Pres Bush Should Pardon Scooter

Discussion in 'Politics' started by red states rule, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    Pres Bush should put an end to this right now



    Bush Should Pardon Libby Now
    By Charles Krauthammer

    WASHINGTON -- There are lies and there are memory lapses. Bill Clinton denied under oath having sex with Monica Lewinsky. Unless you're Wilt Chamberlain, sex is not the kind of thing that you forget easily. Sandy Berger denied stuffing classified documents in his pants, an act not quite as elaborate as sex, but still involving a lot of muscle memory, and unlikely to have been honestly forgotten.

    Scooter Libby has just been convicted for four felonies that could theoretically give him 25 years in jail for ... what? Misstating when he first heard a certain piece of information, namely the identity of Joe Wilson's wife.

    Think about that. Can you remember when was the first time you heard the name Joe Wilson or Valerie Plame? OK, so it is not a preoccupation of yours. But it was a preoccupation of many Washington journalists and government officials called to testify at the Libby trial, and their memories were all over the lot. Former presidential press secretary Ari Fleischer testified under oath that he had not told Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus about Mrs. Wilson. Pincus testified under oath that Fleischer definitely had.

    Obviously, one is not telling the truth. But there is no reason to believe that either one is deliberately lying. Pincus and Fleischer are as fallible as any of us. They spend their days receiving and giving information. They can't possibly be expected to remember not only every piece, but precisely when they received every piece.

    Should Scooter Libby? He was famously multitasking a large number of national security and domestic issues, receiving hundreds of pieces of information every day from dozens of sources. Yet special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald chose to make Libby's misstatements about the timing of the receipt of one piece of information -- Mrs. Wilson's identity -- the great white whale of his multimillion-dollar prosecutorial juggernaut.

    Why? Because on his essential charge as special prosecutor -- find and punish who had leaked Valerie Plame's name -- he had nothing. No conspiracy, no felony, no crime, not even the claim that she was a covert agent covered by the nondisclosure law. Fitzgerald knew the leaker from the very beginning. It was not Libby, but Richard Armitage. He also knew that the "leak'' by the State Department's No. 2 official -- a fierce bureaucratic opponent of the White House and especially the vice president's office -- was an innocent offhand disclosure made to explain how the CIA had improbably chosen Wilson for a WMD mission. (He was recommended by his CIA wife.)

    Everyone agrees that Fitzgerald's perjury case against Libby hung on the testimony of NBC's Tim Russert. Libby said that he heard about Plame from Russert. Russert said he had never discussed it. The jury members who have spoken said they believed Russert.

    And why should they not? Russert is a perfectly honest man who would not lie. He was undoubtedly giving his best recollection.

    But he is not the pope. Given that so many journalists and administration figures were shown to have extremely fallible memories, is it possible that Russert's memory could have been faulty?

    I have no idea. But we do know that Russert once denied calling up a Buffalo News reporter to complain about a story. Russert later apologized for the error when he was shown the evidence of a call he had genuinely and completely forgotten.

    There is a second instance of Russert innocently misremembering. He stated under oath that he did not know that one may not be accompanied by a lawyer to a grand jury hearing. This fact, in and of itself, is irrelevant to the case, except that, as former prosecutor Victoria Toensing points out, the defense had tapes showing Russert saying on television three times that lawyers are barred from grand jury proceedings.

    This demonstration of Russert's fallibility was never shown to the jury. The judge did not allow it. He was upset with the defense because it would not put Libby on the stand -- his perfect Fifth Amendment right -- after hinting in the opening statement that it might. He therefore denied the defense a straightforward demonstration of the fallibility of the witness whose testimony was most decisive.

    Toensing thinks this might be the basis for overturning the verdict upon appeal. I hope so. This is a case that never should have been brought, originating in the scandal that never was, in search of a crime -- violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act -- that even the prosecutor never alleged. That's the basis for a presidential pardon. It should have been granted long before this egregious case came to trial. It should be granted now without any further delay.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/03/bush_should_pardon_libby_now.html
     
  2. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Still cut-and-pasting, I see. You should be thankful 'Scooter' lied to a grand jury and FBI investigators and obstructed a criminal investigation. Had he not done so it would have been Dick Cheney on trial.

    Granted, 'Scooter' was a sacrificial lamb and seems a nice fellow, but the thing that everyone is ignoring is that it doesn't really matter if you're a nice guy or not, lying to a grand jury and obstructing a criminal investigation are felonies. If you do the crime you gotta do the time. Isn't that what you "law-and-order" types on the right are always prattling about? Or does that not apply to Republicans and members of the Bush administration? Your hypocrisy is showing.
     
  3. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    It wasn't about Libby at all
    By Mona Charen
    I've been catching flak for suggesting that "Scooter" Libby ought never to have been on trial at all. "Aha," say my critics, "we remember how outraged you were at Bill Clinton's 'perjury,' but now that the shoe is on the other foot, you're crying foul. Too bad!" (I've cleaned up some of the language.)

    If we're going to have a hypocrisy contest, I'd be glad to put into evidence the thousands of liberals who sputtered with indignation at Clarence Thomas's supposed sexual harassment of Anita Hill and at former Sen. Bob Packwood's groping of an assortment of lobbyists and staffers, but then hotly denied that Bill Clinton's sexual predations were relevant to the public's business.

    That much having been said, I deny that the cases are comparable. Patrick Fitzgerald, transformed into Ahab by the post of independent counsel, seized upon inconsistent statements by Libby and other witnesses to bring a perjury action. Now that the verdict is in, many on the left are admitting that Libby wasn't the issue at all.

    Howard Fineman of Newsweek analyzed it this way: "The ramifications of the stunning, vehement verdict in the Scooter Libby trial -- that he lied, repeatedly, big time -- aren't really about Scooter Libby at all. They are about how and why we went to war in Iraq, and about how Vice President Dick Cheney got us there." The New York Times announced editorially that while they didn't like Fitzgerald putting reporters in jail, "it was still a breath of fresh air to see someone in this administration, which specializes in secrecy, prevarication and evading blame, finally called to account."

    Excuse me, but Libby is not being "called to account." Tony Blair is called to account in Parliament at Prime Minister's Question Time. Mr. Libby faces prison. And for what? Because a Kerry-supporting, proven liar called Joseph Wilson persuaded the press that the White House committed a crime in outing his CIA wife. Prosecutor Ahab Fitzgerald knew that this was not true; that Richard Armitage (an opponent of the Iraq War, by the way) was the leaker; and that the whole purpose of mentioning Valerie Plame was not to destroy her career or, God forbid, endanger her life, but rather to explain the otherwise mysterious decision by elements of this administration to send that guy on a sensitive mission to Niger.

    We are told that the case reveals how "obsessed" the vice president's office was with the Wilson business. This is highly doubtful considering the range of matters the administration was then contending with. But suppose they were? The tacit assumption that there was something sinister about the vice president attempting to rebut a very damaging op-ed in one of the country's most influential newspapers is nonsensical.

    This is a textbook case of the criminalization of policy differences. If Bush haters believe that the president "lied us into war," they are fully entitled to support a Democrat in 2008. But their blood lust will not be satisfied with that. Libby must be led away in handcuffs.

    Libby was convicted of lying about how and when he learned that Valerie Plame was a CIA employee. Though trial watchers are suggesting that his memory lapses are not credible, we can certainly agree, can we not, that this datum was of less than intimate interest to Mr. Libby?

    Much as one hates to go over this ground again, let's recall that President Clinton, by contrast, was testifying about matters that human beings simply do not tend to forget. Here is an excerpt from his deposition: "Did you have an extramarital sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky?" Answer: "No." Mr. Clinton further denied having encouraged Ms. Lewinsky to lie in a sworn statement (suborning perjury), and testified that he could not recall ever being alone with her.

    Further, while there was no underlying offense in the Libby case, i.e., there was no violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, there was an underlying offense in the Clinton case -- the sexual harassment of Paula Jones. Indeed, the former president paid Ms. Jones $850,000 to settle the case.

    Lewis Libby was doing his best to serve the country and was sandbagged by an out of control prosecutor and a lynch mob press. This miscarriage will leave conservatives bitter. Don't be surprised if the worm turns again.

    http://patriotpost.us/opinion/entry.asp?entry_id=18237
     
  4. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Are you incapable of expressing an original thought? Or are you simply content to play the part of ventriloquist's dummy?

    And Ms. Charen seems more intent on parroting the talking points from the White House than actual journalism. However, her quote from Howard Fineman was close to the mark. Scooter's lies were intended to deflect further investigation into the connection between the White House vendetta against Joe Wilson and his indictment of the key claim made by the Bush administration in its run-up to the invasion of Iraq. You remember...That Iraq would, in short order, have nuclear weapons capable of threatening the US and its allies...Or, Like 'Scooter' you've conveniently forgotten.
     
  5. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    facts do bother libs no matter where they come from. The point is the bimbo was not a cobert agent - she was a paper pusher

    Wilson went and conducted his investagation by the hotel pool. Even the libs beloved 9-11 commission said he was a lier

    Once again, if Bush lied about Saddam and WMD's so did all your fellow Dems
     

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