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It should be noted, for future record, that the President of the United States has just used his power of clemency to sabotage an active criminal investigation into the office of his own Vice President. In some parallel universes, I have heard tell that such a thing was once itself considered corruption, or obstruction. It seems at minimum useful to put a footnote in the history books, somewhere, that such a remarkable thing could happen and still receive not merely praise, but unsheepish celebration among people who pretend nightly to be serious about such things.


I think almost everyone involved sees this as what it almost certainly is: Scooter Libby, loyal to the last, is getting his pardon on the installment plan. There is little advantage -- and distinct disadvantage -- for Bush to pardon the charges entirely, at the moment, but Bush indeed came through with an impeccably timed effort to ensure Libby faced no actual material consequences from his actions. Facing immediate jail time? Then kill the jail time. All of it, from day one onward. If Libby was in any actual danger of having to pay his $250,000 fine, there seems little doubt he would have seen that part of his sentence commuted as well.

But now Libby is in no imminent danger: problem solved. Bush has neatly and in one action removed any impetus for Libby -- or anyone else -- to cooperate with government investigators. There is no leverage a prosecutor can use against Libby, in order to gain a plea deal in exchange for information that he has so far refused to provide. Conservative backers have contributed more than five million dollars in a slush fund for Libby's defense, and are eager to help him in his hour of need; it seems hard to believe that Libby himself will ever have to contribute even one thin dime towards his own fine. He will be, presuming his appeal runs its course in the next year and a half without still more intervention, a convicted felon, but one whose sole substantive punishment will be the well-financed adulation of his supporters as a true martyr.

We should note here, for the record, the magnificent-if-selective cowardice of Scooter Libby. He allowed Judith Miller to go to jail for three months on his behalf, keeping his silence until the pressure had built to intolerable levels. His willingness to sacrifice others -- at least in direct proportion to their access to power -- for his own freedom has at this point been well established. He relied on the sacrifices of others for his own self-preservation, sacrificing himself in turn only to one thin premise: that lying to investigators was an acceptable thing, in exchange for... what? He lied to investigators, repeatedly and provably, rather than cooperate in a case that threatened to implicate his own more powerful friends. Seldom is justice in a single case so transparently stratified, each layer of establishment Washington valiantly wounding itself in obsequious service to the one above it.

But after it all, the consequences of the law were considered too much. Nobody expects a mere Scooter Libby to have the ruggedness of a Martha Stewart, the toughened pastry chef and craftsperson who somehow managed to soldier through jail time on her own without requiring the intervention of two of the four known branches of constitutional government. Amidst dire pleas from conservatives, President Bush cited the excessiveness of Libby's 30-month sentence, and substituted not 15 months, or even one, or even one lazy afternoon, but instead deemed even a single hour to be excessive, for the crime of obstructing justice in an investigation into his own White House, and the office of his own Vice President. No clearer signal to future prosecutors could possibly be given, short of simply Xeroxing up clemencies on cardstock to be distributed as Christmas gifts -- and we may yet see that.

Let me reemphasize: George W. Bush claimed repeatedly that the sentence in this case was excessive. But when it came time to decide what punishment would not be excessive, Bush chose zero. Not a month, a week, or even a single summer day in jail would be appropriate in this case of obstruction, the President asserted. Even the prospect of a single hour behind bars, for this particular most senior of senior members of the Vice President's staff, required immediate neutralizing action.


Eighteen months from now, on some mid-January day, Libby will of course be lauded for his great service to the nation -- that service in no way being the remarkable ability to keep his mouth tightly shut in face of a criminal investigation into activities at the White House, perish the thought -- and fully pardoned. Bush's statement about respecting jury opinions will be recast once again, this time to the effect of "I respect the jury opinions, but Scooter has had quite the rough time of it lately, what with all these investigations and indictments and whatnot, and has suffered enough. Let the healing begin!" This will be lauded by administration members, administration friends, other indicted members of the Republican party, and by "centrist" pundits eager to ply all of them for quotes and insights. The mere premise that a member of his administration would be held accountable for criminal actions as others would be is not just unthinkable, but has been a matter of great contention throughout Bush's presidency, requiring elaborate fictions of legalese to defend even the transparently illegal, such as domestic espionage and torture, and even more tortured justifications for reasons why no such justifications need be given in the first place.

This case is, and has been, a touchstone. Scooter Libby was indicted and convicted for obstruction of justice in a criminal investigation that reached into the office of the Vice President himself, and that obstruction of justice is still ongoing. It has not gone away. It has not been resolved. The only change is that, now, the President of the United States has interrupted the trial process, the appeal process, the prospects for plea and negotiation, and the ongoing White House investigation itself in order to preemptively inoculate the most key witness in the case from further investigation, testimony, or punishment.

There is no rationale that justifies such an act, and merely being used to such levels of corruption on the part of the Bush administration and the rest of the conservative movement in service of the quest for unitary power does not excuse that corruption. Bush may have never been willing to discuss an "ongoing case" inside his White House, but he was more than willing to use his Constitutional powers to shut it down at the precise moment judgment suddenly became a material, tactile thing.

When seeking clemency for a criminal obstruction of justice, it is always considered a stroke of luck to have committed the obstruction on behalf of individuals with the power to grant such clemency. And when predicting actions on the part of George W. Bush, it's always best to presume he would take the exact same actions a crime boss would take, if a crime boss were in a position to take them. With each passing day, Bush becomes a little less presidential, and a little more like Al Capone with an Air Force.

George W. Bush could at any point in the last three years have used his position to demand that others come forward, either exonerating Libby or condemning him as the evidence warranted. We are asked to believe that he had no such power: that, in spite of testimony that at least two other administration officials had leaked the identity of the American covert agent to the press, merely because her husband had the audacity to anger the perpetually crabby and apparently uncontrollable Richard Cheney, Bush himself was completely incapable of putting two leakers plus one perjurer plus one Vice President together, or of demanding answers of his own staff, or even seeking them. For an administration so famous for discipline and order, it was a remarkable failure of will. If the President and Vice President consciously set out to intentionally obstruct the investigation into their own administration, they would have made each decision exactly as they did. Upon the hour when, like Nixon firing Cox, the President finally reaches into the wheels of American justice themselves to extract his loyal servant, it is no longer credible to assume all of it was merely three years of coincidence.

There are of course theoretical remedies that could be taken, if a President was constantly abusing his power in order to satisfy the daily demands of cronyism, or even to help support -- as seems unambiguous -- the continued obstruction of justice by convicted members of his own staff. The Constitution could in theory be amended to allow some oversight of clemency decisions, or a caveat added pertaining to the ability or inability of a President to use the pardon process to block investigation into members of his own administration. At the end, however, it seems a bridge too far to have to amend the very Constitution itself in order to protect against the depredations of a single corruption-riddled White House. If Bush cannot competently execute his abilities as President of all these United States, and instead chooses to continue to use the office as vehicle for cronyism, political sabotage, domestic espionage, unconstitutional acts and flagrant self-protection, he should be removed. The Constitution allows for such a contingency, when an administration engages in one cover up too many, one scandal too many, or one bout of self interested corruption too many.

Unfortunately, it does not allow for any such relief when one political party is determined, from the top down, that all such obstructions, crimes, or constitutional subversions merit a throaty defense if done in service of their own party, or when a small but bafflingly influential subset of the national gatekeepers to power continue to genuflect and seek a sniffling "unity" rather than have the country suffer the shabby fate of -- terror of terrors! -- politicians facing the consequences of their own created scandals. Nixon was finally sent to pasture, in primary part, by the offended conscience and basic ethics of members of his own party. Bush in his own era, however, has not been inconvenienced with any such bouts of unfortunate integrity on the part of others; his party remains firmly united around all administration crimes and incompetencies, whether large or small.


With every passing scandal, from Watergate to Iran-Contra to the Justice Department scandals to this, the demands for investigation get fainter, the calls for justice, more tepid, and the punishments, more nebulous. Requests for even the most basic kind of patriotism -- that of simple decency and integrity -- now seem quaint in the current climate, and almost morbid. Perhaps finally, after all these years, it can be reduced to a single moment, when Bill Kristol and other apologists for Republican crimes large and small lost the last public shreds of their honor, and patriotism, and even of notions of crime and consequence.

At present, when Republican presidential candidates such as Fred Thompson, Giuliani, Romney and others seemingly attempt to one-up each other in their declarations of praise for Republican-backed felonies and criminals -- Thompson has been especially keen on letting voters know, in this episode, that he finds the entire notion of prosecuting a member of power for crimes they committed to be a scandalous thing, and the other candidates have lavished their debate-podium endorsements on all matter of other unconstitutional acts in the "War on Terror", believing the rule of law to be an obsolete and pedantic luxury of a past era -- it is impossible to believe that any will step back from that brink and commit themselves to simple decency, or even simple legality. At present, when members of the punditry are more rattled by the terrible partisanship of denouncing abominable and illegal acts than they are by the acts themselves, it seems impossible to suppose that they could be roused from their impeccably groomed and nourished apathy. They are more vexed by an insulting barrage of criticism than they are by anything else; it seems wisest to leave them where they are, defending their own tiny ink-and-paper fiefdoms.

And so it goes. Yet another transparent corruption, yet another investigation sabotaged, yet another enabling felon praised as martyr to the cause. America may at this rate find both its laws and its honor dismantled from within. From the broadcasting tower to the Senate floor, and from the opinion pages to the Department of Justice, there seem to be too few left with an interest in defending either one.

But it should be noted, for the record, that the President of the United States has just used his power of clemency to sabotage an active criminal investigation into the office of his own Vice President. I have heard tell that such things used to be considered scandalous.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:05 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  America Held Hostage - DAY 1,989 (42+ / 0-)

    sice our Ruling Clerics in the USSC derailed American Democracy

    "an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law." -Barack Obama

    by Lefty Coaster on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:02:26 AM PDT

    •  This whole thing proves that right-wing... (51+ / 0-)

      patriotism is bullshit.  When given a choice between supporting a corrupt administration and a covert CIA agent who was working to keep America safe, the conservatives not only chose the former, but led a smear campaign against the latter.

      Bill Maher said something like this about the whole Plame affair: "Saying you're patriotic is like saying you have a big penis.  If you have to brag about it all day, it probably isn't true."

      Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

      by djtyg on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:15:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great Quote! (8+ / 0-)

        "an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law." -Barack Obama

        by Lefty Coaster on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:20:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you were AWOL and Five Deferments, (26+ / 0-)

          your probably don't give a shit about ruining our "Real" military with your secret, corrupt no-bid business deals in Afghanistan or Iraq with your corrupt corporate buddies.  You probably are not so concerned about the demoralization and blow-back that our troops experience from your indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas for expediency either!  Impeachment sounds good, but my SSG National Guard son actually wants these chickenhawk, criminal/corrupt asshats in jail!

            •  God's government is not a Democracy (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joesig, greenearth, NC Dem

              God's government never has been and never will be a democracy.

              Many Americans and an increasing number of Western Europeans have been misled into a false understanding of the proper relationship between man and God by the principles of democracy.  But consider the beginning of the American Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal ...."  God is not the equal of man.  God deliberately and intentionally made man inferior to Himself, limited in power and knowledge. Hence, it is only right for the Supreme Being to have authority to lay down the law for inferior beings who are His subjects.

              (Of course, it must be noted that the term "men" in the Declaration of Independence meant "mankind", not "males."  It is true that the original Constitution of the United States of America did not give women equal rights and did not abolish slavery.  However, the Constitution was an entirely separate document, written more than a decade later in 1789.)

              1 Timothy 6:15 which God will bring about in his own time--God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

              My writing last night was incomplete and not fully developed but please consider the passage I found while searching the internet. It is truly stunning.

              "It's the planet, stupid."

              by FishOutofWater on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:32:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The Libby commute may be the best thing (5+ / 0-)

              that ever happened to the impeachment movement since we took over Congress, because the Libby commute is easy for the masses to understand as being a very bad thing done by Bush, as Olbermann pointed out last night.

              Olbermann sees the Libby commute as being akin to Nixon's epochal & pivotal firing of Archibald Cox (known as the "Saturday Night Massacre"), an event which the masses could easily recognize as a naked abuse of power by Nixon.

              Like with the Libby commute, Nixon's firing of Archibald Cox was "legal", but everybody knew in their gut that it was a very bad thing that Nixon had done.

              After the firing of Archibald Cox, things really fell apart for Nixon.

              I am hoping that similarly, the Libby commute will provide the public frame (and the backbone) that Pelosi needs to get back on the right path towards impeachment.

              Another nice thing about the Libby commute is that it gets Bush himself personally involved deep into obstruction of justice, for everybody to plainly see.

              It does not matter if the Libby commute was technically "legal"; Congress has broad and subjective/interpretive powers via impeachment to call a spade a spade (to recognize obstruction of justice), even if the foundation act (the Libby commute) is technically "legal".

              That is why we have to get to formal impeachment hearings asap.

              Basically, the Libby commute was a form of hush money paid by Bush, as hunter said, "to sabotage an active criminal investigation into the office of his own Vice President", and I can almost see Conyers implying that in his latest comments.

          •  and furthermore - (7+ / 0-)

            you don't give a shit about crummy, inadequate/unavailable body armor or vehicular armor, paid for with tax dollars to corrupt crony shoddy manufacturers.

          •  the Hague (5+ / 0-)

            I don't think anyone can commute Bush's sentence from that, the appropriate court.

      •  And Let's Not Forget (32+ / 0-)

        as mentioned in a comment yesterday - H.W. Bush pardoned several people who were sidestepping the law in Iran Contra and then shut down the investigation into it.

        Now you have junior doing the same type of thing.

        The apple does not fall far from the tree.

        "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

        by talex on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:21:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Abusing Power - Like Father Like Son (8+ / 0-)

          "an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law." -Barack Obama

          by Lefty Coaster on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:24:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Grossly abusing power, yes, but (17+ / 0-)

            also knowing how to use the Constitution to his benefit. Why don't the Democrats in Congress take a hint and grow the spine to use the Constitution properly and impeach him and his VP already?

            The time has come for religions made by men for men about men to stay out of women's lives.

            by Ayanora on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:30:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mcmom, galaxy33

              they would never get a conviction in the Senate. And because in gathering evidence in the House for impeachment Bush would claim Executive Privilege and that would get slow walked through the 'stacked ' courts until Bush was out of office. And even if they could not run out the clock completely the 'stacked' court would rule in his favor and it would have to be appealed to the SCOTUS and then the clock would really run out.

              Why is it that pro-impeachment people won't accept this?

              If we can't likely gather the proper evidence what's the point?

              And if we went with the evidence we could get the Senate Repubs would convict so what's the point?

              Pelosi has been clear on this but yet people don't want to deal with the reality of the situation.

              "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

              by talex on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:01:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Proceedure vs politics (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FishOutofWater, galaxy33

                Impeachment might be a proceedural loss.  

                Shouldn't the focus be on politics?  What are the costs there, for Democrats, in slow walking, diffusing, and fobbing off their constituents opposition to Bush for the next 18 months?

                •  Which side are you on? (11+ / 0-)

                  Was that snark? And to the issue above, who's evidence is it anyway? Is in the executive branch's evidence to keep secret at will for its own protection? Is the evidence information that the Congress has the right to withhold because it might not win a conviction in the Senate?

                  OR DOES THE INFORMATION BELONG TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE?

                  If a policeman witnesses a rape in progress, does he have the right to say my shift is changing soon and she probably asked for it anyway? [And besides we probably won't win a conviction because the rapist works for the White House which won't let the trial be successfully prosecuted.]

                  Or does the policeman have the duty to do his job and stop the crime?

                  "It's the planet, stupid."

                  by FishOutofWater on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:48:56 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  There Is No (0+ / 0-)

                  public outcry from the general public for impeachment. So if there is no outcry there is no cost for not doing it.

                  I think the general public better understands that an impeachment conviction would never happen more so than the people here who consider themselves better informed that the general public.

                  "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

                  by talex on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:57:12 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Convictions, not conviction (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    greenearth

                    Again, impeachment is not about a conviction, or about procedure.  

                    It's about convictions.  Offering an alternative.

                    What's congressional approval at about right now?  How has it plummeted while leading Democrats stay the appeasement course?

                    •  I couldn't (0+ / 0-)

                      disagree with you more about "convictions". That may be you belief of what impeachment is about but the Constitution says nothing about "convictions", it only talks about the law.

                      And although we know there is ample reason to investigate and impeach the fact that we can't get a conviction and that failure would bring a high price to pay for our country if we were to lose power as a result it is just not worth 'the show'.

                      "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

                      by talex on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 12:24:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  "there is no public outcry " (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Ayanora, greenearth, IamLorax, rubine

                    WRONG!

                    The idea that keeping Bush in office will help the Democrats is mistaken. According to the LA Times of June 27:

                    "A new poll of about 2,000 California residents reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's standing in her home state is headed in the wrong direction: her approval rating has fallen 13 percentage points since March, to 39% from 52%."

                    Can there be any doubt that this is due to Pelosi's failure to stand up to the criminals in the White House?

                  •  It is not about a "public outcry"... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Ayanora, greenearth

                    It is about legality and ethics, and the survival of our constitution.  I believe the public hired their representitives and senators to deal with these issues.  And if they don't do it right they just might lose their next election, regardless of their party.

                    Never underestimate the corrupting influence of an expensive suit and a soft chair.

                    by rubine on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 03:11:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  You don't know that (21+ / 0-)

                because the investigations surrounding impeachment have not happened.

                It's a gamble to launch impeachment proceedings, but with a special prosecutor able to look under every rock, you have no idea what would turn up.

                I say launch the impeachment proceedings and let the criminal behavior of Bushco become daily fodder for the MSM and all of us "unwashed masses."

                To sit and wait is folly. Especially in the face of this "in-your-face" destruction of our Constitution, our faith in our Government and the underlying principles of our Republic.

                Investigate. Issue Subpoenas. Convict. Rinse. Repeat.

                by moosely2006 on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:19:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If we (0+ / 0-)

                  were in the majority 2-3 years ago I 'might' agree with you. Then we would have had time to investigate. BUT...

                  if the makeup of the Senate were the same and we were pretty much guaranteed to not get a conviction I would still be against it.

                  An impeachment with no chance of conviction is two things. One it is a waste of legislative time as Pelosi has said - and the public does not want us wasting time.

                  Secondly the MSM would paint an impeachment with no chance of conviction in the Senate as a political witch-hunt and as a payback for Clinton.

                  The legislative time lost combined with being called a political witch-hunt would no doubt cost us swing votes and ultimately the WH and control of congress. Given that cost - it is way to high a price to pay for a battle that we can't win.

                  "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

                  by talex on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:47:05 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I respectully disagree, Talex (7+ / 0-)

                    Most of your comments are speculation.

                    One it is a waste of legislative time as Pelosi has said - and the public does not want us wasting time.

                    If you have an inside track to what the public is thinking about "wasting time," especially with the current events, please let us know so we can examine it as well. I would also counter with the fact that so far, the Congress has been able to do very little, so what time is being wasted?  

                    The important thing to remember is that investigations leading to Impeachment would focus on the wrongdoings of the Bush Administration.

                    (For a full list, see Keith Olbermann's admirable political essay from July 3rd)

                    Keith Olbermann Essay

                    Sure, the right-wing spin machine will kick in to high gear the second impeachment proceedings are launched. That's a given. And the MSM will blur the lines every way they can. But, in my opinion, with crimes of such magnitude, they're going to have to stretch to diminish those crimes in the overall perception of the public.

                    So, I say, make them stretch. We have to challenge them so they make complete and utter fools of themselves and destroy what little credibility they have left. The MSM has been riding a challenge-free gravy train for waaaaaaaaaay too long. As pfiore8 quoted in response to my diary on the media:

                    ...no democracy can survive with only one voice in the media.

                    So, we're going to have to face them down someday. And that day is today.

                    To repeat, Impeachment proceedings, would not be a waste of time, instead, it would be using the investigative powers to expose the many crimes of this administration and bring them to the forefront of public consciousness.

                    Secondly the MSM would paint an impeachment with no chance of conviction in the Senate as a political witch-hunt and as a payback for Clinton.

                    Again, speculation.  The facts of the case against Bush and his regime are big, bald and blatant. Lying us into an illegal war of aggression is just the beginning. Again, refer back to the substantial laundry list supplied by Mr. Olbermann.

                    So, I think the time for a cautious, "hedge-the-political bet" course of action has passed and it is time to turn up the heat.

                    The facts are all on our side.  The political power is all on Bushco's side...

                    ...unless we hamstring him from doing further harm by putting him under Articles of Impeachment.

                    It's time to reclaim our Republic.

                    Happy 4th all. And NEVER, NEVER give up.

                    Investigate. Issue Subpoenas. Convict. Rinse. Repeat.

                    by moosely2006 on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 01:24:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Reality. (14+ / 0-)

                Feh. Maybe your version of it...

                Why is it that pro-impeachment people won't accept this?

                Accept what? That you can look into your crystal ball and tell us all exactly what's going to happen before it actually does?

                If we can't likely gather the proper evidence

                "Can't LIKELY gather the PROPER evidence"?

                What kind of weasel-word concept is that?

                "Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees"--Peter Garrett, Midnight Oil

                by o the umanity on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:21:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Let me make it simple (0+ / 0-)

                  The Repubs that enabled Bush every step of the way are not going to convict him for something that they were complicit in ( i.e. votes, no oversight, cover-ups in committee).

                  If they convicted him they would be kissing their re-election hopes goodbye - not to mention kissing any chance of winning the WH.

                  All of the above is just common sense. They just are not going to commit political suicide.

                  "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

                  by talex on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:51:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Let me make it even simpler (8+ / 0-)

                    You cannot predict the future.

                    THAT is common sense.  

                    If an impeachment case isn't made, and made soon--a case which can clearly and obviously be legally made--then that Constitution that represents your birthright and that that of every other American might as well be a "goddamned piece of paper".

                    Now then, would you please explain why you chose the phrase "can't LIKELY gather the PROPER evidence"? I would really like to know in what reality your definition of the word "proper" applies.

                    "Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees"--Peter Garrett, Midnight Oil

                    by o the umanity on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 12:34:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you (0+ / 0-)

                      can't see the common sense in what I have said in this thread there is no need to explain any further.

                      As for 'evidence' I explained all that needs explaining in my original post regarding proper evidence and why it would be tough to get it and even 'the evidence we had'.

                      As for predicting the future I can predict the following:

                      If we were to impeach and fail there could be a price to pay politically for the country in the form of us losing the election and having 8 more years of neo-con rule. That is a high price for failure.

                      And I predict this with great certainty: I predict that if we don't impeach then there can be no failed impeachment - therefore no price to pay.

                      As for any other questions you may have just refer to my posts in this thread or you can search my posts on the subject from yesterday. All my thoughts are there.

                      "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

                      by talex on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 01:11:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  of course not (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        greenearth, MrJayTee, rubine

                        it's pretty hard to explain such authoritative-sounding words that actually convey very little substance, isn't it?

                        can't likely gather the proper evidence

                        And because in gathering evidence in the House for impeachment Bush would claim Executive Privilege and that would get slow walked through the 'stacked ' courts until Bush was out of office....

                        The few of you still frantically trying to convince the rest of the country that it's OK for the "opposition party" to not try to uphold The Rule Of Law Because They Might Lose (as you scribe away in the future tense) keep forgetting something:

                        This is NOT just about Bush. It's not just about Libby, and it's not just about commuting sentences. It's about obstruction of justice and at whose behest it was obstructed and most importantly, WHY. How many of those corrupted trails lead back to Dick Cheney? You know, Dick--the one who isn't covered by Executive Privilege anymore? We can look behind that now, can't we?

                        That "general public" that you appear to patronize at times understands perfectly, talex. What they understand is exactly what KO explained last night--that 12 people just like you and me went to court, sat in the jury box, heard evidence, and convicted a defendant of a crime, based on that evidence--and then, George W Bush spit on every last one of them them after they delivered their lawfully-rendered verdict, and the judge imposed sentencing.

                        If we're simply going to present generalizations and make predictions, though, I have one of my own:

                        That SPIT will "play in Peoria"

                        Oh, yeah, conversation over. No doubt. Sooner or later, these stumblebutts will screw themselves and end up in jail where they belong, and you'll have to find another subject to apply your crystal ball to.

                        "Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees"--Peter Garrett, Midnight Oil

                        by o the umanity on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 03:02:15 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Agreed... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          o the umanity

                          If the republicans can pursue impeachment for oral sex, then the dems can pursue it for a realistic reason:  obstruction of justice.

                          Just the fact that the process is underway should allow democratic presidential candidates to hamstring their opponents during the 2008 campaign.

                          That alone is enough reason to go ahead with the process.

                          Dick Cheney... before he dicks you!

                          by Ohio Angst on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 09:36:57 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  Since When.. (0+ / 0-)

                  ...do you need a Crystal Ball to count to 66?

                  only domestic wiretapping can prevent the spread of bird flu

                  by TooFolkGR on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 08:14:51 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Never say never (9+ / 0-)

                And in the words of the immortal Beverly Sills (May 25, 1929 – July 2, 2007):

                You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.

                The time has come for religions made by men for men about men to stay out of women's lives.

                by Ayanora on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:45:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Jumping Off A Cliff (0+ / 0-)

                  trying to fly when you know you can't is 'trying'. but you will still fail.

                  I love that quote from Sills but like a lot of motivational quotes it does not apply to all situations.

                  A failed impeachment, as I said in my post to moosely above, is like jumping off a cliff and trying to fly. You won't like the landing.

                  "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

                  by talex on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 12:00:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Are you equating the impeachment of the (5+ / 0-)

                    Mr. Bush and his handler Cheney with jumping off a cliff? Rather I would think that NOT impeaching is lunacy considering that now we have a President who thinks himself above all laws. If nothing is done at the present time, what would prevent Mr. Bush (& Cheney) from producing another "9/11" in the next 18 months and then declaring that his departure during a continuing & escalating "war on terror" would cause irreparable damage to the country, therefore the 22nd Amendment is bypassed with an executive order?

                    The time has come for religions made by men for men about men to stay out of women's lives.

                    by Ayanora on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 12:32:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                      Are you equating the impeachment of the  Mr. Bush and his handler Cheney with jumping off a cliff?

                      Politically yes. If you can't win because the numbers in the Senate are not in your favor to convict they yes I see the downsides as much greater that the upside as I explained in this same string of comments in this thread.

                      As for the rest of your post I think it is nonsense. The public would never stand for it, the Presidential candidates on each side would never stand for it and even the SCOTUS would not stand for it. You really sound like your out of touch with reality when you bring up such things.

                      "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

                      by talex on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 12:59:06 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Just because it wouldn't fly, (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        greenearth, rubine

                        it does not mean that it cannot be tried. Remember Habeas Corpus? Remember the ever-shifting reasons for the war/occupation in Iraq?

                        Anyway, I don't think you read my comments correctly  - again, if Mr. Bush's "I can do anything I please since I am above all laws" attitude is not slapped down forcefully by the Congress, then there is no telling what next he will decide to do (another war, suspend elections, etc.) since until now it looks like most he gets out of people for his actions is lower and lower poll numbers and a general lamenting from Democrats in Congress and Democratic Presidential candidates in the form of "how dare he?"

                        By the way -

                        your out of touch with reality

                        • is spelled "you're" = verbal contraction.

                        The time has come for religions made by men for men about men to stay out of women's lives.

                        by Ayanora on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 02:37:18 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Sounds like... (0+ / 0-)

                        a spine transplant is required.

                        Dick Cheney... before he dicks you!

                        by Ohio Angst on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 09:38:48 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  if we don't impeach (6+ / 0-)

                We do nothing, we earn the scorn of the populace, we don't follow the constitution, we set a very bad precedent.  Rightious DAs brought the KKK to trial knowing the hooded bastards would get off, but, also knowing it was the right thing to do.

                If the 2008 elections took place amid executive privilege fights, Dems would look like fighters for truth and justice--and some Republican Senators might be swayed.

              •  Showing the world abuse of power is unacceptable (5+ / 0-)

                would serve a very practical purpose. When the rest of the world already views Bush as a rouge leader, Impeachment would reclaim some measure of moral authority for the Government of United States.

                Even if all your points are true (and some most certainly are) this reason alone makes Impeachment worth doing.

                "an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law." -Barack Obama

                by Lefty Coaster on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 12:08:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  "they would never get a conviction in the Senate" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ayanora, greenearth

                WRONG!

                The idea that we cannot impeach because we don’t have the votes is belied by the recent vote of the Senate Judiciary Committee. They voted to issue subpoenas of the Bush administration, 13-3 in favor, including the committee's three top Republicans -- Arlen Specter, Orrin Hatch, and Chuck Grassley.

                Do you think the 22 Rethug Senators up for reelection in 2008 really want Bush in office then?

                Maybe they will vote to convict, maybe not, but the possiblity they won't is not a good enough reason to abandon the effort.

              •  How bad must it get... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ayanora, greenearth, donnas

                for the Senate to consider conviction?  How will we know when they would be amenable to conviction?  What will bush have to do (or what must be revealed) that will ETHICALLY force the house leadership to pursue impeachment, regardless of the outcome.  There is a point when something will have to be done, regardless of whether it is politically expediant.  The congresspeople cannot simply ignore an ongoing criminal conspiracy.    They are compelled by their oath to act to investigate and prosecute.

                I would assert that the question of impeachment is becoming a matter of "when" not "whether".

                Never underestimate the corrupting influence of an expensive suit and a soft chair.

                by rubine on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 03:07:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  your answer would mean that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenearth

                using the constitution to preserve the constitution and protect the American people from abusing the constitution, doesn't work.

                If the constitution were written correctly that possibility (that you can't use the constitution to protect the constitution) shouldn't even exist.

                Something has to change and I don't think it should be the pro-impeachment people who should appease the fact that the constitution is not constructed properly in a way that it is protecting itself from abuse.

                "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

                by mimi on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 04:54:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  IMPEACH - start a larger investigation (0+ / 0-)

                and as the shit hits the fan you'll have Republicans jumping on the bandwagon to save their own hides......

                The cesspool is overflowing and Bush is trying to keep the lid on..... IMPEACHMENT blows the whole mess open and forces people to pay attention....

                Look at all the trivial BS that had people screaming about Clinton.... well you've got REAL and SERIOUS crimes here.....

                ACCUSE, and INVESTIGATE - PUBLICLY.  TURN THE LIGHTS ON and DARE Bush to continue his obstruction

                People WILL pay attention to IMPEACHMENT - wheras most are ignoring all this and falling for the Faux News spin...... IMPEACHMENT will be far harder to ignore

            •  I second that motion! (3+ / 0-)

              A private gyn office offering full gyn services including abortion care to 18 weeks.

              by william f harrison on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:15:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Fact of the matter (13+ / 0-)

          H.W. Bush himself obstructed justice and lied in the investigation of Iran/Contra, claiming he was "out of the loop".  His daily journal proved he knew very well what was happening.

          So H.W. Bush did as Libby and was never indicted because he had become President and above the law.

        •  And also like then... (5+ / 0-)

          ...we have a Democratic congress with no heart to do the right thing.

          Apples don't fall far from trees, don't they?

          We gave you a chance, you betrayed us.-Cindy Sheehan

          by Zero Carb Rob on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:45:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  dems then and now (11+ / 0-)

          The Democrat's failure to impeach Reagan over Iran contra (in leiu of "healing" the nation or some such feckless nonsense), set up the climate of impugnity that Bush I exploited in those pardons.

          Sound familiar, anyone?  Like father, like son, in context.

        •  Bushes: a bushel basket of bad apples. (6+ / 0-)

          I think, therefore I am, I think.

          by mcmom on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:17:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And also don't forget (0+ / 0-)

          ...that Clinton pardoned Mark Rich and other white-collar types and let Leonard Peltier and others deserving of pardons stay in prison.

          Of course, Clinton also let the Waco survivors rot in jail as well, victims of Reno and a corrupt, perjurious justice department / BATF.

          NOT prosecuting criminal government elements is just as bad as pardoning convicted slime.

          We need powerful change, people, something that we won't get from Clinton, Obama, or any other Dem frontrunner. But look how the Kossacks attack those who speak truth to power, and support the lesser of evils.

          Just look back to last November for a reminder of how the mainstream Dem party is just like the Republicans: they just use different forms of verbal deceipt.

          Whar exactly is it about Gravel's or Nader's platforms that makes them fringe candidates? At the very least, they are not corporate whores and practitioners of "just us" justice. And unlike Gravel or Nader, Clinton and Obama have rather murky circumlegal activity in their backgrounds. But that's OK to most Dems.

          That's scary.

      •  n/t (14+ / 0-)

        This whole thing proves that right-wing patriotism is bullshit.

        Hello, and welcome to today's edition of the Wide Awake Club.

        Right-wing patriotism means right-wing profits.

        It's all about more for meeeeee.

        There's nothing else going on.

        Really, there isn't. All the rhetoric about supporting this, that or the other is just there to distract the peasants from the unpleasant truth - which is that they're getting screwed, and will continue to be screwed to the maximum extent of the law.

        And then some.

        "Be kind" - is that a religion?

        by ThatBritGuy on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:42:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Monday, the White House declared independence (19+ / 0-)

      from the Ruling Clerics.  In the past 7 days the White House has declared itself beyond the reach of Congressional subpoenas, and now criminal prosecutions.  Checks and Balances are now dead.  It's not like we didn't know they were terminal before.  But in the past 7 days the White House has made public and explicit challenges asserting this.

      We have a Rogue President.  What happens next is up to us.

      IMPEACH=Rock+Hard Place! Let every Rethug either publicly support the least popular president in 30 years, or admit their president is a traitor.

      by zephron on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:56:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  America is no longer held hostage (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moosely2006

      With respect, I don't think America is being held hostage.  By what this administration has done (and not done) this past week, there should be no longer any doubt in our minds about how corrupt and impotent this administration is.

      We should know what we have to do in November 2008.  Mr. Bush has just handed the Democrats the election.

      •  As long as they hold on to the levers of power (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth

        that controling the Executive Branch gives them the citizens of this country are just along for the ride.

        "an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law." -Barack Obama

        by Lefty Coaster on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 02:03:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am dumbfounded that Democrats aren't screaming (39+ / 0-)

    about Bush's "commutation" as obstruction. It is as clear as day, and doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out.

    What on earth is wrong with them? Why are we allowing this to go on?

    •  The Democrats that dumbfound me (9+ / 0-)

      are dumb and need to go back to their high school civics lessons

      Support me in the SF AIDS Walk this July 15 by contributing

      by m00nchild on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:06:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. (7+ / 0-)

      It's not hard to understand.  And it's just amazing to me that I don't hear us "heightening the contradictions" under this story.

    •  I have seen outraged comments from Democrats (13+ / 0-)

      everywhere.  Waxman has called a hearing on it for next week and as far as I can tell they are all pissed.

        •  I would love to see our congressional dems (7+ / 0-)

          answer your question. Any of them going on air this weekend?

        •  Yep, like I noted yesterday about Conyers... (8+ / 0-)

          Notice the "may be abused and "could completely circumvent..and prevent". They're not really accusing Bush of anything, just blowing a bunch of theoretical smoke to placate the base. Another way to blow a bunch of hot air without really having to hold Bush accountable....again.

          Judiciary Hearing Scheduled

          We gave you a chance, you betrayed us.-Cindy Sheehan

          by Zero Carb Rob on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:32:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Waxman's hearing is going to address (5+ / 0-)

          the possibility that it is obstruction and a cover up although I don't think he has used those words yet.

          Now it is going to be tricky because the power of the pardon is pretty much accepted as an absolute power, but they are going to try to figure out an angle here it seems.

          Waxman has been trying to get Patrick Fitzgerald to testify for some time now. We know he'll be in DC on the 9th to go before the Judge and discuss the flaws in the commutation order.  But I sort of doubt that Fitzgerald can get involved now that the case is sort of reactivated and might not have anyway because of the pending appeals.  But we will see.

          •  I don't understand what's 'tricky' about this. (11+ / 0-)

            The commutation isn't going to be undone by Congress. Congress has every right to investigate the use of presidential pardon powers as an act of obstructing justice. And to impeach as a result.

            The pardon is an absolute power of a president, but impeachment is the last power over him/her.

            •  Well, from what I understand (4+ / 0-)

              there are a couple of ways of looking at it.  Fitzgerald made the following statement about the commutation:

              http://www.talkleft.com/...

              "We fully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment on the exercise of that prerogative.

              We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as "excessive." The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws.  It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

              Although the President’s decision eliminates Mr. Libby’s sentence of imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies, and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process."

              First line out of the gate is that the right to pardon is accepted.

              The thing is that there are no real limitations on the power in the Constitution - except in cases of impeachment.  That is the only time a President can't weigh in.  So the spirit of the law has been violated, but a literal reading would show that it isn't.  So it will be tricky in part because no one wants to challenge the Consitutionality of the President's action especially with the Roberts Court which would likely rule against them.  So I think the hearings and investigations are going to skip the pardon part and likely look at the question of what it is that the Administration is trying to cover up.  I can't think of anything else they could talk about unless the only thing they plan on doing is reviewing sentencing guidelines which I think would be a real waste of time - but I could be wrong.

              •  I think you're missing the enchilada--obstruction (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenearth, moosely2006, IamLorax

                First off, you're correct about the absolute power of the pardon.  The Constitution doesn't say the President can't pardon people who could speak against him/her about criminality he/she are involved in.

                But it doesn't have to say that. BECAUSE, it says that the Congress has the perogative to impeach for high crimes and misdemeanors.

                Commuting Libby's sentence obstructs justice. Obstruction of justice is a felony under our laws. That doesn't make the pardon illegal, but it makes it impeachable. The Congress can impeach as a response.

                Congress does not have to challenge the constitutionality of the pardon; it was constitutional. The matter never reaches the judiciary as a constitutional question.  But the pardon also obstructed justice. The remedy for that is impeachment. Impeachment is a purely legislative act. Which is why people that are against it keep reminding us that the Senate won't convict.

                •  I don't think I've said anything that disagrees (3+ / 0-)

                  with your comment - at least that wasn't my intention.  You asked me about why it was tricky and I said that they have to avoid the discussion about the pardon itself - in other words they can't frame the pardon as an illegal act, but instead have to frame the effect of the pardon as an illegal act.  So they focus on the obstruction and perhaps even look for evidence of a quid pro quo agreement between Libby and the White House.  Of course, they'd all really like to get to the bottom of what it is that Libby has been hiding all of this time.  Waxman has been chomping at the bit to get at this case for a long time now.

          •  "the power of the pardon... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mimi, oibme, greenearth, moosely2006, IamLorax

            is pretty much accepted as an absolute power"

            With absolute power comes absolute abuse.  Every power has to have its checks and in this case it's Impeachment.

            Utah - the experimental laboratory state for theocracy

            by shadowplayer on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:54:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  So why is the constitution then so great (0+ / 0-)

            if it accepts something like an "absolute power" of a President.

            Congress should introduce a bill restricting the pardon power of a President only for cases that carry a death penalty to be converted into life sentence.

            I have no idea why a President should have a power to pardon anyone. What is it good for? It's a power designed to be abused.

            Why can't people accept that not everything that is written into the constitution is "brilliant".

            "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

            by mimi on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 05:03:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nothing in the Constitution is "brilliant" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mimi

              when you look each item out of context.  The power of the pardon is given to the executive as sort of a check against undue political harassment by the other branches.  It is one of the checks that can help to provide balance against the other branches.

              The thing that is "brillian" about the Constitution in my mind is that the document recognizes the failings of human beings - it acknowledges the fact that people are not perfect and thus must be governed within a structure of checks and balances.

              I don't have a problem with the presidential pardon.  I have a problem with using the presidential pardon to give a  de facto pardon to the President.  That is different.

            •  By the way, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mimi

              you might just find that that pardon comes in handy with the Roberts Supreme Court someday so I wouldn't be so quick to scuttle it if I were you.

              •  I guess you mean the President is (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                inclusiveheart

                checking and balancing bad decisions made by the courts? I understand that the pardon advantages goes both ways, but there is no check and balance of the abusive use of presidential pardonning.

                On the other hand I could imagin that bad decisisions by courts could be checked through legal procedures within the judiciary branch, or not?

                "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

                by mimi on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 10:07:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No - the check on SCOTUS comes (0+ / 0-)

                  from Congress' ability to legislate - but that doesn't help individuals already caught in the system - only those in the future who might be caught by some unjust reading of the law after it is meted out - and that Presidential pardon.

                  Obviously, this president is abusing his pardon power in this case, but that isn't always the case at all.

                  Remember Governor Ryan of Illinois commuted the death senteces of all of the inmates who were at the time on death row in  part because of work by law students that showed deep flaws in the prosecution system.

                  http://www.cnn.com/...

                  Thirteen people had been exonerated of the charges against them which led the Governor to believe that there may well have been more individuals that the state was planning to unjustly put to death.

                  There are times when the pardon is the only justice available.

                  We have to be careful about not letting one particularly bad apple eradicate our options for the good apples if you see what I mean.

                  The issue now with Bush and Libby is not the pardon, but rather the mis-use of the power of the pardon.  But isn't that really the whole enchilada with Bush - having a president isn't the problem - it is having a really dishonest, nasty, cold-hearted, irresponsible and self-serving president that is the problem.

                  •  thank you - of course you are right (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    inclusiveheart

                    but I could imagine a world without death penalty and without such bad loopholes in the laws or bad court decisions and with a more stable separation of powers, that such a pardon power of the President would not be necessary.

                    But I hear you and I guess in your system it's necessary.

                    And yes, having a President is a problem, if the constitution gives him extraordinary powers. It's pretty dangerous. Germany had changed its system from the Weimar Constitution, which gave the President a lot of power, similar to the President of the United States, he was the Commander in Chief etc.

                    The President
                    The constitution of the Weimar Republic stated that the people would elect the President. The term of the presidency was set at 7 years. The President had a range of powers that need careful analysis when evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the constitution. These included: The President was the head of the armed forces; The President chose the Chancellor and had the legal right to dismiss him; It was the President who decided when to call elections, therefore allowing him to dismiss governments; Article 48 of the constitution allowed the President to rule independently of the Reichstag in the case of national emergency and; The President had the right to call referendums.

                    After the third Reich and with all its desastrous experiences we went through, the Germans limited the power of the President to be better protected against abuse of power in their new consitution after WWII. I am glad they did. So far it has proven to protect us very well from abuse of power by the President, the Chancellor or any single party in the majority. That's the background I look at the US President's power and it scares me a lot.
                    German Basic Law:

                    Presidency
                    Main article: President of Germany
                    The German Bundespräsident (federal president) is the head of state. It is largely ceremonial position with only a small role in daily politics. Whereas the Weimar Constitution provided the president with far reaching executive powers, turning him into a de facto substitute emperor, the federal president is now limited in favor of the cabinet and the parliament. His main function is representative and ceremonial, though he remains the formal head of state, signs laws before they can enter into force and appoints federal officials. In contrast to the Weimar president, the new federal president can neither take the initiative to dissolve the Bundestag nor name a new chancellor without a prior majority vote in the parliament.

                    I am just tired, because even with a lot of effort I can't get myself to admire your constitution as much as other patriotic Americans do. But may be I will one day "get it" and trust your constitution as much as you do.

                    "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

                    by mimi on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 11:02:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, the key problem in the past six years (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mimi

                      has really been with the Congress failing to block Presidential power grabs as well as some pretty blatant hand overs of power to the President.  In essence our country is not working all that well not so much because of the Constitution, but because the Constitution is not being properly obeserved as the guide to governing.  I understand that it is difficult to admire our system of government under the current circumstances, but if Congress was taking on its proper role we would never have gotten this off track.

                      The other thing about the US is that it tends to right itself eventually.  We are admittedly incredibly close to the edge at the moment and that is pretty scary, but this system of government is remarkably resiliant - slow at times - but still resiliant.

                      The thing that most concerns me at the moment is that we are right at the precipice where the electorate will either get incredibily involved (somethine we've been greatly lacking) or become really cynical.  Cynicism favors the Republicans, authoritarians and would be dictators in this country.  If the American public becomes cynical and doesn't trust anyone, watch for a real crash and burn of the system.  But that wouldn't be the Founders' fault.  The one thing that they could not dictate in the Constitution was participation of the citizenry and without that our democracy dies.

    •  Yes. What are they doing? (22+ / 0-)

      This is a criminal conspiracy, and this latest act is part of the coverup.  One thing Hunter omits in his fantastic piece is that Bush continues to "hold" something over Libby, i.e. a pardon.  

      Furthermore, as Froomkin observed quite presciently back in March, it is very likely that Bush bought Libby's silence with a pardon.  He actively tampered with a judicial proceeding.  

      If that is not obstruction of justice, and lawbreaking of the highest order, I don't know what is.

      Time for action.

      I. Lewis Libby's worse than G. Gordon Liddy. This is Worse than Watergate. IMPEACH! Now.

      by maxschell on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:32:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because the investigation is over (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norm DePlume

      Period.

      Whether Libby goes to jail or not, Fitz is working on other projects.

      •  Fitzgerald Was A Wimp (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moosely2006, IamLorax

        Fitzgerald himself said his investigation of the Plame matter was over after he brought his single indictment against little Scooter.  If there is no investigation going on, there sure as heck can't be a charge of obstructing that investigation by commuting poor little Scooter's jail time.

        I never understood why so many on the left viewed Patrick Fitzgerald as a hero.  At FDL they practically anointed him a saint.  I thought he conducted a wimpy investigation.  He never put Cheney under oath and seemed to quickly back away from where the investigation lead him (which was to Cheney's office).  I'll never understand why he didn't at least list Cheney as an unindicted co-conspirator.  His reasoing for why he did not charge anyone under the  Intelligence Protection Act is, in a word, lame.  And lastly ... his baseball metaphor of how little Scooter kicked sand in the umpire's face and that's the reason all roads came to a dead-end is farcical (but the MSM and most others seemed to swallow in whole).

        Fitz said his investigation left a cloud hanging over Cheney's office.  I think there is also a cloud hanging over Fitgerald's investigation and subsequent decision to wimp-out when push came to shove.

    •  As I see it... (0+ / 0-)

      Congress will yell and scream about this..demand an investigation....then do nothing, until the next tear of our Constitution from Bush and cronies.  They are all talk...no action.

    •  It's been going on since Bush attacked Iraq.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hornito, greenearth, Randall Sherman

      We do not have a representational government.

      It's up to us to take action.

    •  Somewhat In Defense (0+ / 0-)

      Congress is on vacation this week.

      I suspect the timing of the announcement had as much to do with the lack of floor speeches this week as it did with the vacation schedules of citizens.

      I'm glad they're holding hearings so it doesn't get lost as Bush intended. I'm even happier to hear that Judge Walton told the lawyers they needed to prepare their comments on whether or not the parole still stands as that will put this smack in the middle of the public discourse when everyone returns from vacation.

      Bush wanted to sweep this under the rug faster than a Friday night news dump. I hope he underestimated the attention span of citizens and the media this time.

    •  Because we've let them off the hook for the... (0+ / 0-)

      past FOUR years. They know now they can get away with doing nothing and we won't do a thing outside of our votes.

      That's not enough.

      If every well-meaning American emailed/called/wrote insisting that Bush and Cheney resign, they might get serious.

      Keith Olberman did on his program yesterday.
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

      "We of this time—and our leaders in Congress, of both parties—must now live up to those standards which echo through our history:  Pressure, negotiate, impeach—get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

      For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.

      Resign.

      And give us someone—anyone—about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, "I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job."

  •  Go tell your congresscritter (16+ / 0-)

    that you want action on this.

    They're all at home today, and, as long as it's not raining, they're going to be at a local cookout or picnic. So go tell them how angry you are, and that your dollars, and (more importantly) your vote, will go elsewhere if they don't act on this.

  •  When the day comes (6+ / 0-)

    that George Bush ends like Romania's Ceausescu, or Italy's Mussolini because he underestimated the wrath of the People, I will know Justice.

    Support me in the SF AIDS Walk this July 15 by contributing

    by m00nchild on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:05:16 AM PDT

  •  Best summation yet. Thanks! (17+ / 0-)

    And outstanding integration of the various facts and their implications. Outstanding!

    Might even send it to some wingnut family members who are stuck in an endlessly repeating loop of talk radio catch phrases on this subject ("Clinton's pardons..."  "No actual crime committed ..." "Failed Fitzpatrick investigation..." "Within Bush's authority..." "Political vendetta by the Left..." )

    How many cars have you taken off the road this year? Join the Kos group at One Billion Bulbs

    by pat208 on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:06:03 AM PDT

  •  Why is no one using the word COVER-UP? (34+ / 0-)

    That word needs to be on TV, every time a Democrat talks about Libby. It's a word everyone knows, and it gets across very concisely why sparing Libby from his just sentence is part of an on-going crime.

    Support international labor-organizing rights -6.50 -5.69

    by Dvd Avins on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:06:43 AM PDT

  •  Wow. (24+ / 0-)

    I am always humbled to read Hunter's essays.  I could spent a month working on something on Libby and not have it come out this powerfully.

  •  Powerful words, Hunter (14+ / 0-)

    Requests for even the most basic kind of patriotism -- that of simple decency and integrity -- now seem quaint in the current climate, and almost morbid.

    And Happy "Independence" Day, America, from the worst. President. ever. And undoubtedly the most corrupt.

    Free America.......impeach Bush.

    by Ekaterin on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:09:31 AM PDT

    •  No more decency (7+ / 0-)

      No more pulling punches.

      No more passive beliefs that they couldn't possibly mean what they say.

      No more and never again.

      Presidents that behave like dictators must be taught stern lessons.

      Support me in the SF AIDS Walk this July 15 by contributing

      by m00nchild on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:11:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Happy Fourth of ... nah... (4+ / 0-)

      Today I am not flying the flag I purchased sometime in October of 2001.

      Tonight I am not lighting fireworks.

      In fact, my neighbors have been "testing" theirs every night since Sunday, and I listen to those sounds and instead of celebrating, my mind is whisked to the streets of Baghdad, where such noises must be commonplace - and real.

      No, this isn't an "I hate America" post, because that's not how I roll. But this Fourth, I'm feeling very reflective, and the quote you extracted, Ekaterin, has a lot to do with that. I feel as if there's nothing to celebrate, and there won't be, until a decent human being occupies the White House and begins the long, arduous task of dismantling the apparatus that Bush has built.

      When that happens, I'll dust off that flag and hang it with a smile on my face.

      Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

      by The Raven on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 12:32:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well done (5+ / 0-)

    Well done indeed.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:09:50 AM PDT

  •  The parallel for me is that the pardon (7+ / 0-)

    is indeed on an installment plan while the troops in Iraq are on "the death on the installment plan" and nary a squeak to be heard from the

    people who pretend nightly to be serious about such things.

    Surely, life sucks for some of us.

    Progressive Dems should be reborn as Aggressive Dems and 1) get out of Iraq asap 2) impeach Cheney then Bush 3) elect Gore.

    by Asinus Asinum Fricat on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:09:50 AM PDT

  •  Impeach Cheney (14+ / 0-)

    Good diary, Hunter.

    Cheney's finger prints are all over this. Time to really get behind the Kucinich bill. The time has come, the Walrus said.

    Ambition is when you follow your dreams. Insanity is when they follow you.

    by Batfish on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:10:31 AM PDT

  •  Find a parade with a member of Congress in it (8+ / 0-)

    and walk right up to their car and let them know how you feel.

    "an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law." -Barack Obama

    by Lefty Coaster on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:10:39 AM PDT

    •  Another Thing About Libby "Commutation" (0+ / 0-)

      Bush's timing in commuting Libby is totally manipulative and calculating.  He did it 2 days before Fourth of July, with the hopes that it would "blow over"/go away while Americans are with their families, eating hot dogs and watching fireworks.  (ie. The American people have a short-attention span and care more about a barbecue than the corrupt, lawless, unjust actions of a rogue President). What better way to defuse the rage against his move.  What a manipulative a-hole.
      I, for one, am not letting Bush off the hook for  the Libby Let-Off.

      •  Really reaching here (0+ / 0-)

        The commutation happened hours after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected Libby's request to postpone his prison term.  If the court waited until July 9th to announce their decision then Bush's commutation would not have occurred until the 9th.

        There is nothing nefarious about the timing unless you think the courts were complicit in the manipulation and calculation by releasing their decision 2 days before July 4th.

  •  There's an editorial in my local (8+ / 0-)

    rag from a local law professor in which he complains that the complaints that Bush's actions were illegal is unfounded; Buch exercised a prerogative of his office.

    I am going to write a letter and say something like, "No, you fuckwit.  We are not saying Bush broke the law.  We are saying that Bush has effectively closed the case.  Now we won't know what happened."

    In his case it can be construed as obstruction, but it would take articles of impeachment to make that point.

    Je suis inondé de déesses

    by Marc in KS on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:11:09 AM PDT

  •  It's worse than just obstruction (20+ / 0-)

    As you noted, Hunter, this is now the precedent for all Bush Admin officials to ignore the law and any and all rules/regulations.

    The message has been sent--break any law, any way you desire, and if in the rare chance you're busted, Bush'll take care of you.

    There is NO REASON for anyone in the WH to follow rules anymore.  I suspect this will bring about some just egregious abuses in the next 18 months...

    Republican recruitment for the 82nd Chairborne at an all-time high...

    by topicalstorm on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:11:25 AM PDT

  •  'Al Capone with an Air Force' (13+ / 0-)

    may be the least of it regarding the destruction of our military and the installation of a private, mercenary army.

    There are no oaths to 'protect and defend the Constitution' in a private army...only fealty to the overlord that pays (owns) them.

    The stronger the faith, the closer the devil.

    by trinityfly on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:11:59 AM PDT

  •  Disagree (7+ / 0-)

    I agree with the spirit of this essay, but disagree in some key details.

    First of all:

    • I do not agree that Bush wanted to commute Libby's sentence.

    I think his hand was forced.

    This is because I have come to believe that there are now two principal cliques in the Executive branch of government -- the Cheney clique, representing the Neoconservatives, and the Bush wing, representing his old Texas political crew of Rove and Gonzalez at the top and an army of weirdo, born-again, Washington-newbie right wing grassroots operative types at the bottom.

    I think it would have delighted Bush, Rove and Gonzalez for Libby to do his time:

    This was their defense plan.

    The Plame Affair had the danger of going very deep into Bush's inner core of advisors -- namely to Rove and his political office.

    When Libby emerged as a scapegoat, I am certain that Bush and his clique were thrilled.

    It meant that Rove would be protected.

    And Rove protects this President ...

    From Dick Cheney and his allies, who are shadowy and powerful -- Libby's "Aspens" from his letter to Judith Miller -- to whatever degree that is possible.

    I don't think at all that Bush commuted Libby's sentence in order to protect the Vice President.

    I think that Cheney told Bush to commute the sentence and told him that if he did not, he -- or these "Aspens," sort of the Neoconservatives, but also interested parties who don't style themselves conservatives yet back them nevertheless -- would fuck him over "big time."

    Bush commuted it.

    If Libby went to prison, it would mean that the story, in the public eye, would essentially be over.  Rove and his people -- the people who surround and protect the president from Cheney, among others -- would be safe.  The case would be closed.  Someone would have paid.

    Bush would have preferred to let Libby languish.

    Cheney, as always, got his way.

    Middle Class Mother-F!cking Warrior

    by bink on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:12:42 AM PDT

    •  And (7+ / 0-)

      The sword that Libby held over Bush's head was that he could go back to Fitzgerald and offer to spill the beans on the involvement of Rove and his political office in what they did to Valerie Plame.  Bush couldn't let that happen, because Rove and his gang are the armor that protects him.

      Middle Class Mother-F!cking Warrior

      by bink on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:14:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Now we know what "taking care of" means (16+ / 0-)

      Way back in 2004, President OJ (Obstruction of Justice) sez:

      "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

      .

    •  very interesting premise, and one that I can (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bablhous, greenearth, moosely2006

      believe. Will cracks in the wall develop over this?

      •  I Have Come to Believe (4+ / 0-)

        That this is how Cheney controls Bush.  Bush doesn't necessarily want all of these things.

        I believe, for example, that he is resistent to the idea of an Iran War -- this is why he has sent one of his partisans, Rice, to start a dialogue with the Iranians.

        Just "guestimating," but I suspect that Ms. Rice is still in regular contact with Colin Powell and, through him, the old George H. W. Bush "internationalists" like James Baker.  These are folks who wanted a dialogue with Iran and want to put the breaks on bombing Iran.

        Cheney's crew want the Arab and Muslim worlds to meet their ends in a fiery nuclear holocaust ASAP.  I think that Cheney is just a psycho.  People out there in the Aspen world -- the so-called Neoconservatives, but also people like Joe Lieberman and Michael Bloomberg -- are interested in this end because it feeds into some ludicrous fantasy they have about Israel.  The energy folks are behind it because they think it will hand Western oil company free petrol forever.

        I think the cracks have been there for a long time.

        Certainly, as soon as it became evident that we were going to lose the Iraq War ...

        But it seems like no matter how wide the cracks, Cheney always gets his way.

        Bush, Rove and Gonzalez are good at "Mayberry Politics."  Cheney and his gang are operating at a much higher level, with lots of powerful allies both in and out of government.

        Probably the only thing that Bush could do to regain control is to invite James Baker and Colin Power back to the table and hand off a bunch of power to the Bush I internationalist oligarchs.

        But he won't, because pride won't let him.

        And is, as a matter of fact, dooming his presidency.

        Middle Class Mother-F!cking Warrior

        by bink on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:46:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've begun to wonder the same thing. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bink, Cottagerose

          I think Cheney knows how the Bushs' came into  power with all the business connections to relatives and Texas oil guys. All of them have engaged with unsavory dictators. In the US thye've played hardball with corporations by getting themselves installed as CEOs,then run the company in the ground-walk away- collect governmet money after you're not liable for pensions..
            I'm sure Cheney has sat back and watched this-and hung with his neocon crowd. Maybe it's neocon payback for Prescott Bush using Jews to help Hitler. Maybe they've known about it for a long time. So Cheny ingratiates himself to the Texas crowd-makes him(GW) think he's one of them. In the meantime-he's got a whole bunch of other companies and CEO buds he's planning on making rich. He plays on GWs' relationship with dad. GWB hated Cheney. Maybe Bush 1 saw through him way back. Brent Scowcroft also says he does not recogniize Cheney. The Bush 41 guys will insult-but only to a certain degree. it makes me think Cheney has them over the barrel.
          So I agree with Bink-think there are 2 factions-with Cheney controlling.

          •  Bush Is a Lightweight (0+ / 0-)

            He's a small-town boy, he's not a player in this game.  He and Rove are dinky-doos compared to the kind of power that Cheney has lined up behind him.  And now we hear that Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia has been working covertly with Cheney.  Bush just has his old Texas political friends and a bunch of fresh-faced Regency University graduates on his side.  No way he can compete.

            Middle Class Mother-F!cking Warrior

            by bink on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:19:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  sup with Bandar? have not heard the UK thing? (0+ / 0-)

              I have heard Bandar was in trouble for a scret bank account and some illegal aviation contracts with UK.

              Judging how heavily Cheney is invested in Lockheed-I wouldn't doubt that Cheney himself tipped off the Bandar story in retaliation for Bandar not giving Lockheed the biz.That's how much of a thug I think
              Cheny is.That's the kind of hardball I'm sure he plays with other leaders.

          •  Bethincary, I wrote my comment below before (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            moosely2006

            reading yours, which it duplicates.  I agree, I believe that foreign govts have always kept track of Poppy because of his critical role in the CIA and rapid rise to power, and tracked the son, too.  Now yielding maximum results as they blackmail the family.  Imagine what foreign govts might have, all those secrets, Dealey Plaza, the missing 18 minutes, democrat plane crashes, dealings with Iran, to name just a few we've caught a glimmer of.  Cheney's their inside guy, controlling the dummy.

            If they can't impeach these bastards, Congress should take away Bush's power to initiate air strikes, make war, etc.  Because it's clear traitors are in charge.

        •  I assume Bush is being blackmailed. (0+ / 0-)

          No proof, natch.  But it's a working theory...blackmailed re his own past and also the crimes of his father going back through Iran Contra to his deal with Iran for the release of the hostages to his early years in the CIA...other foreign governments probably have tapes, photos & negatives in their archives documenting the entire sordid history of pere & fils.  Lots of info out there for sale...Cheney's probably got his hands on a lot of it, a legacy of his years in the Ford administration...look at who benefits from this evil administration, those are the people holding the cards...we are owned.  Our government entirely penetrated by other governments' agents...now we're in freefall...  

  •  George W. Bush.... (5+ / 0-)

    ....Amercica's Greatest Conservative President!

    Never let the country forget this.

    'I'm writing as Nestor since scoop in it's awesome wisdom won't let me use my real screen name: A.Citizen'

    by Nestor Makhnow on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:15:55 AM PDT

  •  Just finished watching TPM's Video review of (5+ / 0-)

    the Bush WH pronouncements on this issue since Sept 2003 - it ended with about 45 separate statements by Scott McClenans saying, "we intend to get to the bottom of this", the "President intends to get to the bottom of this", "we will get to the bottom of this"...
    You can forgive my dirty mind, when after seeing that, I went to yahoo and found one of the headlines read "the President wiped.." and the TPM video images submliminally supplied the missing phrase "the bottom of.." and then I quickly shifted my gaze back to the yahoo headline to read "..Libby"

    Made for very strange reading..but summed up the story for me!

  •  Loved this paragraph !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (11+ / 0-)

    Thank you Hunter

    We should note here, for the record, the magnificent-if-selective cowardice of Scooter Libby. He allowed Judith Miller to go to jail for three months on his behalf, keeping his silence until the pressure had built to intolerable levels. His willingness to sacrifice others -- at least in direct proportion to their access to power -- for his own freedom has at this point been well established. He relied on the sacrifices of others for his own self-preservation, sacrificing himself in turn only to one thin premise: that lying to investigators was an acceptable thing, in exchange for... what? He lied to investigators, repeatedly and provably, rather than cooperate in a case that threatened to implicate his own more powerful friends. Seldom is justice in a single case so transparently stratified, each layer of establishment Washington valiantly wounding itself in obsequious service to the one above.

    How do you know a Republican is lying? Ask one: If the Republicans can lower gas prices for 60 days before an election, why won't they do it all the time?

    by ca democrat on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:16:35 AM PDT

  •  Incredibly stunning statement (15+ / 0-)

    OK this article is referring to the civil lawsuit filed by the Plames. Now IANAL but in reading this is cheney saying they can break the law(outing a CIA agent) if they want to as long as it is involved in a "policy dispute"?

    Cheney claims immunity from lawsuits
    Attorneys for Cheney asked a federal judge in May to dismiss the civil suit, arguing that Cheney had absolute immunity. In any event, they said, talking with reporters is part of the vice president’s normal duties, and he was engaging in an appropriate "policy dispute."

    At the hearing, U.S. District Judge John Bates asked: "So you’re arguing there is nothing — absolutely nothing — these officials could have said to reporters that would have been beyond the scope of their employment?"
    "That’s true, Your Honor. Mr. Wilson was criticizing government policy," said Jeffrey Bucholtz, a Justice Department attorney. "These officials were responding to that criticism."Link

    (-7.50 -6.31) "We will bring them home, we will fund the withdrawl!-Me

    by arkdem on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:16:55 AM PDT

  •  Moot (6+ / 0-)

    Hunter,

    This is a good diary.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't matter.  The president's actions yesterday were a declaration of war on the citizens of the United States.

    Freely translated, mister bush said "I don't give a damn what you think.  I'm the decider and what I say goes."

    Given bush's complete takeover of the DOJ, we're pretty much screwed.  

    I can remember when I was in my teens there was a piece of assward-to advice that was handed down to us girls..."If rape is inevitable, you might as well relax and enjoy it."

    Pass the popcorn.

    Right the Wrongs...Gore in 08!

    by creeper on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:17:48 AM PDT

  •  And What Were They Seeking (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, taters, mathGuyNTulsa

    for Bill Clinton's blow job?

    George W. Bush claimed repeatedly that the sentence in this case was excessive. But when it came time to decide what punishment would not be excessive, Bush chose zero. Not a month, a week, or even a single summer day in jail

    Not one day for obstruction, conspiracy, and the slim line next to treason ... so how much for a blow job then, should it have proceeded? Anybody know?

    Just for curiosity's sake.

    I'm the person your mother warned you about.

    by Unique Material on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:18:07 AM PDT

  •  Libby was also "Assistant to the President" (10+ / 0-)

    and not just chief of staff to the VP. Maybe that helps emphasize the magnitude of Bush's cover-up.

  •  Feudalism (8+ / 0-)

    Something you said rung a bell with me.  This is modern-day feudalism under a heavy cloak of republic-colored cloth.  Those below sacrifice for those above, who reward them with dispensations of various sorts.  But of course the sacrifices exceed the rewards so those those at the top become richer and more powerful and spawn filial armies to populate the aristocracy.

    One can learn from history.  Feudalism had certain notable results in Europe...mainly revolutions resulting in dispersion of dynastic wealth and power.  It could happen again.

  •  Bush and Cheney (7+ / 0-)

    .... are the people who were in charge of the whole mess of outing Plame and then lying and getting others to lie and obstruct justice.  Libby is just a minion ...

    This action, the commutation and soon to come pardon, pales in contrast to willfully and "with malice aforethought" sabotaging the CIA efforts and American security ... all for personal political gain.

    You KNOW it's all for political gain ... because the Republicans are accusing Fitzgerald, the Democrats, the Wilsons, ANYBODY BUT THEM of pursuing the Libby deal for "political gain."

    It is nothing short of amazing just HOW the Republicans can do X and not only deny doing X, but also proclaim to the world that it's the Democrats who are doing X.  And it works!

  •  You won't read something like this (6+ / 0-)

    in the traditional press, from the likes of reporters like Washpo's Peter Baker. His answer to a question that incredibly had never occurred to him:

    Austin, Texas: Would one reason for the commutation of Libby's sentence be that a pardon would mean that Libby was no longer exposed to criminal sanctions and thus had no Fifth Amendment privilege? As it stands he has a fine and probation at stake during the pendency of the appeal which insulates him (and Bush and Cheney) from having to answer questions before Congress.

    Peter Baker: Another great question. That's certainly an interesting point and we'll ask about that.

    <a</p>

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:22:36 AM PDT

  •  Interesting LTE from an NYT reader (18+ / 0-)

    "When George W. Bush was governor of Texas, he presided over more than 150 executions. In more than one-third of the cases — 57 in all — lawyers representing condemned inmates asked then-Governor Bush for a commutation of sentence, so that the inmates would serve life in prison rather than face execution.

    Some of these inmates had been represented by lawyers who slept during trials. Some were mentally retarded. Some were juveniles at the time they committed the crime for which they were sentenced to death.

    In all these cases, Governor Bush refused to commute their sentences, saying that the inmates had had full access to the judicial system.

    I. Lewis Libby Jr. had the best lawyers money can buy. His crime cannot be attributed to youth or retardation. He has expressed no remorse whatsoever for lying to a grand jury or participating in the administration’s effort to mislead the American people about the war in Iraq. President Bush’s commutation of Mr. Libby’s sentence is certainly legal, but it just as surely offends the fundamental constitutional value of equality.

    Because President Bush signed a commutation, a rich and powerful man will spend not a day in prison, while 57 poor and poorly connected human beings died because Governor Bush refused to lift a pen for them.

    David R. Dow

    Houston, July 3, 2007

    The writer is a professor at the University of Houston Law Center who represents death row inmates, including several who sought commutation from then-Governor Bush.

  •  this administration is a criminal enterprise (12+ / 0-)

    And it's been criminal since Day One. That's the real story here, and everything beyond those 6 words is simply elaboration.  From a stolen election in 2000 to the plundering of the federal treasury to the whacking of anyone and anything in its path, this group has recognized no limitations to its entitlements.  

    By the way, no disrespect intended to other criminal organizations by comparison.  Even Tony Soprano would have been conflicted enough to consult Dr. Melfi before letting Scooter go, but Bush isn't troubled by anything.  He isn't really worth any more discussion, except that he continues to cause the deaths of hundreds/thousands with his foolish "I am the Decider" war that no one else can seem to stop.

    I hope the legacy of this criminal cabal is the extinction of the modern Republican Party, a bunch of venal enablers who are deeply complicit in these crimes.   And we can stop pretending to respect the other pillars of current power,  including the now corrupted Supreme Court.  

    And to all those folks who are about to be incarcerated, sorry, you're one of the little people.  You'll do time, unlike the decadent ruling elite.

  •  How to get Pelosi/Reid to move FASTER (12+ / 0-)

    The two just seem to be satisfied with their political calculus leading to the next elections.

    I am concerned that by their calculations, by their reluctance to take the actions that they got elected to do, their disregard for the dismantling of this nation will come back and bite them in the ass, as the people that gave them all those Congressional seats, the Naderites, the Greenpeacers, the fringe left, will throw up their arms and say, "We gave them their chance, and they can't even act according to the fucking MAJORITY of public sentiment. So we'll just take our 3-5% of the vote elsewhere. And you'll lose alot of elections because of the loss of that margin."

    •  Agree (5+ / 0-)

      I'm hoping independents have decent candidates.  My newly elected Dems in 06, who ran on ending the war, came home three months later with their tails between their legs.  And saying although they still oppose Bush's Iraq war, it will take very long to end.  Thousands more American soldiers will die for an illegal war.

      •  The Fringe Voters Behind the '06 Dem Wave (6+ / 0-)

        Will leave if Reid/Pelosi don't start doing the job they were elected for.

        Yeah, the Dems will likely keep their 40% base; but the 3-5% Fringe Left that brought in the House majority and Senate parity are REEAAAL close to leaving. What's left, the moderate Republicans? The independents? Are Reid and Pelosi so dense that they actually think they can attract the lefty version of a Reagan Democrat? In numbers that will prevent them from losing seats in '08??

        No. The Dems were elected last November to do a job, and I'm not just talking passing high-minded legislation they know will be vetoed;  I'm not just talking taking our sweet-ass time bloviating threats and investigations we know fucking well are empty; I'm talking putting the term just back into justice.

        Scooter's commutation was aimed directly at Pelosi and Reid: there is no crime, there is no sentence, there is no subpoena, there is no investigation that you can bring to bear on the administration that will not be swept aside, sandbagged until 2009, or summarily ignored.

        There really is only one option left.

    •  The real problem is that they don't get bit (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn, greenearth, moosely2006

      in the ass...we do.

      And my ass, for one, is already chewed raw.

      "We're all in this together" -- Harry Tuttle, legendary plumber

      by bablhous on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:52:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bush = Al Capone. (4+ / 0-)

    It strikes me that is exactly right.

    Now the question is: what are we gonna get him on?

    I. Lewis Libby's worse than G. Gordon Liddy. This is Worse than Watergate. IMPEACH! Now.

    by maxschell on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:26:21 AM PDT

  •  It's one of two things here- (6+ / 0-)
    1. The Republicans have fulfilled the vision that the president is the law.

    or

    1. America really is 2 countries, one Republican and one "other".

    Either way I'm very sad. I wonder if atleast one Judith Miller has come around and seen these fucks for what they are. But I doubt it. Maybe when Libby was writing about these weird aspen trees he was threatening Bush and Cheney, not reminding them they were the same.
    I'm truly flabbergasted. I'm flabbergasted that these Libby supporters have had a forum to propagate their insane ideas. And they do it on left and right shows alike. I'm flabbergasted that they lie so easily and claim "no underlying crime" when it was the CIA who said and confirmed that there was. I'm just so sad. Unbelieveably sad. But I'm even sadder that I know in my heart the Democrats will never stop these people. Shit they are only remotely inclined to. Jesus Christ . God help us.

    I'm a white, big southern dummy from Texas and I'm voting for Obama.

    by LandSurveyor on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:28:26 AM PDT

  •  True, all true (6+ / 0-)

    Still, it should also be noted that principles are only as strong as the willingness to fight for them make them so.  

    Republicans are greedy, pitiless pricks - they always have been. But even the virulent strain of modern Republicans couldn't have trespassed against us to the extent that they have without help or political cover from their supposed opposition.

    This being our Independence Day, thus not the provence of either political party, I feel compelled to observe that Democrats are just as much to blame for the shabby state we're in today; that's objective reality. This party has a garden path problem.

    Bush is a soulless shit and history will mark it. But historians will equally condemn people in a position to oppose him that opted to split the difference instead.

    Time flies, whether you're having fun or not.

    by Kimberley on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:36:40 AM PDT

  •  Saturday Night Massacre (6+ / 0-)

    The Saturday Night Massacre was the last straw for Nixon. He went too far. He resigned in disgrace instead of face impeachment after trying to quietly fire a special prosecutor.

    And now Americans are so numb to their corrupt leaders and their crimes that the Libby supporters were actuall calling for

    Bush to fire Fitzgerald

    This according to Novak.

    This is our country. One where people have these forums to go on TV and actively push their leaders to do dubious acts.

    I'm a white, big southern dummy from Texas and I'm voting for Obama.

    by LandSurveyor on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:37:14 AM PDT

  •  essentially no punishment for Libby (5+ / 0-)

    Not enough people have called Bush on the absurd claim that Libby still faces some punishment for his crime.  

    1. not going to prison
    1. $250,000 covered by right wing fund raisers
    1. any job he wants in the wingnut welfare sector
    1. maybe not even probation (as if that were a real punishment)

    Libby essentially gets off scot free.  Once the pardon comes in January 2009, he'll even be able to practice law again.

  •  Interesting observation, I think. (5+ / 0-)

    Notice how the vast majority of comments are looking for a legal or politically correct means to bring the President to justice, via impeachment.  While the President clearing couldn't care the least about the Rule of Law.

    One can only conclude, that Bush would never leave willingly.  He would have to be sedated and carried away.

  •  Brilliant, thank you! (4+ / 0-)

    And thank you, too, Scooter. I think a lot of us now realize how totally screwed we really are.  

    Had Enough?

    The Republican party ... where Truth goes to die.

    by moneysmith on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:39:37 AM PDT

  •  The Dems will never impeach over Libby... (4+ / 0-)

    ...because they are clearly complicit in the crime of waging illegal war of aggression. To expose the reasons behind the libby pardon exposes the lies in the run up to war. That the Dems continue to support and fund the war after it's virtually proven that they lied and bullied their way into Iraq shows they STILL are complicit in the crime.

    The Dems support the Bush doctrine and using the role of the military to enforce and support the US economic positions. What they disagree with just the way Bush conducted the war and that by strapping the military down it's making it impossible to use the military elsewhere, like in Iran.

    We gave you a chance, you betrayed us.-Cindy Sheehan

    by Zero Carb Rob on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:41:23 AM PDT

  •  It's worse than that. Much worse. (14+ / 0-)

    Commuting Libby's sentence was not only a CYA moment.  It was an explicit assertion that the Judiciary does not have the power to hold this administration even minimally accountable.  

    This must be considered in the context of last weeks statement by the White House that they will ignore Congressional subpoenas, under a ridiculously broad definition of Executive privilege.

    What does this mean?  That the White House is publicly rejecting the very notion of CHECKS and BALANCES in American governance.  They have now told both the Legislature and the Judiciary that neither can conduct any oversight, neither can hold the Executive branch accountable.  

    How exactly can either the courts or Congress reign in a rogue presidency?  We are now officially in a Constitutional crisis, and the future of democracy in America hangs in the balance.

    IMPEACH=Rock+Hard Place! Let every Rethug either publicly support the least popular president in 30 years, or admit their president is a traitor.

    by zephron on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:43:36 AM PDT

    •  I guess elections HAVE consequences (0+ / 0-)

      They will similarly allow a Democrat to serve as a "rogue president" after 2008, and you will applaud every move they make.

      •  Alas, I will not. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TracieLynn, Builderman, greenearth

        I put country above party, freedom above party loyalty.

        As someone pointed out last night, for every Augustus there follows a Caligula.  A benevolent master is a master all the same, and evil inevitably flows from his authority.

        IMPEACH=Rock+Hard Place! Let every Rethug either publicly support the least popular president in 30 years, or admit their president is a traitor.

        by zephron on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:00:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Eloquently put - (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, adrianrf

    as per usual.  Thank you for writing.

    The Bush administration has gone too far.  They don't even try to hide what they are doing.  Bush is worse at lying than my toddlers.

    The dems in office need to stop looking the other way and move toward impeachment.

  •  We can always bankrupt the government (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    Just refuse to pay taxes.  No taxation without Representation.

    •  Then you will have your assets/income seized. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth
      IRS moves fairly quickly on non payment of income tax, and has the power to seize your income, accounts, assets, etc.  In some cases it may take longer, but they eventually will send a warning letter and then do it. Just so you know what will happen.
    •  Give unto Caesar (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      that which is his.  Too bad for him that it is very little!  What Caesar cannot obtain is your ultimate freedom.  We would not need jails if it were possible to actually control people.

      Peace is a family value.

      by Thomas Twinnings on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:30:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous, justrock, adrianrf

    This whole thing proves that right-wing patriotism is bullshit.

    Hello, and welcome to today's edition of the Wide Awake Club.

    Right-wing patriotism means right-wing profits and influence.

    It's all about more for meeeeeeee.

    There's nothing else going on.

    All the rhetoric and teary-eyed flag-waving and saluting are there to distract the peasants from the unpleasant truth - which is that they've been screwed in the past, and are continuing to be screwed, and will be screwed even more in the future, to the maximum extent of the law.

    And then some.

    "Be kind" - is that a religion?

    by ThatBritGuy on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:49:32 AM PDT

    •  other than (0+ / 0-)

      this line:

      There's nothing else going on

      your post seems agreeable.

      "Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees"--Peter Garrett, Midnight Oil

      by o the umanity on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:12:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Every time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf

      these slick, greedy, right wing thugs stand up and salute the flag, the American people end up holding the shitty end of the stick.  

      Will we poke ourselves in the eye with it?  Or use it to beat said politician back under the rock he was hatched beneath?  I daresay it is time to decide.

  •  Look at the clemency order (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous, Nimbus, adrianrf

    I'm sure that Bush and a very small group (possibly just Harriet) came up with this.

    Cheney may very well have ordered it, or Bush had promised it to him long ago.  I suspect the latter.

    There is NO nuance, no preparation for Tony Snow, no investigation of legal ramifications.  This smacks of either Cheney or Bush shooting us in the face, FROM THE HIP.

    I think the circle was quite small.

    I think the guilt is obvious.

    But Bush quite likely came up with this himself, and I'm sure he's proud of the Commutation instead of a Pardon.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, My God! Perhaps I am! -Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:50:35 AM PDT

    •  If this is Bush's work (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polecat, greenearth, Nimbus, adrianrf

      then he is much smarter than I have given him credit for.  This is Rovian. It is thought out and planned from the beginning of the investigation.  A done deal from day one.  There was never a fear on Libby's end.  He knew he would never go to jail.  But he has now "made his bones" in the underworld that is this administration.  He is a made man.  He took the hit for the bosses.  A hero and a martyr for the war mongers.

      •  But the spin sucks. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth, adrianrf

        I would have expected much more from Rove, both for the explanation and some other covering event.

        This seems much more like a Cheney op, to tell you the truth.

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, My God! Perhaps I am! -Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 03:13:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There IS no investigation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, MyBrainWorks

    Fitz has announced that the active investigation closed with the conviction of Libby. This commutation stinks, but we should stick to the facts here.

    •  The WH had no investigation either (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, adrianrf

      I forget when & where this came out, but one of the White House hacks testifying before Congress let slip that the White House has conducted absolutely no investigation into who outed Valerie Plame.

      Nada.
      Zip.

      Either they already know, or they approve of it. Or both.

  •  Grant Libby immunity, force him to testify... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, MyBrainWorks

    Didn't John Dean point out to KO that Fitzgerald could still grant Libby immunity and then force him to testify in future Plame hearings, since immunity would nullify any attempt by Libby to plead the 5th?

    If Libby didn't play ball, he could face contempt, perjury, or obstruction charges all over again.

  •  also goes to prove that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadAsHellMaddie

    they do have shadow govt. in place which favors corporations over people.

  •  The Bush administration (5+ / 0-)

    was conceived as a criminal enterprise from the day the 2000 presidential election was stolen by the activites of Republican congressional staffers intimidation of FL election officials. That theft  finally climaxed in the remarkable dishonesty of the Republican majority 5 to 4 decision of the SCOTUS in Gore V. Bush .  Now, more than ever, it is apparent to any relatively honest and awake observer that the entire Republican Party has been a criminal enterprise for the entire time of TGDSOBGWB's presidency.

    A few Republicans are finally waking to the fact of the Bushite crimes, too late and too few in number to have any real effect in relieving the thift.

    "I fear for my country when I think that the Universe might be ruled by a just and all knowing God."  

    Or however that quote goes.  Does anyone remember?

    A private gyn office offering full gyn services including abortion care to 18 weeks.

    by william f harrison on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:07:36 AM PDT

  •  Such a beautiful piece of writing ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dunbar, greenearth

    ... leaves me profoundly saddened. I'm going back to bed.

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:14:50 AM PDT

  •  I feel like I've been punched in the gut! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, adrianrf, Buffalo Nickel

    Hunter, you and Keith Olbermann have done the best job so far in explaining this pitiful administration and the sheeple who follow them blindly.....and we all know what eventually happens to sheep.

  •  Call for Bush and Cheney's resignation.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hornito, greenearth

    Keith Olbermann has done a great service to Americans by his special comment last night.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

    Now it's time for us to back him up with our actions. It will save lives!

    Bush and Cheney are too good for impeachment and its lenghthy process.

    President
    comments@whitehouse .gov

    Vice President
    vice_president@whitehouse.gov

  •  Well done, Hunter. Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    I think, therefore I am, I think.

    by mcmom on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:16:34 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the great summary, Hunter... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hornito, Dunbar, greenearth

    ...I'm so glad that we elected a Democratic congress last fall, so that we can put a stop to this outrageous flouting of the constitution by impeaching...oh well, never mind.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." Nancy Pelosi

    by StupidAsshole on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:17:17 AM PDT

  •  Thom Hartmann just made a great point (6+ / 0-)

    Early in the trial, (during Jury selection?) Libby's lawyer said, "VP Cheney will be a witness in this case. Will your feelings about Dick Cheney bias you against him & his testimony?"

    Almost overnight, the defense strategy changed. Not only was Cheney never called to testify, but the whole defense collapsed. Libby called almost no defense witnesses (except character witnesses who said "Scooter's a swell guy").

    Libby just rolled over and played dead. He took his conviction calmly.

    Was this the point where the deal for commutation/pardon was struck? And just not announced until Monday?

  •  Standing up (0+ / 0-)

    and clapping , cheers of bravo , feet pounding !

  •  dumya does nothing out of the goodness (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MyBrainWorks, adrianrf, Jeff Y

    of his heart.  He doesn't have one.  He did this for one reason only:  to keep Scooter from mouthing off and telling the truth at long last from his jail cell.
    All the other excuses he gave were pure bulls**t.

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all - JFK- 5/18/63-Vanderbilt Univ.

    by oibme on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:21:31 AM PDT

  •  Please send this to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, Jeff Y

    K.O.
    Maybe he could read it on air .

    And please send it out to other news outlets .

  •  The Decider (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf, Jeff Y

    Ahhh, George W Bush... the 'Saddam Hussein' of North America.

    The boy Bush has made it perfectly clear to all judges and juries, that he is the Decider, not them.

  •  So what are WE going to do about this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf, Jeff Y

    WE all know this is wrong and that things have been wrong for a LONG time.

    WE all know that Congress is not up to doing anything about these things or they would have done it after Bush invaded Iraq.

    So what are WE going to DO about this? We can't just keep reading and writing blogs. People are dying over this inept and evil administration.

    Keith Olbermann opened the door to a very viable solution. A call for Bush and Cheney to resign.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

    I sent a link of his video to both Bush and Cheney and asked them to resign for the good of the country
    NOW.

    President
    comments@whitehouse.gov

    Vice President
    vice_president@whitehouse.gov

    What will you DO about this?

    •  That's the problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf

      it almost seems that they (W. administration) can do whatever they want and we are just left to watch.

      This last episode with Scooter made my jaw drop and I have a bad feeling that these morons (Republicans) are going to be able "fix" things so that we are stuck with another Wingnut Prez in 08.
      They're good at that crap.

  •  It should be pointed out, that the people who.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf, Jeff Y

    contributed to Libby's "defense fund", and the majority of those who wrote letters to the judge, and who petitioned Kommander Prissy Boots to pardon him, were not just "conservatives". The majority, are well known right-wing neocons, many with ties to right-wing, pro-Likud think tanks and PACs.

    Indeed, "the roots of the aspen trees are connected". It all smells like so much mafia to me.... Right or wrong, they are going to support their own, even when they've committed treason against this nation.

    NO MORE DYNASTIES! No more triangulation! No more lies! No more war! No more corporatists! ELECT PROGRESSIVES NOW!

    by Hornito on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:30:34 AM PDT

  •  Investigation is over (0+ / 0-)

    You wrote: "It should be noted, for future record, that the President of the United States has just used his power of clemency to sabotage an active criminal investigation into the office of his own Vice President."

    What active investigation?...unless you mean the ongoing and perptual Congressional hearings that X Party is always holding against Y Party when X and Y control different branches of government and then switch so that Y Party investigates X Party when the tables of power are turned.  There isn't a dime's worth of difference (or a dime's worth of PAC money) between Bush and Pelosi/Reid.  They each use different slogans for hanging to the reins of power.
     

    •  The Libby appeal is ongoing. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf

      Thus, the case itself is ongoing. There is (or at least was) always the option of continuing the investigation if new information came to light, or if Libby was willing to give additional testimony in exchange for a plea arrangement. Indeed, such arrangements are a standard tool of investigations and prosecutions, and Fitzgerald has been well known for his expert use of such.

      •  Investigation versus Appeal (0+ / 0-)

        Good point -- the appeal is still going on.  But the investigation is over.  In settlement agreements with the federal government, the U.S. always reserves the right to re-open an investigation if new information comes to light or facts are discovered to have been witheld.  That is standard in every settlement and exists by operation of law even when civil or criminal matters conclude with a trial.  The commutation is no more an intervention into an investigation than any pardon or commutation is while a conviction or a sentence is on appeal.  When a governor commutes a death penalty sentence to life in prison, the person's case is usually on endless appeal.  That would seem to me to be the same legal status as this commutation.  The appeal will continue on the conviction as is Libby's right.
         

  •  Brilliant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, adrianrf

    Seldom is justice in a single case so transparently stratified, each layer of establishment Washington valiantly wounding itself in obsequious service to the one above it.

    We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is just a setting on the dryer.

    by david78209 on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:36:15 AM PDT

  •  Will you call for Bush and Cheney to resign? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf

    Keith Olbermann did yesterday.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

    Will any of you back him up and send an email to Bush and Cheney today to resign?

    I did yesterday and included a link to Olbermann's special comment.

    President
    comments@whitehouse.gov

    Vice President
    vice_president@whitehouse.gov

  •  Civil suit against Cheney, Rove, Libby (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf

    Wilson and Plame are engaged in a civil suit against Cheney, Rove, and Libby.  Not pardoning Libby helps him in this civil suit because he can now refuse to answer questions by taking the fifth because his case is still in the courts.  Cheney and Rove will probably say they don't remember or they'll just lie.  I wouldn't be surprised if Republicans find some corrupt judge who dismisses this case.  I'm extremely disappointed in Patrick Fitzgerald, but not surprised.  He let Rove off the hook because he knew that if he went after the White House, he might not only destroy what's left of the Bush presidency, but that he would also destroy his own future.  He wasn't about to do that.  Fitzgerald was very timid in how he handled this case, and the only one who was treated harshly was a female NYT reporter.  However much I disapprove of Judith Miller, I have to admit that in our judicial system, it seems much easier to punish women than it is to punish men.  Right at this moment, I have absolutely no confidence in our judicial system.  

  •  Why they'll get away with it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Julia Grey, trinite, adrianrf, Jeff Y

    When I first heard about Bush's decision to commute Libby's sentence I couldn't help thinking about something Michael Moore said last week on NOW regarding America's failing health care system.

    MOORE: Well, first of all, the reason it is so good in France is because the people do take to the streets. I interview this American woman who lives in Paris, and she says, you know, "The difference between here and in America is that in France the government is afraid of the people. In the States the people are afraid of the government."

    Few in America will take to the streets over this issue either. I don't think it's necessarily because Americans are afraid of the government (although that may be increasingly true) but I'm fairly certain the government isn't at all afraid of the people.

    •  Will you send an email to Bush and Cheney.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf

      calling for them to resign?

      I did yesterday with a link to Keith Olbermann's special comment.

    •  Europeans seem more grown up and worldly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf

      and they don't put up with no health care or with partial coverage.  At least the ones I know don't.  Let me give you another example.  The NYT reported some time ago that companies that want to sell genetically engineered food have to spend a fortune trying to sell this concept in Europe, but that in the U.S. they do as they please and nobody complains. I hope that in the U.S. Big Brother hasn't already won and that the brain damage isn't irreversible.  Or maybe it's the racial problem that is still at the root of many of our problems and that allows the far right to continue to win elections.  There might be hope in the next generation that's coming along and that seems to be less tied to basing its votes on which political party ended segregation.  What's really disturbing about this is that everyone knows why the solid South was at one time Democratic and why it then became solidly Republican, but nobody will talk about it.  This is another example of denial on a huge scale.  You can't fix a problem if you refuse to admit that it exists, and unfortunately this is something we do seem to be good at doing.  Maybe it's the Hollywood in all of us.  We do like to make things look nice even when they aren't.

  •  Scooter will be a regular on FAUX like Ollie Nort (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y

    and the rest of the criminals

    From the Book of Horrible Questions , Would you push a red button for $10 million but 100 random people would die of natural causes, Survey said 55% would ?

    by FAUX GOP DEATH TV on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:44:16 AM PDT

  •  "Scooter"! (0+ / 0-)

    REMEMBER: All those who "outed" Valerie Plame walked; "Scooter" Libby who didn't shouldn't go to prison.

    http://osi-speaks.blogspot.com/...

  •  Bush Commuter Flashback: "Please Don't Kill Me" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf

    It is worth remembering that this is merely Bush being Bush, consistent in his own inconsistency.  That is, a gleeful vengeance towards criminals occupies a high place in George W. Bush's pantheon of values.  Just not as high, as we all should long have since known, as rewarding personal loyalty and ensuring his own survival.

    For more history of the Asterisk President, see:
    Bush Commutation Flashback: "Please Don't Kill Me."

  •  People are afraid of "looking silly"... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf

    that's why they won't ACT.

  •  Novak says Armitage did it (0+ / 0-)

    Armitage was not indicted because the statute prohibiting disclosure of an intelligence agent's identity was not violated.

    A covert agent's identity was spread over and over by Libby to reporters but Novak the narcissist thinks only the leak to him is the one that counts.

    Read his article and see if you don't think that he is deranged.
    Arm's-Length Leniency

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:46:29 AM PDT

  •  Accountibility (0+ / 0-)

    The mere premise that a member of his administration would be held accountable for criminal actions as others would be is not just unthinkable, but has been a matter of great contention throughout Bush's presidency, requiring elaborate fictions of legalese to defend even the transparently illegal, such as domestic espionage and torture, and even more tortured justifications for reasons why no such justifications need be given in the first place.

    Scott Parkinson, one of the young geniuses at the Rockridge Institute, reminds us that the whole idea of accountibility is a contested concept. We are speaking a different language. The words may sound the same, but the meanings are
    altogether different. Writing on Rockridge Nation he begins

    Conservatives and progressives have different views on what accountability entails. Progressives believe that one is accountable to those one is responsible for — those affected and possibly harmed by one's actions. Conservatives hold subordinates accountable when they have failed at a task delegated to them by a legitimate authority. When George Bush commuted Scooter Libby's 30-month prison sentence today he tried to appear to satisfy both notions of accountability, but in essence he validated the conservative understanding of accountability, and in the process turned the notion of justice into a farce.

  •  Al Capone (0+ / 0-)

    With each passing day, Bush becomes a little less presidential, and a little more like Al Capone with an Air Force.

    I like Capone's method of silencing better than Bush's.  Scooter belongs with the fishies.

  •  Crossing the Rubicon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf

    Investigation sabotaged: See how it's done, future heads of government? Bush is the teacher. All it takes is no respect for the system and unmitigated gall.

    The Republican party's moral compass got washed overboard several years ago, but almost no one on board has pointed out its absence. They keep pretending they're not lost.

    •  How was the investigation sabotaged? (0+ / 0-)

      Didn't Bush let the entire investigation play out?  I thought the Fitzgerald investigation finished up w/the conviction of Libby.  Am I wrong?  Was there still an active investigation?  If not, then what exactly was sabotaged?

      •  I don't think you're paying attention, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        adrianrf

        perhaps intentionally. Libby was investigated, convicted and sentenced, under our system of justice. Bush negated all that in one minute. Which conveniently cuts off further investigation of himself and Cheney. If that's not sabotaging the investigation, the words have no meaning.

        •  What Investigation? (0+ / 0-)

          If there was an ongoing investigation that would make sense but didn't Fitzgerald's investigation end w/the Libby prosecution?  In other words, whose or what active investigation was sabotaged by giving commuting Libby's sentence?

          As for the negating the investigation, conviction and sentence in one minute couldn't that be said about every commutation and/or pardon?  Should the constitution be ammended and that executive power removed?  Every pardon negates a conviction / sentence etc., no?

      •  Who outed Valerie Plame? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        adrianrf

        If Scooter were facing jail, there's a chance he could be persuaded to tell the whole truth. Now there's none. That's a cover-up to protect Cheney, Rove and Bush himself. No underlying crime my foot!

        •  Who would of done the persuading? (0+ / 0-)

          Fitzgerald's inquiry ended with the Libby prosecution.  Who and as part of what investigation would actively try to persuade Libby to tell the whole truth since Fitzgerald's investigation was completed?

          If Fitzgeralds investigation was still active, still ongoing the I think your argument would have merit but since it's not I don't see it.

          •  Fitzgerald himself said the investigation (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MyBrainWorks, adrianrf

            is inactive, but he would act on any new information.  He indicated a willingness to talk with defense should they so desire.  

            This is a standard prosecutorial conduct in obstruction cases.  After Libby spent a little time in a jail, he may have felt very differently about telling the truth.  Fitz could then go to a judge to get a hearing to reduce the sentence.  

            Small varmints, if you will.

            by 2lucky on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 01:41:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No further investigation (0+ / 0-)

              At his press conference a few months ago he said that the investigation was inactive prior to the trial and that they were going to get back to their day jobs.

              If he were still actively investigating and the possibility of flipping Libby could lead to bigger fish then it could be argued that the commutation sabotaged the investigation.  But it's hard to make a credible case that an inactive investigation was sabotaged.

              •  Two possibilities: if new information (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MyBrainWorks, adrianrf

                surfaced in the course of congressional investigations (which are ongoing) and if Libby decided to talk.  He said he would act if new, actionable information came to light.

                Bush just removed any incentive Libby would have to talk.

                Small varmints, if you will.

                by 2lucky on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 02:08:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Unsolved cases never inactive (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jsmagid, adrianrf

                until the statue of limitations runs out. I don't know what the limit is in the outing-spies law, but it's nowhere near expired yet.

                The best hope of getting new evidence was twisting Scooter's arm with the threat of jail. Now that will never happen, and it looks to me like Scooter knew all along it would never happen because he'd been promised commutation/pardon in excahnge for silence. A witness had been bribed.

                That's obstruction of justice. Subornation of perjury. That's a crime, and an impeachable offense.

              •  There's a whopping big difference (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                adrianrf

                between inactive and closed.

                Democracy is a contact sport...

                by jsmagid on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 02:40:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Not closed. Waiting for evidence (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            adrianrf

            Which Libby could have supplied. Now that he's not going to jail, Fitzgerald can't twist his arm any more. There was still hope, until the commutation; now, none.

            Justice has been obstructed.

            •  Fitzgerald went back to his day job (0+ / 0-)

              He wasn't making any attempt to twist Scooter's arm to try to get him to roll up on anyone else.  Unless you think the day before going to jail that Scooter was going to run to Fitz and say "Let me give you X, Y, and Z" there was going to be no attempt to twist his arm.  And I just don't see Scooter giving up the big rewards that will certainly be coming his way for his loyalty just to avoid some jail time.

  •  Too much is being made of this (0+ / 0-)

    The Bush Administration has done a ton of things wrong over the years but I'm not sure this is anywhere near the top.

    I just find it ironic that it is Scooter Libby who received the clemency that is so controversial considering Libby was the lawyer for Clinton's most controversial pardonee, one Marc Rich.

    Bush was clearly within his legal rights to grant clemency it wasn't the first and it won't be the last time a politician (Republican or Democrat) pardons or grants clemency to someone who was in their administration.  

    •  But this case is tied to lying to start a war. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MyBrainWorks, adrianrf

       It's not a personal transgression, but something connected to a huge foreign policy disaster and it has direct ties to both the President and Vice President.   It is a huge issue.

    •  Part of the problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MyBrainWorks

      Yes, it is curious that the media doesn't mention that Libby was Rich's lawyer. But then, the MSM's coverage of this story from the start has been shallow at best. What a surprise.

    •  There are many ways to grade (0+ / 0-)

      or weight the egregiousness of crimes committed by Bush, Cheney, Gonzo, etc.

      From the perspective of upholding, or in this case trashing the rule of law, this ranks right up there with lying to Congress and firing (or not) USDAs over failure to toe the GOP-based political prosecution line.

      This first giant step on Libby's road to a full pardon serves to legitimize committing perjury and obstruction of justice in the service of protecting the Vice President from certain impeachment. There's no way that can be considered a minor item in the grand scheme of BushCo crimes.

      Democracy is a contact sport...

      by jsmagid on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 02:48:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you against all pardons or commutations? (0+ / 0-)

        Isn't a pardon or commutation by its very definition an act against the upholding if the rule of law?  

        If this commutation legitimizes perjury when a President pardons a drug dealer is he legitimizing that act?  If a president pardons a tax evader is that legitimizing the cheatring of the government?  

        •  Oh give me a fucking break (0+ / 0-)

          You know damn well I didn't say anything even close to your bullshit question.

          A pardon or commutation when DESERVED on the merits, reviewed by the appropriate parties at the Justice Department and recommended by same is one thing.

          This abortion of the rule of law doesn't even begin to come close.

          Democracy is a contact sport...

          by jsmagid on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:58:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ah, but Lewis Libby, as a convicted felon... (0+ / 0-)

    will never be allowed to vote in Florida!  

    The Fourth Estate is now a gated community.

    by djohnutk on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 12:04:19 PM PDT

  •  Bush has practice in getting away with things. (0+ / 0-)

    He's been doing it for a lifetime.  We need another Deep Throat.

  •  The Repubs Aren't a Political Party.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Habanero, Back In Blue, adrianrf

    ....They're a Criminal Conspiracy.

  •  Maybe we could trade Bush for Gordon Brown (0+ / 0-)

    with 5 unnamed pics over the next decade.

    LONDON: Prime Minister Gordon Brown unveiled a raft of proposals for changes to Britain's constitution, ranging from a limit on his own powers to declare war and a written law enshrining citizens rights.

    link

  •  Adolf must be looking up from hell and laughing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf

    his ass off.  Criminals.... all of them.

    BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

    by Habanero on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 12:35:23 PM PDT

  •  Excellent record setting. Bush's trying to set a (0+ / 0-)

    precedent for himself so that when HE is convicted, we will all know that any jail time would be, by him, considered EXCESSIVE!

    He makes me so damn mad!

    (the Bush WH) dense web of deceit is the deliberate product of its amoral culture, not a haphazard potpourri of individual blunders. F. Rich

    by Gorette on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 12:48:24 PM PDT

  •  After conviction is in place (0+ / 0-)

    there is no more "plea deal."  This is not civil contempt where a person is released from jail once he cooperates.  The prosecutors are in no position to seek any deal once they won the conviction.

  •  This "president" can go fuck himself. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf

    Get these assholes THE FUCK OUT OF OFFICE!!

    -7.88, -6.72. ABORT THIS COURT! IMPEACH!!

    by caseynm on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 01:20:58 PM PDT

  •  Drugged and bugged (0+ / 0-)

    The neocon takeover of America is a chill measure of just how medicated, numb, distracted, spiritless, frightened, confused and ignorant we, as a nation, are. The lights are on and everyone is indoors staring at the television.

    Keep out of damn ditch

    by ashabot on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 02:40:20 PM PDT

  •  The Time Has Come (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dunbar, adrianrf

    I have for a long time been arguing with my fellow kossacks that the time was "not ready yet" for impeachment.  I can no longer do this.  Any American who calls for impeachment, regardless of party, is to be encouraged and saluted as an ally; and any Democrat or Republican, especially any Democrat, that makes the slightest excuse for inaction on this should never be voted for again.  It is our duty to explain this to our representatives, and if we do not, we do not in fact deserve our Constitution and our Democracy.  Today is the 4th of July; act like an American.

    •  Why impeachment? Call for them to resign... (0+ / 0-)

      like Keith Olbermann did yesterday.

      "We of this time—and our leaders in Congress, of both parties—must now live up to those standards which echo through our history:  Pressure, negotiate, impeach—get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

      For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.

      Resign.

      And give us someone—anyone—about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, "I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job."

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

  •  CLue (0+ / 0-)

    President Bush did it in the WhiteHouse with a papershredder.  He effortlessly demolished the last of the quaint restrictions on a democratic society, and sybolically ground up the constitution.
     This was not a game of CLUE.  This was a palace coup.

    -5.50, -3.49 Xxtian

    by rMatey on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 03:53:23 PM PDT

  •  Libby`s commute (0+ / 0-)

    This government is a lemon,and I want my money back.
                 -- Paraphrase of Meatloaf
    Democracy isn`t dead;it merely smells funny.
                 -- Paraphrase of Frank Zappa
    "Someday,all those cocksuckers will get caught."
                 -- Quote from Frank Zappa re:when Jimmy                            
                    Swaggart was busted.
    "Pickett the Press.Boycott their sponsors until Bush stops spitting in your face."
                 -- Quote from Sully18

  •  Why did we ever let the (0+ / 0-)

    independent prosecutor's law expire?

  •  An absolute masterpiece Hunter... (0+ / 0-)

    George W. Bush claimed repeatedly that the sentence in this case was excessive. But when it came time to decide what punishment would not be excessive, Bush chose zero. Not a month, a week, or even a single summer day in jail would be appropriate in this case of obstruction, the President asserted. Even the prospect of a single hour behind bars, for this particular most senior of senior members of the Vice President's staff, required immediate neutralizing action.

    To wit:  George W. Bush delivered a sentence for Scooter in direct relationship to his regard for the laws of our nation...zero.

    The president "pardoned" Libby because he, the president of the United States is the leaker.  Hyperbole?  Perhaps.  But now we will never know.

    It is said that there is no honor among thieves...it is obvious that there is no honor among Republicans either.

    Thank you for this wonderful epitaph for American justice and honor, it is both brilliant and desperately sad.

    "The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation." - Albert Einstein

    by The American Prophet on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:47:15 PM PDT

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