Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bush Lets Libby Off the Hook—No Surprise!

The New York Times, not noted for making hilarious or even ironic asides in its news stories, committed a howler to print this morning. In its story about President Bush commuting Scooter Libby’s sentence, the NYT said, “One big question is what role, if any, Mr. Cheney played.” Hahahahahahahaha! And, hahahahahahaha! The Littledecider’s Decider followed the orders of The Big Decider (in this case, I. Lewis Libby), and the word came down last night at dinnertime. The reason, of course, that Scooter Libby could decide his own fate is that he made a deal with Cheney/Bush that he would keep his mouth shut in exchange for not going to prison. Since Libby was Cheney’s chief of staff. Cheney has the most to lose if Libby ever tells the truth. But there is not anyone in the entire Bush administration, corporate America, or in the Pentagon that Scooter Libby could not finger and ruin. So now, we are hearing pious, treacly, hypocritical, shit-eating apologias from everyone in the GOP--“loyal aides” to very public and very vocal Republican loyalists. In his arrogant manner of pretending he’s the Commander in Chief, Bush said: “I respect the jury’s verdict...but I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive.” Charlie Black, a Republican strategist “close to the administration” was quoted in the NYT, saying: “I think he sincerely believed that Scooter was not shown proper justice...We can get into the whole definition of justice versus mercy, but the point is the president didn’t say justice wasn’t done, he just didn’t think the sentence was fair and therefore he showed mercy.” William Kristol (editor of The Weekly Standard), who is the man we have to thank for starting the War in Iraq back in 1997 when he wrote his neocon manifesto for the Project for the New American Century, said, “It became an issue of character and courage, really...I certainly think Bush did the right thing and I think he did something important for his presidency. I think conservatives would have lost respect for Bush if he had not commuted Libby’s sentence.” The Washington Post quoted House Minority Whip Roy Blunt: "President Bush did the right thing today in commuting the prison term for Scooter Libby. The prison sentence was overly harsh, and the punishment did not fit the crime." Good old Fred Thomson, sometime Senator (R-TN), maybe-presidential contender and all-time actor said: "This will allow a good American who has done a lot for his country to resume his life." WaPo noted that three national public opinion polls found seven in 10 Americans would oppose a pardon of Libby. Which counts for nothing when a politician needs to save his ass. And it was no coincidence that President Bush (that is to say, President Cheney) announced the night before Americans begin celebrating their most important national holiday of the year, Independence Day, that a tried and convicted criminal in the Bush/Cheney White House would not serve a day in prison. Cheney, who is known for saying, Fuck you! has done it again. I am off to God’s Country (Brooklyn, New York). Talk to you in a few days.

1 comment:

Barry Schwartz said...

John Dean has pointed out that trying to make deals for pardons was among the crimes prosecuted in Watergate, and that Dick Cheney
would be aware of this and careful about it.

To me the evidence suggests that it is immaterial what Dick Cheney wanted; Bush would have done the same if Cheney had dropped dead a year ago. It was the appeals court that forced Bush's hand and why Bush acted on a Monday instead of a Friday afternoon; as soon as the clock started ticking on Libby's appointment with prison, the risk of Libby repenting to Patrick Fitzgerald became greater than the risk of giving Libby a pass, or at least that was Bush's calculation.

There was nothing in this that didn't serve Cheney's interest as well, of course, and so he would have encouraged this action, if his opinion was sought.