Monday, July 02, 2007

Coward-in-Chief Commutes Libby's Sentence

Well, we all knew our erstwhile President wouldn't let his own, personal felon (no, not Cheney--Libby) serve a single night behind bars, and indeed he has commuted the thirty month prison sentence rather than face the wrath of a former senior aide (and chief of staff to the VP) who knows too much.

Which is the coward's way out for Mr. 26% approval rating. I think it's clear he will issue an actual pardon--but not until his last day in office, when he can defer the political fallout. Whattaguy. Not to mention: issuing the commutation right between a weekend and a holiday, when no one is paying attention. In Washington parlance, this is known as "throwing out the trash."

Let's try not to forget that Libby was convicted of perjury and obstructing the investigation into who leaked the name of a covert CIA operative -- whose husband... coincidentally, mind you... had just infuriated the administration by daring to tell the American people the truth about those aluminum tubes. You remember the ones... The ones that were supposed to prove Saddam Hussein was about to acquire, or had already acquired, nuclear weapons. Which would, in turn, lead to "mushroom clouds over American cities" if we didn't invade immediately--No, not after UNSCOM finished its unfettered investigation on the ground in Iraq, there was NO TIME for that. The nukes were coming! The nukes!

Ah, 2003. Good times.

Uh-hem... Where were we? Oh, yeah... So now Bush has cowardly commuted the sentence of the designated fall guy for all these crimes, arguing that thirty months for perjury and obstruction of justice in a senior counselor to the President of the United States is too harsh a sentence.

Should be interesting to see what this does to Bush's 26%... A few more ticks down? Or up? A lot of Republicans were agitating for Bush to take action here, after all.

And let's remember: the Republicans who argued so vigorously for the President to overturn this sentence are the self-same people who voted to impeach President Clinton over just one of the crimes for which Libby was convicted: perjury. Remember that the next time the GOP claims to be the party of "law & order."

In any case, Libby-defenders are right about one thing: they convicted the wrong fuckin' guy(s). (Hm... The President can't pardon himself, can he?)

Previously... Pardon Watch

Update: Editor & Publisher has editorial excerpts from the leading newspapers

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