PURSLEY, Danny Martin, Sr. Goodlettsville, Tennessee Aiding and abetting the conduct of an illegal gambling business, and obstruction of state laws to facilitate illegal gambling
RAVENEL, Charles D. Charleston, South Carolina Conspiracy to defraud the United States
RAY, William Clyde Altus, Oklahoma Fraud using a telephone
REGALADO, Alfredo Luna Pharr, Texas Failure to report the transportation of currency in excess of $10,000 into the United States
RICAFORT, Ildefonso Reynes Houston, Texas Submission of false claims to Veterans Administration
RICH, Marc Switzerland
RIDDLE, Howard Winfield Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado Violation of the Lacey Act (receipt of illegally imported animal skins)
RILEY, Richard Wilson, Jr. Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute
ROBBINS, Samuel Lee Cedar Park, Texas Misprision of a felony
RODRIGUEZ, Joel Gonzales Houston, Texas Theft of mail by a postal employee
ROGERS, Michael James McAllen, Texas Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana
ROSS, Anna Louise Lubbock, Texas Distribution of cocaine
RUST, Gerald Glen Avery, Texas False declarations before grand jury
RUST, Jerri Ann Avery, Texas False declarations before grand jury
RUTHERFORD, Bettye June Albuquerque, New Mexico Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute
SANDS, Gregory Lee Sioux Falls, South Dakota Conspiracy to distribute cocaine
SCHWIMMER, Adolph Conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, conspiracy to export arms and ammunition to a foreign country and related charges
SERETTI, Albert A., Jr. McKees Rocks, Pennyslvania Conspiracy and wire fraud
SHAW, Patricia Campbell Hearst Wilton, Connecticut Armed bank robbery and using a firearm during a felony
SMITH, Dennis Joseph Redby, Minnesota 1. Unauthorized absence

2. Failure to obey off-limits instructions

3. Unauthorized absence

SMITH, Gerald Owen Florence, Mississippi Armed bank robbery
SMITH, Stephen A.
SPEAKE, Jimmie Lee Breckenridge, Texas Conspiracy to possess and utter counterfeit $20 Federal Reserve notes
STEWART, Charles Bernard Sparta, Georgia Illegally destroying U.S. Mail
STEWART-ROLLINS, Marlena Francisca Euclid, Ohio Conspiracy to distribute cocaine
SYMINGTON, John Fife, III
TANNEHILL, Richard Lee Reno, Nevada Conspiracy and restraint of trade
TENAGLIA, Nicholas C. Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania Receipt of illegal payments under the Medicare program
THOMAS, Gary Allen Lancaster, Texas Theft of mail by postal employee
TODD, Larry Weldon Gardendale, Texas Conspiracy to commit an offense against the U.S. in violation of the Lacey Act and the Airborne Hunting Act
TREVINO, Olga C. Converse, Texas Misapplication by a bank employee
VAMVOUKLIS, Ignatious Exeter, New Hampshire Possession of cocaine
VAN DE WEERD, Patricia A. Tomahawk, Wisconsin Theft by a U.S. Postal employee
WADE, Christopher V.
WARMATH, Bill Wayne Walls, Mississippi Obstruction of correspondence
WATSON, Jack Kenneth Oakridge, Oregon Making false statements of material facts to the U.S. Forest Service
WEBB, Donna Lynn Panama City, Florida False entry in savings and loan record by employee
WELLS, Donald William Phenix City, Alabama Possession of an unregistered firearm
WENDT, Robert H. Kirkwood, Missouri Conspiracy to effectuate the escape of a federal prisoner
WILLIAMS, Jack L. Making false statements to federal agents
WILLIAMS, Kevin Arthur Omaha, Nebraska Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine
WILLIAMS, Robert Michael Davison, Michigan Conspiracy to transport in foreign commerce securities obtained by fraud
WILSON, Jimmie Lee Helena, Arkansas Converting property mortgaged or pledged to a farm credit agency, and converting public money to personal use
WINGATE, Thelma Louise Sale City, Georgia Mail fraud
WOOD, Mitchell Couey Sherwood, Arkansas Conspiracy to possess and to distribute cocaine
WOOD, Warren Stannard Las Vegas, Nevada Conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing a false document with the Securities and Exchange Commission
WORTHEY, Dewey Conway, Arkansas Medicaid fraud
YALE, Rick Allen Belleville, Illinois Bank fraud
YASAK, Joseph A. Chicago, Illinois Knowingly making under oath a false declaration regarding a material fact before a grand jury
YINGLING, William Stanley Interstate transportation of stolen vehicle
YOUNG, Phillip David Little Rock, Arkansas Interstate transportation and sale of fish and wildlife

Posted by: GS on July 2, 2007 07:14 PM
38. Please libs keep telling us again what Bush did that was so different than Clinton. You have been on a literal Witch hunt since your 15% approval rating congress took place.

Keep bringing this pardon up...Please...I want to see it all over the libreal networks...


What a laugh we will all have

Hillary running for president, she will love having all her husbands pardons displayed throughout the CAMPAIGN...

Please keep it up.

Posted by: gs on July 2, 2007 07:20 PM
39. From the beeb:
Mr Bush has pardoned only 113 people out of more than 1,000 applications in six years in office and has commuted only three sentences, turning down 5,000 requests.

By comparison, Ronald Reagan had pardoned 300 people by the equivalent point in his presidency and commuted 13 sentences. In total, Richard Nixon issued 863 pardons and commuted the sentences of 60 people.

... thought it was an interesting comparison.

Posted by: Acid Brain on July 2, 2007 07:20 PM
40. "But then we all know the Republican party knows nothing of justice or accountability"

Yeah, just trot out all the talking points. No facts, just the spewing we are all so familiar with.

How delicious to watch the left in full crybaby meltdown.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on July 2, 2007 07:20 PM
41. GS - guess you can't READ. So, let me repeat EXACTLY what I said before:

"GW just pardoned a guy who was found guilty of a felony while acting on behalf of GW!"

You claimed I said that Clinton didn't pardon anyone who committed a crime.

No, I never claimed that. Must you lie to make your point?

Read the sentence again OVER and OVER until you understand what I said...then react.

Bush supporters are certainly blind loyalists, GS shows he's blind well beyond that!

Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 2, 2007 07:21 PM
42. Clinton 142 pardons
Bush 1 pardon

Add em up using liberal math

Bush is the crook

Ha Ha

Posted by: GS on July 2, 2007 07:31 PM
43. Why was this sentence commuted? Because this was a MANUFACTURED SCANDAL.

Libby didn't deserve a minute of jail time for his perjury any more than Clinton deserved any jail time for his perjury. Lest we forget, they committed the same crime. But you liberal trolls weren't for Clinton serving any jail time, were you?

Posted by: Palouse on July 2, 2007 07:33 PM
44. Clinton was corrupt so Bush should be corrupt? And we can all feel good--even gleeful about it? What has this man and his political expedience done to us? We, Republicans and Americans, will be paying for this disastrous presidency for a long, long time. It's a sad day among sad days.

Posted by: murtz on July 2, 2007 07:34 PM
45. Even Paris Hilton got a tougher sentence than Scooter Libby!

Posted by: Jesus Christ on July 2, 2007 07:37 PM
46. You guys are pretty clueless on this list. The pardon will not help the Republicans because it ties into the CIA outing and the Iraq war and in case you hadn't noticed we the war is making the people turn against the R's. So this just reinforces it.

And to talk about principle.

It seems your avowed belief in law and order, in personal responsiblity, ends when it serves your partisan interest.

I have heard many commentators saying "there was no underlying crime" when in fact Scooter was convicted of a crime properly set forth on the statute books and properly charged and properly brought to a jury.

Keep it up -- the war, the anti-Hispanic immigration policy (you've lost that group, too bad Bush earlier made some inraods) and probably the first of several pardons. Keep it up.

Posted by: Seattle Democrat on July 2, 2007 07:55 PM
47. He commuted Libby's sentence, but didn't pardon him in the same way Clinton pardoned the criminal cartele in his swan song, but it isn't the end of his presidency either.

Bush is mediocre, but his character is better than either Slick Willie Clinton and his wife Evita, in contrast to #46's leftist talking points. This will have a negligible political effect - those who are Republicans and/or voted for him generally thought it was a good thing and those who never voted for him see it as a bad thing.

The punishment was excessive for the crime, but he still has to pay the hefty fine ($250K)- that is unless Bush decides to pardon him. I see that you conveniently left that out, Seattle Demoncat.

Posted by: KS on July 2, 2007 08:31 PM
48. It is a sad testimonial to the moral and ethical bankruptcy of Bush supporters that they support the decision to commute Mr. Libby's sentence of perjury. Perjury, one must remember, is onerous to the system of justice that is the keystone of our society. Mr. Bush's actions endorse the idea that the rich, the powerful and the politically connected can and should receive different treatment under the law than the rest of us. This should not be cause for hurrahs; it should be cause for shame. Without ideals and the courage to live by them, our system of government cannot endure. When the powerful flaunt that system and call into question the fundamental concept that we are all equal under the law, they do a profound disservice to our country. Liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between, we should all be shocked and appalled that our president chose to use his authority and privilege in such fashion. To add that Bill Clinton did the same is not an argument, but further proof of the debasement of moral integrity in American leadership today.

Posted by: G Force on July 2, 2007 08:36 PM
49. #45 - Sir, you are a fraud and poser !

Paris Hilton deserved a harsher sentence, because she is a bigger brat. Libby deserves to pay $250,000 as being the fall guy for a corrupt administration and he'll probably get some help.
This country is slipping away from being a nation of laws.

Posted by: KS on July 2, 2007 08:42 PM
50. and I think Marc Rich's tax evasion that Clinton pardoned him of totaled something like $400 million. Just unbelievable. How come the libs weren't screaming on THAT one?

Posted by: Michele on July 2, 2007 08:44 PM
51. When you've been busy making a mess of things, you really don't have time for many pardons. Besides, we know Bush probably can't dissect half the legal arguments anyway.

If he doesn’t personally know them, he just signs off if it feels right. Like he does every decision.


Posted by: Bladada on July 2, 2007 08:48 PM
52. Well, looking through the many posts, in toto, there isn't any expressed sentiment that justifies Bush's move.

There is no comparison to Clinton (there was no commuted sentence for a convicted felon who was doing the president's bidding at the time).

Plenty of Clinton bashing still out there...a full 7 years later!

I'm sure Bush promised Libby not to worry. First the commutation, then the ultimate pardon upon Bush's leaving office.

Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 2, 2007 08:57 PM
53. I would still run my mother over for GW and Scooter!!

Posted by: St Claire on July 2, 2007 08:58 PM
54. #50 - "and I think Marc Rich's tax evasion that Clinton pardoned him of totaled something like $400 million. Just unbelievable. How come the libs weren't screaming on THAT one?"

Because they drunk of the Clinton cool aid then raised their hammers and sickles in approval !

Posted by: KS on July 2, 2007 08:58 PM
55. So let me get this straight...

A guy's convicted of perjury about a non-crime, and isn't allowed to call to the stand the witness who's testimony supposedly sunk him (Chris Matthews). Essentially a he-said/she-said.

He's convicted, sentenced to 30 months in prison, a $250,000 fine, and disbarred. Even though twelve of the brightest legal minds from BOTH the left and right write briefs calling for leniency or outright dismissal.

He appeals and the appeal is accepted. But the court refuses to delay implementation of the penalty.

The President commutes the prison time, leaving the conviction stand (including the appeals) and leaves the rest of the penalties.

And this is considered worse than a previous security advisor removing and destroying classified documents?

Posted by: Edmonds Dan on July 2, 2007 09:03 PM
56. Actually I believe that Marc Rich's pardon was due in no small part to the active "personal" lobbying effort of Mrs. Marc Rich. Along with Substantial donations to the Clinton Library..It may not be bribery in the purest sense, but it is close.

Posted by: Smokie on July 2, 2007 09:07 PM
57. All you liberals shut up! George Bush is the moral equivalent of Bill Clinton! He did it too! He did it too! Shut up, shut up, shut up!!!!! Nya nya nya nya nyahhh!

Posted by: Karl Rove on July 2, 2007 09:25 PM
58. I love it when you guys try to justify Bush's behavior becasue Clinton did it. I thought you guys didn't like him, but here you are holding him up as the setter of moral standards. Guess I was wrong. Bush can now feel free to get it on with at least one hot (or not) intern.

Posted by: Giffy on July 2, 2007 09:29 PM
59. Ah, yes--the Clinton library...
http://cagle.msnbc.com/news/ClintonLibrary/3.asp

Posted by: Organization Man on July 2, 2007 09:31 PM
60. Bill Cruchon - So you think it's all factless talking points?

So tell me... who did Bill Clinton pardon after they committed crimes for him? (Nobody). That's a fact.

The FALN members he commuted? Are you telling me they didn't serve a minimum of 19 years for victimless crimes?

You can't just step up with ad hominem attacks and expect me not to respond. If you have something substantial to refute me then do so.

Posted by: Jordan Lund on July 2, 2007 09:32 PM
61. #60 - I'll step in and throw a monkey wrench into your partisan claim by referring you to threads #25 and #37. I am not condoning Bush's actions, but I expect others to be able to see this objectively.

Stop justifying Clinton's actions by coming up with the allegation that the Clintons pardoned noone after they committed crimes for him. I question that allegation. When I say the Clintons, if you think Bush is bad, you ain't seen nothing yet if Hill-Billy gets elected. You lefties are pathetic.

Posted by: KS on July 2, 2007 09:46 PM
62. Jordan,

Does a guy named Henry Cisneros ring a bell? You know, the HUD secretary for President Clinton?

Didn't think so...

Posted by: Edmonds Dan on July 2, 2007 09:49 PM
63. Scooter Libby should suffer the same punishment for perjury as the former Commander-in-Chief: he should be disbarred, and he should be forced to be married to Hillary.

Posted by: steve miller on July 2, 2007 09:50 PM
64. Wow! So Scooter Libby was convicted of lying about a non-outing of a non-covert agent, and he needs to fry! No crime established as a result of the special investigation, but let's find someone to hang, anyway. And tell me again, where is Sandy Berger these days? He actually was caught committing a felony, stealing classified documents with intent to obstruct an investigation, and what happened? He paid a fine and lost his security clearance for a while. Oh, and by the way, did anyone catch the news that another one of the bogus charges against Tom Delay have been declared bogus? Well, of course, that didn't get any coverage. The left hypocrisy is mind boggling. Libby's life is ruined. Delay's life is ruined. Berger, who actually did commit a felony, will go on and on, like the ever-ready bunny! Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, who really did lie, repeatedly, have become almost rock stars. Go figure!

Posted by: katmar on July 2, 2007 09:53 PM
65. katmar, you fail to understand that while Sandy Burglar stealing government documents by stuffing them down his pants is not a real "crime," but forgetting what you said to someone or inaccurately matching what someone else said IS a real crime. Even though Richard Armitrage, Valerie Plame, covert, blah blah blah (this is the point where liberals cover their ears screaming WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE!!?!?!?!?!!)

Posted by: steve miller on July 2, 2007 09:58 PM
66. Please tell me what crime was obstructed by Libby "lying". And tell me what punishment Richard Armitage received for self-admittedly leaking the name of a "covert agent". And tell me why the defense couldn't call Andrea Mitchell as a witness.

Oh, yeah, and tell me by what constitutional provision Fitzpatrick was serving as special prosecutor. Who did he report to? Who reviewed his work?

Paris Hilton was driving under the influence, and could have killed someone. Everyone is treated pretty much the same for the equivalent crime - jail time.

I'm not an apologist for Bush. He isn't condoning lying. He went along with the jury who found obstruction. He just didn't think that this weak of a case deserves 30 months in jail.

BTW, how many months is Sandy Berger serving for stealing classified documents and destroying them? That's right! None!

Posted by: janet s on July 2, 2007 10:05 PM
67. Clinton pardoned people who donated to his library and campaigns. Sort of like Chrissy and the unions. Dems see nothing wrong with this (????)

Libby did nothing wrong. Despite the MSMs continued attempt to make him out to be the one to leak Plame's name.

Typical liberal BS - please keep running with it!

Posted by: eric on July 2, 2007 10:29 PM
68. Here is what Scooter was convicted of:

1) obstruction of justice when he intentionally deceived a grand jury investigating the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame;

2) making a false statement by intentionally lying to FBI agents about a conversation with NBC newsman Tim Russert;

3) perjury when he lied in court about his conversation with Russert;

4) a second count of perjury when he lied in court about conversations with other reporters.

#1 is the serious one, it's a felony. The bulk of his time was for that.

Posted by: Jordan Lund on July 2, 2007 10:52 PM
69. Since members of the jury that found Scooter guilty were quoted as saying Bush should PARDON him, I don't see what the fuss with the left is about. It is a great thing that the President has the ability to right the wrongly prosecuted by commuting sentences or pardoning.

Maybe Bush should have commuted the sentence of Martha Stewart first or granted her a belated Pardon, then he could have taken the upper hand by saying if zealous prosecuters continue to manipulate the justice system by trying to trap innocent people in perjury traps, he will continue to Pardon those people. At least if the prosecuter doesn't have the balls to prosecute someone for a real crime, they shouldn't get away with trying to trap the victims into other crimes.

Posted by: Doug on July 2, 2007 11:16 PM
70. Bill, so you stop being confused:

PARDON - A remission of punishment or penalty without indicating exoneration from guilt.

COMMUTATION, COMMUTE - The change of a punishment to which a person has been condemned into a less severe one. This can be granted only by the executive authority in which the pardoning power resides.

COMMUTE - To substitute one punishment in the place of another. For example, if a man be sentenced to be hung, the executive may, in some states, commute his punishment to that of imprisonment.


Bush didn't pardon Libby. He commuted his jail term. Out here in the Soviet of WA we do that sort of thing de facto for violent felons (who usually end up killing police officers with vehicles).

Stop being a liberal f$%&tard.

Also, please point out *any* evidence that doesn't consist of your own delusional fantasies re: Scooter doing the "president's bidding". I thought that's what Fitzie was trying to pin down and couldn't (mostly because Armitage was the "leak" the whole time).

I know that you're absolutely certain that Bush gave direct orders to leak Plame. That's your belief. However, just because you *believe* that happened doesn't make it so.

Posted by: Aaron on July 2, 2007 11:24 PM
71. One thing I'm curious about: what changes should be made in criminal law so that the Libby outrage doesn't happen again?

Posted by: John A. on July 3, 2007 12:11 AM
72. Scooter's real crime was being a member of the Bush Administration. That's all the left needs to know to justify hanging him.

Posted by: Jeff B. on July 3, 2007 12:16 AM
73. Just for the record, I think President Bush did the right thing in commuting this sentence, and said so last night.

Posted by: Jim Miller on July 3, 2007 05:40 AM
74. @34

"It's common at the end of a Presidency to pardon lots of people. How many of the people Clinton pardoned were charged with committing crimes within his administration? Uh... that would be "none of them." Thanks."

William Jefferson Clinton himself. Bzzzt . Thanks for playing. And for the record, Libby was NOT charged with committing a crime "within the administration itself", he wasn't even charged with "outing" the faux super secret decoder ring gal herself, that would be Richard Armitage, a hero to the left.

It is funny how liberals are all against oil companies and their crooked transactions until it is someone like Marc Rich, an oil tycoon who gave money to the Clintons and was later pardoned by Clinton in absentia as he fled the country like so many other Clinton crooks.

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 06:17 AM
75. Bill Franklin @41,

""GW just pardoned a guy who was found guilty of a felony while acting on behalf of GW!"

You keep repeating this taking point as if somehow saying it over and over again will somehow make it true. It is a classic liberal trick of telling a lie over and over again.

Libby was NOT convicted while acting on behalf of the president. Let me repeat it for you:

Libby was NOT convicted while acting on behalf of the president.


Libby was NOT convicted while acting on behalf of the president.

Libby was NOT convicted while acting on behalf of the president.

Libby was NOT convicted while acting on behalf of the president.

Libby was NOT convicted while acting on behalf of the president.

Libby was NOT convicted while acting on behalf of the president.

Libby was NOT convicted while acting on behalf of the president.

Libby was NOT convicted while acting on behalf of the president.

Libby was NOT convicted while acting on behalf of the president.


The whole witch hunt was supposedly about someone "outing" super secret decoder ring faux agent Valarie Plame. Turns out it was Richard Armitage, a pal of the left. Fitzpatrick KNEW this early on in the witch hunt yet, to this very day, has failed to prosecute Armitage.


Libby was convicted of having a poor memory. Tim Russert's accounts of events were inconsistent as were many other liberals who testified. Yet it was only Libby who was convicted.

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 06:32 AM
76. Bush pardons Libby? He he ...AMATEUR!

Posted by: Bill Clinton on July 3, 2007 06:45 AM
77. Wow.

So, the entire argument is that our court system completely failed this guy....an activist judge, an activist appeals judge. After all, as they say here, Libby committed no crime.

Never mind he had very competent legal help -- and used our court system to its fullest.

Never mind he had ubelievable support enabling a complete defense.

Never mind he was given ample opportunity to prove his innocence.

What an embarassment to say the President can commute sentences for his friends guilty of felonies while acting on his behalf (YES, he was acting on behalf of the white house...even the top republicans in the congress admit that...just you right-wing-extremists pretend it's not true).

Our forefathers should be turning in their graves for this one. A new low from a president who has set so many new lows before.

And a special new low from the bloggers who rally to his support -- blind to the rule of law and justice.

Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 3, 2007 06:46 AM
78. One thing guaranteed about Washington, DC- you can set a perjury trap for just about anyone.

And Libby should have followed the Clinton playbook- "I can't remember" for every question asked. And if he really did do it, he should have had the witnesses disappear and out of the country so they couldn't disappear.

Most of the discussions here ignore Ragnar and others fine research into "precedent".

Posted by: swatter on July 3, 2007 06:50 AM
79. Bill Franklin -

No, he was no "acting on behalf of the White House" when he recalled events to the special persecutor. Repeating that liberal lie will not make it true no matter how many times you repeat it.

I am calling you out. You said:

"YES, he was acting on behalf of the white house...even the top republicans in the congress admit that...just you right-wing-extremists pretend it's not true)."


Now please link to at least TWO quotes of Republicans that said that. Until you do so, you are a liar.

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 07:00 AM
80. "So, the entire argument is that our court system completely failed this guy....an activist judge, an activist appeals judge. After all, as they say here, Libby committed no crime."

Yes, that is right. For reference, please google Mike Nofong or "Duke Rape Case". Overzealous persecutors putting their politics ahead of justice - See Nifon, Ronnie Earl.

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 07:04 AM
81. This new poll is interesting. 60% of Americans believe it was wrong to commute Scooter's prison sentence:

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=4b5255b9-3878-4082-b7d0-160d8ddcd52e

So Bush has shored up support with the 35% of American's that are still blindly supporting this party, and given moderates just one more reason to be disgusted with the GOP.

All the "Party of Accountability" hypocrits here can celebrate a convicted felon being released from doing any prison time, but at the end of the day, you've just put another nail your 2008 coffin.

This will be a good thing in the long run, as true Conservatives need to take back the Republican party from the band of loosers running the show now. There is absolutely nothing "conservative" about the GOP any longer.

Posted by: Splinter on July 3, 2007 07:08 AM
82. You righties are hilarious in your contortions.

"Libby was convicted of having a poor memory." BZZZZT! Perjury requires an intentional lie and so the issue of whether it was a memory lapse is EXACTLY what the jury found to be NOT TRUE when they convicted him. Obstruction is an intentional crime.

Just like when they same there was no "underlying crime"-- there is no requirement in the crime of obstructino or perjury for their to be an underlying crime. Obstruction and perjury itself are the underlying crimes.

Just like when they say there was somehow a lack of evidence here -- just because wtinesses gave conflicting versions of events -- ditto this in many criminal trials includling many homicide trials. There's no requirement the defeendant say "er, yup, I confess, I did it!"

Just like when they deny it is especially bad to pardon someone who is your VP's chief of staff, someone who was the architect of the war in Iraq and its foundation of deception, someone who had control over what paper went to the president. This crime was "on the job" and Libby WAS THE PRESIDENT'S GUY.

He's part of the gang.

What's next, pardons of Gonzalez, Rove, Goodling, and anyone else?

This president acts above the rule of law. A true conservative would be concerned about this.

And by the way a poll said that only about 19% of Americans support a pardon in this case. So you righties are just digging your own grave, electorally speaking.

And BTW don't give me any shit about "commute" versus "pardon" the distinction is without relevance here and we all know what the technical distinctions are.

BUSH KEPT one of his CAPOs OUT OF JAIL, REWARDING HIS OMERTA, LIES, OBSTRUCTION AND SILENCE. CAPICHE?

Posted by: Seattle Democrat on July 3, 2007 07:13 AM
83. ""Libby was convicted of having a poor memory." BZZZZT! Perjury requires an intentional lie and so the issue of whether it was a memory lapse is EXACTLY what the jury found to be NOT TRUE when they convicted him. Obstruction is an intentional crime.

Just like when they same there was no "underlying crime"-- there is no requirement in the crime of obstructino or perjury for their to be an underlying crime. Obstruction and perjury itself are the underlying crimes. "

I see your point. You mean like when PRESIDENT CLINTON committed perjury?


And since you brought up the jury in the Libby case, perhaps we should see what they had to say regarding a pardon:

Juror calls on Bush to pardon Libby
MSNBC
Updated: 3:23 p.m. PT March 7, 2007

WASHINGTON - Saying "I don't want him to go to jail," a member of the jury that convicted I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case called Wednesday for President Bush to pardon Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff.

The woman, Ann Redington, said in an interview on MSNBC's "Hardball" that she cried when the verdicts against Libby were read Tuesday. She said Libby seemed to be "a really nice guy."

"I would like him to get" a pardon from Bush, Redington said. "It kind of bothers me that there was this whole big crime being investigated and he got caught up in the investigation as opposed to in the actual crime that was supposedly committed."


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17506701/


Did this juror have "blind loyalty" too? I suppose next you frothing libs will tell us that she was a GOP mole or some other libtard fantasy.

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 07:24 AM
84. pbj -

So one woman on the jury liked the guy and doesn't think he should go to jail, so this is a good reason for the President to pardon him? LOL!

Should that be the test for all criminal sentencing hearings then? We should bring back jururs and "ask how they feel about it"... right?

I cannot believe how basic reason can be twisted to justify this... and by the same people that are always turning red in the face about lack of accountability in society.

It's hilarious really to watch the GOP continue to implode more and more every day.

Posted by: Splinter on July 3, 2007 07:32 AM
85. Not one of you liberal trolls wanted Clinton to serve time for his conviction of perjury. In fact, most of you excused it - remember? His personal life is his business? You're all hypocrits. It's actually a good comparison case, both men lied about a non-crime in a manufactured partisan scandal.

Posted by: Palouse on July 3, 2007 07:41 AM
86. Splinter,

Stop with all the damn liberal talking points already. You have earned your DNC pay for today.

Basic reason was twisted when Libby was railroaded. You liberals have ZERO credibility on this issue. Right now we have William Jefferson (D) LA, a man who gets caught taking bribes and what does the "most ethical congress in history " do? They promote him to the Homeland Security Committee. Meanwhile Democrat Sen Feinstein's hubby is making a killing at his construction firm's gimme contracts for construction on military bases. And you got your panties in a twist over Libby, who was convicted of having a faulty memory but unlike liberals such as Tim Russert, Libby got nailed because after all, the liberals demanded someone be punished. Didn't matter one bit who it was, just someone.

So your feigned outrage isn't even good enough to play in a community theater. Go post your cuss words over at the equine anal blog where that horse crap is the daily special.

I certainly HOPE and PRAY Hitlary brings this up OVER AND OVER AND OVER. It will only focus attention on all the Vnce Fostering and payolas that happened last time we had a Clinton in the White House.

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 07:46 AM
87. Consistency ...

Bush's claim t moral consistency died with this decision. Hew will go down as the worst president since Aaron Burr failed to get the office.

Shame.

Posted by: SeattleJew on July 3, 2007 07:51 AM
88. Again, nobody from the left has been able to tell me why Richard Armitage isn't in jail.

Bill Franklin? Tell me.
Splinter? Tell me.
Seattle Democrat? Tell me.

Why. Isn't. Richard. Armitage. In. Jail?

And while you're at it, please remind me of how many days Mr. Clinton spent in jail for his perjury.

Posted by: jimg on July 3, 2007 07:51 AM
89. Good points JimG. Now what was that "Seattle Jew" saying regarding consistency...

Libtards are such hypocrites!

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 07:53 AM
90. My fine conservative friends,

Scooter Libby probably should not have been pardoned fro prison time, but the move does save us from having to pay for his food and shelter for 30 months.

He's still on the hook for a $250,000 fine, and he'll be a non-citizen for the rest of his life as a convicted felon.

Posted by: Libertarian on July 3, 2007 07:59 AM
91. Top Republicans on Perjury, the crime of which Libby was convicted:

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) - "I am completely and utterly perplexed by those who argue that perjury and obstruction of justice are not high crimes and misdemeanors...Perjury and obstruction hammer away at the twin pillars of our legal system: truth and justice." [Congressional Record, 2/12/99]"

Now...back to the point at hand.

Won't one single reasonable republican come out and call Bush's action sad, pathetic and unjust? Anyone looking at the facts, please?


Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 3, 2007 08:16 AM
92. Your point is what Bill Franklin? That perjury is a crime? Agreed.

As soon as you say that Bill Clinton should have served jail time for the same crime, then I will say you are not a hypocrit. I still won't believe you however.

Posted by: Palouse on July 3, 2007 08:20 AM
93. Keith (Olberman), why are you posting here as Seattle Jew at this web site? Crime of the century is what he is saying.

Keith, grow up. Bush is not Hitler. He is going to be out of office in 18 months. Live with it. He is not going to indulge your wildest fantasy and overthrow the government like you claim.

Posted by: swatter on July 3, 2007 08:26 AM
94. Correct, Clinton should have served time for committing perjury. But, your side doesn't agree.

Let me explain.

Libby is having his justly determined sentence communted because of his friend Bush who claims the sentence was "too harsh".

So...logic would suggest that Bush feels serving time is "too harsh" for those who commit perjury.

Therefore, Bush didn't want to see Clinton in jail either.

Hmmm...hard to have it both ways, eh?

The real bottom line (though no extremist on either side will admit it) is BOTH sides are equally wrong here.

BUT...the topic of the moment is the BUSH/LIBBY abomination...not the Clinton abomoniation (and not the Reagan/Bush 41/Iran contra abomination).

So, for the umpteenth time,

Will some reasonable republcian out there come out and say commuting a sentence for a high crime and misdeameanor (Sen. McConnell's words, not mine) is WRONG?

Just one reasonable republican? Just one that isn't a Bush apologist?

Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 3, 2007 08:34 AM
95. Answer the effing question, Bill.

Why isn't Richard Armitage in jail?

I know the answer, but I would like 'some reasonable liberal' to say it.

Answer the question.

Posted by: jimg on July 3, 2007 08:37 AM
96. Therefore, Bush didn't want to see Clinton in jail either.

Right. And this conservative didn't want Clinton serving time either. In fact, I think that whole episode was a waste of time and resources, much like this so-called scandal. So you see, we're consistent, well I won't speak for everyone, but I would venture a guess that no one wanted Slick locked up for perjury. And no one wants Libby locked up for it either. Get it?

Posted by: Palouse on July 3, 2007 08:39 AM
97. pbj: "Stop with all the damn liberal talking points already"

I'm not a liberal, I'm a conservative, which is why I am all the more digusted by the Republican party right now.

pbj: "Basic reason was twisted when Libby was railroaded"

The judges were all Republican appointees and the evidence that he knowingly lied to the Grand Jury and the Federal Prosector was "overwhelming".

pbj: "Right now we have William Jefferson (D) LA, a man who gets caught taking bribes"

What's your point? The man is crook and should go to jail. Pointing to another political crook to justify the criminal activities your own convicted hero (aparently). Again, very pathetic.

pbj: "So your feigned outrage isn't even good enough to play in a community theater"

I'm not outraged in the least, I'm just surprised at this holier-than-thou crowd that is always harping about lack of accountability, coming to the swift defense of a convicted criminal. Like I'm said before, the implosion of the party of non-conservatives is fun to watch.

pbj: "Go post your cuss words over at the equine anal blog"

Sounds like somebody is having a temper tantrum. Poor thing, I know it's been a rough year for you. Just wait.

Posted by: Splinter on July 3, 2007 08:41 AM
98. This is unbelievable.

Instead of reacting to the question at hand -- the CURRENT event: would one reasonable republican say Bush was wrong to commute the sentence of a convicted felon who committed a high crime and misdeameanor, people come up with all sorts of other examples.

Yes, ALL crooks should be or have been in jail - including Clinton, Reagan (Iran Contra), Bush 41 (Iran Contra), Nixon....

Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 3, 2007 08:42 AM
99. Answer the question.

Why isn't Richard Armitage in jail?

Posted by: jimg on July 3, 2007 08:45 AM
100. jimg -

Because he has not been convicted of a felony?

Posted by: Splinter on July 3, 2007 08:48 AM
101. I'm not a liberal, I'm a conservative, which is why I am all the more digusted by the Republican party right now.

Snort. There is nothing more entertaining the a liberal claiming to be a conservative so they can appear to have more 'cred' with their arguments.

Answer the question. It's the basis for this entire case.

Why isn't Richard Armitage in jail?

Posted by: jimg on July 3, 2007 08:48 AM
102. Isn't interesting when flaming liberals and lemmings lecture us all on how "true conservatives" should behave?

Do they not see what utter sanctimonious hypocrites they are?

What is most hilarious is that deep in their hearts they have on thier serious face and truly expect us to bow to their "knowledge".

What a hoot they are!

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on July 3, 2007 08:50 AM
103. Instead of reacting to the question at hand -- the CURRENT event: would one reasonable republican say Bush was wrong to commute the sentence of a convicted felon who committed a high crime and misdeameanor, people come up with all sorts of other examples.

No. He wasn't wrong. The scandal was a pathetic partisan hack job, and Libby was a fall guy who didn't deserve jail time.

Yes, ALL crooks should be or have been in jail - including Clinton, Reagan (Iran Contra), Bush 41 (Iran Contra), Nixon....

Reagan and Bush 41 were convicted of perjury? Really? Nixon was pardoned if you didn't remember. And I'm calling B.S. on your assertion that Clinton should have served time. If we went back in time, you could not find ONE liberal who wanted that. Not one.

Posted by: Palouse on July 3, 2007 08:51 AM
104. jimg: "There is nothing more entertaining the a liberal claiming to be a conservative"

I guess you need to go take a course in Political Science 101 if you think this administration is "conservative". lol.

Fiscal discipline
Small Government
States Rights
Foriegn Diplomacy
Exit Strategy

Remember these?

Posted by: Splinter on July 3, 2007 08:52 AM
105. Because he has not been convicted of a felony?

And why not? Why hasn't he been convicted of a felony?

You can play coy all you want, but you know the answer. You all know the answer, but you won't say it.

I'll say it for you.

Because there was no underlying crime committed

Got that? No crime in 'outing' double-naught spy Jethro Plame. No high crimes and misdemeanors. No threat to national security. Not a damn thing.

It undermines your entire outrage over this non-scandal and we just can't have that, can we.

So, spare me your indignation. You wanted a fall guy for the Administration and Bush took it away. Sucks, huh.

Outta here.

Posted by: jimg on July 3, 2007 08:54 AM
106. Don't hold your breath jimg. Getting a liberal to answer a direct question is not any easier than herding cats. But isn't it fun to watch their heads explode over this?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on July 3, 2007 08:57 AM
107. Ragnar: "Isn't interesting when flaming liberals and lemmings lecture us all on how "true conservatives" should behave?"

So instead of just name calling and avoiding the subject, why don't you explain to everyone how the Bush Administration is "conservative"?

Do you even know what the word means? (hint: It has nothing to do with homosexual bogeymen or putting the 10 commandments up in the city park)

Posted by: Splinter on July 3, 2007 08:58 AM
108. I guess you need to go take a course in Political Science 101 if you think this administration is "conservative". lol.

Oh, good gawd. Just where did I say this administration is conservative? Please stay on subject.

So, gee. I'm sorry. You're not a liberal. You're worse. Let me guess - Ron Paul supporter?

I've got better things to do than argue with every wrong-headed crackpot with an ignorant opinion
Calvin and Hobbes.

You have a wonderful day.

Posted by: jimg on July 3, 2007 09:00 AM
109. Pretty dead-on editorial this morning. Should drive the Bush-haters crazy. But then again, the fact that Bush is still president drives the left nuts.
WSJ- Scooter Libby deserves better from President Bush

Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Posted by: MJC on July 3, 2007 09:07 AM
110. Pretty good analysis over at Wizbang...

http://wizbangblog.com/2007/07/03/law-justice-and-libby.php#comments

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on July 3, 2007 09:14 AM
111. Hey Franklin and his likes,
If Scooter would have taken a lesson from the Domme of the Dems (hillary) he could have gotten a pass on the whole thing by just saying "I don't recall" some hundred plus times.
But since Scooter was never a lawyer for the Black Panthers, secret health care committee, hiding FBI files in the office types, he's ripe for a tar and feathering right?

Posted by: PC on July 3, 2007 09:41 AM
112. #111 PC


Bingo buddy.

Something the libs forget about B. Clinton.
Not only did he lie to a judge, he got his friends to also lie. That's what cased him so much trouble.

Libby & a LIB news reporter can't remember what they said years ago. PLEASE!

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on July 3, 2007 10:24 AM
113. I love the smell of exploding liberal heads in the morning.

Posted by: Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore on July 3, 2007 10:45 AM
114. Mr Franklin -

"Top Republicans on Perjury, the crime of which Libby was convicted:

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) - "I am completely and utterly perplexed by those who argue that perjury and obstruction of justice are not high crimes and misdemeanors...Perjury and obstruction hammer away at the twin pillars of our legal system: truth and justice." [Congressional Record, 2/12/99]"

Now...back to the point at hand.

Won't one single reasonable republican come out and call Bush's action sad, pathetic and unjust? Anyone looking at the facts, please?"


That is not Republican(S), that is ONE Republican and the quote is from 1999! You are again caught in a LIE! You said you could produce quote by Republican(S) about the Libby pardon.

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 11:14 AM
115. SPLINTER: "I'm not a liberal, I'm a conservative, which is why I am all the more digusted by the Republican party right now."

Yeah and I am Santa Claus. This is the internet. You are a DNC mole and not even a good one. It is an old liberal trick to call into CSPAN and other venues and express "outrage" "as a Republican". You are too transparent.

SPLINTER: "The judges were all Republican appointees and the evidence that he knowingly lied to the Grand Jury and the Federal Prosector was "overwhelming"".

I do not believe they were all Republican appointees. And the evidence was "overwhelming" only in your own mind. Apparently one of the jurors even felt that he deserved a pardon. And what is a "prosector"? Is that the opposite of anti-sector?


SPLINTER: "What's your point? The man is crook and should go to jail. Pointing to another political crook to justify the criminal activities your own convicted hero (aparently). Again, very pathetic."


The point is that as a liberal (drop the sock puppetry, it is an internet trick as old as dirt) you should be outraged at all actual criminal activity, not merely allegations of such on the other side. Otherwise you are simply a partisan hack.

Splinter: "I'm not outraged in the least, I'm just surprised at this holier-than-thou crowd that is always harping about lack of accountability, coming to the swift defense of a convicted criminal. Like I'm said before, the implosion of the party of non-conservatives is fun to watch."

You sure are posting an awful lot for someone who isn't feigning outrage.

SPLINTER" "Sounds like somebody is having a temper tantrum. Poor thing, I know it's been a rough year for you. Just wait."

Is splinter the code word 'Cuba' Peltz gave you because you figure your sock puppetry will "Splinter" the GOP?? Bwahahahahahaha

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 11:35 AM
116. "I don't believe my role is to replace the verdict of a jury with my own."

George W. Bush, "A Charge To Keep", fiction -1999.

Posted by: Robert on July 3, 2007 11:47 AM
117. Jimg @ 105 says:
Because there was no underlying crime committed

Right...so then Clinton is innocent too because last I checked getting a BJ under your desk is not a crime either (unless you live in Texas). He committed perjury but it's ok because no actual crime was committed. Impeachment should not have been an option.

Your logic is so screwy it borders on ridiculous.

Fact:
When you lie in court, under oath, you commit perjury, which is punishable by jail.

This country just hit a new moral low. Thanks W.

Posted by: Cato on July 3, 2007 11:52 AM
118. The immigration fiasco, which to me felt like President Bush giving the finger to his most loyal supporters in the base, left me nauseated.

In comparison to my feelings about that, the Libby matter pales.

I volunteered for Bush, walked precincts, made calls, gave money, worked events.

It is all very well to say that Gore or Kerry would have been worse.

All I can say is, I hope we make a better choice this time out.

Free Scooter!

Posted by: Free Scooter! on July 3, 2007 11:54 AM
119. Robert,

Bush lived up to those words. Bush didn't change the verdict. He upheld the verdict and commuted the sentence imposed by a federal judge who is somewhat subordinate to the president of the United States.

PBJ,
"Won't one single reasonable republican come out and call Bush's action sad, pathetic and unjust?"

I will. Sad and pathetic and unjust. Joe Wilson ignited a media firestorm by lying about what he'd found in Niger. He then made things worse when he lied about who had asked the CIA to send him. In a moment of stupidity, John Ashcroft caved to Charles Schumer who appointed a special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, who learned before his investigation had really started, who had leaked Valarie Plame's name and that it wasn't a crime. But instead of folding up shop years early and before wasting millions, he set a series of perjury traps on people like Libby who didn't know where the leak had come from, and apparently got him trying to give cover to superiors who also weren't involved.

Bush should have pardoned Libby, and not allowed this fiasco to destroy his career. He also should have highlighted in his commutation speech the involvement by Joe Wilson that set this nation down this road where a liberal witch-hunt further divided Americans with far differing understanding of what was actually happening.

Now it's the US Attorney's non-scandal. And once again Democrats are focusing every ounce of their power on destroying another Attorney General and doing all they can to further damage a president they've been attacking since he took office.

Cato,

Alleged rape is a crime. Sexual Harrassment in office is a crime. Lying to investigators to cover your own butt is perjury. Using the vast resources of the White House to subvert an investigation is a crime. Equating Clinton's wrongdoing to Libby's is laughable. Libby had not committed ANY crime until investigators trapped him.

Posted by: MJC on July 3, 2007 12:08 PM
120. Don't forget that Clinton was a rapist abetted by his wife.

Posted by: swatter on July 3, 2007 12:15 PM
121. At least we can be satisfied verifying that law is actually the game rather than the guidelines for how the game is to be conducted. So where are the guidelines for playing a round of law? House rules anyone?

Posted by: Acid Brain on July 3, 2007 12:31 PM
122. Impeachment should not have been an option.

I agree. He should not have been impeached. He should have had roughly the same punishment that Libby is now getting - a large fine, probation and disbarred.

Posted by: Palouse on July 3, 2007 12:46 PM
123. Your logic is so screwy it borders on ridiculous.

Geez, boy. Learn how to read before you attack somebody else's logic.

I wasn't talking about Scooter Libby. I was talking about Richard Armitage - you know, the guy who 'leaked' Plame's name and started this whole non-scandal?

Here's the condensed version:

Armitage 'leaked'. Fitz knew it. No crime committed. Investigation concluded. Scooter never even testifies. Democrats/Liberals find new 'scandal' to generate outrage. End of story.

Do try to keep up.

Posted by: jimg on July 3, 2007 12:50 PM
124. Wow, the right-wing fantasies are so prevalent here, it's impossible to address them all. So, I'll just address the Dick Armitage, "no underlying crime" meme that's running rampant.

While I'm not a prosecutor, the most likely reason why Dick Armitage hasn't been prosecuted is the lack of any reason to believe that Armitage knew of Valerie Plame's status as an undercover agent. That specific knowledge is an important element of the underlying crime in question.

However, Robert Novak said he had two sources for Plame's status, only one of which was Dick Armitage. The questions on the table are, who was that other source, and is there any reason to believe that person had knowledge of Plame's status as an undercover agent?

Libby's perjury and obstruction of justice then becomes a problem, because Libby's actions made it impossible to answer those two questions, particularly the second one. The key point is that we don't know if an underlying crime was committed, and we don't know precisely because Scooter Libby lied.

Remember that Plame's status as an undercover agent, and the applicability of the relevant law about disclosing that status to the press, were both facts established during Libby's trial. To claim that there was, prima facie, no underlying crime is to deny properly-adjudicated conclusions of fact. The ostrich posture is not a sound position from which one ought to try to construct a coherent argument.

Of course, that won't stop a number of you from attempting to construct a coherent argument while assuming the ostrich posture.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 12:54 PM
125. pbj -

If I'm a liberal, can you please point to where exactly I am advocating a liberal policy? Conservatives of the past used to stand for enforcing the rule of law for *everyone*, not just the little people.

And yes, I am as digusted by Democrats lying under oath, taking bribes and such as any Republican. What I find even more disgusting is when you justify one persons crimes by pointing to another person's crimes with the claim "he did it too". What a cop out.

In the end, this hurts the GOP and it's support with moderate voters. And frankly I'm glad it does. The GOP has absolutely nothing to do with conservative principals any longer, and until they find thier way back to what made them a great political party, they don't deserve to be in power.

As Bush goes riding off into the sunset one last time on "Accountability One" (remember that was what he named Airforce 1 during his campaign), you can rest assured that his lack of accountability will be one of the many reasons the GOP is out of power for the next long while.

Posted by: Splinter on July 3, 2007 01:02 PM
126. Don Joe, can you answer me this? When Fitzgerald said on October 28, 2005 that "In fact, Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson," was that a lie? Didn't Fitzgerald know in 2003 that in fact Armitage "was the first official known to have told a reporter"? Is it OK for Fitzgerald to lie? You don't have to be under oath to commit obstruction of justice, and what Fitzgerald did seems to fit the definition.

Posted by: Michael on July 3, 2007 01:13 PM
127. It's funny to read the pathetic defenses so many are posting.

Libby deserved to go to jail for longer than he was sentenced.

Posted by: Deep Blue on July 3, 2007 01:22 PM
128. Michael,

Did Fitzgerald lie? You tell me. I have no reason to believe it was a lie, because Armitage discussed Plame with Bob Woodward in late June 2003 and Robert Novak in July of 2003. Got any specific dates for Armitage's conversations that would render Fitzgerald's statement a lie?

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 01:23 PM
129. People like to reference Sandy Berger when discussing Scooter Libby, but I find Henry Cisneros to be a better example, though there are still some differences:

Libby:
- not the focus on independent council investigation (Armitage was the focus)
- indicted on 5 counts of obstruction of justice, giving false statements, and perjury
- fined $250,000.00 with 2 years probation and 30 months of jail time

Cisneros:
- focus of independent council investigation
- indicted on 18 counts of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and giving false statements
- fined $10,000.00 with no probation or jail time

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 01:26 PM
130. While I'm not a prosecutor, the most likely reason why Dick Armitage hasn't been prosecuted is the lack of any reason to believe that Armitage knew of Valerie Plame's status as an undercover agent. That specific knowledge is an important element of the underlying crime in question.

Really? So, if I understand your weasel words correctly, Armitage wasn't charged with outing a CIA agent because he didn't know she was covert? And yet we're supposed to believe everybody else did? Even when she wasn't and the person who wrote the friggin' statute that addresses covert agents and operations testified that she wasn't? That's quite the leap, I'd say.

And news flash - the second source - if we can call it a source - was good ol' Joe Wilson himself. Unless, of course, it's OK to include double-naught spy, Jethro Plame in your Who's Who in America entry.

Gee. Maybe even Joe didn't know she was covert ... so he gets off, too.

Posted by: jimg on July 3, 2007 01:33 PM
131. @124,

Don says:

"Remember that Plame's status as an undercover agent, and the applicability of the relevant law about disclosing that status to the press, were both facts established during Libby's trial."

That is an out an out lie. In fact, the defense WANTED to introduce the FACT that she was NOT an undercover agent but was denied.

Keep throwing out throw liberal talking points, we shoot em down like clay pigeons. PULL!

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 01:34 PM
132. Splinter,

"If I'm a liberal, can you please point to where exactly I am advocating a liberal policy?"


You are a liberal because you have trouble with the truth.

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 01:36 PM
133. Based on the exploding head comments by liberals on this thread, at HA, at the P-I, and elsewhere on the blogosphere I think we need to add another dish to our 4th of July menus. Fried Liberal.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on July 3, 2007 01:38 PM
134. I am flabbergasted at the right-wing contortions here. You would be screaming bloody murder if it was a Democrat who did this.

In an ideal world: (1) Armitage would have been prosecuted for breaking the law (lack of knowledge of the law is not a legal defense), (2) Libby would not have obstructed justice and let the courts know the real truth, which is he was directed by Cheney to disgrace Wilson by outing Wilson's wife, and that Rove was a willing participant, (3) Cheney would be impeached for high-crimes (the order to out Plame), (4) Rove and Libby would be convicted for also contributing with Armitage on outing of Plame, and (5) Clinton (after his presidency ended) would have been charged with his perjury charge and made to pay time and money. I believe the way the law read, Clinton could not have been charged while president and the action did not amount to a high crime. It was only a stretch that the House even went that far.

The whole mess is the Politics as usual in Washington that both sides are guilty of. A pox on both parties for continue this charade of government. Vote all of them out and replace them with real people that want to get some actual work doen for the country and not pad their pockets from lobbyist money. Maybe Bloomfield is right and should run for President as an independent.

Posted by: tc on July 3, 2007 01:42 PM
135. PBJ is correct. Fitz took great lengths to keep the trial focused on Libby's testimony and not on the underlying case.

It was only after the trial that he submitted an unclassified CIA document stating Plame's status. Why no one on the left bothers to ask who wrote that, why it suddenly showed up years after the fact and why it wasn't used leading up to the events or bolstering his original case is a mystery to me.

Hey. Lookie here. I've got this note that says she was covert. See? Ignore all the evidence and testimony gathered over the years on Valeria Plame. I've been keeping this unclassified document for the right moment, and it is now.

It should be an insult to your intelligence.

Posted by: jimg on July 3, 2007 01:43 PM
136. I already have liberals on the menu- watermelon- red on the inside and green outside.

Posted by: swatter on July 3, 2007 01:45 PM
137. jimg,

I recall stating, explicitly, that we can't know whether or not the second person knew of Plame's status, and that we can't know precisely because Libby lied. There's no need to presume that everyone else knew of her status--indeed such a presumption would be inane in the extreme.

pbj,

Again, you have the facts wrong. The defense attempted to introduce evidence that Plame was not a covert agent, and the Republican-appointed judge ruled against them. All of that falls under the rubric of "properly adjudicated." You haven't made any attempt to establish that this conclusion was not properly adjudicated, other than to simply assert the contrary without a single shred of evidence or argument to support your conclusion.

In rhetorical terms, you've stooped to begging the question, therefore your argument fails.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 01:45 PM
138. pbj -

In other words, "no", you do not have any evidence that I support liberal policies other than I don't blindly support failed leadership and want convicted criminals held accountable for the crimes they commit.

Yet another faux patriot, pretending to be a loyal American, but in reality a simple drone, supporting a failed Administration responsible for record deficits, grand new entitlement programs, even bigger corporate subsidies, diplomatic ineptitude and a war that might have been won if not for the gross incompetance of appointees put in place for no other reason than blind, unquestioning loyalty... and I haven't even mentioned what this Administration has done to undermine our basic Constitutional principals.

As long as they belong to "Team (R)" they will have your unquestioning support, even if you have nothing to back you up but name-calling and parrotted talking points.

You can call that "conservative" if you like, but calling a cow a duck does not make it so. Personally, I call it cowardice. Good luck with that in 2008.

Posted by: Splinter on July 3, 2007 01:55 PM
139. Nowhere...does any republican stand up and say "geez, bush shouldn't have done it".

When asked to do so, they try to deflect the conversation elsewhere.

Really, it's pretty simple. The news is that Bush commuted Libby's sentence. The news isn't about Clinton. It isn't about Armitrage.

It's about Bush commuting convicted felon Libby's sentence.

That's all that's relevant to the question about whether any republican on this blog feels that Bush was wrong.

Stay on topic and maybe you can answer the question.

Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 3, 2007 01:57 PM
140. jimg has it right. Fitzgerald vigorously fought any attempts to mention Plame's covert status, saying that it was irrelevant to the case. Then, once it was no longer subject to cross-examination, suddenly it became extremely relevant to the prosecution, and was submitted without rebuttal.

Posted by: Michael on July 3, 2007 02:01 PM
141. You are a liberal because you have trouble with the truth.

Wow, that was so deep PBJ. You can't handle the truth that Libby was CONVICTED of perjury. He should go to jail because he's a big fat liar. Even the NY Times lady had the decency to go to jail to protect her source (Libby). I didn't see Bush run our to save her ass.

The justice system in this country is now a complete farce. Paris gets out, Libby gets out, who's next Abramoff, the Enron folks?

Posted by: Cato on July 3, 2007 02:03 PM
142. Wow TC (#134) jump to conclusions much?

Man, I know that the conservatives started the whole "The president is evil and has all kinds of plots" thing with Clinton, but the dems have it down to a science.

At least the GOP version only blamed Clinton and co for shady land deals and cattle futures manipulation. So far the dem team has tried to paint Bush and team as in cahoots with terrorists on 9/11, at was with the CIA over a stilly NY Times editorial that no one read, and for there are those that personally blame Bush for Katrina like the guy personally called in the hurricane.

In the end, the senators voting for impeachment realized that Clinton got caught with his pants down (figuratively and literally) due to an overzealous prosecuter. The penalty was much worse than the crime, so although he'd been caught redhanded in a lie under oath in an attempt to avoid the wrath of Hillary, he skated.

In this case, the prosecutor knew that the "crime" had been solved and that Armitage was the guilty party, (to the extent there was a guilty party because Plame WAS NOT COVERT) but kept pushing until he caught a highly overworked federal bureaucrat trying to cover his tail in a situation where the newspapers were looking for someone to crucify.

The man was sentenced well in excess of all recommendations - another clear case of where the penalty didn't fit the crime - so now he's off the hook too.

Maybe it's time everyone is politics should worry about getting something positive for our nation done and stop all this gotcha crap.
It would save us taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and maybe we might wind up with some intelligent law coming out of DC for a change.

Posted by: issyblooper on July 3, 2007 02:05 PM
143. No, he wasn't wrong to commute the sentence Bill Franklin. We've explained why, and you apparently don't get that this so-called "scandal" was a political hack job, and Libby didn't deserve prison time for his role in it. That's the bottom line. He did lie and deserved some punishment for it, and he's getting a punishment similar to what others have received for more serious crimes.

The more the commutting of his sentence pisses of liberals, and fake-conservatives posting here, the happier it makes me. This is not going to hurt the GOP at all. Quite the opposite - most conservatives are cheering this decision, despite the machinations of Democrats and the MSM.

Posted by: Palouse on July 3, 2007 02:09 PM
144. Well, Michael, if jimg has it right, then Scooter Libby should have easily prevailed on appeal.

The line of reasoning pressed by jimg and pbj is the rhetorical equivalent of basing an argument on the assertions that the sky is green and the grass is blue.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 02:14 PM
145. Palouse: "This is not going to hurt the GOP at all. Quite the opposite - most conservatives are cheering this decision, despite the machinations of Democrats and the MSM."

You're right, it looks like 58% of *Republicans* believe it was the right decision. 40% believe Libby should have served his time for breaking the law. 60% of Americans feel the same way.

If you think this is good for the GOP, I would really like to hear your logic behind it.

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=4b5255b9-3878-4082-b7d0-160d8ddcd52e

Posted by: Splinter on July 3, 2007 02:15 PM
146. Well, Michael, if jimg has it right, then Scooter Libby should have easily prevailed on appeal.

The line of reasoning pressed by jimg and pbj is the rhetorical equivalent of basing an argument on the assertions that the sky is green and the grass is blue.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 02:15 PM
147. Hate to break your heart AGAIN Cato.
But Fitz didn't go after libby on Plame.

By the way Cato. Just for the heck of it. Google the news during the 1990's on Enron & Clinton.

But you may wish to get a long tall drink first.

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on July 3, 2007 02:16 PM
148. First, if the Libby appeal moves forward, I think he has a good chance to win. If he does, it will make this look even more like the political witch hunt that it is. So, that is one potential outcome of this, and if it happens, will be a positive for the GOP and those that doubted Bush's decision will look foolish.

Second, Bush wasn't all that popular with conservatives at the moment. He is seen as siding with liberals on too many issues and doesn't stand up to them when they relentlessly attack him. By doing this despite the firestorm that he knew it would create, he's showing some backbone, which has been sorely lacking. Standing up to the Democrats is what the GOP needs to do, no matter how much it pisses off Pelosi, Reid, et al.

Posted by: Palouse on July 3, 2007 02:29 PM
149. Don Joe, he will win easily on appeal. Which is why Fitzgerald and the judge wanted so badly to get him into jail quickly before he could appeal.

Posted by: Michael on July 3, 2007 02:45 PM
150. Here's what Bill Clinton thinks about the commutation. . . . or at least he did 6 years ago in a New York Times Op-Ed piece he wrote.

"First, I want to make some general comments about pardons and commutations of sentences. Article II of the Constitution gives the president broad and unreviewable power to grant "Reprieves and Pardons" for all offenses against the United States. The Supreme Court has ruled that the pardon power is granted "[t]o the [president] . . ., and it is granted without limit" (United States v. Klein). Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes declared that "[a] pardon . . . is . . . the determination of the ultimate authority that the public welfare will be better served by [the pardon] . . ." (Biddle v. Perovich). A president may conclude a pardon or commutation is warranted for several reasons: the desire to restore full citizenship rights, including voting, to people who have served their sentences and lived within the law since; a belief that a sentence was excessive or unjust; personal circumstances that warrant compassion; or other unique circumstances."

Posted by: RBW on July 3, 2007 02:50 PM
151. Bill Franklin at 139 posted: (116) quoted George W. Bush: Really, it's pretty simple. The news is that Bush commuted Libby's sentence. The news isn't about Clinton. It isn't about Armitrage.

It's about Bush commuting convicted felon Libby's sentence.

That's all that's relevant to the question about whether any republican on this blog feels that Bush was wrong.

Personally, I don't think it's wrong at all. If you look at the precedent set over the last 10 years for perjury of White House officials in Federal cases, the fine and probation are entirely appropriate. The prison sentence was clearly beyond normal standards, was argued AGAINST by many esteemed legal scholars on the right (Robert Bork) and the left (Alan Dershowitz), and beyond what the jury expected (at least the jurors who have spoken out against it).

President Bush was completely justified in commuting PART of the sentence of Scooter Libby. Scooter's still a convicted felon, has lost a massive portion of his assets, and lost his ability to practice his profession (disbarred).

I'd argue that those railing against the commutation are doing so for purely PARTISAN reasons. One needs to look no further than Henry Cisneros (HUD Secretary - convicted of perjury and sentenced to a $10,000 fine and zero probation or prison), Sandy Berger (National Security Advisor - convicted of mishandling classified and top-secret documents, sentenced to $50,000 fine and probation), or Webb Hubbell (Assistant Attorney General - convicted of tax evation and mail fraud, sentenced to 21 months in prison).

Given that Libby's offenses were less than that of Cisneros (5 counts of perjury/obstruction versus 18 for Cisneros), considerably less damaging that mishandling top-secret documents, and did NOT swindle people OR the government out of cash, I'd say his sentence should have been a stiff fine and perhaps some probation. Certainly sentencing him to higher fine AND longer prison terms than the other 3 listed above COMBINED was way beyond the pale.

If anything, I think this points to a GROSS politicizing of the judiciary, the only branch of government that essentially runs unfettered by the people, the Congress or the Executive. For shame what men in black robes wreak!

Posted by: Edmonds Dan on July 3, 2007 02:51 PM
152. Don Joe,

You are incorrect. Teh burden of proof is on the prosecution to show that Plame was indeed covert. They never did this. They stated that the fact of whether or nto she was covert was not relevent. Then what the hell was the whole investigation about??? They in fact denied the defense the opportunity to present the fact that she was not covert in any way, which is the fact of the matter.

That was because this trial was not about the outing of a supposed covert CIA agent. It was about, dirty, low level political muck raking by liberals stricken with BDS that wanted revenge for losing both elections to George W Bush.

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 02:52 PM
153. First no one else was prosecuted partly becasue Libby obstructed justice. No diffrent then if someone sees a crime being committed then lies to the police. They may know full well the person is lying and get them on obstruction, but not have the necessary proof to sustain a conviction on the main crime.

Second, why is it hypocritical to defend Clinton while opposing bush commuting Libby's sentence but not the other way around. If they are the same then the only non-hypocritical position would be to either support both or oppose both.

Posted by: Giffy on July 3, 2007 03:03 PM
154. Splinter (sock puppet )

You are a liberal. Let's see:

Post #81: "All the "Party of Accountability" hypocrits here can celebrate a convicted felon being released from doing any prison time, but at the end of the day, you've just put another nail your 2008 coffin."


Post #84: "It's hilarious really to watch the GOP continue to implode more and more every day."


Post #138: "As long as they belong to "Team (R)" they will have your unquestioning support, even if you have nothing to back you up but name-calling and parrotted talking points."

As for faux patriot, coming from a candy ass liberal such as yourself who probably has never served (I HAVE), the charge is about as truthful as your hero Bill Clinton pounding his fist on the deak saying "Ah did nut have sex wit dat woman."

I do not just go along with the GOP. Ask any of the GOP senators how many Republicans "just went along" with their attempt to pass the amnesty bill. Unlike Democrats like yourself who will defend your crooks until the end, we do not give indicted congressman seats on the Homeland Security committee. That is the difference between us and liberals such as yourself.

Posted by: pbj on July 3, 2007 03:04 PM
155. pbj -

You obviously have a very hard time telling the difference between party loyalty and political principals. I'm sorry you are so challenged that way.

I stand by every statement you copied above, but the statements I make about the Republican party have absolutely nothing to do with basic conservative principals. I truly do hope the GOP go down in a big way in 2008, but not because I am not a conservative, but because the Republican party has abandoned what were at one time very fundamental principals of governing America in a conservative way. Is it that hard to understand?

As for the "sock puppet" and "candy ass" commments, you just continue to make my point. You cannot even grasp the simple concept of political party loyalty versus political values and principals, so you resort to name calling and make gross (untrue) generalizations about anyone that disagrees with you (like I am a fan of the Clintons for instance... I'm not).

You would be funny if you were not so sad.

Posted by: Splinter on July 3, 2007 03:26 PM
156. Michael,

If Libby would, indeed, "easily" win on appeal, then his petition for bail during appeal wouldn't have been denied. The likelihood of success on appeal is the most significant consideration regarding a petition for bond during appeal.

PBJ, what more can I say? Your repeated, and unsourced, claims that the sky is green and the grass is blue aren't going to move this discussion anywhere.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 03:32 PM
157. Let's see Don Joe, the court was in liberal D.C., the judge was a liberal activist judge, the prosecutor was/is a liberal activist "make a name for himself" attorney and a jury pool that was anything but "peer".

Tell me again how this was a fair trial when the judge threw out half of what Libby could present to his "peers". And there was no underlying crime to begin with.

This doesn't pass the "sanity" test.

Posted by: swatter on July 3, 2007 03:38 PM
158. Swatter, that "liberal activist judge" was appointed by George W. Bush:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reggie_Walton

Talk about not passing the "sanity" test....

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 04:06 PM
159. Swatter, that "liberal activist judge" was appointed by George W. Bush:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reggie_Walton

Talk about not passing the "sanity" test....

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 04:08 PM
160. Don Joe, any judge will tell you that their decision is not likely to be overturned. Yet decisions are overturned all the time. Those must be from "other" judges.

Posted by: Michael on July 3, 2007 04:17 PM
161. Michael,

The denial in question came from a Federal appeals court:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,287715,00.html

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 04:34 PM
162. It must be in the family. Souter was appointed by Bush, too. It doesn't change the fact the judge was a liberal activist judge who made bad decisions during the trial.

In my opinion, if this were a real judge upholding the rule of law, he should have asked what the rule of law was that was broken.

Posted by: swatter on July 3, 2007 04:43 PM
163. Swatter,

Well, I think your opinion stands as ample evidence that you do not practice law as a professional, but it doesn't stand for much else.

The elements of the crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice do not require proof of the existence of an underlying crime. Indeed, one of the reasons perjury and obstruction of justice are crimes is due to the way perjury and obstruction of justice render it impossible to determine whether or not a crime was actually committed.

It would, however, be entirely appropriate to say that a conviction of perjury and obstruction of justices is more than probable cause to believe that a crime was, indeed, committed. After all, why would Libby lie about material facts pertaining to the investigation?

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 04:55 PM
164. So, it's activist judges (no matter they were appointed by bush) overturned by an activist president.

This one is as clear as any.

Political hack job by a Bush apointee? The ridiculousness of this argument shows the Bushies have virtually no logic to any argument. They, for some reason, refuse to accept the facts on their face:

Bush commuted a convicted felon's sentence because he said the sentence was too harsh. The sentence imposed by a Bush appointed judge.

I guess, if Bush (and all you Bushies) were consistent, you would suggest Bush immediately commute all perjury sentences throughout the country (imposed by Bush and other appointees).

In other words, for consistency, Bush effectively decriminalized perjury.

UNLESS..this is political favor gaining? Abusing the office of the presidency for personal favors? Otherwise, let's let loose the jails. All who lied under oath shall be free!

Not the message one ususally hears from the "lock 'em up, three strikes" bunch!

Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 3, 2007 04:56 PM
165. Bill,

In right-wing vernacular, the phrase "liberal activist judge" has nothing to do with the rule of law or even with any coherent definition of the word "activist". It's all about whether or not the judge in question produces a result that conforms with the political and ideological desires of those who use the term.

Contrast right-wing usage of the word "activist" in this context with the way political scientists use the word. In political science, an "activist" judge or court is one that seems quite willing to strike down, as unconstitutional, laws or actions enacted by democratically-elected institutions. Judicial restraint, by contrast, is a stance where one is extremely reluctant to declare a law or action unconstitutional.

By political science usage, the recent Supreme Court decision on school desegregation is just as "activist" as the original decision in Brown v Board of Education of Topeka Kansas. By right-wing usage, Brown v Board of Education was "activist" while the recent decision was not.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 05:08 PM
166. I recall stating, explicitly, that we can't know whether or not the second person knew of Plame's status, and that we can't know precisely because Libby lied. There's no need to presume that everyone else knew of her status--indeed such a presumption would be inane in the extreme.
Don Joe

And yet you accuse me of faulty reasoning and questionable logic. We DO know who it was. The information that Joe Wilson was the 'second leaker' came out long before Richard Armitage was even mentioned. Good grief. He damn near shouted it from the rooftops ... until it became politically expedient to act like it's all a big secret.

And you hang your argument on that we don't know because Libby lied? Well, that's only because you are positively, absolutely sure that Rove and/or Cheney and/or Bush and/or everybody and their freaking brother KNEW Val Plame was covert and everybody and their freaking brother who's ever been in the White House was hellbent on destroying her career. Which is absurd. But that's your focal point and has been from the start.

I will never be able to convince you of what I see as the facts of the case, and you will never be able to convince me that the highest officials in this land decided they were going to crucify and destroy the career of a CIA desk jockey that nobody had ever heard of until her hubby came back and published a bunch of lies - lies that were refuted not only by our intelligence community and other countries' intelligence communities, but by the 9/11 commission as well.

My last point is this: Scooter Libby committed perjury. He is being fined $250 large and will keep a felony conviction on his record. Yet if there was any effing merit to the case from the start, it would've been completed when Armitage admitted he 'leaked', no crime was committed and - here's the important part - Scooter Libby would've never testified about a crime that never happened.

Years from now when people look back on idiotic non-events that ballooned into full-blown riotous non-scandals, this one will stand head and shoulders above all others.

And you'll still be harping on it.

Posted by: jimg on July 3, 2007 05:24 PM
167. Don Joe:

Good explanation.

Wonder if the Bushies buy it?

If not, they would, by logical extension, have to consider Bush and "activist liberal judge" -- imparting his own personal belief over the law itself.

Posted by: Bill Franklin on July 3, 2007 06:31 PM
168. Witnesses the jury never saw: Armitage, Colin Powell, who I feel was the person who should have ended this farce. Andrea Mitchell, who said everyone in Washington knew who Plame was.

The lead FBI agent did not testify, We're supposed to believe his notes were lost. The FBI agent Bond,testified that the notes she was reading were not her notes.

More Details Here

No liberal/leftist whatever would think that they got a fair trial if this had happened at their trial.

Think juries are always right? Look at the hundreds of prisoners released across our nation over the past few years, because DNA tests
proved they did not commit the crimes they were charged with.

Posted by: pagar on July 3, 2007 06:51 PM
169. Again, nobody from the left has been able to tell me why Richard Armitage isn't in jail.

Bill Franklin? Tell me.
Splinter? Tell me.
Seattle Democrat? Tell me.

Why. Isn't. Richard. Armitage. In. Jail?

And while you're at it, please remind me of how many days Mr. Clinton spent in jail for his perjury

We Liberals should also be accountable. But just for once, can we hear the Republicans calling for acountability from their own party?

Posted by: Mike Barer on July 3, 2007 07:04 PM
170. Armitage isn't in jail because there is no indication that he knew Plame was undercover (if she even was). You can't be guilty of leaking something you didn't know. David Corn was the first to state publicly that Plame was undercover.

Posted by: Michael on July 3, 2007 07:59 PM
171. jimg, you mean to tell me that you were serious when you suggested that Joe Wilson was Robert Novak's other source? So, Joe Wilson was an "administration official" now? Wow. That's the farthest I think I've ever seen anyone attempt to stretch credibility.

But, even if we assume this is correct, you now have another logical problem: why commute Libby's sentence? Bush's acceptance of the jury's verdict shoots your entire "no underlying crime" argument completely out of the water.

And this can't be "undone" through a subsequent pardon, because Bush's statement directly affirms the jury's verdict in Libby's case. You'd have to, somehow, get Bush to say that he was wrong to have accepted the jury's verdict.

There really is only one way to see the commutation of Libby's sentence as a logical and coherent action, and I really don't think I need to spell it out for you.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 08:30 PM
172. Don Joe: The underlying crime referred to is the outing of or non-outing of a covert or not covert CIA agent. You know, the blonde who walked through the front doors of headquarters every day in public? Since they had no crime for which they were trying to prosecute somebody, anybody, and had spent so much money on the nonsense, they had to come up with something, so let's put it on Scooter for having a really crappy memory. In fact, by golly, his memory was almost worse than Tim Russert's!!!
I'd say Scooter got Nifonged, and so did Tom Delay!

Posted by: katomar on July 3, 2007 08:45 PM
173. How long was Martha Stewart in jail? She was in there for the same reason Scooter was supposed to be. The big difference was that everyone knew Stewart was guilty of the underlying crime but the prosecutor didn't have enough to go after her. Scooter had nothing to do with the underlying crime. So for starters, he shouldn't have been given anymore time than Stewart and probably even less. He should have received a suspended sentence.

It's a good thing that the President is entrusted with the obligation to right judicial wrongs such as unfair sentences.

Posted by: Doug on July 3, 2007 09:34 PM
174. Katomar,

If there was, indeed, no underlying crime, and that is, somehow, germane to this issue, then why did President Bush accept the jury's guilty verdict?

Posted by: Don Joe on July 3, 2007 10:11 PM
175. Don Joe: I do believe you are too thick to understand the difference between the charges they tried to pin on anyone (outing a covert agent), and the charges finally settled upon, as a last resort (perjury). Big difference. So Bush said he accepted the jury's verdict of perjury, so what? Most folks sort of have to, until their case goes to appeal. Your talking points are old. Go to bed. Happy Independence Day to all!

Posted by: katomar on July 3, 2007 11:31 PM
176. This is NOT liberal. not conservative, it IS patriotic.

Libby's crime goes beyond perjury. He lied to protect the VP and the President. That is a violation that goes beyond lieing about stealing something, about sexual escapades, or even about a stock sale.

Any patriot should be outraged.

Posted by: thomas h jefferson on July 4, 2007 02:50 AM
177. Any patriot should be outraged that this farce was investigated and even more outraged that it went to trial. This trial means that no individual is safe from phony charges destroying their lives.

Posted by: pagar on July 4, 2007 04:16 AM
178. As usual Bush is own worst enemy. He commutes a sentence that he should have fully pardoned.

Commuting the sentence because it was too harsh is ridiculous when his own justice dept is a big advocate for harsh sentences.

He tried to apply a legal reasoning behind reducing the sentence which is hypocritical and will be used by every defense lawyer in the country.

Posted by: jpo on July 4, 2007 08:03 AM
179. Our soliders who served in Iraq faced the death penalty and sit rot in prison in Camp Pendleton. -- No pardon.

Our border guards rot in prison having shot a Mexican drug dealer - whom a big George Bush supporter convicted - no pardon.

An American solider allows a dog to bark in the face of an Iraqi prisoner, and has to do jail time - no pardon.

Screw Scooter Libby - he is getting off only because he is a friend of the president. The Bushes only care about themselves and their close oil friend buddies. This is not a conservative or liberal issue - this is Bush using the White House to advance the causes of the republican elite. Just like Bill Clinton did with the pardon to advance the cause of democratic elites like Marc Rich. All of these small-minded politicians are so horrible for our country. The past 10 years have been the worst political time for our country in my lifetime.

Posted by: John McDonald on July 4, 2007 08:19 AM
180. As usual you stupid right-wingers miss the point entirely. Bush in one stroke of his commutation pen has trashed the entire GOP "tough on crime" argument.

Every defense attorney worth a damn will now tell judges and juries during their clients' sentencing phases that their clients "want what Libby got." "It's only fair." "We can't have one set of sentencing guidelines for the president's buddies and one for the common people."

Who in their right minds would expect judges and prosecutors to be happy about this? Nice going, Bush, you idiot. We will beat you and your stupid supporters to a bloody pulp with this.

Go ahead and cry "Waah, waah, it wasn't a crime in the first place!" "Waah, waah, Clinton did it!" Waah, waah, it was Armitage!" See who believes you.

Posted by: ivan on July 4, 2007 08:50 AM
181. Katomar,

Accusing me of being "too thick to understand the difference" doesn't answer my question, which is really all that needs to be said. Rather than answer my question, you question my intelligence.

Thank you for playing, but your ad-hominem argument loses the debate.

Anyone else want to take a shot at answering my question? If there was, indeed, no underlying crime, if this whole thing was, indeed, a farce, then why did President Bush explicitly accept and endorse the jury's verdict?

I think you only have two possible answers: either President Bush is right, in which case every finding of fact associated with that trial is a fact you must accept as true, or President Bush was lying for the sake of political expedience. Which will you choose?

Posted by: Don Joe on July 4, 2007 09:12 AM
182. i don't think it would have been so bad if the guy had at least shown the same compassion as other presidents in the last 100 years.

I believe GWB has only pardoned 3 people in his two terms. sheesh...

Posted by: jpo on July 4, 2007 09:20 AM
183. Don Joe: You are hilarious. You come over here and use Fox News URLs while over at the Voice of Equine Rear Ends Talking you denounce Fox News with all his Merry Moonbat!s? Amazing. Waaaa haaaa haaaa haaa haaaa

Take your libtard talking points back to those mind numbed robots. I was the first on Voice of Equine Rear Ends Talking to deliver the Richard Armitage outing argument LAST YEAR. You couldn't defuse it there so you try it here? Waaaa haaaa haaaa haaa haaaa

Next Don Joe, Fitz didn't go for the outing conviction yet your favorite blogs Media Morons and Daily Kurse still are preparing that kool-aid for your every ready consumption!

And Don Joe The Head Voice of Equine Rear Ends Wiping has banned me because I found too many holes in their insipid arguments.

Posted by: Puddybud on July 4, 2007 09:31 AM
184. What a wonderful 4th of July present from Dubya; liberal heads exploding, just like "the bombs bursting in air."

OK, DJ@181, I'll take a shot, with a few added comments. First of all, I don't accept your premise that there are only two possible reasons that Bush made the statement he did.

The point that most posters are missing, although a few have mentioned it, is that Libby has appealed his conviction. Despite what some have claimed, the appellate court only denied his request to stay his incarceration during his appeal, the court did not deny his appeal.

IMO, the commutation was the right thing to do at this time. Libby is appealing his conviction, and I think there's a good chance that the appellate court will overturn the trial court's verdict. The trial judge did not allow the defense to introduce potentially exculpatory evidence that showed Russert contradicting his own testimony, which would have been evidence that Russert's memory was also faulty, probably giving the jury room to find reasonable doubt that Libby did commit perjury, and instead was the victim of a bad memory. Keep in mind that Libby did testify rather than invoke the Clintonian, "I don't remember." If Libby had a reason to lie, cover up, and obstruct justice, why not just not testify? Either don't remember or invoke the 5th amendment.

Bush was walking a very thin line when he made his comments. He probably wants, and hopes for Libby to prevail upon appeal. If he does his name is cleared in a court of law. Had Bush made some comment such as, "I believe that the verdict was wrong..." he would be accused of interfering with the judicial process. Let the appellate process play itself out, and Libby is cleared. Had Bush pardoned Libby at this time the appeal would have been moot, it would be over, and Libby would always be known as the guy that was convicted but pardoned. It's better to let the case wind its way through the legal system, and if necessary, pardon Libby on 1/20/09.

Posted by: Obi-Wan on July 4, 2007 09:50 AM
185. Puddy,

The funniest thing is you complaining about me posting a URL to Fox Noise. You will note, however, that I posted a link to a news piece, not a link to an opinion piece. Are you still getting all of your facts from opinion writers?

Obi-Wan,

First, the three judge appellate panel that denied Libby's petition for bail during appeal disagrees with your assessment of the likelihood of success for Libby's appeal. The primary consideration when considering an appellate bail petition is the likelihood of success on appeal. Given a choice between their assessment and your assessment, I'll take theirs any day of the week and twice on holidays.

Second, your argument tacitly admits, then, that the sole purpose of commuting Libby's sentence is so that Libby doesn't spend a single day in jail. Let's not forget that Bush has, in this action, overridden both the trial judge and the three judge appellate panel, and all of this from a President who is, ostensibly, tough on crime. The IOKIYAR is obvious, and that's the least of the problems with this commutation. If the sole purpose of the commutation is so that Libby doesn't spend a day in jail for a very serious crime, it smacks of an effort designed to keep Libby from spilling the full jar of beans.

Lastly, you missed an important point in trying to come up with a third possibility. I noted that you must accept the findings of fact that came out of that trial. The findings of fact themselves are not subject to appellate review, so whatever the result on appeal, the facts that came out at trial are as close as we can possibly come, in this world, to facts that are unquestionably true.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 4, 2007 10:24 AM
186. Thank you, Obi Wan, for your usual well-reasoned, thoughtful, and logical analysis. However, I would lay odds that DJ will refute it with mantra within a few moments. I would only add that if Scooter had testified that he had bacon for breakfast on a particular morning three years prior, and they discovered it was actually sausage, they would have charged him with perjury. This was a full scale attempt to charge Cheney and/or Bush with outing a covert agent. When it was irrefutably proven that the agent was not covert and that the crime they alleged did not exist, they went for Scooter as a default. It could not have ended any other way. And if the appeal does allow exculpatory evidence and Scooter wins the appeal, it will not be objectively disseminated by MSM. For today, though, you are right - we can all enjoy the fireworks from exploding liberal heads. Happy Fourth!

Posted by: katomar on July 4, 2007 10:36 AM
187. Katomar,

I guess my only question for you is, what's the legal difference between Libby hypothetically lying about his breakfast and Clinton lying about a tryst with a White House intern? Both are equally immaterial, are they not?

Posted by: Don Joe on July 4, 2007 11:01 AM
188. The difference is not in the letter but the spirit of the law. Libby broke the law in order to cover up a crime against the government. If it were called treason you might nderstand better.

Clinton fucked up or right or left.

Posted by: thomas h jefferson on July 4, 2007 11:05 AM
189. Thomas,

If you're answering my question, I think you missed the point. There are two elements to the crime of perjury. The most obvious one is that you have to lie under oath, but the one that people keep conveniently forgetting is that the lie has to be about a material fact. You can lie about what you had for breakfast just like you can lie about having had a tryst with a White House intern, and the lie, in and of itself, does not automatically rise to the level of perjury.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 4, 2007 11:15 AM
190. What was that noise I just heard? Considering I live in Seattle where fireworks are illegal,(thanks to liberal nannies), it must have been another liberal's head exploding over Libby's commutation.

Priceless.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on July 4, 2007 12:10 PM
191. Don Joe posted:

I guess my only question for you is, what's the legal difference between Libby hypothetically lying about his breakfast and Clinton lying about a tryst with a White House intern? Both are equally immaterial, are they not?

Then let Scoote pay the same penalties as President Clinton or HUD Secretary Cisneros, both convicted of perjury.

Clinton lost his law license. So did Scooter. That was the extent of legal punishments for Clinton.

Cisneros was fined $10,000. Scooter was fined $250,000. Twenty five TIMES Cisneros. I think that's plenty.

Neither Clinton nor Cisneros had a single day in prison NOR a single day of probation. Scooter got 30 months of prison followed by 24 months of probation.

So I take it you'd like to see President Clinton and Henry Cisneros spend a few months in jail, and a quarter of a million dollars each?

Look at this sentence in light of other White House Officials charged - and convicted - of the same crime. This was WAY out of line. Justice was served by the conviction and most of the sentence. Prison was clearly way beyond what the prosecutor, legal scholars (from Bork to Dershowitz), or even most of the jury expected.

You going to argue differently?

Posted by: Edmonds Dan on July 4, 2007 01:05 PM
192. Dan,

I think people, regardless of who they are, should serve time according to Federal sentencing guidelines for the crimes for which they stand convicted.

Clinton lost his law license, because he lied. His lie, however, was about an immaterial fact, which means he didn't commit perjury. That conclusion is affirmed by the fact that the Senate failed to vote to remove Clinton from office.

Cisneros pled guilty to lying to the FBI, but was never convicted of perjury.

Would I argue differently with respect to a White House official? That depends entirely on the nature of the issues under investigation, and whether or not the perjury in question appears to have been designed to insulate other members of the Administration from scrutiny and possible prosecution. Do you think those are reasonable factors to take into consideration?

Posted by: Don Joe on July 4, 2007 01:29 PM
193. Don Joe: You keep ignoring what you are in fact enforcing. Of course it all depends entirely on the nature of the issues under investigation! And the issue under investigation turned out to be not an issue at all. There was no outing of a covert agent. Or do you still think Plame was covert? Check the investigation findings. No outing, because she was not covert. Following your reasoning, Scooter should have had a much lighter sentence, something similar to Clinton and Cisneros.

Posted by: katomar on July 4, 2007 03:36 PM
194. Katomar,

Let me see if I understand you correctly. We have a White House bent on destroying the reputation of a former U. S. Ambassador, because that former U. S. Ambassador had the temerity to say that the White House was FoS on Iraqi WMD. During the course of that smear campaign, White House officials leaked classified information thereby damaging our national security. And, because it's entirely possible that no one broke the letter of the law, you want to claim that this is all "nothing"? You think this is all completely comparable with someone lying about a tryst with a White House intern?

IOKIYAR.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 4, 2007 04:43 PM
195. Splinter,

You keep on ignoring my point because it is an "inconvenient truth". Instead you choose to shadow box with straw men totally unrelated to the issue of Scooter Libby.

And when you start giving smarmy lectures about patriotism to someone who served his contry while you were being served in a country club, it only serves to undermine your argument.

Any true patriot would rejoice at this at best or be angry it wasn't a full pardon of this travesty at worst. And it has absolutely NOTHING to do with blind party loyalty. It has to do with justice, for if a man in high places such as Scooter Libby can be railroaded, then what does that say about chances for "justice" for the average American???

You of course will stick to your straw man argument because you cannot address the real issue. Any idiot with a pulse who has been paying attention KNOWS that the GOP bases is absolutely furious with Republicans and the Presdent for trying to grant citizenship to 12 million invaders. Those Republicans who went along with this amnesty plan are going to be run out of office just the way Washington State Demo-publican tax and spenders like Rep Beverly Woods was run out of office in 2006. I admire Bush for this decision as well as ensuring we have not had a terrrorist attack on our soil since 911, but that doesn't erase my anger over his amnesty plan. And I am not dumb enough to fall into your sock puppet plan of trying to "splinter" the GOP. What liberal operatives such as yourself need to understand is that unlike your liberal party, the GOP really is a big tent and debate is encouraged, unlike Democrats who stifle it with so-called "fairness doctrines" to ensure that only liberal voices are heard and all others are stifled.

You can dance around it all you want, but the truth of the matter is that when your country called you for service, you hung up the phone. On this day of patriots, don't you dare lecture me about patriotism....don't you dare!

Posted by: pbj on July 4, 2007 04:53 PM
196. Don Joe wrote:

Let me see if I understand you correctly. We have a White House bent on destroying the reputation of a former U. S. Ambassador, because that former U. S. Ambassador had the temerity to say that the White House was FoS on Iraqi WMD. During the course of that smear campaign, White House officials leaked classified information thereby damaging our national security. And, because it's entirely possible that no one broke the letter of the law, you want to claim that this is all "nothing"? You think this is all completely comparable with someone lying about a tryst with a White House intern?

Unfortunately, your statement is completely and utterly false. Let's break this down...

We have a White House bent on destroying the reputation of a former U. S. Ambassador, because that former U. S. Ambassador had the temerity to say that the White House was FoS on Iraqi WMD.

First, there is ZERO evidence - let alone proof - that the White House was trying to destroy Joe Wilson's reputation. Zero. None. Other than the rantings/delusions of the Left.

Furthermore, it turns out that the "reputation" of that ambassador was already shot within the intelligence community - Joe Wilson LIED either to the CIA or the newspapers. To the CIA, he said Iraq sought uranium. To the Press he claimed otherwise.

During the course of that smear campaign, White House officials leaked classified information thereby damaging our national security.

Again, ZERO evidence - let alone proof - that this ever happened. In fact, Fitzgerald's investigation concluded there wasn't a leak! It ended with a perjury conviction. That's it. ZERO evidence to even bring an indictment of leaks. None. Nada. This is a claim made by those with BDS to try to assuage their brains from the logical twisters required to support their BDS.

And, because it's entirely possible that no one broke the letter of the law, you want to claim that this is all "nothing"?

No one broke the laws that triggered this "scandal". There wasn't a leak, no covers blown. And the one guy tripped up wasn't even the original source of the "leak" (per BOTH the original source - Dick Armitage - AND the prosecutor), and the supposed second witness (legally required to prove perjury) wasn't allowed to be cross-examined by the defense about his faulty memory.

You think this is all completely comparable with someone lying about a tryst with a White House intern?

Lying about a tryst with an intern was worse IN THE CONTEXT OF THE LAWSUIT. President Clinton was involved in a civil suit over sexual assault; the tryst was supporting evidence of his behavior. He lied to try to get out of a sexual assault case.

So, I take it you'd rather let potential sex predators free but convict someone who got their recalled timeline wrong about a completely LEGAL circumstance?

Posted by: Edmonds Dan on July 4, 2007 05:30 PM
197. Dan,

If this wasn't a smear campaign, then why did it become at all necessary for White House officials to mention that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA? Plame's employment was never germane to the substantive issues in Wilson's report or his letter to the editor of the New York Times. That fact, alone, makes this a smear campaign.

As for whether or not classified information was divulged in this, the CIA disagrees with you. Indeed, the entire investigation and trial leading up to Libby's conviction began at the request of the CIA precisely because classified information had been leaked. Sorry, but I'm going with the CIA on this one.

In short, that our national security was compromised by by the actions of White House officials is a fact beyond which there can be no reasonable doubt. To deny this is the equivalent of saying that the sky is green and the grass is blue.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 4, 2007 07:09 PM
198. Well, everybody better get off line fairly quickly because DJ's head is really going to explode from sticking his fingers in his ears and singing la, la, la, la, la, la, la. Typical. No facts or logic can penetrate BDS. It's terminal.

Posted by: katomar on July 4, 2007 07:58 PM
199. Slightly off topic: Just taking a break from shooting off our stash of banned fireworks when I read in the pee-eye that Gore's kid was arrested for doing 100 mph in his Prius on the San Diego Freeway. Officers confiscated pot and prescription drugs for which he had no prescription (unless they were Al's or Tipper's).

Forget the drugs--100 mph in a Prius? Holy sh*t! Talk about accelerating global warming...

Posted by: Organization Man on July 4, 2007 08:05 PM
200. Katomar,

When you can't win the argument, attack your opponent. As we used to say in the days of Usenet, YHL. HAND.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 4, 2007 08:42 PM
201. Don Joe:
DKWTHYMBH,DYTB.

Posted by: katomar on July 4, 2007 09:06 PM
202. Give Don Joe a break. He still thinks Monica was so hot it was worth the president of the United States lying about a blow job on national teevee.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! As my Japanese friends say, Only 15 months to go until the big erection!

Posted by: Rey Smith on July 4, 2007 10:39 PM
203. Perhaps the jury would have laughed this out of court if they were allowed to know Plame wasn't a "secret agent" at the time of the outing.

Posted by: PC on July 4, 2007 11:19 PM
204. Katomar, at least you can use "the Google" to find my acronyms.

Rey, no onion rings?

PC, tell a lie in order to defend against another lie that was intended to cover up yet another lie. Please, and I am most sincere in saying this, continue to press your rhetoric right on up to the next elections.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 5, 2007 12:38 AM
205. Yo Don ---

Just watching out for you. After all, you're about to hand over your gonads to Bubba's ennabler.

Posted by: Rey Smith on July 5, 2007 06:05 AM
206. As for whether or not classified information was divulged in this, the CIA disagrees with you. Indeed, the entire investigation and trial leading up to Libby's conviction began at the request of the CIA precisely because classified information had been leaked.

Perhaps if the CIA hadn't already leaked Plame's identity to the Russians (ten years earlier) and to the Cubans (well before the Novak/Corn articles), there might have been an underlying crime. The fact is that the CIA ALREADY OUTED HER, and the MSM conveniently leaves out these facts in their reporting leading up to the Libby trial. That's why the CIA wasn't concerned about her OPENLY walking in and out of CIA headquarters every day.

This is why this is a manufactured scandal, and there was no underlying crime. And it's why Libby should not have received a minute of jail time for it.

Posted by: Palouse on July 5, 2007 08:14 AM
207. Rey

Are you kidding? With her, the carrot is the stick.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 5, 2007 08:23 AM
208. Whatever anyone says about the Valerie Plame affair, Robert Novak's comments are instructive. His subscribers read this today:

"Libby Commutation: President Bush's commutation of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's prison sentence pleased conservatives if it did not fully satisfy them. It positively enraged his liberal critics. Libby himself can breathe a sigh of relief that he does not have to serve prison time, but hardly anybody else is all that happy.

The conviction of Libby on perjury and obstruction of justice in the Valerie Plame CIA leak case has taken on overriding symbolic implications. Libby, as Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief-of-staff, is seen by Bush's enemies as typifying deception that led the U.S. into war in Iraq. His conviction was seen by conservatives as part of the bitter assault on the Bush Administration, targeting Cheney in particular.

By standing apart from the Plame affair and the Libby affair, Bush has subjected himself to abuse from both sides. Bush is blamed by friends of Libby for losing control of the Plame investigation by putting it in the hands of a special prosecutor -- the U.S. attorney in Chicago, Patrick Fitzgerald. The abuse from the left certainly will expand thanks to his decision Monday, while praise from the right is muted.

The word from the White House had been that Bush was not likely to pardon Libby, even on his way out of the Oval Office in January 2009. But more recently, Bush aides began spreading the word that there was no chance that Libby would do any jail time. When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia refused Monday to review Libby's 30-month jail sentence, Bush's only recourse, short of a pardon, was to commute Libby's sentence.

The unique aspect of the Libby conviction was that there was no underlying crime whose prosecution he is accused of obstructing. Fitzgerald determined that no federal statute was broken when then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage revealed that Valerie Plame Wilson, the wife of Bush critic Joseph Wilson, worked for the CIA. But Fitzgerald prosecuted Libby for allegedly not telling the truth in the course of the investigation.

Republicans have raised millions of dollars for Libby's defense, painting him as the victim of prosecutorial abuse and the criminalization of politics. Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), a leading prospect for the Republican presidential nomination, has been calling for a pardon. While welcoming Bush's action, Thompson said he still would have issued a pardon. By endorsing the jury's verdict and not criticizing Fitzgerald, Bush makes it difficult to issue a subsequent full pardon, although the President on Tuesday hinted at an eventual pardon.

The commutation of Libby's sentence does not save Bush severe attacks from Democratic critics. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called the President's action "disgraceful," linking it to what he called Bush's manipulation in sending the country to war in Iraq. Reid's complaint: Libby was the person convicted what he views as a criminal conspiracy around Bush, and now he is not going to prison. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was already flogging the pardon story to raise money the morning after it was announced."

The best I can determine is that Libby was persecuted as a scapegoat. Upon his shoulders were cast the sins of the 2000 election and every liberal grievance since.

The Piper

Posted by: Piper Scott on July 5, 2007 10:27 AM
209. Don Joe @197 -

Plame's employment at the CIA became relevant when Wilson claimed, falsely, that Cheney had chosed him for the Niger assignment.

In fact, he was chosen because Plame recommended him (her husband) for the assignment.

Plame lied about this, and claimed that she had made no such recommendation. Her lie was exposed when her email recommending Wilson for the assignment came to light.

Posted by: ewaggin on July 5, 2007 12:47 PM
210. pbj: " On this day of patriots, don't you dare lecture me about patriotism....don't you dare!"

Honestly pbj, you need to take your little yellow chill pill. Quit your chest thumping about having been in the armed forces already. It doesn't make you any more of an American or any more patriotic than any other American. Your arrogance is pretty disgusting.

You can make all the paranoid assumptions about me that you want, but that is all they are, and anyone that knows me would tell you exactly how full of "it" you are.

Your "straw man" comment is laughable and only shows you know absolutely nothing about what a straw man arguement is, not to mention the difference between conservative principals and republican partisanship. You are a mouthpiece and party hack only (and not a very good one at that), defending cronyism and a complete lack of accountability in this Administration. Maybe, in 2008, when we all are suffering under the Administration of Hillary Clinton (god forbid), you will finally realize that the GOP has lost it's way and start getting back to the basic principals that made it great.

Posted by: Splinter on July 5, 2007 12:53 PM
211. don joe, erasing 30 months jail time for a supposed crime, leaving monetary and monitored time in place is still a helluva lot more penalty than Roger Clinton paid for cocaine trafficing. Oh and that little pardon for Henry Cisneros for lying to an FBI agent ought to ruffle your feathers. Perhaps not since that was a Bubba pardon.

Posted by: PC on July 5, 2007 03:21 PM
212. Splinter,

He found you out several posts ago man. I am as liberal as the next guy, but it is beyond sad when you try to push the ruse even when you have been found out. Face it, they won on this one. Scooter Libby may get off but we will get one of them in one of our many ongoing investigations.

Posted by: DNC on July 5, 2007 03:22 PM
213. DNC -

Why is this so hard to understand? Is it really so hard to comprehend the difference between being "conservative", and being against a Republican party that has nothing to do with conservative principals?

The only people I want to "get" are the people breaking the laws, regardless of what party they belong to. Clinton abused his powers when he pardoned known criminals and it was wrong. That does not mean it is any less wrong when Republican president does it.

It's not the fact that Libby got off that really bothers me, it's the people that act so outraged when one party does something immoral, then become apologists for another that does the exact same thing. All that shows me is that the "party of accountability", is just an act, just words meant to pander to voters with zero substance to back it up.

Posted by: Splinter on July 5, 2007 03:39 PM
214. Piper,

Robert Novak's comments aren't the least bit instructive, because Robert Novak doesn't know what he's talking about. Former White House Consel to Richard Nixon, John Dean, on the other hand, does know what he's talking aobut. You might try reading this piece. It debunks just about every factual claim that's been made by the Bush/Libby appologists in this thread.

ewaggin,

First, I don't think you've accurately paraphrased Wilson's remarks. In the NY Times letter, he merely stated that Cheney had asked some questions and that Wilson had been sent to find some answers.

Second, even if, for the sake of argument, we assume that your paraphrase is accurate, there are several ways to descredit such a claim without mentioning Plame's employment. Unnamed sources at the CIA would have sufficed.

No, the only reason to bring up Plame's employment is to insinuate that Wilson was sent on that trip not because he was qualified as a former ambassador to Gibon but because he had an inside angle within the CIA. That's why this is a smear campaign.

PC, I've already addressed both of those issues, but I'd be perfectly willing to concede to you your "But Clinton did it too!" defense just so long as you are willing to concede that this now renders George W. Bush no better a president than Bill Clinton was.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 5, 2007 08:21 PM
215. Fat chance Don. Not until we see Laura's fingerprints all over some FBI files, bimbo eruption squads, a body at Fort Marcey Park, ah geez the list is so long...

Posted by: PC on July 5, 2007 09:49 PM
216. As stated in post 206, Plame's identity was already embarrassingly identified to both the Russians and Cubans by the CIA. It was in the CIA's interest to say she was still covert, because if they didn't, it would have exposed their incompetence in previously revealing it. I wonder how many other supposedly covert agents openly walk in and out of CIA headquarters every day. Her identity was no secret to any nation worth spying on - assuming the Russians and Cubans like to share.

Posted by: Palouse on July 5, 2007 09:59 PM
217. Well, PC, then I guess you're just going to have to peddle that "But Clinton did it too!" defense somewhere else, 'cuz that dog don't bark with me. Let's stick to the issues at hand, shall we?

Posted by: Don Joe on July 5, 2007 09:59 PM
218. Palouse,

Yup. Just like it's in the interest of the Republican Party to cook up some story about Plame's covert status in order to make this thing to be a sham.

There's only one difference. You folks are entirely free to cook up this kind of BS without fear of any form of legal consequences. For the folks at the CIA, however, to make false representations to the Justice Department about Plame's employment status places them in serious legal jeopardy.

It stretches credibilty well beyond the breaking point when you try to press any sort of claim about Plame's covert status. The link I posted above sums it up rather nicely:

This is a remarkable charge - suggesting that the CIA referred the matter to the Justice Department knowing that Plame was not covered by the law; that the Justice Department commenced the investigation even though it had the same knowledge; and that the Special Counsel continued the investigation even though he, too, knew she was not covered. Yet why would Attorney General John Ashcroft's Justice Department have undertaken a baseless investigation? Why would a busy and highly-respected U.S. Attorney from Chicago take the assignment of Special Counsel if the law did not apply? And why would that same highly-respected U.S. Attorney make representations to a federal judge that the law did cover Valerie Plame, if it did not?

If there was the least bit of credible evidence that Plame wasn't covert, none of this would have happened.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 6, 2007 08:26 AM
219. I read your link - all he does is ask a bunch of questions, but doesn't address the real issue. The CIA didn't want to embarrassingly admit that they OUTED VALERIE PLAME ALREADY. This is a truly underreported fact, and an inconvenient truth. Because it means there was no underlying crime in this whole thing. Don't take my word for it, look around on the web and you will find it's true.

Posted by: Palouse on July 6, 2007 08:41 AM
220. The outing by the CIA to the Russians and Cubans was first reported by Bill Gertz, and it was even referenced in the media's court case defending Judith Miller. Even the media knew (when defending their own), that there was no crime committed here.

Posted by: Palouse on July 6, 2007 09:00 AM
221. One other thing donjoe, if she were "covert" at the time, she wouldn't work at the CIA headquarters. DUH!
And as far as you addressing Cisneros already, complete the statement.
Plea bargain after 4 years and costing U.S. 9 million for 18 different charges.
A paltry 10K fine and 25 bucks court charges. Yup that's the same eh?
Now talk about cocaine trafficing pardons W has issued like bubba.

Posted by: PC on July 6, 2007 11:12 AM
222. The CIA can say anything they want. They can say she was "secret squirrel" if they want. What is at question is whether she fit the level required by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. It is clear that she did not.

Posted by: Michael on July 6, 2007 11:19 AM
223. Don Joe @214 -

Your response is disappointing.

In your comments @197, you stated that "Plame's employment was never germane to the substantive issues in Wilson's report".

"Never"?

The Washington Post disagrees:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A39834-2004Jul9.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/31/AR2006083101460_pf.html

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion that there were other ways to discredit Wilson's claims, but your opinion is irrelevant in a reasoned discussion of this matter.

Besides, would you really have accepted a reference by the White House to "unnamed sources at the CIA"?

Posted by: ewaggin on July 6, 2007 12:53 PM
224. Michael @222 -

Well said. This point has been made repeatedly by Victoria Toensing, the author of the IIPA.

Posted by: ewaggin on July 6, 2007 12:57 PM
225. Palouse, and Michael for that matter, your argument is, well, astounding. The folks at the CIA are willing to press these supposedly false charges in order to avoid embarassment. Now that makes a lot of sence. Open yourself up to criminal charges in order to bring the whole affair further into the spotlight! And that's supposed to cover their backsides, how?

As for Victoria Toensing, in what way is she privy to the facts? How about Larry C. Johnson, and four of his CIA classmates, who are privy to the facts? Toensing has a convenient opinion. Johnson has the inconvenient facts.

Ewaggin, frankly, I was wondering how long it would take one of you folks to bring up the Susan Schmidt article. What a lovely piece of yellow journalism that is. At one point, she quotes Wilson as having written, "Valerie had nothing to do with the matter." What Wilson actually wrote was, "Apart from being the conduit of a message from a colleague in her office asking if I would be willing to have a conversation about Niger's uranium industry, Valerie had had nothing to do with the matter." If Schmidt can't be bothered to properly quote Wilson for the sake of the truth, then why should we bother with anything else in her scurrilous screed?

As for the piece from the WP's editorial board, their conlusion is based on little more than the fact that, well, Dick Armitage said so! I guess we should ignore Robert Novak's disputation of Armitage's account. Better yet, why don't we just stop trying to find facts on opinion pages.

And why, if the CIA can be so bold as to open themselves up to criminal charges by covering their backsides, should we not attribute the same motivation, minus any form of criminal liability, to the WP editorial board for wanting to save face for the Post having served as the conduit for the leak in the first place?

Lastly, no one has yet to cite a legitimate reason for mentioning Valerie Plame's name in conjunction with Wilson's qualifications, or lack thereof, for going on the trip. Why not just discuss Wilson's qualifications directly? Either he was qualified, or he wasn't. Everything else is just BS.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 6, 2007 02:17 PM
226. The folks at the CIA are willing to press these supposedly false charges in order to avoid embarassment. Now that makes a lot of sence. Open yourself up to criminal charges in order to bring the whole affair further into the spotlight! And that's supposed to cover their backsides, how?

The CIA wasn't opening itself up for criminal charges. There is no crime in saying that she was still covert. But there are reputations to uphold and butts to cover, which is why they did it. The CIA screwed up big time when they did not properly seal documents sent to Havana, and the Cuban government was able to read all of them, documents containing Plame's identity. It's not something they wanted advertised, so of course, they could just say she was covert so no one would look into it any further.

If anyone was ACTUALLY PROSECUTED FOR OUTING VALERIE PLAME, that would likely be something produced as evidence in a trial. Of course, that hasn't happened, which is further evidence that there is no underlying crime.

Finally Don Joe, does it not seem odd to you that someone who was supposedly covert was openly walking in and out of CIA headquarters for several years? That tells you all you really need to know about what CIA thought of her status as a covert agent.

Posted by: Palouse on July 6, 2007 02:30 PM
227. Don Joe: Please answer one simple, basic question. If, as you say, a covert agent was outed, the law was broken, why has Fitzgerald closed the case and charged no one? If he could prove something so nebulous as Libby committing perjury, then where's the beef on the issue originally investigated?

Posted by: katomar on July 6, 2007 03:31 PM
228. Kat, Good one. I can't wait to see the feeble answer.

Posted by: PC on July 6, 2007 03:50 PM
229. I had this thrown in my face by one of my librul co-workers. Gawd, I hate 'em sometimes!

Marc Rich, a fugitive, was pardoned of tax evasion by Bill Clinton and Marc Rich's attorney who argued Marc was innocent was none other than Scooter Libby.

Does anybody have any info on this librul claim?

Posted by: right is right on July 6, 2007 04:28 PM
230. Palouse,

"The CIA wasn't opening itself up for criminal charges. There is no crime in saying that she was still covert."

Um... The CIA is the entity that went to the Justice Department, and asked that the investigation was kicked off. The CIA also supplied documentation at trial verifying that Plame's employment status was covert (you can find a PDF of the actual document on the web if you search). Are you honestly going to claim that submitting a complaint to the DoJ under false pretenses isn't a crime? Are you honestly going to claim that providing false documentation for a trial is also not a crime?

Katomar and Palouse,

Asked and answered, but, for your edification, I'll repeat the answer: Fitzgerald was unable to determine whether or not an actual crime had been comitted precisely because Libby lied to the FBI and to the grand jury.

Now, I've answered that question twice in this thread, so please be careful about bold and all-caps. Otherwise, Bill Cruchon might start talking about your heads exploding.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 6, 2007 04:35 PM
231. Don Joe: In order to know if Libby lied, Fitz had to know what the truth was, in order to prove the lie. So again, why was no one charged with the originally claimed crime?

Posted by: katomar on July 6, 2007 04:47 PM
232. Katomar,

If I say, "On the morning of July 4th, 2007, I ate eggs for breakfast," then I later say, "On the morning of July 4th, 2007, I did not eat eggs for breakfast," then at least one of those two statements is a lie. No?

Posted by: Don Joe on July 6, 2007 05:01 PM
233. Holy crap guys!!! I go away for a couple days and you're still at it.

Posted by: Don Ward on July 6, 2007 06:03 PM
234. Oh, boy, Don Joe, and if I say I never tell the truth, am I lying or telling the truth? Give it up already!

Posted by: katomar on July 6, 2007 07:13 PM
235. Katomar,

There is a difference in meaning betweent he words "inconsistent" and "paradox". Do I really have to explain that difference?

And, yes, I did oversimplify the example a bit, but I don't believe we've lost much because of it. One of the ways investigators know that someone is lying is to catch them making inconsistent statements.

Now, when Fitzgerald says that he can't know whether or not there's been a violation of the law and that the reason he can't know is because Libby lied and obstructed justice, don't you think it's more than possible that Libby was caught in a lie by making conflicting statements under oath?

Posted by: Don Joe on July 6, 2007 07:53 PM
236. The CIA is the entity that went to the Justice Department, and asked that the investigation was kicked off.

So what. They wanted their butts covered because they knew they screwed up in outing Plame already. They did not want to admit they did this, so they said she was still covert. Their argument for this is that they didn't do it "purposely" in the Havana case, so the law is still valid. But Rove and/or Armitage didn't do it purposely either, and despite your talking points Don Joe, there isn't a shred of proof that they did.

Plame's identity was revealed to the Russians and Cubans by the CIA. This is fact, and whether Libby lied will not change this fact. Fitzgerald knows this, and it's why he CANNOT prosecute anyone for outing Plame. There's no crime, and that's the bottom line.

The question you seem to keep avoiding is that if Plame was covert, why was the CIA letting her walk in and out of CIA headquarters every day? I'll answer that for you since you seem to have trouble - it's because her covert status was compromised because they already outted her.

Posted by: Palouse on July 7, 2007 08:11 AM
237. Donjoe, you may not bark like a dog but after reading this, it's time to lick your wounds and find another fire hydrant.

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DickMorrisandEileenMcGann/2007/07/06/do_the_clintons_now_support_jail_time_for_perjurers

Posted by: PC on July 7, 2007 08:47 AM
238. Palouse,

Ever heard of Occam's Razor? In order to believe what you believe to be true, there is a long list of other extraordinary things you must also believe to be true: that Fitzgerald is lying; that folks at the CIA are willing to open themselves up to criminal charges for filing a false complaint; that 11 former CIA case officers are lying in their open letter to Congress, and that Valerie Plame and Gen. Hayden have also managed to get away with perjury.

But of all of those, the one I find particularly amazing, and amusing, is this idea of the CIA covering something up by asking the DoJ to investigate it! Usually, when people want to cover something up, the last thing they want is an investigation.

When one is faced with conflicting possible explanations, Occam's Razor dictates that the simplest one is the most likely. In this case, the simplest explanation for why no one else besides Libby has been prosecuted is the explanation Fitzgerald gave: we can't know whether anyone broke the law precisely because Libby lied. It's simple, straightforward, and doesn't require us to believe a long list of other things that are ridiculous on their face.

I think you reject the principle of Occam's Razor, because accepting the simplest explanation also forces you to entertain the thought that the Bush Administration is orders of magnitude more corrupt and deceitful than the Clinton Administration ever was, and that thought is so reprehensible to your sycophantish mind that you are willing to attribute whatever convenient motive happens to come by even if the other things we observe make no sense in light of that presumed motive.

PC,

I think you have Clenis envy. So the Clintons have an opinion about Bush commuting Libby's sentence, and someone else has the opinion that the Clintons having such an opinion makes the Clintons hypocrites. To quote Palouse, so what? Are you sying that, because the Clintons might be hypocrites for having a particular opinion, that anyone who also shares that opinion must also be a hypocrite?

I think the dog just pissed on your leg.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 7, 2007 07:27 PM
239. donjoe, how do you and Alan Colmes defend the indefensible so much?

Posted by: PC on July 7, 2007 08:51 PM
240. PC,

First, I think you mean to ask, "why," not "how."

Second, why would you compare me to Fox Noise's token liberal? I've gotten so disgusted with Hannity and Colmes that I can't stand the show any more. There's a reason Fox put Colmes opposite Hannity--he's one of the few liberals Fox could find who actually makes Hannity look like a reasonably intelligent human being. This is what I think of Alan Colmes.

Lastly, I'm not the one getting defensive, so it's not at all clear how you can claim I'm defending the indefensible. We're talking about Libby. You keep injecting Clinton into the discussion, hence my suggestion that you have Clenis envy.

I'm not about to spend any time defending the opinions of other people regardless of how they, or you, describe their political persuasion. I much prefer to have my own opinions informed by the facts as best we can know them and using generally recognized principles of logic and reasoning.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 7, 2007 10:18 PM
241. Don Joe:
Using Occam's Razor theory, one must first believe that Scooter deliberately put himself in the dangerous position of committing perjury by providing as much detail as he could, rather than the obvious choice he could have made of saying "I don't remember". And historical comparisons are valid. After all, how many times did Hillary say "I don't remember"? And she's supposed to be the smartest gal in the world!

Posted by: katomar on July 8, 2007 07:42 AM
242. DonJoe, the CIA isn't covering anything up, they just don't want to admit it. The fact that they outed Plame to Havana doesn't hurt them legally at all - it was just a screw up. The CIA is not an organization that likes to admit screw ups like that, and if a trial for outing Plame ever was prosecuted, these facts would come up. The CIA can ask for as many investigations as they want, it doesn't make them any more valid. And indeed, this investigation turned up no underlying crime, none. That's not because Libby lied as you keep suggesting, it's because there WAS NO CRIME.

No one outed Plame intentionally, and since anyone with a brain knows that Plame wasn't really covert, there was nothing to out anyway.

Now what do you suppose is the simplest explanation of why a supposedly covert agent was walking in and out of CIA headquarters every day?

Posted by: Palouse on July 8, 2007 12:07 PM
243. Katomar,

Occam's Razor isn't a theory, it's a principle. As for why Libby would choose to lie, I have absolutely no interest in speculating about it. The fact is, Scooter Libby lied.

Palouse,

I'm tempted to leave that first paragraph of yours stand on its own as evidence of the twisted logic required to come up with some explanation for why the CIA would press for an investigation if they knew that Plame was not covert. The only thing that can hurt anyone at the CIA legally is to press charges with the DoJ when they know those charges are false. The rest is all smoke screen, but amusing nonetheless. The CIA doesn't want to admit their incompetence, but they're perfectly willing to press an investigation that could well expose their incompetence anyway? It's impossible to see how, under your hypothetical, pressing for an investigation is preferable to just letting the whole thing die.

So far, I've avoided discussing Plame's physical place of employment, because, lacking an explanation for why the CIA would lie about Plame's covert status, the issue is just plain moot. However, you insist on bringing it up, so let's talk a bit about it.

First of all, neither you, nor I, nor anyone else posting comments on this site has any direct knowledge of the measures that the CIA uses to maintain the covert status of agents. We can speculate, and one form of speculation that comes to mind is that one way to hide something is to hide it in plain sight, but that's all speculation. It's not probative of anything.

We have to rely on experts, and, when you attempt to source the claim that Valerie Plame walked in and out of CIA headquarters every day, you come up with only one name: Fred Rustman. He was Plame's superviser up until 1990. How Fred Rustman can have any direct knowledge aboout Plame's physical place of employment more than 10 years after he left the CIA is a mystery to me. But, on it's face, that claim doesn't have a great deal of credibility.

When you search further for other experts, you find a bevy of former CIA case officers who, essentially, claim that Rustman is FoS. These are the 11 former CIA case officers I mentioned earlier. Not only have these people refuted Rustman, Rustman's statements were made to reporters. Folks like Larry Johnson have refuted Rustman in sworn testimony before Congress.

So, no, I don't think the presence of a brain has anything to do with a person's belief that Plame wasn't really covert. Frankly, I think the belief that Plame wasn't covert is a convenient assertion to which people have attached themselves in order to avoid some obvious, yet very painful, conclusions.

Posted by: Don Joe on July 8, 2007 08:28 PM
244. No donjoe, I fully meant "how" not "why". After all, you have to look yourself in the mirror each day and maintain that silly position.

Posted by: PC on July 9, 2007 03:23 AM
245. So DonJoe, in short you really don't have an explanation of why a supposedly covert agent would be walking in and out of CIA headquarters every day. Neither do I. So the simplest explanation (you seem a fan of that) is that her covert status was no longer of any value to the CIA.

As for the CIA having already outed Plame and still wanting an investigation, we can again speculate as to why they would, and there could be any number of reasons. First, it could be political. Second, maybe because the fact that the Russians and Cubans knew about Plame but it wasn't highly publicized elsewhere (like Iraq) that they thought she had some type of covert status "value" left. So the CIA might have believed that she was still covert because they did not publicly out her.

Of course, if this ever came up in a court of law, the CIA would surely lose because they clearly outed her to the Cubans, and it was not public, in the same way that Judith Miller was informed of Plame and never made it public, but she was still brought to court in the matter. Same with Novak - it wasn't the fact that he wrote the article which was being investigated, it was that someone told him Plame's name. So the CIA may still have been protecting its "turf" in this matter. But the fact remains, she was already outed and there was no crime.

Another fact which cannot be ignored is that, despite thousands of hours of testimony, no one has been prosecuted for outing Plame, more evidence that there is no crime.

Posted by: Palouse on July 9, 2007 08:01 AM
246. Don Joe -

You're ducking the issue raised by Michael @222:

"The CIA can say anything they want. They can say she was "secret squirrel" if they want. What is at question is whether she fit the level required by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. It is clear that she did not."

Until you answer that question ("What is at question is whether she fit the level required by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act."), there isn't much point in trying to continue a reasoned discussion.

Posted by: ewaggin on July 9, 2007 12:34 PM
247. Don Joe @226 -

I included the WP article because it cites the findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee report (see 10th paragraph):

[Quote]
"The report states that a CIA official told the Senate committee that Plame "offered up" Wilson's name for the Niger trip, then on Feb. 12, 2002, sent a memo to a deputy chief in the CIA's Directorate of Operations saying her husband "has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity." The next day, the operations official cabled an overseas officer seeking concurrence with the idea of sending Wilson, the report said."
[Unquote]

Plame's memo constitutes a recommendation of her husband, Joe Wilson, for the Niger assignment.

Whether this recommendation is formal or informal, and whether she was asked for her opinion or volunteered it, are irrelevant; by writing the memo and sending it up the line, she involved herself in the process.

And since recommending a family member to one's employer is a form of nepotism, her involvement in this matter, is, in fact, relevant.

Posted by: ewaggin on July 9, 2007 01:09 PM
248. PC,

Now you've gone and disappointed both your mother and your English teacher.

Palouse,

I've pointed out both that the alleged "fact" about Valerie Plame's physical place of employment is disputed. Any argument you want to make based on this "fact" begs the question.

Moreover, even if we assume this "fact" to be true, its meaning is open to speculation, for which I've given an explanation that's at least as likely as yours. Again, since we have no way of choosing your speculation over mine (or mine over yours for that matter), any argument you want to make that favors one explanation over the other also begs the question.

Lastly, I'll give you credit for attempting to nuance the argument about why the CIA would ask the DoJ to investigate the matter, but you are, now, arguing that the CIA was, indeed, justified in maintaining Plame's status as a covert agent.

ewaggin,

I believe I've already answered that question by pointing out what Fitzgerald said in his memorandum filed pursuant Libby's sentencing hearing, "It was clear from very early in the investigation that Ms. Wilson qualified under the relevant statute as a covert agent whose identity had been disclosed by public officials, including Mr. Libby, to the press."

So which opinion ought to carry more weight, that of a Bush-appointed United States Attorney who actually investigated the matter, or that of a right-wing pundit who has an agenda and had nothing to do with the investigation?

Posted by: Don Joe on July 9, 2007 01:10 PM
249. dj, I asked in english. What part don't you understand? Press two for espanol.

Posted by: PC on July 9, 2007 01:42 PM
250. I've pointed out both that the alleged "fact" about Valerie Plame's physical place of employment is disputed

Yeah, I'm sure she was covering the Delta double secret probation while she was out of the office. You're grasping now. It's been pretty widely reported that is where she has been. But believe whatever conspiracy theories you like.

arguing that the CIA was, indeed, justified in maintaining Plame's status as a covert agent.

Not at all. Maybe they didn't like the fact that Plame's name was being thrown around, I don't know. But that doesn't justify anything - and indeed, it hasn't. Because (news flash!), no one has been prosecuted for outing Plame. There is no case. None. Nada. Zilch.

Why is that you must be wondering? See previous posts regarding her so-called "covert status".

Posted by: Palouse on July 9, 2007 01:49 PM
251. One more thing regarding the CIA's motive that I should clarify - when I stated the first reason for moving forward on this thing was political - what I was referring to was their war with the White House over the Iraq war intelligence. Do you think there was not alot of bitterness at the CIA about that? You betcha. Saying they had an "axe to grind" would be a big understatement.

Posted by: Palouse on July 9, 2007 03:23 PM
252. PC,

Hablo solo un pequito des Espanol.

Palouse,

Yes, it's been widely reported. As I pointed out, however, there is only one source for the claim. And, no, I don't need any conspiracy theory to explain why a single-sourced statement like that manages to take on a life of its own. It was convenient, and people who aren't all that careful with the facts latched on to it--people like you.

Repetition, however, doesn't make it true. Rather than point to the repetitions, why don't you track down the original source?

You've also managed to miss the second half of my argument. Even if we assume its true, you still don't have a definitive interpretation of what it means. Stack that up against what former CIA case officers have said, under oath I might add, and your "fact" becomes, at best, a side show.

Regarding the rest of your comment, now you're chasing your tail. First, there wasn't an underlying crime, because Plame wasn't covert. Now, you're arguing that Plame wasn't covert, because no one has been convicted of the underlying crime.

Just out of curiosity, what do you think it means for someone to be convicted of "obstruction of justice"?

Posted by: Don Joe on July 9, 2007 03:57 PM
253. Don Joe @248 -

Again, a disappointing response.

Fitzgerald's memorandum is irrelevant, as it was filed after the trial concluded. As such, it cannot qualify as a finding of fact, nor did the defense have the opportunity to challenge it.

Also, if by "right wing pundit" you are referring to Victoria Toensing, you are off the mark. Toensing wrote the IIPA when she was counsel for the Senate Intelligence Committee. So yes, her opinion ought to carry more weight than Fitzgerald's.

Especially so, since Fitzgerld's failure to get an indictment (let alone a conviction) of anyone for violating the IIPA, following his lengthy and extensive investigation, tends to support the conclusion that Toensing was right and Fitzgerald was wrong, regarding Plame's covert status under the IIPA.

Posted by: ewaggin on July 9, 2007 09:10 PM
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