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July 02, 2007

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Damn, I hope Crooks & Liars has you up, Marcy! I just knew that your "where is she?" gap meant you were on TV somewhere. And, with Schuster. Very good, my dear girl. Very good.

Don't worry, EW. We know there are two great minds at work there...

More than one interview?

two minutes after you posted this, KO read it on air. :)

Here is my email to the Speaker of the House:

Speaker Pelosi,

The commutation of former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby for obstruction of justice reflects a total disregard of our justice system. The President's actions are simply deflect the actions of the current administration who used their positions of power for political gain. The recent action by the President expands the cloud of doubt regarding the Valerie Plame outage and no one living outside the Washington "inner circle" would even have gain audience, much less, the attention if they were charged with similar crimes.

A jury of his peers found former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby guilty. That can not ever be removed form the records. It is time for the Congress to stand up and stop this miscarriage of justice. It is time for you, as Speaker of the House, to firmly and strongly stand and confront the President in clear and unclouded terms. It is your responsibility and we expect you to uphold your responsibility not run away from it.

As a Scoutmaster, I recite the Scout Law with my Scouts each week and the first portion of the Scout is "trustworthy." It is clear that trustworthy only applies to ordinary citizens, not whose who are in the President's administration. I strongly encourage you to bring impeachment back onto the table to allow the American citizens to finally see what has been going on during the Bush presidency.

Please feel free to contact me for further discussion and clarification that you and your office would need to establish the information needed to move forward on this situation.

Thank you for your time and consideration of my comments.

Very Respectfully,
vieravisionary

Marcy, heard you on Hardball, you really shocked the talking heads! Their looks were priceless -- esp Isikoff. You did great cutting it right to its core, which none of them had been able to do. Clearly they didn't want to hear it either. PS Your hair was fabulous!

Great job on Hardball, Marcy. You were on so briefly at the end, but you were sharp and clear, as usual. On the segment before yours, Jonathan Turley talked about how underwhelmed he was with Fitzgerald's prosecution--"the lights went out every time he got close to Cheney." I'm wondering if you had a chance to speak with him about that.

EW,

I remember that comment about eliminating the whole sentence. Can't remember if it was you, but I did watch Hardball. Great you got nearly the last word on that program!

This better not be a signal that this is all that Fitzgerald has planned. It's now time for him to turn over all of his evidence obtained through discovery to Congress. He has the power to immunize the convicted Libby, who cannot plead the 5th, back on the witness stand. If nothing else, he'd better step up and meet this challenge to the rule of law or he'll never be Attorney General.

Great to hear you on Hardball Marcy.

So, Scooter spends less time in jail than Judy Miller.

My god, if that woman would just spill the beans...

Fitz has suggested that the commutation is not consistant with the rule of law and the the sentence rendered is fair under the test of legislated sentencing guidelines. In other words Fitz challenges the characterization that the commutation relates to the administration of justice. And remember Bush implicates "justice" in his statement. Though he may be empowered to commute, Bush is not empowered to legislate sentencing by virtue of his office and now his stated intention has been challenged by the prosecutor. Clearly a Constitutional issue has been framed in this regard. And there is Constitutional precedent that obstruction of justice as an improper motive for the exercise of executive power. Whether Congress will pick up the gauntlet that Bush has joined down in publically joining this issue is yet to be seen.

Ironically, we can only assume by virtue of the importance he places on signing statements that Bush expects that his state of mind demonstrated in his public statements be relavent to the scope of the exercise of his authority. And yet we know his public record in the context of the outting of Valerie Plame is anything but internally consistant. So to repeat what has been stated tonite abundantly, but probably can't be repeated too much, Bush's statement amounts to prima facie evidence which is fundamentally an admission against his interest as an executive acting under the authority of law of an intention to obstruct justice. He would have done better to exercise his power without comment.

Any bets on who wrote Bush's statement?

thrown down even

I missed hardball I hate missing you...I have contacted every elected offical that I can think of and ask for article of impeachment be brought against shrub and dark lord.
Keep hammering away!!

You were great on Hardball, Marcy! Just a long-time lurker wanting to let ya know. I did get some hope from the John Dean interview on KO tonight. I think now is really when we will discover the endgame of Patrick Fitzgerald. Specifically, if he re-convenes the grand jury and calls Scooter to testify to his obstruction, finally "rolling-up" the prosecution to Cheney. IANAL, and I am unsure as to if his 5th amendment right applies with a commutation, not a pardon (it is my understanding that with a pardon he does not legally need and cannot take the 5th). Scooter is not in the executive, so how can he challenge via executive privilege? As someone who has watched Fitzgerald's office here in Chicago, I actually think he has not given up yet. And, his statement tonight does speak to something; but how does "working thru the appeals process" align with re-convening the grand jury? I wish I actually could provide some answers, but all I have tonight are questions. Thanks again, Marcy, for all your hard work.

EPU

Fitz statement took issue with Bush's statement. Bush claimed Libby's sentence was excessive. Fitz said the sentence was not excessive, it was appropriate according to the law, and that would be the same sentence under the same laws applied to anyone standing before the court.

I don't think Fitz has any mechanism to contest Bush's commutation of Libby's incarceration. Fitz's statement is for the record and it challenged Bush's assertion that the sentence was excessive. Fitz reommended 30-37 and justified it under the law.

Fitz's statement is also clever in recognizing that any person standing in front of the court with the same fact pattern would receive the 30-37 month sentence. IN other words, when it comes to the law, White House folks shouldn't get speacial treatment... unless the President is exercising his clemency authority, under the law.

Marcy, Schuster gave you one shot and you absolutely nailed it! Great job as always.

Hmmm. I seem to be one of the few people who doesn't see this as a total loss for Team Fitz. My viewpoint is that Fitz has won the round. Libby is still a proven felon. Bush may have commuted his prison time, but Fitz has already called bullshit on the President of the United States. And he did it in a manner that's bulletproof.

I wish someone would compile a list of all of the people who were convicted of the crimes that Scooter was convicted of between the time of his indictment and sentence commutation. It would be good to see how many people actually went to prison for the same offenses of which Scooter was convicted.

i like what richardson had to say >>``The arrogance of this administration's disdain for the law and its belief it operates with impunity are breathtaking. Will the president also commute the sentences of others who obstructed justice and lied to grand juries, or only those who act to protect President Bush and Vice President Cheney?'' - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. <<

"You do the crime, you do the time"
"Truth in sentencing"

Now where did I hear that stuff?

Fitz is the man. He hit Bush on what Bush's lawyerly ghostwriter thought would be the strongest "reason" for the commutation. Here's Fitz:

"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."

And Joe Wilson on KO said twice that Bush is corrupt to the core. Does my heart good.

What does Fitz mean by "we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process."
Would Scooter still be trying to overturn the conviction?
Will such appeals give an opportunity to further reveal
the corruption of this administration? Hope so.
Oh yes, great job with Shusterman!

What does Fitz mean by "we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process."
Would Scooter still be trying to overturn the conviction?
Will such appeals give an opportunity to further reveal
the corruption of this administration? Hope so.
Oh yes, great job with Shusterman!

George W. Bush justice:

Sneer at the pleading of Karla Faye Tucker.

Bend over for the paddling of HRH Cheney on behalf of his minion Scooter Libby.

Fitz is a lot politer about this than I am.
That must mean he's majorly p*ssed off.
(I'm assuming he's one of those who gets quieter as he get angrier.)

Running your arguments into Madame Speaker's office ... in case she actually wants to do something. I suggested that she stand aside if she can't see her way to doing the right and necessary thing.

This is really upsetting.

I also liked Gov. Richardson's comments. Does anyone have any precedent that says a President can commute a sentence and then when his term is up, pardon the same individual? If Bush can do it, I worry that he will do both. That way he satisfies his base now and when he pardons Scooter on his last days in office, he won't care about the backlash and he won't negatively influence the 2008 elections.

z z z z

Would Scooter still be trying to overturn the conviction?

He is already -- he appealed after he was convicted. Today the court ruled that he may not stay out of prison until his appeal is heard. After that ruling, Bush commuted his sentence. Now he's still guilty, but he does not have to go to jail for it. But Bush did not pardon him, so his appeal continues, unless he drops it.

Will such appeals give an opportunity to further reveal the corruption of this administration?

I doubt it. The appeal will just be about the legal details of trial procedure, and whether during the trial the judge ruled correctly about those procedural matters.

I also liked Gov. Richardson's comments. Does anyone have any precedent that says a President can commute a sentence and then when his term is up, pardon the same individual? If Bush can do it, I worry that he will do both. That way he satisfies his base now and when he pardons Scooter on his last days in office, he won't care about the backlash and he won't negatively influence the 2008 elections.

My local Rapid Response group put out this letter template to be used when calling talk shows or writing letters to the editor:

Dear Fellow Rapid Responders:

In Christmas of 1992, George Herbert Walker Bush's pardon of Cap Weinberger and other Iran-Contra criminals ensured that Weinberger would never talk under oath about the complicity of Bush in the crimes of Iran-Contra.

In July of 2007, George Walker Bush commutes the sentence of Plamegate criminal Scooter Libby, who outed a CIA agent at the behest of his bosses, destroying her carefully-created network of Iraqi and Middle Eastern field operatives just because her ambassador hubby ticked off Dick Cheney. The commutation ensures that Libby can plead the Fifth if he is ever summoned before Congress or the courts to testify about the complicity of Bush and Cheney in the crime of outing Valerie Plame. (http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2007/07/george-bush-obs.html)

Like father, like son: Commit a crime, get underlings to take the fall, then pardon them to keep their mouths shut.

You get the picture. Let's spread the word!

Twin Cities papers: opinion@startribune.com (or http://mpls.startribune.com/dynamic/feedback/form.php?opinion=1), letters@pioneerpress.com

National media: letters@nytimes.com, letters@latimes.com, editor@usatoday.com, letters@washpost.com; National Public Radio: 1-800-989-TALK (8255); MSNBC: 1-888-MSNBC-USA.

Calling the local radio shows can't hurt either: Don Shelby on WCCO-AM Mon-Fri 3-6 PM (651-989-9226), Jason Lewis on KTLK 100.3 FM, Mon-Fri 5-7 PM (651-989-KTLK); or Joe Soucheray on KSTP AM 1500, Mon-Fri 3-6 PM (651-646-TALK; Outstate: 877-615-1500). If you prefer to call a progressive show, try: Minnesota Matters on Air America AM 950, Mon-Fri 5-6 PM (952-946-6205). You can also call KKMS AM 980: 651-289-4499; or The Patriot AM 1280: 651-289-4488.

Thanks again for everything that you do!

MJB
Minnesota Rapid Response Coordinator

Marcy you did great on Hardball. Just great. You got a perhaps 60 second sound byte, and you creamed it. Guilt of both Bush and Cheney, the evidence, and why Libby's conviction was about covering that up.

But sadly Bush's action is what we might call "final Judgment" and from here on out, the effort has to be political, and that is to nail all of the Shrub and Libby supporting factions with the meaning of this action.

I am not impressed thus far with most of the milk toast statements from our Pol's. They need to respond in the way the 1973 pols were forced to act after the Saturday Night Massacure, and that means sign a Cheney resolution of Impeachment, and force the Judiciary Committee to study and hold hearings. We have 11 members of Congress, we need better than a hundred. It is up to a concerned and knowledgeable public now to force this matter.

I also liked Gov. Richardson's comments. Does anyone have any precedent that says a President can commute a sentence and then when his term is up, pardon the same individual? If Bush can do it, I worry that he will do both. That way he satisfies his base now and when he pardons Scooter on his last days in office, he won't care about the backlash and he won't negatively influence the 2008 elections.

What does Fitz mean by "we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process."

Bush's commutaion does not undue the conviction of Libby, who remains a convicted felon for obstruction of justice and perjury. Libby will therefore continue to appeal his conviction, even though he will never serve a day in jail for his crimes.

Fitz will continue to work to "preserve those convictions through the appeals process."
by opposing all filings by Libby and his attorneys attempting to reverse those convictions.

Marcy, great job on Hardball. It was nice that Shuster was on tonight instead of Tweety, although Shuster did put Tweety on the phone at one point so that he could contradict himself several times on whether the commutation was an outrage.

I've written the Times, Bush, my senators (Clinton, Schumer), my congresscritter (Rangel). Now I'm off to write to Nancy "Not on the Table" Pelosi.

Does anybody else read this the way I do:

Scooter got his commutation in less than a day of the court decision on jail time, because the Bushies knew he was going to talk.

In that context, the hard work by the talking heads and the legal defense team makes perfect sense in Rovew/Bush/Cheney world--they needed to mobilize resources in self-protection, because Scooter knew whether the bodies were buried and would have ample incentive to squeal.

Paul Wolfowitz, not so much....

I wonder if Cheney blackmailed Bush into this by threatening to walk out and spill the beans to Congress.

Anyway Bush makes it damn difficult to celebrate the 4th of July.

"Scooter got his commutation in less than a day of the court decision on jail time, because the Bushies knew he was going to talk.

Yep, I agree this is extremely relevant.

It's also possible that John Roberts and the rest of the DC Circuit let it be known, that they were not going to overturn.

Probably a pipe dream, but with Iraq going south, maybe Scooter is not quite as adamantly opposed to testifying with immunity that he was just "following orders."

Albert Fall -- I read it exactly as you do.

Here's my email to Speaker Pelosi:

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

I think in light of today's outrageous action by President Bush to spare Scooter Libby from paying the price for his crimes, while preserving his ability -- and the ability of the Vice President, and Karl Rove -- to hide behind Scooter Libby's Fifth Amendment skirts, I believe it is time to put impeachment on the table.

The White House is stonewalling both Senate and Congressional subpoenas. Bush has made it clear that he will continue to stonewall any attempt to determine whether he has abused his office. His commutation of Scooter Libby, preserving his ability to take the Fifth while removing any incentive Libby might have to finally tell the truth about the CIA leak case, was clearly intended to thwart the ongoing investigation that Rep. Waxman is conducting into the White House's refusal to comply with the protocols for protecting classified information.

Speaker Pelosi, the stonewalling has itself become the impeachable offense. The disregard for Congress's constitutional DUTY to oversee the Executive Branch's compliance with law becomes the impeachable offense. Yes, impeachment will be difficult, and may not result in a conviction. But there is an important principle at stake here -- that the President must take care that the laws are faithfully executed, not selectively disregarded.

It's time. Please stand up for the rule of law. We've got your back.

Great letter.

the flora and fauna are changing.

must be spontaneous evolution.

Do you think now the DC press corps will question W and continue asking him about this case now?? All along he's said ongoing investigation... and then appeals process etc as excuses for why he wouldn't, and the press corps didn't press him on it. I guess I'm asking if now he no longer has that excuse, even though yes, the appeals are still going on. Or maybe I should say will anyone other than Helen Thomas push the issue?

I'm so sorry I missed Hardball. I've been boycotting it for almost a year, so maybe I'll catch the late night re-run.

Am I the only one who wants to do something physical to express my anger? Maybe a demonstration? Phone calls, or worse, just swallowing it, is too little, too wussy.

Lets make this a 4th of July for the White House and Cogress will never likely to forget. Call e-mail over load every circut going into the capitol and let them know that impeachment is on the table reguardless if they want it or not. I think the people have a right to require congress to act or get out.

Kim says:
"So, Scooter spends less time in jail than Judy Miller."

And, I might add, less time than Martha Stewart, Paris Hilton, and several Watergate figures.

But I saw this coming, from the moment Sandy Berger walked away from his achives document theft and destruction felony with a token fine. To me these cases, though not on "all fours" as we used to say in law school, are equally repugnant.

A question for me might be, as a convicted felon (I'm assuming Scooter's security clearances where voided after the conviction, if not the indictment) who has received a commuted sentence, is it ever possible through pardon to restore one's security clearances?

I'm too young to remember much about Watergate or Iran Contra retreads, but wonder if there was anyone ever pardoned who lost clearance and regained it at some later time through craven abuse of legal tradition... there should be a law against that kind of thing.

Love me some Helen Thomas, she has more balls than the rest of them put together. Most of them are so far up shub and dark lords backside they do not know if its daylight or night.

It is time that we, as Americans, begin the process of public shunning these criminals. They should not be allowed to walk the streets without public scorn, shunning, dunning and approbation. Just as people are disgusted by a pervert in their midst, this is the way these people should be approached. Boo them. Spit on the street in front of them. Put posters near their neighborhoods to warn of a criminal element in our midst. Pass a bill that these people cannot live near a school or place where decent people live or congregate. Public SCORN! Believe me, this will seem worse than prison. Make Libby be as welcome as OJ in a public setting. His whole family should be pariahs. And also all the other creeps from this criminal organization.

Public SCORN! Believe me, this will seem worse than prison.
Oh yes, oh yes, o yes, oh yes!!! Include shrub and dark lord.

So, do you think the White House press corpse will give Tony Snowjob a hard time tomorrow over the "commutation"? Or will they let Tony repeat over and over again that the President has an absolute perogative under the Constitution and his action can't be questioned?

Other than Helen Thomas, I'm not too confident that the press corpse will bestir itself and rise up on its massive, slothful haunches and asking a frakkin' follow-up question every time Snowjob recites his talking points.

I'm too young to remember much about Watergate or Iran Contra retreads, but wonder if there was anyone ever pardoned who lost clearance and regained it at some later time through craven abuse of legal tradition... there should be a law against that kind of thing.

Maybe Marcy or bzman or Sara can answer that... I'm old enough to remember but I have no idea.

I think both Oliver North and John Poindexter snuck back in - didn't they work for Feith's OSP? They must have gotten security clearances. If I remember correctly, Poindexter was going to work on this computer game where people bet on the likelihood of certain scenerios- like someone killing Castro or something just as nefarious. Congress wouldn't oblige. Both North and Poindexter were involved in Iran Contra and both had felon convictions includiong perjury and obstruction of justice. The convictions were reversed on technical grounds because they testified before Congress and were given immunity.

The problem here is a significant one, however. Mrs. Libby has said publicly, in no uncertain terms, that if her husband is going down, he isn't going down alone. The question immediately arises as to whether Harriet Grant Libby has enough bait at her disposal to catch two slippery little weasels. I'm betting that neither Cheney nor Karl Rove particularly wants to risk the chance that she does.
Decisions, decisions
Columnists,
Article Launched: 07/02/2007 02:55:11 AM EDT
www.BenningtonBanner.com

I am sure you are aware of this -- but what do you think she has?

Darclay - Elliot Abrams was convicted of lying to Congress in Iran Contra, was pardoned by Bush 41, and is now back in the State Department - a clear example that rehabilitation only applies to neocon criminals, and not anyone else.

EW, you were da bomb on Hardball. You had such little time but you used it framing the points clearly and concisely. Cut to the chase!

Re: "Scooter got his commutation in less than a day of the court decision on jail time, because the Bushies knew he was going to talk." I agree. I think at some point he laid down the law: not a SINGLE day of time. The question remains, "What does he know and what are they hiding?" It must be BIG. Enough to fill a man-sized safe.

There are always hundreds of thousands of people in downtown DC on the 4th. Does anyone think that we could somehow organize a big rally in front of the White House or is it just not enough time. Could Keith O suggest something in his Comment tomorrow night? Arghhhhhhhh!

Marcy - Does Fitz still have a grand jury convened?

Is it at all possible that he still might bring indictments against others in the course of his investigations?

Robin,

besides the convictions being erased, a successful appeal would wipe out the $250,000 fine, and abort the probation time.

Likewise it would erase any problems with Mr Libby's Law Licence, as well as serve to exhonerate the President's actions today.

All the comments about Libby about to talk/spill the beans are what I thought about 30 minutes into hearing this news. I just kept remembering the reporting of Libby's wife popping off and cussing at the verdict (what was it? something like "We're gonna fuck 'em.") Certainly see Bush's move, while most likely about self preservation, as something that helps to shore up any ideas Libby's sharp, intense younger wife had in mind.

I very much enjoy the contributions by the legal minds here - it helps me frame issues, like this one, in the real-world terms of the "Business" of politics rather than merely the emotions engendered by injustice. That said, I wonder at the validity of claiming executive constitutional privilege by an executive who has overwhelmingly disregarded the framework of that same constitution. It seems like appearing in court with "Dirty hands". I.e., how can one claim the a benefit of a system of governance repeatedly and demonstrably rejected by that same individual?

Marcy, if there were a god you'd be writing a WaPo Op-Ed to counter this horse-shit:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/02/AR2007070201611.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

No appeal's going to do it, but the '08 elections may just exhonerate the President's actions - by putting a whole shit load of Democrats in office. The funeral March begins now.

RIP -- Republican Party, April 1854 - July 2007, Killed by George Bush, Dick Cheney and a whole lot of idiots who followed blindly.

i saw your thing on the hardball. way to go, kudos... cheers - rk

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