Posted by: mutantpoodle | July 3, 2007

Libby Commutation Part II: Still Sucking

photo-george-bush-fingerThere’s not much to say about George Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison sentence that hasn’t been said already. Joe Wilson, Marcy Wheeler, and Christy Hardin Smith all use the phrase Obstruction of Justice; David Brooks, in the Times (warning – Times select) demonstrates, shall we say, an unfamiliarity with the facts of the case, and Tim Noah at Slate both gets the facts wrong on the sentencing guidelines and seems to think that Bill Clinton’s perjury (for which he was not convicted in a court of law) about an affair that was irrelevant to a sexual harassment suit that was so weak it was tossed out of court is exactly the same as being convicted of Perjury and Obstruction of Justice in the matter of disclosing the classified, secret identity of a CIA undercover employee in order the get back at your political enemies.

Thank God Digby smacks him down so I don’t have to.

Everyone is saying that Bush has the absolute right to do this. But rights come with responsibilities, and Bush has so abrogated his responsibilities as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States that I don’t know how anyone will take him seriously in that role again.

I was a 14-year old high school freshman in 1973 when Richard Nixon fired Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox; Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy William Ruckelshaus quit rather than do Nixon’s bidding. (A more compliant Solicitor General moved up and did the deed – be grateful Robert Bork never made it to the Supreme Court.) I had the same pit in my stomach then that I do today – one that wonders if our democracy can survive this assault. The difference is that today, those who lie to excuse the inexcusable are heralded figures in our public discourse, and not just Ronald Ziegler.

The last word goes to Swopa at Needlenose.

In 2003, as the Plame investigation started, George Bush talked tough: “”If there’s a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is . . . If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.”

As he noted yesterday, we now know exactly what he meant.

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