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Scooter Libby found guilty on four counts

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Ragusa, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Newsflash about the trial against VP Cheney's former chief of staff I. (for Irving) Lewis 'scooter' Libby.

    The verdicts for the individual charges against Libby are as follows, according to the Associated Press:
    • Obstruction of Justice: GUILTY
    • False statements to FBI investigators (about Russert conversation): GUILTY
    • False statement to FBI investigators (about Cooper conversation): NOT GUILTY
    • Perjury to the Grand Jury (about Tim Russert conversation): GUILTY
    • Perjury to the Grand Jury (about the Matt Cooper conversation): GUILTY
    Sentencing deadline until May 15.

    My bet: He's going to be sentenced, only to be pardoned by Bush or the next president.

    [ March 08, 2007, 17:08: Message edited by: Taluntain ]
     
  2. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran 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!)

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    You'll lose that bet.
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I don't know if he'll be pardoned, but he'll do soft time. He won't get nearly the sentence that Joe Smoe would get if convicted of multiple felonies.
     
  4. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Libby may never serve a day. Probably Libby’s defense team, after screwing up the trial, will try to stall Libby's incarceration until the president issues a pardon, say in January 2009? Just a hunch. Considering that it is highly likely he was not acting on his own in this, and covered up for others, I don't expect him to be dropped by Cheney or Bush. Bad for the 'morale of the troops'. Libby fell into his sword, and Bush values loyalty.

    I have in mind the gruesome fate of Iran-Contra veteran Elliot Abrahams. He was indicted on charges of giving false testimony about his role in the illicit money-raising schemes. Smarter than Libby, Abrams in 1991 entered into a plea agreement for a conviction without imprisonment on two lesser offenses, both misdemeanors, of withholding information from Congress. He was pardoned by President George H. W. Bush shortly before leaving office in 1992. Now that was a hard slap on the wrist. Bad boy, old boy!
    Today Abrams sits in the Whitehouse and is Bush's deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy. He is said to have made a lessons learned assessment on Iran-Contra, what worked and what didn't. Cheating congress worked, but running the operation through the National Security Council didn't. I presume the conclusion was to run such things consequently through the VPs office, without telling anybody anything. As probably in the case with Libby, one wants to retain such expertise.
     
  5. Morgoroth

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

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    I really really despise presidental pardon. We have that thing here too (probably because otherwise the president would be completely useless) and I really can't stand it. The president is a politician and I'm not comfortable with the president under any circumstances be able to help out his/her good friends a bit by issuing them presidental pardon. Also the courts are supposed to be free of political influence (not that they are in the US anyhow) so to me it's just a legacy from times long gone. The only case where it might be of any use is if the courts were corrupt and incompetent and needed to be watched all the time but in that case I'd think the politicians would not be much better.

    As to the case at hand, this was not really a surprise for anyone. I'm still a bit sceptical about him getting a presidental pardon. Would that not be way too obvious for the president to do that without taking some serious political damage? I know Bush II won't be running for president again but still...
     
  6. khaavern Gems: 14/31
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    In all fairness, Libby is not really the great villain of this story. He is one of them, that's true; but considering that the others did not even get a slap on the wrist, I do not care very much if Libby serves time or just gets pardoned.

    At least having the prosecutor expose the whole stinking mess gives me some measure of comfort.
     
  7. 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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    I'd actually put money on him getting pardoned by Bush, for three (edit - make that four) reasons. One, Bush has no stake in the next administration, and pretty clearly doesn't give a rat's about the public's opinion of his actions. Two, this administration is nothing if not fiercely loyal to its inner circle (hence Libby throwing himself on the grenade to protect Cheney). Three, Libby is under no obligation to cooperate with any upcoming investigations of Cheney et al in exchange for a lighter sentence if there's no sentence to worry about. So a pardon would be a very effective tool in sheltering Cheney yet a second time from this whole affair. The reality of prison is about the only thing I can see that will compel Libby to, at long last, turn on the man who turned on him - and a pardon would certainly negate that incentive.

    Edit - and the FOURTH reason I think he'll get pardoned is because, well, I don't really think he'll get pardoned. At least, I don't WANT to think he'll get a pardon. See, every time I've concluded that the Bush administration can only get so ridiculous, and won't "go there" in one context or another, they too often end up surprising me by going against reason and common decency and doing whatever the hell they want to regardless of the moral bounds they overstep. I still hold out that glimmer of hope that this President and his administration will scrape together enough integrity at some point to be worthy of the office, despite having been let down so consistently (old conservative leanings die hard, I guess...even for me). I suppose I'm just playing my personal odds here.

    One thing is for sure to me, though...whomever the next president is - Democrat or Republican - certainly won't pardon Libby. No one would be crazy enough to start their presidency off on such an unpopular note in an effort to carry water for an outgoing and very unpopular administration. Libby's fate will be sealed between November 30, 2006 and January 28, 2009. I'm sure Libby's lawyers will do a good job of keeping his case in appeals until then.

    My long absent :2c:
     
  8. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Bush will wait until the last hour - and then probably pardon Libby. He knows too much to do any time in prison, since he could bring down most of, if not the whole, Bush circus. But don't look for Libby to ever do any real time for his crimes.
     
  9. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Well, this is what happens when you set up a witch hunt. Valerie Plame was not a covert operative, and it is well documented, and admitted by the special prosecutor that her employment under the CIA was exposed by Joe Wilson long before Novak anyway. Unfortunately there was blood in the water, and the special prosecutor had to show some results, so Libby is the sacrifice. Don't get me wrong, I believe he is guilty, but it is pretty stupid that Libby lied in an investigation that should have been stopped before he ever got on the stand. I also believe that they will drag out the fulfillment of his sentence with motions and appeals until after the '08 elections and then Bush will pardon him...but if memory serves every President since Ford has done the same for his cronies so this is nothing special.

    It is kind of sad that Sandy Berger is still running around loose after stealing secret documents that were being examined by the 9/11 commission and committing many of the same crimes as Libby ...just more proof that justice is not blind in the political arena.
     
  10. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Darkwolf,
    this is nonsense. Calling it a 'witch hunt' you adopt the apologetic line conservatives pundits present. Wrongly I think. For an in depth-explanation check this link by an ex-CIA employee and classmate of Plame's.
    Now you might rightly say that the author clearly has a degree of 'bias' on the issue. That certainly stems from him knowing the consequences of being 'outed' and 'burnt'. I find his factual explanation quite convincing.
     
  11. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Then someone should have told her husband that he needed to quit telling everyone that his wife worked at the CIA.

    Sorry, but there was no proof of any wrong doing here, at least not greater than Libby's perjury as evidenced by the lack of indictments by the special prosecutor.

    I label it a witch hunt because of the fact that is what it was. It was an obvious attempt to discredit the Bush administration (and a stupid one as there are easier ways to discredit this bunch of buffoons). It came out early in the investigation that Valerie Plame's occupation wasn't a secret, all her neighbors knew she worked for the CIA, and yet the investigation into the non-issue continued. That is a witch hunt if there ever was one.

    As far as that putting me in the Camp with the far right pundits, even a broken clock is right twice a day.
     
  12. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    You're entitled. I still think you're way off :)
     
  13. Register Gems: 29/31
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    I find it interesting that many far-right pundits are asking for Scooter's release because he "only" comitted perjury.

    Sure didn't sound the same about Clinton way back, now did it?
     
  14. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Amazing, is it not? I guess "witch hunts" only apply to democrats, it would seem....
     
  15. khazadman Gems: 6/31
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    Yes Chandos, you are right, this was a witch hunt. Just look at the Foley case. All he did was send dirty emails to an ex-congressional page who had initiated the contact, and he was hounded by the press and was forced to resign. The dems on the other hand had Gerry Studds who raped a serving male page and he was celebrated as a model congressman. Or Barney Franks who had male prostitutes run out of his townhouse. Virtually nothing was done against these two.
     
  16. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    What I find interesting is that usually we don't have such political sex scandals in Germany, leaving Bavarian politics aside :rolleyes: It is considered somewhat indecent to write about a politician's private life, because he is entitled privacy. The press to a great extent sticks to that. And I think that's right, it's nobody's business. Certainly not mine. IMO a good philosophy. I also, heretically, think that because nobody had a right to know what Clinton did with Monica Lewinsky, he was entitled to lie about it. Nobody would have a right to know from you what you do in bed. I don't think presidents forfeith that right when entering the Whitehouse.
    To lie about the job is something that should really concern people, and that's what Scooter Libby did - in his case it is about good governance. I cannot view the cases of Clinton's and Libby's perjury as equivalent.

    We saw our great ex-chancellor Kohl, when involved in a party financing scandal, flatly refusing to say anything about it because he had given his donors his word. Now that was a scandal, and that was clearly a cover-up, and it irks me that he wasn't punished for it. Kohl iirc also had an affair with his secretary. So what?

    The reason why we are mostly spared stuff like that, is that these things aren't nearly as politicised as they are in the US. Because you won't really find many conservative politicos flagellating the immorality of homosexuality, there is less of an opportunity on the side of the press or opposition to expose their haggardesque hypochrisy. And that's why fortunately we are also spared the abasing spectacle of them repenting.

    So yes, our politicians are divorced, gay, closet gay, have extramarital affairs - so is and does their electorate. It's not really an issue. And I think there is bigger fish to fry. Like real issues. Think about the absence of checks and ballances under the 'unitary executive branch' doctrine or 'imperial presidency', to name the IMO most pressing constitutional challanges in America today. Or other real problems in other countries.

    Besides, I think comparing the 'witch hunts' by Starr and Fitzgerald does great injustice to Fitzgerald who led his probe in a highly professional, limited and narrow way.
     
  17. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Yes Chandos, the Clinton sex scandal was a witch hunt as well.

    If you want to get into real Democratic scandals that aren't being investigated/prosecuted/reported at a level they should you could look into Harry Reid's land deals in Nevada or William Jefferson's freezer. Of course there are just as many scandals in the Republican party as there are in the Democratic party.

    Once you get inside the beltway bribery, graft, deceit and fraud are almost too easy to commit and the people we are electing aren't doing a very good job of resisting temptation.

    Oh well, I am sure Patrick Fitzgerald will be seeking indictments for the crimes he is really supposed to be investigating any time now. :shake:
     
  18. Morgoroth

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

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    In Finland the only sex scandal we've had for a while is revolving around the prime minister and him having an affair. This might even have been after he got divorced, but the press has been going on about this for years. I suppose it would be a good sign though. ;)
     
  19. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Darkiw,
    thinking about it again, I find the Libby thing really hilarious. So Libby was not sentenced for exposing the ID of a CIA officer but for perjury?

    So then, why did he lie to a federal prosecutor about what he did, if had nothing to hide? I mean, if Plame was not undercover, and exposing her ID thus didn't violate federal statutes - Libby could have just said that he did it, or who did it - he would have nothing to fear. That a smart guy like he preferred to lie is really telling, he's a lawyer after all. He knew what the consequences of getting caught in a lie would be.

    What he achieved through lying is that the cover held and that Fitzgerald's investigation couldn't continue. His sentence from a damage control standpoint is a full success, albeit at a high price.
     
  20. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Wasn't exposing Plame something he was being prosecuted for separately? I don't see it even in the accusations.
     
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