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Breaking News - Bush Commutes Libby Prison Sentence

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Taluntain, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    [​IMG]
    Source.

    Bush's buddies obviously have nothing to fear except the loss of some pocket change. Shameful, disgraceful, and yet predictable. A new low, even for Bush.
     
  2. khaavern Gems: 14/31
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    Yeah, big surprise ... Apparently Bush doesn't care anymore about rule of law, dignity in the White House, and all that.

    I wonder if this has the potential to become a greater scandal. After all, it is pretty brazen (coming from a president who typically cannot be bothered to give pardons to run of the mill people - just look at Bush record in this area). Anyhow, he must figure out that at this point, one more scandal does not matter.
     
  3. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    It wasn't a pardon.

    From what I hear this enables Libby to continue to appeal and prove his innocence, whereas a pardon would have ended the entire situation.

    I give Bush guts, I figured he would do something like this (or a pardon) after the November elections, when the political heat would be meaningless.

    I've never been quite sure how I feel about the Libby prosecution. I'm pretty sure he did lie, but it appears that he lied about something stupid. I love a political witch hunt as much as the next guy, but going after an underling, left a bad taste in my mouth.
     
  4. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    This does, on the surface, seem astonishing.
     
  5. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    Are you deliberately distorting the case, or is this merely honest error on your part?
     
  6. khaavern Gems: 14/31
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    "prove his innocence" heh, I like that. You might argue that Libby did not deserve such a punisment, that there were other guiltier than him (after all, he was just an underling), but it is petty clear that he lied through his teeth. No innocence there.
     
  7. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I read what I wrote a couple of times and I'm not sure where the distortion or the error is. He clearly lied, but what he lied about was meaningless. I may not be the best informed person about the case, but I believe the lies were about who supposedly outed a CIA agent, that supposedly was no longer a field agent and just worked at Langley (CIA headquarters). However, it clearly was a crime to lie to federal prosecutors.

    My bad, I never meant to imply that he was innocent, just that he still has the opportunity to do so. If he does, I'm sure it will be on some sort of technicality.
     
  8. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    A full pardon woud have shot the Republican party into the Stone Age (probably from where it originated), but "just" commuting the prison time was a much safer bet for Bush and the Republicans. The Spinmeisters should be able to control a lot of the political damage they would have otherwise not had a chance with had it been a full pardon. They took the easy way out. Now they don't have the fear any longer of Libby ratting Cheney out.
     
  9. nunsbane

    nunsbane

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    Snook, what are you talking about? Lies told during an investigation to determine who *outed* an american spy are not *meaningless*. At what capacity she was serving within the agency at the time of the outing is beside the point.

    Libby should serve the time he was sentenced to just as any other citizen who breaks the law should.

    I knew it was coming...and somehow that doesn't reduce my disgust with the whole situation.

    Also, Snook, please never attribute 'guts' to George after he sat idle for seven minutes after being informed that the country was under attack.
     
  10. Cernak Gems: 12/31
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    "The Scooter", as he's known to his friends, was convicted by a jury of his peers and given the sentence appropriate to his offence. Which is now negated by unilateral action. I find it hard to believe there are defenders of Bush's pardon on this board. How low are you willing to go in defending this President's actions? Is there a plumb line long enough?

    Other persons are uncertain whether it was entirely appropriate, after a trial that no one has alleged was unfair, to sentence this unfortunate citizen to two and a half years in the pokey. Poor "Scooter"! His mother must be dying of leukemia or something. "Scooter" the victim! But he's not the victim.

    That unwelcome honor--victim-- goes to Valerie Plame, whose career was ended, and her life possibly endangered--I'll say nothing about the merits or demerits of that career--when The Scooter outed her as an undercover CIA agent. This was not because of an inveterate hatred of spying, but because her husband had publicly criticized the Bush administration's policies on Iraq. This administration does not take criticism lightly.

    It would be fair to say that "Scooter" took the fall for his boss, Vice-President Dick Cheney. That might be a valid reason for pardoning him, but only if we then jailed Cheney. After all, someone outed Plame; and that's a crime.

    What we have here is an administration of crooks pardoning each other.

    So what's next for the "Scooter"? The Medal of Freedom awarded in full dress on the White House lawn?
     
  11. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Presidental pardon is a horrible abomination of a law which should be removed or atleast restricted. We have it too but it's very rarely used and even then only on court recommendations, however there are basically no laws stopping the president from pardoning whomever she wishes.

    There is one example when presidental pardon was useful and that was when Risto Ryti was pardoned (president of Finland during Continuation War) by president Paasikivi. His conviction though was basically dictated from Moscow and had little to do with his actual guilt to anything.
     
  12. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Clerver move. Now it is all but sure that Libby will not squeal, and he will be pardoned in 2008. If he has to pay the fine it will be paid for by donors. Means he is out quasi-clean and can later have a come-back like fellow-felon Elliot Abrams.

    Still any doubts who Libby was working for when he stonewalled Fitzgerald? The family takes care of its own.
     
  13. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    I disagree. Commuting the 2 year country club stay (that would have probably lasted all of 6 months or possibly even been reduced to mere house arrest) hardly compares to pardoning Nixon. Perhaps a 20 year low, but our presidents have gone lower in the past. Much lower.

    Hell, in my opinion, even Bush has gone lower than this. (In my mind, perpetrating a war under false pretenses pretty trumps pardoning a corrupt politician. Even if the politician is a real dick.....like, say, Richard Nixon.)
     
  14. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Then let me correct the misinformation. As has been reported, Plame was DEFINITELY officially covert at the time she was outed.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18924679/

    I really wish conservatives would let that whole "she wasn't covert!!! Everyone knew!! Witch hunt!!" crap die now. This is far less "meaningless" than a blowjob. :rolleyes:

    edit - dumb html tags...grr.

    2nd edit - I found this post over at Volokh Conspiracy a pretty good one:
    Neither do I.

    [ July 03, 2007, 15:13: Message edited by: Death Rabbit ]
     
  15. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    She may have been "covert", but it wasn't like she was "agent natasha" behind the iron curtain. She was on the east coast and went home to her husband and daughters every night. Please explain how her life was in danger. She was not secret agent 00mommy.

    Edit: For clarification, a crime was committed. He shouldn't have lied to federal investigators. I chalk this up to another Martha Stewart, Paris Hilton situation. All they wanted to do was make an example of someone.

    [ July 03, 2007, 16:09: Message edited by: The Great Snook ]
     
  16. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Not that that's relevant - if the CIA considered her covert, then she was, and my opinion doesn't change that fact - but I'll explain.

    Not all covert agents are "agent Natasha" or whatever. Many of them operate front organizations that merely gather intelligence. Most CIA operatives establish inside contacts, follow leads, sit back and collect information. All without dodging bullets, flying jets or sleeping with dignitaries to get the secret microfilm from the booby-trapped safe hidden under their bearskin rug, as you seem to think is implied by the term "covert."

    But in order to be effective, a covert's true identity and connection to the CIA must remain unknown to the people they're trying to get information from, especially indirectly. Once a covert's identity is exposed, any fellow operatives and any operation the covert was involved with have now been compromised. Lives put in jeopardy. Time, resources, man hours, valuable contacts - all wasted.

    It can be argued that perhaps Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame were careless in keeping her identity a secret from her neighbors. I've yet to see any evidence that this is substantially true, but I'm open to it. However - this does not excuse White House officials from leaking it to the press to score political points against a vocal critic, or anyone else for that matter. Even if it was an accidental leak (which it clearly wasn't), this is hardly meaningless. "Loose lips sink ships" and all that.
     
  17. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    True
     
  18. Dinsdale Gems: 13/31
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    This just further proves that politicians and their ilk can do whatever they damn well please and get away with it. You or I would fry if we did what Libby did. This is just disgusting. It makes me angry just thinking about it.
     
  19. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    [​IMG] TGS,
    here's something very simple. It's not only a crime when it's Agent Natasha behind the iron curtain. The outing highlighted Plame's name. Now what risk might that pose, short of wrecking her network?

    In 1975, CIA Athens station chief Richard Welch was assassinated by the Greek terrorist group November 17 after his identity was revealed in several listings by a magazine called CounterSpy, edited by Timothy Butz. A local paper checked with CounterSpy to confirm his identity. That was one of the reasons the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 was enacted.

    So Plame allegedly only served in the US, so what's the fuss (and how would you know that anyway?)? Think again.
     
  20. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    [​IMG] Oh, TGS, please. First of all, in its basest state, this is a case where a man was indicted for lying before a jury. 3 years is not too hard for that, as afaik the sentence was within the range proscribed by law; politics aside, I am sure people have gotten more.

    On Plame: please, you are smarter than that. First of all, while working at Langley (staffing, training and recruitment, eh?) she traveled abroad "on official business" with credential showing no link to the CIA. If that is not undercover, I don't know what is. Second, even if at that particular time her life was not in immediate danger, that does not mean her work should be public property. We are talking about an agent working in the field of weapon non-proliferation in, and I can not stress this enough, The Middle East. Exposing her as a CIA operative means jeopardizing any and all contacts she has made there. "Outing" her puts everyone who as much as served her in a restaurant, not to mention anyone she did business with, under suspicion. This, if hostile intelligence services were paying any attention, could very well lead to a purge of US agents - and exactly at the time the USA needed such agents most (2002-3, Middle East - need I say more?). Even if by sheer luck (or, more likely, sheer stupidity) no important informants are caught, it alerts the countries where she went that the CIA is interested in them, and one could expect this would prompt them to improve security. If you are trying to find information on whether one of these governments is trying to resume its WMD program (Iraq) or just want to have a decent network there, this could be a catastrophe.

    Valerie Plame's career being ruined deserves some bureaucrat getting 3 years in jail, but that does not even begin to compare to the damage such a leak could have done to the human intelligence network of the CIA in the region. Even if at the time of the leak she was sunbathing in Miami, her identity was covert for a very, very good reason.

    Compared to that, her life being in danger is not even that important. According to the court - and accepted by Bush - Libby lied under oath, and thus hampered the investigation of what is essentially not just a serious crime, but a threat to the US intelligence and thus national security.

    [ July 03, 2007, 16:40: Message edited by: The Shaman ]
     
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