Bush Raked Over Coals for Libby Commutation

The staff at Editor & Publisher have compiled newspaper editorials on Bush’s decision to hand Libby a get-out-of-jail-free card and “nearly all of them have condemned the Bush act.” Which makes for some fun reading—until you realize that: A) Bush doesn’t care; and B) it doesn’t really matter, because impeachment’s “off the table” as far as Congress is concerned, no matter what the fuck he does.

Meanwhile, Quixote says in comments: “An astute reader over at Josh Marshall’s TalkingPointsMemo notes that by commuting the prison sentence but not pardoning, Libby still has a fine and probation at stake. That gives him the continued right against self-incrimination and to refuse to testify before Congress. Now everybody wins. (Everyone who counts. There is nobody else.) Libby wins because he doesn’t go to the slammer, and therefore won’t talk in a plea bargain to stay out. Bush and Cheney win because he can’t be compelled to testify about what the hell was actually going on. Cool, huh?”

Fuckity fucking fuckers.

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Bush Raked Over Coals for Libby Commutation

  1. larkohio

    Everyone should be disgusted. They are swinety swines, protecting their own.

  2. jonas

    Politically, this was a no-brainer for Bush. Only 25% of the nuttiest wingnuts still back him, and they were the ones clamoring for a pardon in this case. So 75% of us think this is bullshit. Do you think he cares? As for doing something that will just damage Republicans in the future, those same 25% who think this is great are the hard-core base primary voters that the GOP candidates are falling over themselves to fellate anyway, so it’s win-win for them as well. Bush realizes that he’s a 25-percenter at this point, but that that 25% will clap all the way to hell with him and never abandon the GOP, so what has he got to lose by doing any crazy shit he can dream up? There’s literally nothing he can do anymore that will make him less popular (except maybe granting a blanket amnesty to all illegal immigrants) with his base, so the world’s basically his oyster at this point. It’s kind of like he achieved some sort of reverse-apotheosis: becoming so weak, irrelevant and despicable that it’s almost transcendent. Surrounded by the rubble and smoking debris of his administration, he is, at last, at peace.

  3. Scooter could be granted immunity by a prosecutor or the congress, which would remove the possibility of self-incrimination. (And why not give him immunity since Bush will just pardon/commute anything anyway)

    Then they could subpoena him to testify, at which point him lying would be a separate crime of obstruction, right?

  4. Longshot

    I love how they keep harping on the FINE!!! as punishment.

    The fine is $250,000.

    Libby’s legal defense fund is (if memory serves) around FIVE MILLION DOLLARS.

    He could spend a cool million fighting the quarter-million dollar fine and still be four million in the black for any future legal challenges.

    Some “punishment”.

  5. oddjob

    And the White House when pressed will still be able to say that they aren’t at liberty to talk about the matter because of Libby’s ongoing appeal……………

  6. Doctor Jay

    What we need to do is elect a Democratic president. Any of the leading candidates would work. He or she would then clean house at Justice, and allow them to bring prosecutions of former administration members, while keeping “above the fray”.

    At the time of the Nixon pardon, I thought it was a good idea. I now think differently. All the crap that they have done needs to see the light of day, just so folks can get a gut feeling for how bad things can get.

  7. Don’t give up on impeachment. It’s up to the Judiciary committee in the House of Representatives to bring the charges forward, and that would be Mr. Conyers.

  8. Or rather, that would be the committee of which he is chair.

  9. oddjob

    He or she would then clean house at Justice, and allow them to bring prosecutions of former administration members, while keeping “above the fray”

    I don’t believe either Hillary or Obama will do this. They’ll be consumed with getting their own agenda passed, and, at least in Hillary’s case, she’ll be averse to doing this because it will look like payback for what happened the last time the Clintons were in the White House. Obama’s already on record that the stuff that has happened isn’t serious enough for impeachment. (CAN YOU IMAGINE UTTERING SUCH BULLSHIT????)

  10. oddjob

    At the time of the Nixon pardon, I thought it was a good idea. I now think differently.

    I do, too. Ford was (officially) worried about what prosecuting Nixon would do to the country, but now what happens is once you’re president you get to play by rules you make up all for yourself and no one holds you to the rule of law.

  11. Wow, that is clever.

    I just feel like laughing at Bush. He’s such a gutless tool. All this time, and he could have held an investigation or owned up to his role. The sad thing is idiots and apologists like supposed liberal Richard Cohen are applauding this.

  12. oddjob

    Don’t give up on impeachment. It’s up to the Judiciary committee in the House of Representatives to bring the charges forward, and that would be Mr. Conyers.

    Conyers isn’t the problem. The Senate is the problem. Conviction and removal requires a super majority in the Senate and that simply isn’t there. The way I read it without that Pelosi isn’t willing to invest the time & effort to impeach.

  13. jonas

    Obama’s already on record that the stuff that has happened isn’t serious enough for impeachment. (CAN YOU IMAGINE UTTERING SUCH BULLSHIT????)

    I like Obama a lot, but he’s got some advisers on his staff somewhere who keep telling him, a la David Broder, that voters are turned off by “partisanship”, so that’s how he needs to frame his campaign — as though defending the Constitution and our nation’s values from the Bush administration’s 24-7 assault on them is simply partisan nit-pickery. Voters aren’t turned off by partisanship, they’re turned off by bullshit. He needs to stop this kumbaya stuff and start kicking ass. Watching more Olbermann would be a good start.

  14. Paen

    Excessive punishment for Scooter would have been torture at Gitmo or one of the secret prisons.
    I do think however that it would have been a bit unfair for Scooter to go to jail for obstruction of justice while Bush and Cheney get away with far worse.

  15. nightshift66

    Oddjob nails it. I said over at Toast’s place that you need 67 Senators to remove from office. Since Holy Joe is going to stand by his man, we need every actual Democratic Senator, plus Sanders, plus 19 GOP Senators. That ain’t happening no matter what Bush did, or does. They’ve shown that they cannot be shamed or embarrassed. So he’s there until January 20, 2009.

    And Jonas, while Bush is certainly despicable, he isn’t weak or irrelevant. (Would to FSM that he were!) He not only has the power of the office, he has no real checks on anything he does, legal or not. Combine that with his obvious distain for everyone not in his tight little circle and his lack of concern about any effects on his party in 2008, and… well, let’s just say we’re in for a real rough ride the next 18 months or so.

  16. PaulW

    We need to pursue five things:

    1) We need to call the Judiciary committees in Congress and encourage them to continue investigating the Bush lawlessness;
    2) We need to push at a state level, if not with Congress, constitutional amendments that will ensure this sort of criminal behavior never happens again. For example, push an amendment preventing a President from pardoning or offering clemency to people who worked with him or funded his elections.
    3) Protest in the streets. Look, I know it’s summertime, but dammit lets stop blogging and start marching! We needs the exercise anywho.
    4) We need to call the White House every day to remind them we will remember their criminal actions come 2008 elections, and ever after if anyone associated with this administration even thinks of running for office on their own.
    5) We need to call the state leges that are considering impeachment proceedings under the Jefferson rules to get off their asses and force impeachment proceedings onto the floor of the House.

    Anything else we need to consider?

  17. oddjob

    If he were caught red handed selling secrets to Osama Bin Laden, they would remove him from office. If Cheney were caught doing that so that he could get some nice cushy oil deal somehow, the Senate would convict.

    What we have right now?

    Nope……..

  18. Melissa McEwan

    while Bush is certainly despicable, he isn’t weak or irrelevant. (Would to FSM that he were!)

    Too right.

  19. Constant Comment

    Whether we have or don’t have the votes to throw him (them) out of office is a moot point. It is, however, imperative that we at least ATTEMPT it. What the hell kind of message is it to future presidents if this lawlessness, war crimes, destruction of the Constitution et al. (ad nauseum) is allowed to go unchecked??!! Exactly how many MORE crimes do they need to commit (not to mention bombing Iran, which looks like it’s in the offing…) to make this a viable undertaking??

    I. just. don’t. get it.

    I read elsewhere that we should not bother Pelosi and Reid with our pleas for impeachment, but rather should contact the House Judiciary Committee members, who are the ones to make this decision. Two or three of them have already signed on as co-sponsors of Kucinich’s impeachment legislation. Maybe if we inundate them….I’m tired of writing Pelosi.

  20. Aly

    There is a petition, which I signed, but you’re totally right, fuck if it will do anything.

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