Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Scooter Libby

Yesterday, George Bush commuted Scooter Libby's sentence. Scooter, you may remember, was Dick Cheney's chief of staff. Scooter was the one who was telling all the Washington reporters that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent, and then he lied about it under oath. He was convicted and the judge threw the book at him. Yesterday, George said the sentence was too much, so he threw out the prison sentence.

So what does it all mean? Well, that's the million-dollar question today, isn't it? Was George playing to the far right-wing base who were raising millions for the "Scooter Libby Defense Funds"? If he was, he didn't make them happy: they wanted a complete pardon. (Note that these were the same ones who were rabidly attacking Bill Clinton for lying under oath. Let's see: Libby outed a covert CIA agent, which effectively ended her career, did untold damage to all intelligence programs she was involved in previously, and possibly got some of her contacts killed. Libby then deliberately misled prosecutors in a successful attempt to divert attention from his bosses who dreamed this whole thing up. Clinton lied about a blow job. Yeah, that sounds about equal, doesn't it?) So with Bush's decision, Libby is still a convicted felon who will be on probation for a while and have to pay a $250,000 fine. Sounds stiff, except that even as a convicted felon, he won't have any problem getting employment from the multitude of right-wingers. I bet we see him at some think-tank soon, or maybe on the board at Halliburton. As for the probation, probation from what? Revealing any more CIA agents' identities? Lying to any more grand juries? Be real. And a $250,000 fine sounds terrible, except that, as noted previously, his "defense funds" have already raised millions. They'll just write a check from one of those funds and Scooter's off the hook. So basically, Libby is free to go write a book, make a lot of money, and have a good life. As George said, anything more is "excessive punishment".

Okay, so the far right wing base isn't happy that Libby didn't get a pardon. The other roughly 85% of America (according to today's CNN polls) isn't happy that he's not going to prison. This 85% of America, by the way, is collectively known as the "left wing" to Limbaugh, Coulter, and the Administration. None of us are happy because Bush has subverted justice yet again.

So if the right wing isn't happy, and the "left wing" isn't happy, who is? Well, Scooter. But he can't vote now, so he won't have any effect on the next election.

I heard some TV pundit saying that Bush might be trying to shore up his legacy. Yes, I can see it now:
"George Bush: Still dumber than a box of rocks."

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