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July 05, 2007

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After waching Fitzgerald's address & q&a @ Amherst again yesterday, I find the rapid payment of this fine by "public servant" Libby particularly repellant. Scooter might be categorized in the final analysis of this mess as a lot of things, but public servant will not be among them...

Oh, my, the $400 extra dollars is really excessive punishment, don't you think? Poor, poor, Mr. Libby.

That would be "watching." No corrections available here except preview & re-post, yeah?

Wonder how fast that fine would have been paid if he had to do time?

You can bet Libby's personal account hasn't gone down one dime. No way to tell who put up the funds here. I'm sure it came right out of the legal defense fund.

Dismayed

You and I have paid for this. Since the entire Scooter Defense Fund was made up of beltway bandits who live off the taxpayer trough in this era of crony capitalism.

We have an Administration and political system that is corrupt to the core.

That's the problem though, isn't it, Dismayed? A "public servant," who by definition should be squeaky clean, embroiled in this kind of matter, needing a legal defense fund...

Tucker has heard us - people who think Bush and Cheney's crimes have risen to the level of impeachment proceedings. He referred to the Democratic grassroots movement for impeachment in his most arrogant and mocking tone. Aside from the questions of impeachment, I don't think Tucker is all that or well read. He's a talk show pundit host, like O'Reilly sharing his world view and opinion as if it's informed.

I'd like to get your opinion: Was Bill Clinton's statemnet about Libby's commutation pardon a net plus or minus from a politics standpoint?

Did anyone hear David Rivkin trash Patrick Fitzgerald on Hardball as "a vindictive and out of control prosecutor" who thinks "everyone is guilty of something"?

I have a question about impeachment (as a followup to Rivkin's discussion of Clinton's impeachment on Hardball.) I always thought the house acted like a grand jury charged with determining if there is probable cause for each and every 'high crime and misdemeanor' before the list is sent to the senate for a trial. A ccording to Rivken, the House acts more like the jury, deciding the verrdict, and the Senate chosses and appropriate sentence (and sometimes no sentence at all.)

Clinton, Neil, should have kept his mouth shut...it only amplifies the "machine's" melody of the day, and harkens back to what I wrote the other day about comparisons. when you have soiled hands, you should wash up, or shut up. His interference keep the rational, genuine reasons why this commutation is so bad from being discussed.

Re: Hardball and Rivkin. Me thinks Ms Wheeler should have a chat with Melanie Sloan about the leaking of Plame. Melanie seemed a bit off in her explanation of why Armitage might have leaked Plame's name. Unless I'm out of the loop on that too, and this is what indeed happened, she claimed that he was leaking on orders of the VP and/or Libby/Rove.

that graphic says it all.

July 5th. Done!

Halliburton stock gains: plus

GE Weapon systems: check check

Book deal advance: $5 million

Scooter fashionwear: in works

MSNBC Analyst: in negotiation

Cayman Islands Bank Account deposits: vast

A true American success story

I agree, Clinton should have kept mouth shut. The public's general awareness of what this case was about all along has been totally shaped by TV Tabloid Entertainment. Clinton is a lightning rod in this regard... For a man that friggin' smart, he surely did not consider the media tsunami that would follow.

How much it stays in the news is anyone's guess. But it just provided further opening for the Conglomerate Media Cartel to destroy the mainstream understanding of this whole case. For those who didn't see it, Josh Marshall's "The Big Picture" video segment from yesterday framed it all very simply. THAT's the way we ALL should be going -- away from minutiae and towards Bush/Cheney's intent to explout 9/11 and bamboozle America.

http://www.veracifier.com/episode/TPM_20070704

The MSM spin was that the check indicated it came from Libby's persona funds, but as it is a cashier's check, it is a check from the Bank of America - Scooter is listed as the purchaser on the check, but that doesn't mean anything. It is not a certified cheque, from Scooter's account, which would be at least a prima facie basis for thinking that i came from Scooter's personal funds. I can see why he wouldn't want his own chequing account number and cheque on The Smoking Gun, and all over the Internets, but if the MSM is basing their conclusion on the fact that he is listed as the purchaser, they are not very sophisticated about banking practices (but then again, they were pretty credulous about Whitewater).

(can't think of any way to make this funny, so here it is)

Libby's been employed at "The Hudson Institute" (whatever the hell that is) since he left govt in October 2005. No, not much hardship there.

Yes, Marie. That is the problem. Having been stung myself by a bunch of non-disclosing, purjuring corporate types in a deceptive trade practices suit, which I lost and was horribly disappointed with the courts ability or willingness to enforce discovery - I have long thought purjury and obstruction of justice to be among the most serious crimes in our society. They are the bedrock of all other crimes really. I think penalties should be more severe, and I think doubly so for public servants.

Americans don't expect nearly enough of public officials, one hint of impropriety and they should be out, but somehow the "they all do it defense" keeps rearing its ugly head, as if that makes it right.

So sorry for your legal troubles, Dismayed. As one who's lived in this country yrs. & has a dual citizenship, I do occasionally shock people by voicing the opinion that Americans don't expect enough from public servants here. What Fitzgerald said in his Amherst speech seemed about right to me, not some ideal to look on from afar...

Don't forget, Libby worked as a lawyer for Marc Rich. Rich was pardoned by Clinton. This pardon probably portected the Dick as well. Rich had made billions from illegal oil trading - come on he had to have come across Cheney when he ran Hallibourton - in Iraq, Russia, and Nigeria --. That's how Scooter became such a loyal friend to Cheney. He probably has lots of dirt on Dick & Lynne and I am sure Harriet Libby was ready and willing to tell all.

Also, interesting at War & Piece -- Scooter represented Armitage when he was nominated for Secretary of Army by Daddy -41 but because of his Iran Contra involvement had to witdraw.

Gosh, what better time to get to the bottom of this- then on to the war lies, and maybe even the oil lies.

Has anyone seen one Reporter express any morsel of concern about the Wilsons?

Is there anyone here that does handwriting analysis? That is a very interesting signature!

No more legal troubles all over now, cost me a BUNDLE. I can tell you I thought of every concievable way to horse whip a certain two faced lying executive at a publicly traded company. It was ugly, but there is nothing harder to beat in a courtroom than a confederacy of well funder liars.

The thing about making money is, it's not that hard if all you care about is making money. I'm over it - A not so well funded and much more grounded writer now.

Neil @ 19:29

My understanding is that the House is like the grand jury providing the indictment, and the Senate is like the trial court, where the verdict and the sentence are rendered.

P J Evans: the check is a cashiers check, so that signature is a bank officer, not Scooter.

You can bet Libby's personal account hasn't gone down one dime. No way to tell who put up the funds here. I'm sure it came right out of the legal illegal defense fund.
Posted by: Dismayed | July 05, 2007 at 19:12

My understanding is that the House is like the grand jury providing the indictment, and the Senate is like the trial court, where the verdict and the sentence are rendered.
Posted by: P J Evans | July 05, 2007 at 21:49

That's my understanding too. So here's Rivkin a member of the bar with a license to practice law describing the house as convicting Clington and the Senate as deciding punishment was innappropriate. Do you you think the bar would hear that complaint? Is it unethical to misrepresent the facts in public to score political points or do attorneys have no responsibilty to tell the truth in the press?

margaret, I see your point. Here's am a;lternative to consider ... to the extent the WH and the wurlitzer can use Bill Clinton's statement to make this about Bill Clinton, they win the round. BUT what Clinton said was excellent and it provides leadership for likeminded people. It was a damning statement that went directly to how BushCo regards the law.

Neil: Did anyone hear David Rivkin trash Patrick Fitzgerald on Hardball as "a vindictive and out of control prosecutor" who thinks "everyone is guilty of something"?

That's the best feature of living in a police state- everyone IS guilty of something. And with just a little bit of torture, I bet you'd confess to just about anything.

(tongue very much in cheek of course)

masaccio: I think you meant that one for KathieinMN. Although that handwriting is interesting - I saw a very similar sample in the Solotype catalog that was probably a bank officer's hand.

Neil:
Find out if Rivkin's a member of any bar association, and file a complaint as a member of the public who knows it's misinformation, maybe?

"I don't know anything, go ahead and torture me."
"Torture you? ...that's a good idea."

Any idea as to why Libby would pay this right away, instead of waiting until his appeal is exhausted?

Also, Libby does have to pay income taxes on the more than $5 million in his defense fund, right?

Marie Roget -

I got up early this morning (5:55 a.m.) to watch the Fitz speech, even though I had listened to the audio previously. I just felt like I needed a dose of goodness and integrity in the midst of this depressing fecal cesspool. It helped, a little. Now if Cspan would just show the video of Bush and Cheney getting their prostates pecked to shreds by angry crows.

There are three striking facts about Mr. Bush’s decision to commute Mr. Libby’s jail sentence that point to a cover-up.

First, by commuting Mr. Libby’s jail sentence and not granting him a pardon, Mr. Bush provides Mr. Libby with the right to the take the 5th amendment and not answer questions asked by Congress, a grand jury, or a court of law. If Mr. Bush has pardoned Mr. Libby, Mr. Libby would lose his 5th amendment right to not answer questions about the facts in this case. The commutation preserves Mr. Libby’s ability to conceal the facts about his and other White House officials’ involvement in this national security case. You’ll recall the prosecutor claimed ‘sand was thrown in his eyes’ and as a result, he was unable to determine if the undercover CIA agent’s identity was made public in violation of the law. Mr. Libby was convicted of perjury, lying and obstruction of justice. Mr. Libby’s truthful testimony would provide the missing information.

Second, Mr. Bush’s commutation comes directly on the heals of the appeals court decision to not allow Mr. Libby to remain free on bail during his appeal, and the appeals court’s rejection of the argument to reconsider the 30 month incarceration sentence because it was excessive. Mr. Bush also claimed the sentence was excessive. Rather than reduce the sentence, say by half, Mr. Bush reduced it to zero. If 30 months is excessive, and federal sentencing guidelines says it is not, then surely 0 months is insufficient. Why did Mr. Bush commute all of Mr. Libby’s jail time? Does Mr. Bush have an interest in securing Mr. Libby’s ongoing cooperation? If Mr. Bush was securing Mr. Libby’s cooperation by commuting the jail sentence, then Mr., Bush broke the law - obstruction of justice - and took a clear and active role in the cover-up.

Third, commuting a jail sentence before any time served is highly irregular. The President does have the absolute right to do it but not in contravention of other laws (for illegal reasons) such as obstruction of justice.

From illegal domestic wiretaps, to suspending habeas corpus for US citizens, to presenting fraudulent evidence of Niger uranium, WMD and a phony Saddam al Quaeda connection justifying the invasion of Iraq, to no-bid contracts, to appointing incompetent cronies, to gutting FEMA and $200 million budgeted for New Orleans levee repair, to outing a CIA agent - This administration has shown an astonishing level of incompetence, corruption and criminal behavior.

Support an early end to Bush and Cheney’s term of office. Support the effort to take our country back from an administration with no respect for law.

Did anyone happen to notice the check is actually dated

JULY 02, 2007

and only processed on July 5th?

and btw, is there a higher resolution version of this check -- or is this the way it was received by _______ ?

Can anyone tell what time on July 2 the cashier's check was purchased?

The check may have been submitted on July2 to the APO office at District court and not processed until the 5th; it may have been submitted directly to the clerk on the 5th or somewhere in between. No clue. Because of the weird circumstances there is little way to say this would happen at all like a normal fine payment, which, of course, are NOT usually paid in full right away. The Libby team knew ahead of time there was a great argument that the way Bush entered his pardon action in erasing Scooter's prison time completely might very likely also eliminate the supervised release (which as noted above also arguable could lead to elimination of the community service, although that is not as strong an argument as the supervised release due to the way things are administered) so, once the fine is paid they can mete out a good argument that Scooter is done with his sentence completely (while still appealing the conviction!).

Sparkles - This is just a wild guess, but if he could, I would certainly have my client pay the fine in full immediately like here so as to have committed an act of reliance on the offer of pardon (commutation is a form of pardon power effectively, I personally refuse to call this anything other than a pardon). To accept the offer in business terms. Not a ton of legal thought here, just anything to lock down a good deal that keeps the client out of prison. and I am not saying such act would seal or lock down the deal legally, but it could, if necessary be argued in that vein, so if possible I would absolutely do so.

Neil and PJ - Rivkind was certainly dishonest here, and I suppose a bar complaint could be filed wherever he is a member, but there is zero chance of that going anywhere and would look petty to some extent. Probably better to announce to the world what a hack disingenuous dunce he is. But that's just my opinion.

I wonder if Conyers will specifically make reference to the UNITARY EXECUTIVE theory, and note that, in accordance with Bush's view of the presidency, Bush is leaving open the possibility of pardoning himself.

This gesture is completely consistant with the corporate culture mentality with respect to crime. Breaking the rules and paying a fine is part of the game--read "acceptable risk". The entire corporate shell game in the context of this mentality is to obtain illegal gain without the prospect of jail. It's the game of September marketing campaigns, gumming one's opponents to death, hazy memories, lost documents, and no accountability in any particular office being played on every level in this administration. The DOJ debacle is a perfect example. The Enron strategy though not bullet proof continues to be rolled out. The margins usually provide justification.

It is my understanding that this pattern of rolling obfuscation and deceit with the eye of maintaining a acceptable compromised result in the legal system was actually part of the business model being taught in Ivy League business schools in the 70s albeit by subtext. Scooter's commutation certainly changes the subject away from the shortcomings of Gonzales and the greater pattern of obstruction of justice under the pretext of politicization. The theory is that a conspiracy to defraud that is perpetual and "sold" to the public through media channels is too costly to ultimately contain through the instruments of justice. The "criminalization of politics" argument amounts to nothing more than an example of Islamic style sectarianism, founded in the greed and the irrational, now infecting the Republic. The irony in the appeal to the rule of law is that the rule of law continues to evolve as an instrument of oppression in most cases. Not that the sentenced are not guilty but the price they pay is often unconscionable. One would be well informed to look into how sentencing guidelines leaving local judges little discretion toward mercy were the reactionary legislative outcome of the overdose death of Len Bias. And as an example of the shortfalls of reactionary legislation one need only look at the authorization for the war in Iraq. "When will they ever learn?"

FWIW, David Rivkind

OPEN RANT: IANAL, but from his background it's not clear to me what expertise Rivkind has to render a knowledgeable opinion regarding a US Attorney in a criminal matter. Maybe the way to handle that on air, is to challenge the attorney. If you (Rivkind)think a prosecutor is "out of control," ask them what actions they took as an officer of the court take? Rivkind has responsibilities. Otherwise, he's just using HARDBALL to provide free advertising aimed right at deep pocketed neocons. My fear is that Tweety gets something of value in return from people like Rivkind. Furthermore, Rivkind appears to be one of the architects of energy deregulation. It's just as bad when Tweety lets Kate O'Beirne on HARDBALL to talk about Iraq. Her husband works IN the Pentagon administering Bush loyalty tests for people to pillage participate in Iraq's reconstruction. Whatever happened to "talking heads" disclosing such obvious conflicts of interests? END OF RANT.

What's all the fuss about the money?

A point could be made that Mr Joe Wilson who was retired before this all started has made and will make a lot of money from this so-called outing of his wife that he started with his Op-ed. (Book, movie, speaking, probably a columnist in time.)

Mr Libby had indeed made money in the private sector and can pay his fine out of pocket, but he has and will continue to suffer financially because of the charges. Also, The Stress has to have been horrific.

For example, he just lost $250,400 on July 2, 2007. I don't care how much you got, a quarter Mil means something!

It does not mean the price others are paying for the same crime.

Boo - You need not be a lawyer to draw a proper bead on Rivkind, and you have done just that. Rivkind has been blatantly consistently intellectually dishonest in support of whatever his cause de jour was ever since I remember first seeing him on TV and in the papers back in the 90's. He is the epitome of a partisan for sale hack. To the best of my knowledge, he has no meaningful experience as a practicing attorney, just lobby hacking type of stuff. He is a completely loathsome and infuriating cad. So, please, feel free to rant on, Rivkind is a deserving target.

Neil,

I don't know what responsibilities they(lawyers) have. However most politicians are lawyers so I would assume that there is very little control over what they say.

: ) and of course you know who the big cheeseburger guy I have in mind is!

shit stain. You don't get the last word.

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