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Bush Commutes Libby's Jail term

 
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2007 09:21 am
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2007 09:21 am
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
DontTreadOnMe wrote:



Ours, though, is a living language and so it is inevitable that the current usage of the phrase will supplant the former. That is the way of language, but I'm not sure I want to be part of the process of corruption.

The way things are going, "literally" will soon lose it's meaning and become nothing more than a modifier meaning "REALLY!"

Sad to say this is the way of modern English usage: rolling it all into a compact ball, the elimination of nuance.

Perhaps it has something to do with Instant and Text messages..


I couldn't agree more.... (and there's a first) with you Finn.... and that begs the question (my little joke there)..."Did George Orwell know he was a prophet?"
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2007 10:25 am
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Ours, though, is a living language and so it is inevitable that the current usage of the phrase will supplant the former. That is the way of language, but I'm not sure I want to be part of the process of corruption.

Indeed, if you're not part of the solution, you're probably part of the problem.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Secondly, your argument is specious. Libby does not believe he lied. He never plead guilty and he has appealed his conviction.

The past tense of "plead" is not "plead," it's either "pleaded" or "pled."

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
It is a tremendous and venal leap between Libby's conviction and assured malfeasance on the part of the Administration.

A "venal leap?" What's that? How is that leap indicative of financial corruption?
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2007 11:48 am
Oh, if we could only commute the rest of the time in office remaining for Bush and Cheney!

Bush's press secretary mocked Hillary's criticism by going into Bill's pardons. However, the former failed to go into the pardons granted by Bush 41, which included those granted to people involved in IranContraGate.
0 Replies
 
Roxxxanne
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2007 09:23 pm
DontTreadOnMe wrote:
if in fact there is no evidence of wrong doing, it begs the question; why did libby feel compelled to lie?


Yes, why did he "risk" going to jail for three years? Of course, he didn't risk anything, the fix was in all along. I predicted this outcome long ago. Eventually, the truth will come out.
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2007 05:39 am
I honestly don't know why Snow is allowed to get up there in front of the American people and tell such falsehoods as he does on a regular basis.

The following is an example of the latest:

Quote:
Yesterday, White House spokesman Tony Snow was asked if the USA Today op-ed he wrote was an attempt to justify the President's extraordinary clemency order with a "Clinton did it too" argument:

REPORTER: Tony, why do you … in your op-ed today you brought up the Clinton pardons, as well. Do two wrongs make a right? Is that the idea, like if Clinton did wrong …

SNOW: Well, this is … no, this is not a wrong, but I think what is interesting is perhaps it was just because he was on his way out, but while there was a small flurry, there was not much investigation of it.

Snow's contention that "there was not much investigation" of Clinton's pardons is an apparent attempt to preclude any congressional inquiry into Bush's actions, particularly whether it was appropriate to extend clemency to an aide who has "knowledge that could incriminate his bosses in the White House." The House Judiciary Committee has a hearing set for July 11 on the issue.

Furthermore, Snow is dishonestly distorting the facts when he says there "was not much investigation" of Clinton's pardons. In fact, there was substantial investigation:

01/20/01: On his final morning in the White House, President Clinton grants 140 presidential pardons and 36 commutations.

2/08/01: The House Government Reform Committee, headed by Dan Burton, launches hearings into Clinton's last-minute pardons.

2/14/01: Pardon hearings begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Republican Orrin Hatch.

2/15/01: Manhattan U.S. attorney Mary Jo White, in conjunction with the FBI, launches a criminal investigation into all the Clinton pardons.

2/23/01: Manhattan U.S. attorney Mary Jo White announces her office is investigating commutations Clinton granted to four Hasidic men from upstate New York.

2/27/01: Clinton waives his claim to executive privilege, saying three of his former aides are free to testify before the House Government Reform Committee.

3/01/01: Former aides John Podesta, Beth Nolan and Bruce Lindsey testify for an entire day before the House Government Reform Committee.

3/11/01: Pledging continued investigations into the pardons, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott says Congress must not "walk away" from the work of pursuing Clinton.

3/13/01: Attorney General John Ashcroft asks White to expand her current investigation into some of President Clinton's pardons to include all 177 of the last-minute clemencies and commutations.

In total, the investigations into Clinton's issuances of executive clemency took over a year to conclude. The House Government Reform Committee didn't release its final report until March 2002, well over a year after President Clinton left office. The Justice Department didn't close its investigation, in which it concluded "it wasn't appropriate to bring charges against anybody," until June 2002.

It's hard to see how over a year of multiple inquires could be characterized as "not much investigation," but then again, Tony Snow has never appeared too concerned with getting his facts right when it comes to defending his boss.

UPDATE: Jeralyn has more on the congressional hearings into Clinton's pardons here.


Links at the source
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2007 08:32 am
P M Carpenter addresses this HERE.

Quote:
July 06, 2007
How Conyers could wipe that smugness off Bush's face: A modern fable
J
ohn Conyers, the House Judiciary Committee's chairman and irrepressible swordsman, announced earlier this week that he'll hold a hearing on the presidential power of clemency, which, given the reigning scofflaw who possesses that power, means a hearing on its abuse.


Said Rep. Conyers' statement: "In light of Monday's announcement by the president that he was commuting the prison sentence for Scooter Libby, it is imperative that Congress look into presidential authority to grant clemency, and how such power may be abused. Taken to its extreme, the use of such authority could completely circumvent the law enforcement process and prevent credible efforts to investigate wrongdoing in the executive branch."


Right-wing bloviation merchants and the mainstream media (if they're not still obsessing over John Edwards' haircuts) will, of course, snicker and ridicule. They'll trumpet the president's right to grant clemency as constitutionally absolute, they'll belittle those who question its limits as basement-blogging bombthrowers, and they'll altogether ignore Rep. Conyers' proper allusions to improper extremes, unreasonable circumventions and potential obstructions of justice.


If pressed, they'll deride the notion that a president's exercise of a constitutional right could conceivably fit the impeachable bill of high crimes and misdemeanors. On the face of it, they'll say, the notion is absurd, since no crime could possibly attach to a constitutional right.


In brief, they'll attempt to short-circuit any serious analysis of that which would foreshadow any serious evaluation of impeachable behavior.


They'll declare the debate settled before it begins.


But there's something else they'll be wilfully ignoring. And the something else is that we've been down this interpretational road before -- and that road ended with another House Judiciary chairman confronting conventional thinking, and arriving at a quite different and ultimately determinate conclusion.


In the spasmodic unraveling of Dick Nixon's final year in office, Chairman Peter Rodino once snapped to dubious reporters, "To me, 'high crimes and misdemeanors' were never precise. The way I read them, they aren't meant to spell out anything but a president's performance in office.


"I see it as the kind of conduct that brings the whole office into scandal and disrepute, the kind of abuse of power that subverts the system we live in, that brings about in and of itself a loss of confidence in this system.


"I guess, all in all, it's behavior which in its totality is not good for the presidency, nor any part of the system."


The White House, much of the press and, naturally, herds of contemporary right-wing bloviators initially tried laughing off that argument. A high crime or misdemeanor means a high crime or a misdemeanor -- period -- they snorted, in response to which Chairman Rodino's committee then drafted a boatload of impeachment articles, which, as journalist Teddy White broadly characterized them shortly after, embodied the outrage that "Richard Nixon through his men and his administration had frustrated the operation of justice against wrongdoers and abused the power of state against a number of free citizens, and thus, against all citizens."


Chairman Rodino's committee also issued this general finding: "Unlike a criminal case, the cause for the removal of a President may be based on his entire course of conduct in office."


Whereupon the White House, the press and the bloviators stopped laughing.


Seems to me Bush / Cheney could be impeached based on that reading of "high crimes and misdemeanors."
0 Replies
 
Roxxxanne
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2007 08:48 am
The Libby Commutation vs. the Susan MacDougal Pardon

Quote:
Libby commutation vs. Susan McDougal pardon
by Fred in Vermont
Sat Jul 07, 2007 at 04:56:06 AM PDT

On the July 5 edition of Hardball [transcript] Bob Shrum was up against former Cheney aid Ron Christie when the discussion was pushed into the area of Clinton's pardons. Shrum says

I do not defend all of those pardons that Bill Clinton made on his last day in office. But I think there is a critical distinction; none of those pardons has anyone every alleged could have in any way insulated him from some kind of criminal investigation.

At this point Christie named Susan Mcdougal and Henry Cisneros as examples where Clinton had done just that.

t

* Fred in Vermont's diary :: ::
*

The transcript cuts off after Mcdougal, but from the exchange that follows it is clear the everyone understood it was about Henry Cisneros that Shrum was most objecting to. In fact Shrum for quite some time kept talking over Christie demanding he justify his claim that somehow Henry Cisneros had embarrassing things to say about Clinton.

When it was clear that Shrum was not going to let Christie keep talking unless he would support his claim that Clinton was involved in the Henry Cisneros' "crime" Matthews spoke up and explained just what the that crime was and that

Henry Cisneros in his application for the position of HUD secretary gave a dishonest answer about how much money he was paying off his girlfriend. And that was a problem. You can say that is the president's fault, but only, Ron, highly tangential, that some how Bill Clinton knew how much money that Henry Cisneros was paying his girlfriend. How would he have known that?

I am glad that Shrum called Christie for suggesting that the Henry Cisneros pardon could have been part of some sort of Clinton cover-up but it seems to me that the case of Susan Mcdougal is more instructive.

Ken Starr held her in various rat hole jails for a long time to try to get her to talk, in a situation where she feared if she told the truth Starr felt he had evidence to charge that as perjury and use her as some sort of surrogate for Clinton. She never did agree to testify for Starr and was convicted of contempt and served her time.

Then, at the end of the day, and when all threat of additional incarceration was past, Clinton gave her a pardon because he rightly thought she had been treated unfairly. But can you imagine what the response would have been if after Starr had first gotten an order that would have caused Mcdougal to be confined President Clinton had given her some sort of commutation so that she never spent a day in jail and only later gave her a full pardon?

I have no doubt that that would have been one of the impeachment charges brought against Clinton. But of course Clinton did not do any such thing because he clearly thought that would seem to be a clear case of his obstructing the work of the independent counsel -- and it would have been.

And yet this is exactly what Bush has done. If he had let Libby start to serve his sentence and then gave him a pardon that let him out of prison in January '08 that would be one thing, but to keep him from going to prison at all and remove the possibility that he would talk to try to get the prosecutor to cut him some slack is a clear case of obstruction.

This is the critical thing about the Libby commutation: it obstructs an ongoing investigation.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2007 03:03 pm
Bi-Polar Bear wrote:
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
DontTreadOnMe wrote:



Ours, though, is a living language and so it is inevitable that the current usage of the phrase will supplant the former. That is the way of language, but I'm not sure I want to be part of the process of corruption.

The way things are going, "literally" will soon lose it's meaning and become nothing more than a modifier meaning "REALLY!"

Sad to say this is the way of modern English usage: rolling it all into a compact ball, the elimination of nuance.

Perhaps it has something to do with Instant and Text messages..


I couldn't agree more.... (and there's a first) with you Finn.... and that begs the question (my little joke there)..."Did George Orwell know he was a prophet?"


I don't know enough about George Orwell's life to know if he considered himself a prophet, but I would think that in some sense he must have.He was certainly prophetic. If you would like to read another prophetic novel concerning the power of the internet, try David Brin's book titled either Earth or Planet Earth. I can't recall which.
0 Replies
 
Roxxxanne
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2007 04:50 pm
http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/


Quote:
You Want a Motive? Libby's Secret Mission

by emptywheel

Big Media Matt and Brendan Nyhan and Tom Maguire are puzzling over what motive Bush might have for commuting Libby's sentence. Since Maguire was helpful enough to quote from Team USA, I'll offer an explanation offered by Team Libby. (I could point to a number of Fitzgerald quotes about clouds and Vice Presidents that Maguire is overlooking, but I find that Jeffress is better at soundbite than Fitzgerald.) In his closing argument, Bill Jeffress described the events surrounding Libby's July 8 meeting with Judy as a "secret mission" known only to Bush, Cheney, and Libby.

The prosecution has focused on this July 8th meeting with Judith Miller at the St. Regis Hotel. They said, could Mr. Libby, how, if he was so busy, did he have two hours to go out and have lunch with Ms. Miller on July 8th. The reason he took two hours to have lunch with Ms. Miller is that Mr. Libby understood that the Vice President of the United States had directed him to go meet with Ms. Miller and that the President, President Bush was behind it too.

[snip]

I mean this is basically a secret mission that three people in the world know, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Scooter Libby. Because he goes and does what he is asked to do by the President and the Vice President and meets with her for two hours, suddenly they're trying to find something bad in that because, in Ms. Miller's notes at the lunch, she's got the word WINPAC. [my emphasis]

That's the defense lawyer speaking, mind you. That's a pretty good start for a motive, don't you think? After all, by lying and claiming he first learned about Plame from Tim Russert two days after his "secret mission," Libby pretended it was impossible to have leaked Plame's identity to Judy Miller during his "secret mission." By lying and obstructing justice, Libby hid his "secret mission"--in which Cheney and Bush were participants--from any scrutiny.

Just a quick reminder of why this involves Bush and Cheney directly. When, on the morning of July 7 or 8, Cheney told Libby to leak something to Miller, Libby said he couldn't--that something was classified. Cheney said, no, it's okay, I got Bush to authorize that leak. When asked directly if that something was declassified when he leaked it to Miller, Libby explained:

Libby. It had in the sense that the President had told me to go out and use it with Judith Miller.

[snip]

Well, the President had told me to use it and declassified it for me to use with Judith Miller.

Do you see how Bush and Cheney are intimately involved in whatever it was that Libby leaked to Miller? Cheney ordered it, Bush authorized it.

There is, of course, the little issue of what Libby leaked to Miller, what that something is. Convicted perjurer Scooter Libby claims it was portions of the NIE. There is a laundry list of reasons why that is not logically plausible: the number of other people Libby leaked the NIE to without presidential authorization (5), the fact that leaking NIE-type material to Judy has never demanded presidential authorization in the past, the fact that Libby insisted on certain conditions with Judy that he didn't use with others he leaked the NIE to. I could go on. But for now, let me just return to the conversation Libby had with David Addington.

The sequence is important. On July 7 or 8 (two weeks after Libby started leaking the NIE), Cheney ordered Libby to leak that something to Judy. After that meeting, Libby asked David Addington whether the President could insta-declassify something (and note--in the trial, Addington studiously avoided using the word "document," even while Libby's lawyers tried to put that word in his mouth). And in the same conversation, Libby asked Addington about paperwork concerning Wilson's trip. Though Libby didn't mention Wilson by name to Addington (though he did in his notes, which is how we can be sure he was talking about Wilson and Plame), Addington himself recognized that Libby's question related to Wilson. In other words, according to the Vice President's current Chief of Staff, Libby came to him asking about declassifying something and about paperwork related to Wilson--and Addington perceived the conversation to be about Wilson, not the 16 words. (In an oft-promised post, which looks to be morphing into a series of posts, I'll show that the two inquiries might be connected, and if so, would prove definitively that Libby and Cheney knew Plame was covert.) Whatever Libby leaked to Judy, it's not the NIE, because Libby had already been leaking that for two weeks, without going to the trouble of asking for Addington's blessing.

Now, frankly, I'm not sure whether that something was Plame's identity, the CIA trip report, or both. I would bet money it's both (and if it's not the trip report, then Libby--and the guy that's probably Libby who passed it to Novak--leaked information they knew to be classified). In any case, after receiving an order from Cheney to leak something to Judy Miller on July 7 or 8, Libby proceeded to leak Plame's identity and the CIA trip report to Judy Miller on July 8.

Oh--and just a note for Mr. Nyhan, who had this to say:

(a) there was an underlying crime and (b) that President Bush "is a party to" it. To believe this to be true, you have to believe that Richard Armitage innocently leaked Valerie Plame's status to Robert Novak before other Bush officials could unleash a plot that demonstrably violated the relevant statute.

For those of us in the reality-based world, 8:30 AM is actually before "afternoon." In other words, Libby's "secret mission"--his meeting with Judy--was over well before Novak sat down with Armitage.

As to the question, though, of whether this means Libby covered up illegal activity. It may well be that Nyhan is right: that Libby is covering up legal, but embarrassing activity on the part of George Bush. (Putting aside, of course, the evidence that Cheney compared stories with Libby and ordered him to be exonerated when he knew well what Libby had done, suggesting Cheney'd be in for obstruction all by himself.) After all, George Bush does have the authority to declassify anything at will. So if he did, in fact, tell Libby to leak Plame's identity, then it may well be legal--we'd have to ask the Constitutional lawyers. (If Cheney lied to Libby about getting authorization from Bush, though, then Cheney would likely be guilty of the IIPA violation, because contrary to what he'd tell you, he does not have authority to insta-declassify material he has not, first, classified. And I'm guessing he was not the classification owner of Plame's identity.)

Now I suspect that Nyhan would consider the deliberate exposure of a CIA spy embarrassing--though a good deal more embarrassing than he's probably imagining. But I would also suspect (hope?) that he'd consider it gross abuse of power--of the sort that already demands some kind of response from Congress. And adding the commutation on top of that gross abuse of power? Yes, like insta-declassifying, Bush has uncontested authority to commute a sentence. But that doesn't make it any less an obstruction of justice when he does it to hide his own actions.

July 07, 2007 at 17:14 in Bush/Republican Scandals, Contributor--emptywheel | Permalink
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jul, 2007 08:52 am
http://cagle.msnbc.com/working/070709/day.jpg
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jul, 2007 08:58 am
Hillary ain't Bill. You are like McCarthy: guilt by association.
0 Replies
 
 

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