Is Libby’s Commuted Prison Sentence Enough?

While Bush hating liberals are still foaming at the mouth this morning from the news of Bush’s decision to commute Scooter Libby’s prison sentence, there are those who think the sentence commutation simply didn’t go far enough. The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal editorial thinks Bush should have given Libby a full pardon:

President Bush’s commutation late yesterday afternoon of the prison sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby will at least spare his former aide from 2 1/2 years in prison. But by failing to issue a full pardon, Mr. Bush is evading responsibility for the role his Administration played in letting the Plame affair build into fiasco and, ultimately, this personal tragedy.

Mr. Libby will have to pay a fine of $250,000 and serve two years probation. This reflects the leniency that was previously recommended by the federal probation office but was rejected by Judge Reggie Walton in his vindictive sentence.

These columns have had cause to defend the Bush Presidency from what we’ve seen as often meritless or exaggerated partisan attacks, notably over national security and the Iraq war. This, however, will stand as a dark moment in this Administration’s history. Joe Wilson’s original, false accusation about pre-war intelligence metastasized into the issue of who “outed” his wife, Valerie Plame, as an intelligence officer. As the event unfolded, it fell to Mr. Libby to defend the Administration against Mr. Wilson’s original charge, with little public assistance or support from the likes of Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell or Stephen Hadley.

In no small part because of these profiles in non-courage, it was Mr. Libby who found himself caught up in prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s hunt for the Plame leaker, which he and his masters at Justice knew from Day One to be State Department official Richard Armitage. As Mr. Fitzgerald’s obsessive exercise ground forward, Mr. Libby got caught in a perjury net that we continue to believe trapped an innocent man who lost track of what he said, when he said it, and to whom.

The Opinion Journal makes an impassioned argument that Bush should have wiped out Libby’s entire conviction, not just his prison sentence, but I have a feeling a pardon will be coming at a later date. I won’t be surprised if Bush pardons Libby as he leaves office in 2009.

The leftists’ howls of protests are quite the display of hypocrisy. They need to be reminded that it was they who demanded that President Clinton commute the prison terms for 16 Puerto Rican terrorists who were convicted of seditious conspiracy. Most hadn’t even served half of their sentences. Of the 16, Luis Rosa got the best deal. He was sentenced to 75 years in prison, but President Clinton commuted his sentence after serving just four years.

Hillary Clinton, herself, has quite the nerve calling Bush’s commuting Libby’s 30 month prison sentence cronyism when her husband pardoned Marc Rich, who was convicted of tax evasion in the amount of $42 million, as well as his own brother, Roger Clinton. My what short memories these folks have.

Update: Interestingly enough, the New York Times doesn’t think Libby’s commutation is that big of a deal.

Update II: As I suspected, the White House will not rule out a pardon for Libby at some point in the future.

The Lord's Blessings
The quiet man
  • Now, if you feel these points do not refure your position, show why not.

    OK

    Pelosi had a Grand Jury indictment to consider. Right? Or maybe she heard reports of a commandeered National Guard unit that ferried the congressman to his flooded home while the congressman’s neighbors were dying at the Superdome.

    Hastert had reports from the director of the page program and other Representatives (?)that Foley was a pervert preying on pages.

    Pelosi had a rock solid standard to dump Jefferson: a Federal INDICTMENT.

    Hastert had a judgment call to make with NO law enforcement evidence to back him up.

    Hastert deferred to the cautious approach (what EVIDENCE did he have other than accusations?)And, guess what, there was no subsequent indictment of Foley.

    But let’s make this example even more instructive for you Jim, so the irony and hypocrisy can possibly sink in.

    Let’s assume, for example, that the pervert Congressman is named Studds. Or let’s assume that the pervert Congressman allowed a brothel to be run out of his Washington town home basement? Where were the calls for page protection then?

    That’s hard to square with your pious concern about Foley’s “victims”, which we all know you could care less about. That’s hard to square with Pelosi’s protection of Jefferson in the face of overwhelming evidence of criminal activity (serial marked currency found in his freezer).

    Only in Washington is it OK for a Democrat perverts to sodomize pages and steal cash with impunity and for Republican pervert to be ostracized.

  • WildWillie

    Jim, Jim, Jim. Chill man. Your dream of putting someone from this administration is not going to happen. You cannot always get your way. You lost this battle man. Just don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. Turn your emotional meter down. It ain’t worth it. Most of the electorate doesn’t care. Short memories and all that. Now, put the key board down and watch a movie. You are out of control. No one has to prove or disprove your assertions. They are what you think they are and nothing will change your mind. Just repeat after me: Libby is a free man, Libby is a free man. ww

  • kevin

    Jim- in point of fact, you never addressed any of my points. You actually just threw alot of vague shit on the page that sounded like a rebuttal (but wasn’t actually), then gave yourself a self-congratulatory reach around for being clever.

    Perhaps when you actually come up with a legitimate response to my points, you can reward yourself by having some hirsute guy slap his balls against your forehead.

    BTW, you shouldn’t insult someone’s mother- you never know when that person has lost theirs. Based upon what is readily apparent about you, it shouldn’t surprise me that you would hold other peoples’ mothers in such disdain.

    It seems that what you lack in intellect you also lack in common sense and tact.

  • jim

    Jim- in point of fact, you never addressed any of my points. You actually just threw alot of vague shit on the page that sounded like a rebuttal (but wasn’t actually), then gave yourself a self-congratulatory reach around for being clever.

    Cool. That should make it very easy for you to rebut then.

    Just kidding! You don’t have to actually debate and reason. You can just sink to gradeschool insults.

    Perhaps when you actually come up with a legitimate response to my points, you can reward yourself by having some hirsute guy slap his balls against your forehead.

    Please don’t project. I don’t think you realize how unconsciously revealing it is.

    BTW, you shouldn’t insult someone’s mother- you never know when that person has lost theirs. Based upon what is readily apparent about you, it shouldn’t surprise me that you would hold other peoples’ mothers in such disdain.

    wtf are you talking about? Oh man, is it the cooties comment?

    That was just an attempt to show how utterly childish insults are in a reasoned debate.

    If you really have lost your mother any time recently, or at all, I apologize for hurting you.

    It seems that what you lack in intellect you also lack in common sense and tact.

    You see, insults like that.

  • jim

    Pelosi had a rock solid standard to dump Jefferson: a Federal INDICTMENT.

    OK, we’re agreed there.

    Hastert had a judgment call to make with NO law enforcement evidence to back him up.

    Nope, wrong. Emails and IM’s are evidence.

    Furthermore, there’s no reason why Hastert couldn’t have just gone to Foley and removed him from access to pages. That requires no indictment.

    If ***your*** child was a page and Foley had access to him, would you accept this excuse? I think not.

    Try again.

    Hastert deferred to the cautious approach (what EVIDENCE did he have other than accusations?)

    Oh, just the emails and IM’s. You know, evidence.

    Why don’t you get caught up, Hugh? Here’s the timeline:

    2001 — A Republican staff member warns pages “to watch out for Congressman Mark Foley.” A former page says that they were told “don’t get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you and all that kind of stuff.” [ABC, 10/1/06]

    2003 — Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) has sexually explicit IM exchanges with an underage boy who worked as a Congressional page. [ABC News, 9/29/06]

    2003 — Foley’s former aide Kirk Fordham told The Associated Press that “when he learned about Foley’s inappropriate behavior toward pages, he had ‘more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest level of the House of Representatives asking them to intervene,’ alluding to House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Hastert’s office denied the explosive allegations.” [CBS News, 10/5/06]

    APRIL 2003 — Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) interrupts a House vote on the 2003 Iraq supplemental to “engage in Internet sex with a high school student who had served as a congressional page.” [ABC, 10/3/06]

    SUMMER 2005 — Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) sends inappropriate emails to another former Congressional page. [CREW]

    SEPTEMBER 2005 — Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA), who sponsored the page, learns “of the e-mails from a reporter.” [AP, 9/29/06; CQ, 9/30/06]

    FALL 2005 — “Tim Kennedy, a staff assistant in the [Speaker J. Denis Hastert’s] Office, received a telephone call from Congressman Rodney Alexander’s Chief of Staff who indicated that he had an email exchange between Congressman Foley and a former House page…[Mike] Stokke [Deputy Chief of Staff for Speaker Hastert] called the Clerk and asked him to come to the Speaker’s Office so that he could put him together with Congressman Alexander’s Chief of Staff.” [Hastert Statement, 9/30/06]

    LATE 2005 — Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Chairman of the House Page Board, “was notified by the then Clerk of the House, who manages the Page Program, that he had been told by Congressman Rodney Alexander (R-LA) about an email exchange between Congressman Foley and a former House Page.” Shimkus interviewed Foley and told him “to cease all contact with this former house page.” He did not inform Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), the only Democrat on the House page Board. [Roll Call, 9/29/06]

    EARLY 2006 — Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) talks Foley into running for another term. Bob Novak reported, “A member of the House leadership told me that Foley, under continuous political pressure because of his sexual orientation, was considering not seeking a seventh term this year but that Rep. Tom Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), talked him into running.” [New York Post, 10/4/06]

    FEBRUARY/MARCH 2006 — Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), whose office first received the complaint from the page, told Boehner about Foley’s inappropriate e-mails, and Boehner sent him to Tom Reynolds. Alexander tells Reynolds about “the existence of e-mails between Mark Foley and a former page of Mr. Alexander’s.” Reynolds tells Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) about the emails and his conversation with Alexander. [Reynolds Statement, 9/30/06; Roll Call, 9/30/06; Hastert Statement, 9/30/06; Chicago Tribune, 10/3/06]

    SPRING 2006 — House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) learns of “inappropriate ‘contact’ between Foley and a 16-year-old page” from Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA). After learning about Foley’s conduct, Boehner told Speaker of the House J. Denis Hastert who assured Boehner he would “take care of it.” Later, Boehner changed his story and told the Washington Post he didn’t remember whether he talked to Hastert. [Washington Post, 9/30/06; New York Times, 10/1/06]

    SPRING 2006 — Reynolds says he told Hastert about the e-mails after he learned about them. “He said he alerted the Republican speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, to the issue, but Mr. Hastert said he had no recollection of the contact.” [The Sun, 10/3/06]

    MAY 10, 2006 — Reynold’s personal PAC, TOMPAC, donates $5,000 to Foley’s campaign. [New York Daily News, 9/30/06]

    JULY 21, 2006 — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington forwarded the messages to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on July 21 and requested an investigation. [CREW, 10/5/06]

    JULY 27, 2006 — Foley writes a $100,000 check to the NRCC, chaired by Reynolds. [New York Daily News, 9/30/06]

    JULY 27, 2006 — Foley, still co-chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus, attends a signing ceremony at the White House for the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. [White House, 9/27/06; Talkingpointsmemo, 9/30/06; Washington Post, 10/1/06]

    AUGUST 7, 2006 — The NRCC accepted a $100,000 contribution from Foley’s campaign committee. [FEC]

    SEPTEMBER 28, 2006 — ABC publishes emails between Foley and former page. [ABC, 9/28/06]

    SEPTEMBER 29, 2006 3:00 PM — Foley resigns. [ABC, 9/29/06]

    SEPTEMBER 29, 2006 6:00 PM — ABC publishes sexually explict Instant Messages between Foley and several former pages. [ABC, 9/29/06]

    SEPTEMBER 29, 2006 — “Aides to the speaker [Hastert] say he was not aware until last week of inappropriate behavior by Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., who resigned on Friday after portions of racy e-mail exchanges between him and current and former underage congressional pages became public.” [Chicago Tribune, 9/30/06]

    SEPTEMBER 30, 2006 — Hastert admits he was told about the emails by Reynolds in the spring. [Hastert Statement, 9/30/06]

  • jim

    Let’s assume, for example, that the pervert Congressman is named Studds.

    He had a consensual affair with a 17-year-old. He later admitted to it of his own free will, and was censured by the House for it.

    Had Pelosi been there, known about the affair and done nothing about it, you might have a point. But, in this reality, Studds’ actions do not compare to Foley’s, in being creep putting unwanted pressure on any pages around him, multiple times, so much so that the pages repeatedly complained about him – and Hastert then doing nothing about it.

  • Kevin

    Nice try bonehead. Make some legitimate counter-arguments to my initial arguments or shut your fucking pie hole. Don’t smugly strut about in your studio and think you’ve actually debated me. Bring it, nancy boy.

  • Jim, Studds’ actions don’t compare? That’s ridiculous, in fact its outrageous. Studds actually had sexual relations with minors, Foley did not.

  • donnie

    Oh, you contemptible f’n hypocrites! How dare you spend most of the nineties puking up sh++ about the “rule of law” “obstruction of justice”, “perjury”….Libby shows ya what it waz… puke. Sad war-losin’ sacks.

  • MikeSC

    He had a consensual affair with a 17-year-old.

    Gee, and people had a problem with THAT? A grown man having sex with a minor.
    -=Mike

  • rrita m

    Just for the hell of it, here is the link to the blog timeline Jim posted. (I like to see sources, myself.) Think Progress? Happy 4th, and God Bless America!

    http://thinkprogress.org/2006/09/30/foley-coverup-timeline/

  • Paris Hilton has done more time than the traitor Libby.

  • The question is if the prosecutor already knew the identity of the leaker (Armitage), then why he still proceeded with the trial?

    Because there was more than one leaker.

  • Rob LACal.

    Wrong stupid , Libby is no traitor however every Democrat has betrayed this Country with out a doubt.

    A letter to Dingy Reid from LT Jason Nichols, USN
    MNF-I, Baghdad

    “To be brief, your words are killing us.”

    http://www.americans-working-together.com/id223.html

    Democrats just can’t help their hatred of President Bush and This Country. They wear their betrayal of this Country like a badge of honor.

  • LoveAmerica Immigrant

    Who are the traitors? Wonder why the progressive left is so anti-American. Using Mixti’s terminology, why do the progressives hate America so much

    http://www.progressive.org/media_mpzinn070106
    n this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.

    Is not nationalism — that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder — one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?

    These ways of thinking — cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on — have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.

    National spirit can be benign in a country that is small and lacking both in military power and a hunger for expansion (Switzerland, Norway, Costa Rica and many more). But in a nation like ours — huge, possessing thousands of weapons of mass destruction — what might have been harmless pride becomes an arrogant nationalism dangerous to others and to ourselves.

  • Libby Case Presents More Prosecutorial Misconduct
    July 4th, 2007
    Both democrats and the President failed to grasp the injustice in the Scooter Libby debacle, evidencing, once again, that the issue for lawmakers is not the flaws in the criminal justice system, but who can stay in power by playing the “gotcha” game. The “gotcha” game is played at the highest levels of political office where political parties vie for criminal convictions of political operatives on either side in the hopes of proving how corrupt each party is.

    A golden opportunity to reform the broken federal criminal justice system was lost when President Bush declared his support of the jury’s verdict, but not the judge’s sentencing of Mr. Libby. Democrats, incensed that Libby got off light, continue to reach for political gain by claiming administration corruption.

    In a previous blog (May 23, 2007, entitled “What do the Duke Rape Case and the Patriot Act Have in Common?), I informed readers that the ultimate obligation of prosecutors in criminal trials is the search for the truth. The purpose of the Fitzgerald appointment was to seek out who revealed Valerie Plame Wilson’s CIA covert status, and determine if this was a criminal offense. As we all know today, and as Mr. Fitzgerald knew shortly after the investigation started, Wilson was not a covert operative so there was no crime.

    Dorothy Rabinowitz, of the Wall Street Journal Online (see June 22, 2007 Wall Street Journal Online, by Dorothy Rabinowitz, entitled “A Tale of Two Prosecutors”) revealed that while Mr. Fitzgerald argued that the obligation to truth was of the highest importance as related to Mr. Libby, he (Fitzgerald) himself failed in his obligation to truth, by knowing who the leaker was (Richard Armitage) all along, and by instructing him not to disclose this minor detail to the grand jury.

    Indeed, Rabinowitz got it right when she likened Libby prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to recently disbarred and disgraced Mike Nifong. Rabinowitz pointed out Fitzgerald’s own corruption when she pointedly disclosed that he:

    · Knew there was no underlying crime;
    · Knew the identity of the leaker (Richard Armitage);
    · Charged Libby with obstruction of justice, knowing that there was nothing to obstruct since there was no underlying crime;
    · Instructed the leaker not to disclose his identity to keep the criminal process going in the hopes of catching people in lies, thereby creating other law-breakers.
    · Once indicting Libby of obstruction, Fitzgerald moved to keep out evidence of Valerie Plame Wilson’s status because he claimed that the case was not about leaking but about lying. (See Wall Street Journal Online, June 1, 2007, entitled “Fitzgerald Doubles Down”)
    · Upon convicting Libby, Fitzgerald, in an effort to seek the maximum punishment, was allowed to use evidence of Valerie Plames status even though he originally claimed that her status was irrelevant because the case was only about lying.

    Neither the truth, the accused and his family, and the waste of millions of taxpayer dollars can stand in the way of political show trials designed to embarrass those in office.

    Bush could have done more for the country by pardoning Libby and stating that criminal cases should not be brought against innocent individuals to justify millions of taxpayer dollars wasted through years of a fruitless investigation. Bush should have said that the Libby case justifies congressional hearings into vast prosecutorial misconduct and that more oversight of the justice department and federal prosecutors is mandated.

    The voting public would be confused by this position because the democrats would continue to spin the issue to their political gain. However, in the long run, the public would be served by more prosecutorial oversight. Failure to act now may insure that more and more innocent Americans will go to jail as the other Fitzgeralds continue to prosecute for the sake of winning, promotion and accolades. This will ultimately lead to a point in time where every American will either know someone or is related to someone who went to jail because of a corrupt prosecutor. Ultimately, the guilty may go free because juries will be less inclined to convict due to a lack of confidence in the system.

  • jim

    Nice try bonehead. Make some legitimate counter-arguments to my initial arguments or shut your fucking pie hole. Don’t smugly strut about in your studio and think you’ve actually debated me. Bring it, nancy boy.

    Nice debating style.

    I think my points refute yours quite nicely. So, it’s up to you to show how they don’t. Your move unless you choose to forfeit. That’s all I have to say.

  • jim

    Jim, Studds’ actions don’t compare? That’s ridiculous, in fact its outrageous. Studds actually had sexual relations with minors, Foley did not.

    And Studds confessed of his own free will. And Foley was caught, and Hastert and other GOP in congress knew Foley was a creep and potential predator, and continued to have children in jeopardy rather than take the most minimal action to prevent it.

    Which is why we’re not talking about Foley vs. Studds. The situations don’t compare. Apples & oranges. We’re talking about Pelosi & Jefferson vs. Hastert & Foley.

  • LoveAmerica Immigrant

    talking about Pelosi & Jefferson vs. Hastert & Foley.
    ————————————————-
    Was Foley elected to Congress again and was given a welcome ovation by the Rep?

    You simply cannot be honest. You are a hypocrite who has been exposed on this thread. Support the Dem sewage of cronyism, favoritims, and elitism as much as you want but don’t pretend to care about ethics/morality and rule of law since you obviously don’t.

  • LoveAmerica Immigrant

    And Studds confessed of his own free will.
    ——————————————–
    Jim is caught in another hypocrisy of spinning. Jim cannot be honest with his rhetoric on this thread because he has chosen to support the dem sewage.

    During the course of the House Ethics Committee’s investigation, Studds publicly acknowledged his homosexuality, a disclosure that, according to a Washington Post article, “apparently was not news to many of his constituents.” Studds stated in an address to the House, “It is not a simple task for any of us to meet adequately the obligations of either public or private life, let alone both, but these challenges are made substantially more complex when one is, as I am, both an elected public official and gay.”

  • Jim, Studds did not confess of his own free will. That’s another invention on your part. He admitted the conduct long after it had become clearly established. Your attempt to distinguish between the two cases and make Studds’ actions look less significant just falls apart in the light of day.

  • Jim

    Pelosi had a rock solid standard to dump Jefferson: a Federal INDICTMENT.

    OK, we’re agreed there.

    That is the ultimate Emily Litella response.

  • kim

    jim, got an explanation for why CREW associated homosexuality with child predation, illegitimately and cynically? Did they have a victim class that couldn’t object?
    ======================