President Bush has commuted the sentence of Scooter Libby

    3 July 2007, early morning

There are so many things I wanted to write about today, including my brand new transformer, and a visit from my cousins, but instead I’ll mention that unsurprisingly, President Bush has commuted the sentence of Scooter Libby.

I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.

This isn’t all that surprising. I don’t think anyone actually expected him to spend any time in jail. You can almost feel the rage on MetaFilter. I wonder how much press this will get today, or over the course of the week. Any of you in America have a sense of how people are reacting to the news?

This quote from the Times sums things up nicely:

Presidents have the power to grant clemency and pardons. But in this case, Mr. Bush did not sound like a leader making tough decisions about justice. He sounded like a man worried about what a former loyalist might say when actually staring into a prison cell.

Of course, in the grand scheme of crap things the administration has done, this barely ranks. I’ve been reading through Nemesis now, a book Martha bought me for my birthday last year, which is a pretty neat and tidy account of why America is constantly fucking up, and why it is probably totally fucked. I think it’s well worth checking out. There is so much truly evil stuff Bush has got up to since taking office, it’s hard to get worked up about Libby being let off the hook for outing Plame — more so since in all likely hood he was covering for Cheney.

I wonder if anyone in the US will ever get charged as a war criminal. They’ve certainly got enough of them running around living it up.



  1. I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ll never see anyone in the administration get punished.

    Dubya’s last official duty will be pre-emptive pardons (the Bush doctrine is applicable everywhere)

  2. Someone pointed out that Paris Hilton has served more time in jail then Libby ever will. That’s kind of sad. I’m also willing to bet more American’s know about her case than Libby’s.

  3. I heard on CNN that:

    a) The judge and the prosecutor were both (appointed by) Republicans and the appeals were heard by one of most the right-wing set of judges in the US; so Libby had “home court advantage” so to speak.

    b) The “excessive” jail time was mandated by federal guidelines, so if the judge had given him less, he would have truly been a “activist” judge, that Bush et al are always railing against.

    c) Bush has done very few commutions/pardons (relative to Clinton, etc.) and he didn’t follow the Justice Department rules (which he’s allowed to do as “The Decider”), so it was very unusual to do this in the first place and the process was unusual too.

    So basically, it smacks of Korruption with a capital K. Also, CNN only implied that; they didn’t have the balls to say it directly.

  4. On Fox News, Bill O’Reilly is busying interviewing some author about how Hillary Clinton allegedly committed perjury during the Whitewater investigation (in the 1990s), so O’Reilly is mystified why she wasn’t prosecuted…

    ...Why am I watching Fox News? It’s the original. It’s more entertaining than the Colbert Report.

  5. I wonder if they try to be obnoxious and strangely ironic on purpose, in order to appeal to both the left and the right.

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