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June 12, 2007

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Wait! How could you obtain a pardon without talking about it? Does Bush just pull out a piece of paper and write it down? It seems that he would at least need some input on what to say. He would have to know what to pardon him for. Could he cover things not charged? How could he do that without revealing something important?

This will be interesting to see if it is possible to avoid the Watergate clemency analogy if a pardon is _actually_ given. Personally I don't see a difference between publicly giving your opinion to the president and doing it in private. How does that situation make any difference, you still have involved players talking about a pardon.

Expect a pardon, but not until January 2009. Bush is about protecting his own (and Rove's) ass. If he were to pardon Libby today it would no doubt lead to a media shitstorm he does not want. But it would also, and I think more importantly in his mind, remove the one excuse (however flimsy) Bush has for not answering questions about Rove's involvement in Plamegate.

Everyone keeps talking about how Scooter is such a great public servant, a team player. So what's the big deal about doing a little time in a low security prison? Bush no doubt expects Libby to take this one for the team just like everything else. It's not like the wingnut welfare network wont make sure Libby is taken care of once he is out.

"rule of law"

Can we shove down their friggin' throats every time they bring it up again?

"the legal system has spoken, but I tell you, this is a really good guy who is a good public servant and ought to be treated in accordance with that..."

I just have to wonder if it would make any difference the next time I get pulled over for speeding if I can get out of the ticket by telling the patrolman that I am nice to my mother on Sundays...

Libby might be a very nice person, and I am sure he probably is good to his wife and kids, and other peoples' kids. It would probably be fun to sit down and have coffee with him. Unfortunately, he broke the law and has been convicted for it! There seems to be a great disconnect between "nice person" and "convicted felon" that these people just cannot fathom.

If Bush pardons Libby, the rule of law will no longer exist. The Neocon element whining about Libby's conviction only shows what they truly think -- that they are all above the law, or the laws do not apply to them, or laws only apply to the less-privileged. Bush had better think long and hard before he signs that pardon...

typical WH misdirection:

Make the subject the hypothetical pardon, not the treason.

Rice needs to write a check to Syria and another to Lebanon.

Should not any comment from ANYONE in any US administration be, "No comment,"? It's such a simple two word phrase. I would say Condi just put herself on the line. She knew she was speaking to a national media outlet. She knew her words would be in print. She knew it was likely the President would receive her words via the news source.

I would not want to be Condi right now... If it comes out that the President received her comments in any daily briefing (including the non-worded actions of handing him the article without a word exchanged,) would it not still potentially be an abuse of power? I would guess the WSJ is a daily bit in the Pres' news diet.

No matter how benign she tries to communicate, her message is encoded in her statements and she knows it. And when she is confronted on it, she'll play the indignant and injustice card. This, "That was not my intent, I am an innocent victim of rude, liberal people misinterpreting my good and moral actions" kind of behavior. This type of manipulation is just getting to epidemic levels.

A spade is still a spade and, "No comment," is still, "No comment." Not, "I not going to say but I'm just say'in as a regular person..." When in public office, ANY comment to an interest group, another country, corporation, media outlet, citizen or staff requires speaking from the context of one's office held. Never,can it be blurred by couching in personal terms.

The manipulation has got to stop.

Libby won a pardon from Bill Clinton for Marc Rich, and Bush will surely pardon Libby in his turn. And why? Because Marc Rich is arguably Israel's most important and most aggressive (or "most generous"?) individual patron.

Libby, of course, could always scoot off to Switzerland in Marc Rich's private jet, and Jeb Bush could eventually hand him his pardon--provided Hillary Clinton didn't beat him to the punch.

The values of Patrick Fitzgerald are not the values of American power-politics, and I doubt that they ever were. Which is all the more reason for being grateful to Fitzgerald: he ripped off the shroud enveiling this particular skeleton.

I'm sure Valerie Plame is a wonderful public servant who was trained at government expense and had the courage to work as a NOC. Perhaps, while Bush is considering (without discussion amongst his advisors(right)) a pardon for Libby, he can consider doing something about the $21,000/year pension she is going to start collecting when she is 56. (Source: Wilson's civil suit against the CIA) Maybe Bush can consider (right) the fact that there is a star on the wall of honor at the CIA GHW Bush building with a date that falls within the Plame outting period. Maybe Bush can consider that the public won't be scared into believing him about the threat Iran poses, because Bush/Cheney used dirty tricks to lie us into one war, so who will buy the next one? Maybe. . . naw.

One thing that I haven't heard anybody speculate about is the exact form the pardon would take. Bush could just pardon Libby for his convictions (perjury, false statements, and obstruction) or he could go for a blanket pardon (like Ford did for Nixon). I think both paths have real pitfalls for Bush and the Republicans.

Rice needs to write a check to Syria and another to Lebanon.

KLynne- I have less of a problem with Rice giving her opinion, she is allegedly one of the President's closest advisors, than the to cute by a half way of shading it. If these people want Bush to pardon Libby, they should say so directly on the record so that the whole world knows exactly the lack of respect for our judicial system and rule of law that they harbor.

I thought pardons have to go through Justice -not that it would present a problem, of course.
Could Bush pardon w/out having it referred from Justice?

I'm not so sure Condi is speaking to her husb... I mean Bush in this article - I see it more as a way of creating a "groundswell of support" for Scooter in the mainstream press, from a more palatable messenger than Shooter. I can appreciate that Condi would want to avoid the problem of discussing the pardon with Bush, but it would take more as a matter of law than simply discussing the issue with him. The legal problem would occur not as a result of Condi advocating a pardon for Scooter - even the Pardon Counsel can do that as a matter of performing his duties, and I think a Cabinet officer can make those types of submissions to a President, and that it may even be covered by Executive Privilege in certain situations. The problem is where there is a quid pro quo of holding out a pardon in exchange for Scooter's (or anyone else's) silence or lies in frustration of an investigation. I'm still wondering if Scooter's patrician resolve will be enough to steel him through 30 months of real time in a real prison - I just don't see him as the Liddy type who'd hold his hand over a candle for Bush or Cheney, and the look on Scooter's face after sentencing was that of someone who was about to be cast into Dante's Inferno.

bmaz-
I understand and agree to an extent with your perspective. However, the constant droning of the message of disregard for justice and the rule of law by the politically powerful, risks propagating disregard for justice and the rule of law on all levels of society. As the disregard continues, it renders our society hopeless. We become numb to the manipulation. Then we become a society of enablers.

The good news is, Condi will never be able to run for President after her public commentary showing a lack of respect for the rule of law. Thus, in THAT regard, I totally agree with you.

Klynn - Not being critical, I know you are quite innocent here, but "a spade is still a spade" How do I put this? Perhaps not the best vernacular when commenting in referance to an person of African descent. It's an old racial slur of sorts. Just FYI.

And all, I'm sure Natzi Colonels were nice to their children. Blind followers who chose to break the law are perhaps more dangerous than political sociopaths, as they are the enabelers and it is their numbers that are needed to bring down societies. Libby is the sort of guy who would have been joyfully goosestepping in Berlin in '39,40, and '41. We would have hung him in '45.

Great guy, nice, loyal, dedicated - willfull criminal. That's Libby. He has the blood of thousands upon thousands on his hands right along with his overlords. But who's talking about that?

RULE OF LAW! RULE OF LAW! RULE OF LAW!

I'm having visions of a SCOTUS interpretation of "A Christmas Carol" with Rehnquist as Marley ("I WEAR the CHAINS i FORGED IN LIFE! I made them LINK by LINK, YARD by YARD!), James Madison as the Ghost of SCOTUS Past, Nino Scalia as SCOTUS Present, and Pat Fitzgerald in a special appearance as the Ghost of SCOTUS Future...

Little Bushie could cower in his pajamas as the Ghosts whisked him between visions of his grandpa making deals with the Nazis, his mother beating his father, his Texas DUI conviction, all those nights in college (and for the 20 years after college) that he was too coked up to remember what happened, his wife killing her ex-boyfriend, Big Time's DUI arrests and convictions, Thomas's harassment of Anita Hill...

and then to the present, all the people we're holding in Gitmo, all the people mocking Bushie in this and in other countries, all the people dying in China and Afghanistan and Iraq and Sudan because of the policies Bushie has supported or condoned. All the children dying in Palestine. All the children dying in New Orleans. Jenna stealing coke out of the Presidential stash and snorting it off a mirror. The Iraqis and the Iranians and the Turks and the Saudis and the Chinese, all conspiring together about how best to manipulate the foolish Americans into compromising ourselves even further on the world stage.

And then to the future...

Dismayed

I agree with your correction. My apologies. No offense was intended. I take it's meaning from the Greek expression from which it derives. But your are correct in pointing out the offense of it's meaning in our culture. My regrets. FYI well taken.

As for the rest, I agree. You are right. No one is addressing the results of Libby's actions. Blind followers are more dangerous. Trying to create a propaganda campaign on the life of a blind follower is even more dangerous.

I'm quite surprised that anyone here actually believes Condi -- who everyone knows ...and says...is SO "close" to the president -- hasn't talked about this...endlessly with him! Come on! Friends -- known for breaking all kinds of laws without giving it a thought even -- would feel constrained to not talk to other close friends about this? GET REAL!

Just as no one ever bothers to talk about....question about....the "secret" White House Iraq Group (WHIG) whose sole purpose was to carry all this out in the first place....Condi one of the leaders among them -- so they expect no one will really suspect what kinds of one-on-one conversations they have....over dinner.....bikes....treadmills...who knows?

Since when would "bad form" to talk about such things EVER hold them back from doing anything???

Please.

KLynn@1309--"However, the constant droning of the message of disregard for justice and the rule of law by the politically powerful, risks propagating disregard for justice and the rule of law on all levels of society. As the disregard continues, it renders our society hopeless. We become numb to the manipulation. Then we become a society of enablers."

Amen! The constant drone keeps things polarized. No one ever takes responsibility for their own actions. There is a book that I read once about the laws of power (I think I am remembering correctly), and the simplest thing in the world to do is to say, "You are right -- I made a mistake." It totally disarms your opponent, and whatever issues exist very quickly go away.

My point is that, regardless of whether it is a Scooter Libby, or a Tom DeLay, or whoever, by never taking responsibility for one's actions, the drone continues -- and we spend a considerable amount of time and energy trying to move on to other things that have to get done. Nothing is ever resolved, and people are always left to doubt. To me, that is the worst part -- we are always stuck with the old issues, and have less and less energy to work on the new.

Somewhere, I think that is what justice is supposed to be about -- resolving what happened. It has been, but our Neocon friends don't like the outcome. So, they want to "gum it" to death. ;-)

Indeed, Sandy. They can't keep their pie holes shut about it in the press, and they don't discuss it in private? We all know better.

These folks are in much the same position as a TRUE PATRIOT in our past, Benjamin Franklin, in the certain knowledge that - "We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately."

I wonder if any of the inner circle ever think of that quote.

With Bush weakened, the question is whether he can stand up to Cheney and the letter-writing worthies if they decide that Scooter must spend not a day in jail. January 2009 may not be soon enough for them. Which presents an interesting dilemma, given that the weakness that might push Bush into an early pardon also counts against his capacity to deal with the reaction to that pardon.

That is, if the Democrats don't roll over and piss on themselves.

Patrick Fitzgerald has filed a response .It can be read at http:www.indictdickcheny...check it out,if you haven't already.

Typically, pardons are not granted unless the pardonee has applied for a pardon, expressed remorse, and several years have passed since the conviction/sentencing.

What Scooter's fans really want, of course, is to have his conviction nullified. That ain't happening. But what they all seem to forget is that if Scooter is pardoned, he no longer can assert his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination when asked questions by a Senate committee.

DP

"If he were to pardon Libby today it would no doubt lead to a media shitstorm he does not want."

Do you really believe that? Note that the media shitstorm right now is only one way - in favor of the pardon. The only voices heard most prominently are those creating the "groundswell" so that the pardon will be natural - complying with the wishes of the "country" at large. How strenuous is the other side?

This, IMO, has been the fundamental issue with the opposition to the neo-cons. There are not enough and loud voices that call them on their shit in a concerted and sustained manner. Hopefully blogs like TNH will grow and more people will tune into them and there will be a new locus for opposition to the abuse of power and looting of the treasury.

The aspens do not want to appear to be conspiring through their roots, or so it would seen.

My favorite phrase from today's Fitz filing is "pimp-prostitute relations".

The twitterings of "he's a nice man" and "such a dedicated public servant" remind me of nothing so much as the inevitable neighbors quoted when a horrific crime is committed -- "I can't believe it, he was such a nice man"; "he was a quiet guy, kept to himself"; "he always kept his yard tidy," and so forth.

Guess what? Just because your friends and neighbors can't believe it doesn't mean it's not true, and being a nice guy doesn't make you innocent.

The President only has to sign a paper. As far as I know that is it. There is no list of check boxes, or rules, or whatever.

Sure there are normal procedures, but that is all informational as to whether a pardon is granted or not. Nothing binding.

There were lots of "nice guys" as members of the KKK who stood by as innocent men and women were violently raped, molested, tortured and killed. There were lots of family men who were nazi's walking jewish men, women and children into gas chambers and raping young women before they went home to their wives. There are lots of "nice fraternity" men who participate in hazings that include the group rape of an inebriated freshmen girls. There are "nice guys" in fraternities who have "ugly parties" by inviting the "least attractive women" and then seducing them "because it's easy."

We are often in denial about the capacity for "nice guys" to commit violent acts.

It serves the socio and psycho paths of society that we pay more attention to the stereo types than we do the facts. One day we will see that our blanket judgments do not make us safer, but actually put us in greater danger.

How many of us would have helped Ted Bundy put his surf board in his car with his cast on his leg and his better than average attractive face??

I just keep praying we learn to differentiate facts from judgments.

I swear christians invented the devil to keep us all from having to be accountable for our human frailities.

It ain't pretty but we cannot change what we do not accept.


Posted by: Sandy | June 12, 2007 at 13:40

You make a good point Sandy. It's only important that it appears they don't discuss clemency privately only via cut-outs.

OK -- I have an, apparently, dumb question.

Why is talk of a pardon, (given that Fitz's investigation seems to be over), even related to obstruction of justice here?

I'm assuming, and I could be wrong, that Nixon's discussions of pardons was before the investigation was fully over -- but what's the problem here in the Libby case?

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