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July 2, 2007 2:57 PM   Subscribe


 
Let the gnashing of teeth begin!
posted by Fezboy! at 2:59 PM on July 2, 2007


Scooter commute.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:59 PM on July 2, 2007 [9 favorites]


Scum.
posted by dilettante at 2:59 PM on July 2, 2007


Our long national nightmare is finally over.
posted by psmealey at 2:59 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Could the Founding Fathers ever have envisaged such a cunty President?
posted by stammer at 3:00 PM on July 2, 2007 [47 favorites]


Unfrackinbelievable.

Actually, no. Completely and utterly believable. Someone please wake me up when this horrible movie's over.
posted by rtha at 3:00 PM on July 2, 2007


That Bush is one bad muthe....
posted by Busithoth at 3:00 PM on July 2, 2007


I guess this means that Libby can continue to appeal, allowing the White House to continue to refuse to comment on an "ongoing legal process."
posted by rxrfrx at 3:01 PM on July 2, 2007


Yay Justice!
posted by cell divide at 3:02 PM on July 2, 2007


So Bush is aiming for a 1% approval rating, right?

I bet the Republican presidential candidates are all beating their head against the wall right now. Bush just keeps reminding voters why they shouldn't vote Republican in 2008.
posted by bshort at 3:02 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry four panels for the double post ... Matt/admins please delete mine - I should've known better not to 'newsfilter' ...
posted by mctsonic at 3:02 PM on July 2, 2007


What, no "Surely This..."?
posted by ninjew at 3:03 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can he commute the sentence, and then in five years, pardon the conviction? Cause he'll still be president in five years... I mean we won't call it that, it'll be more like "Great Father Emperor" or something...
posted by dopamine at 3:03 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wow, I figured GW'd wait 'til his term was up before he'd do that.

Given that he's pretty much a lame duck at this point, maybe he's just setting his affairs in order for an orderly evacuation of the White House. Why put things off 'til the last minute? I wonder if he's got the U-Haul vans ordered yet?
posted by lekvar at 3:03 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wow. Just wow.
posted by The World Famous at 3:05 PM on July 2, 2007


That is some shameless shit.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 3:06 PM on July 2, 2007 [8 favorites]


Awesome. These motherfuckers are badass. King George, I bow to thee.
posted by Optamystic at 3:07 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Unbelievable.
posted by rsanheim at 3:07 PM on July 2, 2007


The criminal pardoning his lesser criminals. All too predictable.
posted by rougy at 3:07 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why can't we find a solution like the Romanians did with Ceausescu?
posted by Burhanistan at 3:07 PM on July 2, 2007 [8 favorites]


Mother. Fucker.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 3:07 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Color me stunned. I probably ought to sit down or something.
posted by Nabubrush at 3:07 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I can't wait for the Executive branch to become the Executitive branch and start having nay-sayers beheaded.
posted by Artw at 3:08 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


What are y'all upset about? This is to be expected in a Third-World dictatorship.

Remember when farmers got peeved at Bush's daddy and threw broccoli on the White House lawn? I propose we bring the Chief Executive of this republic some bananas. I know it's "coals to Newcastle," but at least bananas are "binding."
posted by davy at 3:08 PM on July 2, 2007


I, for one, welcome our new democrat overlords.
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 3:09 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]




fuck yes.... this presidency had gotten really boring (dont get me wrong- im as big a cheney fan as they come but theres a reason he's called the VICE-president and its not because hes supposed to be the main character) so they knew they had to spice it back up with something outrageous. Especialy to get ratings back from the iPhone and all !
posted by BaxterG4 at 3:10 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


1-800-WTF-BUSH
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:10 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Yes, of course, a pardon for Libby. But minding the source and the special interest he takes in one particular case, what about McNab and many others?
posted by litfit at 3:11 PM on July 2, 2007


Cyclopsis Raptor- no, no, see - Bush isn't a "real conservative", and the new Republican candidates are completely nothing to do with anything he's done, honest.
posted by Artw at 3:11 PM on July 2, 2007


What a moran. Maybe they feel they have hit rock bottom and there isn't any possible way for them to be any more politically inept. Methinks they were wrong. And the fact that is a commutation is even dumber. If you are going to be a tone-deaf and that politically arrogant, why not just go ahead and pardon the guy?

Official dios policy: those convicted should serve. I understand the historical background and legal basis for the concept of pardons and commutations, but I think they are fundamentally wrong across the board. I think the entire practice is wrong. It violates my legal sympathies.
posted by dios at 3:11 PM on July 2, 2007 [33 favorites]


The President's statement.

"I respect the jury’s verdict.* But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. "

*j/k!
posted by rtha at 3:12 PM on July 2, 2007


.
posted by fatllama at 3:12 PM on July 2, 2007


I can only achieve an erection/adequate lubrication by thinking of that manly GWB. That's why I voted for him in 2000 and again in 2004.*

* Can anyone come up with a reason for voting for GWB that was actually better than this?
posted by maxwelton at 3:12 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bush has nothing to lose. I'm surprised he didn't do this sooner, throwing a press conference attacking librul activist prosecutors, but just look at the man -- he's tired and broken. And for the first time, we're going to see a POTUS' approval drop below 20%. Scary.

He's one bender away from launching nukes. /sort of joking
posted by bardic at 3:13 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hmmm. Commuting's not the same thing as pardoning, though, right? Interesting.
posted by pax digita at 3:13 PM on July 2, 2007


USA! USA! USA!
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 3:13 PM on July 2, 2007


I agree with dios on a matter concerning something George W. Bush did.

I HAVE JUST REACHED THE END OF THE INTERNET.
posted by psmealey at 3:13 PM on July 2, 2007 [32 favorites]


Bush said of Cheney's former aide: "...his wife and young children have also suffered immensely."

On those grounds, think you might consider commuting the sentence of a few tens of thousands of soldiers who've been redeployed to Iraq for the third or fourth time, oh compassionate Mr. Commander Guy?
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:15 PM on July 2, 2007 [6 favorites]


Is this in any way an impeachable offense? It sure feels like a slap in the face to the american people.
posted by mathowie at 3:16 PM on July 2, 2007 [6 favorites]


Maybe Bush is afraid he'll be impeached, so he wants to give Libby the pardon now.
posted by wuwei at 3:16 PM on July 2, 2007


Mission Accomplished ?
posted by iamabot at 3:16 PM on July 2, 2007


WHAT. THE. FUCK.
posted by spiderwire at 3:16 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


@*$%#^&@@*%!!! That is all.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:17 PM on July 2, 2007


I think it would actually have been a funnier story if Cheney had pardoned Libby, but no one had the balls to tell Cheney he didn't possess that particular power, so they let it stand.
posted by psmealey at 3:18 PM on July 2, 2007 [16 favorites]


Wow, I figured GW'd wait 'til his term was up before he'd do that.

Appeals court said today Libby had to serve time during his appeal -- had to do it now to keep Libby out of prison.

This is almost worse than a pardon. He just made up a new sentence for Libby, didn't really try to justify it (the statement on it is a joke), and announced it on the down-low. What cowards.
posted by spiderwire at 3:19 PM on July 2, 2007


OK, I change my mind. Time for impeachment.
posted by caddis at 3:20 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Finally! I was so afraid that poor man would have to actually go to jail, like some sort of criminal.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:21 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thank you, Gerald Ford.
posted by squidfartz at 3:22 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


All we have to do now
Is take these lies, and make them true somehow
posted by Meatbomb at 3:23 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


"The reputation [Libby] gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged," Bush said in a statement. "I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive."

Hey, you know what else was just forever damaged? THE LEGAL COMMUNITY.
posted by spiderwire at 3:23 PM on July 2, 2007


Oh how cute, the War Family makes little peace signs at the photographers.
Something to perhaps lighten the mood...
posted by Flashman at 3:24 PM on July 2, 2007


Where's Lee Harvey Oswald when you need him?
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 3:24 PM on July 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


Clinton made equally cronyistic pardons, and Bush I before him. That's what those president types do.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 3:24 PM on July 2, 2007


So in my funtime dream fantasy when Cheney goes to jail, Bush has to enter his own cell first so he doesn't do a last-minute pardon. Okay, revised.
posted by user92371 at 3:25 PM on July 2, 2007


"Libby" on the label; banana republic inside the can.
posted by rob511 at 3:25 PM on July 2, 2007 [7 favorites]


Hmm, I think I'll surf on over to daily kos & check out the hilarity.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 3:25 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow, I figured GW'd wait 'til his term was up before he'd do that.

The article strongly implies that he was trying really hard to do just that. It says that he was dodging the question, hoping Libby could put off serving his sentence for a year or two... which would have permitted George to commute on his way out the door. However, when they told Libby he had to go now, this forced George's hand. Much to his chagrin, if he has any chagrin left.
posted by Clay201 at 3:25 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


AHA HA HA HA HA Ha ha haaa

Ha ha ha ha haaa.

Heh heh...aahhh. Oooh.

Yeah, well, that about wraps it up for this Mr. Nice Guy crap.
Ahmana go talk to my ward committeeman grab him by his collar and shake the hell out of him and ask him just whuthefukeethinksee’s doin being a Republican.
(Actually, already had some folks out here change sides. It’s not Green, and I think a lot of the Dems - in Illinois - are bent crookeder than a dog’s hind leg, but it’s a message to the leadership. It ain’t ‘my party right or wrong’ anymore than it’s my country right or wrong.)

Artw - Bush has never been a real conservative. Never been remotely conservative. He’s conservative like Clinton was a liberal (unlike say, Kusinich).
But I have yet to see a truly principled - viable - candidate. (But moot point since I’m voting Green and 3rd party again).
posted by Smedleyman at 3:26 PM on July 2, 2007


People are stunned?
posted by fire&wings at 3:27 PM on July 2, 2007


The Administration is basically forcing a show-down.

And, really, why the hell not? Did Nixon really suffer SFA in the outcome of his impeachment? Nah. And the guys that'd get nailed in this current debacle, they've stolen so much money from y'all that being impeached is a very small price to pay. The fuckers have billions of dollars in their pocket. Your puny laws have no meaning in the face of all that wealth.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:28 PM on July 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


dios: I understand the historical background and legal basis for the concept of pardons and commutations

Serious question: Article II says, "he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment" -- do you know the authority for qualifying commutation under that provision?

I was under the impression that the pardon power was all-or-nothing.
posted by spiderwire at 3:28 PM on July 2, 2007


do you know the authority for qualifying commutation under that provision?

Yes. It's the "reprieve" part.
posted by cerebus19 at 3:30 PM on July 2, 2007


oh, ffs.
posted by Space Kitty at 3:30 PM on July 2, 2007


my head just asploded.
posted by HyperBlue at 3:31 PM on July 2, 2007


The chutzpah.

Seriously, though. We all know that Bush and Cheney had their dirty little paws all over the Plame affair. You would think that they'd consider themselves lucky to have gotten off scot-free, letting a patsy take the fall for them. But oooooh no. Not this administration. They've got to have it ALL.

A beautiful day for freedom.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:31 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry, Schick v. Reed is the commutation authority. My bad.

Still.

Wow.
posted by spiderwire at 3:32 PM on July 2, 2007


George W. Bush's balls just blocked out the sun.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:32 PM on July 2, 2007 [11 favorites]


Fuckin frat-boy president.

Kegger at George's!!!1!
posted by HyperBlue at 3:34 PM on July 2, 2007


Any chance that jail time would have pressured testimony against Bush et. al. is avoided. Bush should recuse himself, except he can't, since there'd be no one left to make the wrong decisions so reliably :(
posted by acro at 3:35 PM on July 2, 2007


This is appalling, and most Americans did not want this.

Americans 3-to-1 Against a Libby Pardon

Rule of Law=only for little people.
posted by amberglow at 3:35 PM on July 2, 2007


Can we hang the motherfucker yet?
posted by klangklangston at 3:36 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Technically Amberglow, Bush didn't pardon Libby. He still faces probation and a hefty fine.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:37 PM on July 2, 2007


Clinton made equally cronyistic pardons, and Bush I before him.

Let the Republican talking points begin!

Yes, presidents pardon their powerful friends. However, not all of them base their initial candidacy on restoring "honor" and "integrity" to a blow-job riddled White House.

Seriously -- shame on the Republican party. Shame on Republicans whose heads were so far up their own asses that they couldn't read this bastard for what he is -- the ultimate company man.
posted by bardic at 3:39 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


And so begins the reign of President-for-life George the First.
posted by tommasz at 3:39 PM on July 2, 2007


It won't end there. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers has called it 'inconsistent with the rule of law' and there's word that the committee will hold hearings on the commutation as early as next week.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:41 PM on July 2, 2007


Hi-larious ... At least it will make for an interesting evening's tv.
posted by carter at 3:41 PM on July 2, 2007


Write your Congressperson.
posted by spiderwire at 3:41 PM on July 2, 2007


The 30% who supports him now will continue to support him regardless. I believe we have reached the threshold where it is impossible for his approval rating to go any lower, seeing as the only people who support him now believe he is some sort of messiah, and would continue to support him even if he instated weekly puppy massacres and a ban on chocolate.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:42 PM on July 2, 2007 [7 favorites]


It would be nice if Libby managed to screw up and violate his parole, forcing Bush to commute whatever additional sentence that would add.
posted by acro at 3:42 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Someone please wake me up when this horrible movie's over.

I'll set the alarm for 1-20-09. Night-night.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:43 PM on July 2, 2007


"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism . . ."

Happy Independence Day.
posted by stopgap at 3:43 PM on July 2, 2007 [7 favorites]


davy writes "Remember when farmers got peeved at Bush's daddy and threw broccoli on the White House lawn? I propose we bring the Chief Executive of this republic some bananas."

What, no pretzels?
posted by brundlefly at 3:43 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


I dunno, I still think there's a possibility of his hitting 20%, as mentioned.

On the bright side, every day he's in office is a further guarantee that the Dems take the White House in 2008, and keep the Congress for the next three decades.
posted by bardic at 3:43 PM on July 2, 2007


The United States has lost its way. It is no longer the nation it once was. It is not the bastion of hope and freedom that inspires people: it has become the symbol of corruption, hegemony, ignorance, intolerance, sloth, and greed.

There are many people to blame for this... but this clownish man isn't the main one. He is merely a symptom of the larger disease.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:48 PM on July 2, 2007 [22 favorites]


Technically Amberglow, Bush didn't pardon Libby. He still faces probation and a hefty fine.

I know, but no one asked about commuting his sentence--it's unheard of, no?
posted by amberglow at 3:48 PM on July 2, 2007


seriously, if this surprises you, any of you, you just haven't been paying attention these last six and a half years.

me, I fucking love this, who knows what these zany guys at the white house will dream up next? they're like the gift that keeps on giving.

obviously this is banana republic stuff, but frankly it's not as bad as stealing elections or invading countries on fraudulent reasons or torturing people or locking away indefinitely American citizens (foreign nationals have been and are and will be irrelevant, despite the occasional token declaration to the contrary) without charges.

really, they've done worse. this is just a bit more shameless, because usually they coat their crimes in some bogus Colin Powell presentation or in a convoluted, dios-esque Gonzales explanation that does not convince anybody. this is just more openly dictatorial -- they're completely losing the modicum of shame they had occasionally kept until now, but frankly, why bother.
posted by matteo at 3:48 PM on July 2, 2007 [18 favorites]


Jesus fucking Christ.
posted by Flunkie at 3:49 PM on July 2, 2007


You know, between the the Libby commutation, the VP-as-fourth-branch theory, and the subpoena refusal, the Administration's done more damage to the rule of law in one week than any I can think of have managed to do in an entire term.

I'm still in shock, I think.
posted by spiderwire at 3:50 PM on July 2, 2007 [10 favorites]


Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
Workin' in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
What's down in the dark will be brought to the light

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God'll cut you down
Sooner or later God'll cut you down.

posted by EarBucket at 3:50 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?




(Thank you for standing up, Mr. Welch. I wonder who, if anyone, will do so now)
posted by SaintCynr at 3:51 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


The 30% who supports him now will continue to support him regardless. I believe we have reached the threshold where it is impossible for his approval rating to go any lower, seeing as the only people who support him now believe he is some sort of messiah, and would continue to support him even if he instated weekly puppy massacres and a ban on chocolate.

And he sees himself that way too-- A President Besieged and Isolated, Yet at Ease--... Bush has virtually given up on winning converts while in office and instead is counting on vindication after he is dead....
posted by amberglow at 3:51 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


To do this on a Monday and face down a week's newscycle makes me wonder what FreedomPlus! features they'll be unveiling later in the week.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:51 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


I've learned a valuable lesson in personal responsibility.
posted by effwerd at 3:51 PM on July 2, 2007 [12 favorites]


It will be interesting to see the effect on the candidacy of Fred Thompson. Fred is head of the Libby legal defense hush fund and has raised millions for Libby. I don't think the $250,000 fine will be any problem.
posted by JackFlash at 3:52 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Serious question: Article II says, "he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment" -- do you know the authority for qualifying commutation under that provision?

Spiderwire earns a Cool Point for using dios' own tactics against him.

Baby_Balrog: The 30% who supports him now will continue to support him regardless.

Crazification Factor at work, baby.
posted by JHarris at 3:52 PM on July 2, 2007


Actually, a banana protest would go a long way to make all the rest of the world feel better about you. It can be difficult to remember that the majority of citizens do not support the Administration, even as the years drag on and yet nothing really changes.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:53 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


It was the right thing to do. Libby was the fall guy for others. You can't send your friend up the river for someone else's crime.
posted by b_thinky at 3:53 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Is this in any way an impeachable offense?

Nope. It's a rare "if he wants to" power in the Constitution. See Article II.

Although in theory, I guess you could make a case that a pardon is itself an obstruction of justice, but that'd be some pretty nifty hoop-jumping, seeing as how Nixon was pardoned not for any crime he committed, but for any crimes he may have committed, which shuts the door on all speculation there.

do you know the authority for qualifying commutation under that provision?

As mentioned above, it's the "reprieve" wording. Moreover, the meaning of "except in cases of impeachment" essentially means he can't pardon himself -- specifically, he can't overrule an impeachment, which is itself a criminal proceeding.

This is all part of those "checks and balances" things we've all forgotten about.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:53 PM on July 2, 2007


On the bright side, every day he's in office is a further guarantee that the Dems take the White House in 2008, and keep the Congress for the next three decades.

I really wish that were true, but the truth is the unfettered mess the next President is going to inherit (Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, Russia + healthcare, the environment, the banking/housing bubble, crisis management/response infrastructure) will likely doom that person to failure. If future people are anything like today's Americans, people will blame the mess on the person who was there when the whole thing came down, and look back fondly on the jerk who might have done something to help but instead, threw us headlong into the abyss to benefit a very tiny group of people.
posted by psmealey at 3:54 PM on July 2, 2007 [9 favorites]


He still faces probation and a hefty fine.

That makes it all better. Someone follow Libby around with a camcorder until he jaywalks or panhandles.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:54 PM on July 2, 2007 [5 favorites]


To do this on a Monday and face down a week's newscycle makes me wonder what FreedomPlus! features they'll be unveiling later in the week.

Had to be done today. Otherwise, you'd have Libby doing a perpwalk in handcuffs, which is a worse image to have hanging over you. This is "hold your nose and screw the people" time.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:56 PM on July 2, 2007


Yes, it's a testimony to the innocence of Americans that they actually believed Libby was going to do hard time. Libby is first class nobility, the kind of guy that can't go to jail without throwing the whole system into doubt. There is a possibility that now Americans will wake up and realize how corrupt their government has become but, let's be realistic, the media will wash this away and it won't even be spoken of in two weeks. Americans are that special kind of sucker called 'optimists' that are always willing to believe the best about themselves.

The United States has lost its way. It is no longer the nation it once was.

Oh, yes, this is a new and unprecedented development. Well yes, it is unprecedented, but only in degree. Before Bush the American ruling class was a lot more discreet and quiet about such indiscretions. There was a belief that such privileges should be 'hidden'. Now, of course, even this belief is gone and they openly flaunt their power. Americans will, of course, accept it since, even more than the Germans, they are all for the State.

God bless America.
posted by nixerman at 3:57 PM on July 2, 2007 [9 favorites]


b_thinky writes It was the right thing to do. Libby was the fall guy for others. You can't send your friend up the river for someone else's crime.

A perfect distillation of Republican ethics if there ever was one.

I really hope b_thinky makes an FPP out of his letter-writing campaign to have Dick Cheney indicted for outing a covert CIA officer.
posted by bardic at 3:58 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


It will be interesting to see the effect on the candidacy of Fred Thompson. Fred is head of the Libby legal defense hush fund and has raised millions for Libby. I don't think the $250,000 fine will be any problem.
The DC press corps is already talking of him as Cheney's replacement, and still swooning over him, so i bet they ignore this totally, as usual.
posted by amberglow at 3:58 PM on July 2, 2007


Clinton made equally cronyistic pardons, and Bush I before him. That's what those president types do.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 6:24 PM on July 2 [+] [!]


Actually, I think this commutation of Libby has a lot less integrity than a full pardon would have. A full pardon would have said "You may have broken the law, but you were justified in doing so." That's the exercise of executive power. But a commutation on the basis that the 30-month sentence was too harsh? When thousands of poor drug addicts get put away for years and years and years for nonviolent crimes? Disgusting.
posted by footnote at 3:59 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


I bet this will be just the first of many of these things we'll see before they leave--if they ever do.
posted by amberglow at 3:59 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


OK. I have recovered sufficiently to express a more detailed statement than "Jesus fucking Christ". So, here it is:

The very first thing that the next administration does should be to launch a massive and fully public investigation into this administration.

The investigation should be tasked with discovering and publicly exposing abuses, recommending courses of action to prevent similar things in future administrations, and developing criminal charges against the various members of this administration, all the way from the top level scum all the way down to the lowest level foot soldier scum.

I never thought that I would say this, but it's time for a new Un-American Activities Committee.
posted by Flunkie at 3:59 PM on July 2, 2007 [12 favorites]


It was the right thing to do. Libby was the fall guy for others. You can't send your friend up the river for someone else's crime.

hahaha!! hahahahaha!!! *takes deep breath* hahahahahah!!! hahahahahahahahahah!!!!
*keels over*
posted by rtha at 4:00 PM on July 2, 2007


Is this in any way an impeachable offense?

Afraid not. US Constitution, Article II, section 2:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive epartments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
Unless it could be proved that he'd accepted a bribe for this, there's no way it's impeachable for the President to use a power which is explicitly granted to him by the Constitution.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:01 PM on July 2, 2007


"I will swear to uphold the laws of the land. But I will also swear to uphold the honor and the integrity of the office to which I have been elected, so help me God," said George Bush [CNN, “Inside Politics,” 8/11/00]

Bush seems to care about honor, integrity, and the rule of law about as much as he did about disaster relief during Katrina.
posted by Staggering Jack at 4:01 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


it's time for a new Un-American Activities Committee

"Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Republican party?"

"I, umm, you know, I went to some meetings. Back in college. But, heh, you know, it wasn't a big deal or anything..."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:02 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


To do this on a Monday and face down a week's newscycle makes me wonder what FreedomPlus! features they'll be unveiling later in the week.

Doing it on the 4th would have been supercool.
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on July 2, 2007


psmealy speaks the truth, as ever. The hole is too deep... no one can dig out in four years.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:05 PM on July 2, 2007


HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY PLEBS!
posted by phaedon at 4:05 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


TPM: DOJ Manual: ...Requests for commutation generally are not accepted unless and until a person has begun serving that sentence. Nor are commutation requests generally accepted from persons who are presently challenging their convictions or sentences through appeal or other court proceeding. ...
posted by amberglow at 4:05 PM on July 2, 2007


Bush has virtually given up on winning converts while in office and instead is counting on vindication after he is dead....

Why does this play out like a scene from Downfall?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:06 PM on July 2, 2007


Clinton made equally cronyistic pardons, and Bush I before him. That's what those president types do.

Is there some sort of "Godwin"-like rule saying that when a republican says "Clinton did it too!", that means that the argument is over?
posted by octothorpe at 4:06 PM on July 2, 2007 [16 favorites]


Ahh--Thompson: "I am very happy for Scooter Libby.
posted by amberglow at 4:07 PM on July 2, 2007


1/20/09 Pleeeeeeease hurry.
posted by sgobbare at 4:08 PM on July 2, 2007


Why does this play out like a scene from Downfall?

I was thinking "Scarface", but ok.
posted by psmealey at 4:08 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Anyone remember Governor George W. Bush and Karla Faye Tucker?

"Before Tucker was executed, there were pleas for clemency from Waly Bacre Ndiaye, the United Nations commissioner on summary and arbitrary executions, the World Council of Churches, Pope John Paul II, and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, among other world figures. Unusual pleas came from conservative American political figures such as Newt Gingrich and Pat Robertson, interceding on her behalf. Tucker did not ask for a pardon, only commutation of her death sentence to life in prison. Huntsville Prison's warden testified that she was a model prisoner and that, after 14 years on death row, she likely had been reformed. Despite these pleas, Bush signed her death warrant."
posted by cacophony at 4:08 PM on July 2, 2007 [26 favorites]


This is the E-mail I just sent to my representative, Elijah Cummings:

So Bush has just commuted Scooter Libby's jail sentence. Seriously, these jerks aren't even pretending to care about the rule of law anymore. Can we please get this nest of crooks out of DC before they stink up the place even further? The power is in your hands, man. Thanks for your help.

I like Cummings. He's cool.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:11 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Anyone remember Governor George W. Bush and Karla Faye Tucker?

Anyone remember this?

In the weeks before the execution, Bush says, a number of protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Karla Faye Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask. Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them", he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with Tucker, though. He asked her real difficult questions like, 'What would you say to Governor Bush?'" "What was her answer?" I wonder. "'Please,'" Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "'don't kill me.'" I must look shocked — ridiculing the pleas of a condemned prisoner who has since been executed seems odd and cruel — because he immediately stops smirking.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:11 PM on July 2, 2007 [29 favorites]



It was the right thing to do. Libby was the fall guy for others. You can't send your friend up the river for someone else's crime.


The Mafia have a saying which, though difficult to translate into English, can be roughly understood as 'I will do my part.' The logic here is that if everybody does their part then nobody will ever suffer undue consequences because the organization fundamentally takes care of its own. Libby did his part and now Bush has done his part and so Republicans will view this as 'the right thing to do.' This is the remarkable thing about the Mafia: on the inside it seems like a extremely progressive and moral organization. Everybody is, eventually, taken care of and it's only outsiders that get the boot. Really I think it's been underestimated just how much Republicans view the government as a kind of club and not a legal, universally bound entity.

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY PLEBS!

This is of course what made such an action possible. In just a couple of days Americans will be drowned in marketing for their own exceptionalness. I can't imagine a better time for the President to tear down all norms of justice.
posted by nixerman at 4:11 PM on July 2, 2007 [8 favorites]


Someone follow Libby around with a camcorder until he jaywalks or panhandles.

Just so you know, in that world traveling around with your hand out for money isn't called panhandling, it's called a 'speaking tour'.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:12 PM on July 2, 2007 [6 favorites]


So, when do we march?

Barring that, when do we all start hounding our representatives for real impeachment proceedings?

I'm ready. Let's go get our nation back.
posted by batmonkey at 4:12 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Don't forget that Bush refused to commute a Texas woman in jail even after the pope spoke on her behalf--we know where his priorities are.

... George W. Bush, then governor of Texas, had to decide on her request for clemency, which he ultimately denied. ....
Before Tucker was executed, there were pleas for clemency from Waly Bacre Ndiaye, the United Nations commissioner on summary and arbitrary executions, the World Council of Churches, Pope John Paul II, and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, among other world figures. Unusual pleas came from conservative American political figures such as Newt Gingrich and Pat Robertson, interceding on her behalf. Tucker did not ask for a pardon, only commutation of her death sentence to life in prison. Huntsville Prison's warden testified that she was a model prisoner and that, after 14 years on death row, she likely had been reformed. Despite these pleas, Bush signed her death warrant. In 1999, during the 2000 Republican Presidential primary race, conservative commentator Tucker Carlson interviewed Bush for Talk Magazine (September 1999, p. 106). Excerpt from this interview is quoted below:

In the weeks before the execution, Bush says, a number of protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Karla Faye Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask. Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them", he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with Tucker, though. He asked her real difficult questions like, 'What would you say to Governor Bush?'" "What was her answer?" I wonder. "'Please,'" Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "'don't kill me.'" I must look shocked — ridiculing the pleas of a condemned prisoner who has since been executed seems odd and cruel — because he immediately stops smirking. ...

posted by amberglow at 4:12 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


oops--sorry Cool Papa--it's so exactly relevant here.
posted by amberglow at 4:13 PM on July 2, 2007


Unless it could be proved that he'd accepted a bribe for this, there's no way it's impeachable for the President to use a power which is explicitly granted to him by the Constitution.

Actually, I think there's a convincing argument against that.

Since the text says "except in cases of Impeachment," and Article II Section 4 says of impeachment that "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," I think there's a very good argument that this is a "case of Impeachment."

Specifically, the Constitution does not say in the case of impeachment of the President -- the term applies to "all civil officers," and the fact that Libby's already been convicted in this case seems to me to bring him within the ambit of the provision.

As far as I know, this wasn't actually tested under U.S. v. Nixon -- Nixon was never convicted, was out of office when pardoned (or rather, immunized from prosecution, which is different), and the pardon wasn't challenged in court.

At any rate, I don't think that this is as dead a legal issue as it might seem. I believe it's unprecedented for a President to commute or pardon a civil officer convicted of a perjury or rule-of-law type crime under the President's own Administration.
posted by spiderwire at 4:13 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


(And cacophony too) : >
posted by amberglow at 4:13 PM on July 2, 2007


Just adding my two fucks.

Fuck.

Fuck.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:14 PM on July 2, 2007


America: leading by example!
posted by furtive at 4:17 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Here's the reason for commutation instead of pardon. Since only the sentence was commuted, Libby can still appeal his conviction. While under appeal, Libby can still take the 5th amendment. There is no way to force him to testify before congress. The appeal could last another couple of years. If Bush had pardoned Libby, he would be up in front of a congressional committee tomorrow under oath answering questions about Cheney. This is a beautiful and deliberate two-fer. Libby is hushed up and doesn't have to testify.
posted by JackFlash at 4:17 PM on July 2, 2007 [17 favorites]


It's SHOCKING!!! SHOCKING....

...the variety of chips you can get these days.
posted by The Deej at 4:17 PM on July 2, 2007


Lame duckedness in action!!!
posted by The Deej at 4:18 PM on July 2, 2007




Bush is actually taking a piss on the whole world and telling us its raining.

And with Dick claiming to be a whole branch of government you can't help but stand in awe of the sheer ballls involved here!

These fuckers are doing the exact opposite of what any half lucid politics student knows you should do when in power.

They are fucking the people in the arse, and telling you that you will fucking well like it without even hiding it.

Just wow!
posted by Reggie Knoble at 4:20 PM on July 2, 2007




fuck yes.... this presidency had gotten really boring (dont get me wrong- im as big a cheney fan as they come but theres a reason he's called the VICE-president and its not because hes supposed to be the main character) so they knew they had to spice it back up with something outrageous. Especialy to get ratings back from the iPhone and all !

Grand Theft Country: Vice Republic

this may have been one of the few constitutionally sanctioned actions of his presidency...
posted by geos at 4:24 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Bush has virtually given up on winning converts while in office and instead is counting on vindication after he is dead....

In that case, I'm ready for the vindication to begin!
posted by me & my monkey at 4:25 PM on July 2, 2007 [6 favorites]


Why on earth is anyone surprised by this?
posted by tyllwin at 4:25 PM on July 2, 2007


JackFlash: more on that: Well, George did it. Made sure that Scooter wouldn't flip rather than do jail time. He commuted Libby's sentence, guaranteeing not only that Libby wouldn't talk, but retaining Libby's right to invoke the Fifth.

This amounts to nothing less than obstruction of justice.

Here's Bush's statement, in which a guy who is pushing to restore minimum sentencing laws says that Libby's sentencing--which was the minimum according to the guidelines, was too tough: ...

posted by amberglow at 4:27 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


This pardon is so far down the list of powerfully bad things this administration has done, that it wouldn't even make the top five of this year. I wish that was an overly cynical thing to say, but it's just the cold hard motherfucking facts. And it will change precisely nothing.

So this week, when you're watching a fireworks display celebrating a free nation that no longer exists... that was kinda the end of that thought. Who fucking cares anymore. I do, actually, but I have no real or imagined way to change it.
posted by ninjew at 4:28 PM on July 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


Congress should subpoena Libby today if they already haven't, and get him before them taking the 5th in public, on tv.
posted by amberglow at 4:29 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


mmmmm...succulent lobster...
posted by taosbat at 4:29 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


What'll be great is when you try and impeach him and he'll argue that you can't do that because he wasn't voted in originally. He may have won the last election but didn't have to go through the process of nomination so he'll come up with a new term for his position so that he is immune to the law, like the Guantanamo prisoners along the lines of "Illegal President" and then you'll have to tow him out to international waters or something so you can bust him.
posted by longbaugh at 4:29 PM on July 2, 2007 [13 favorites]


Tried by the White House Special Counsel, convicted by a jury of his peers, sentenced by a District Judge and denied appeal by three Federal Apellate Judges, has had his sentence commuted by the one man above all laws.

P-I-M-P.
posted by coolhappysteve at 4:29 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


tyllwin:
Why on earth is anyone surprised by this?
Why on earth do you think that anyone is surprised by this?

I am not surprised. I am outraged.
posted by Flunkie at 4:32 PM on July 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


“Unless it could be proved that he'd accepted a bribe for this, there's no way it's impeachable for the President to use a power which is explicitly granted to him by the Constitution.”

Hmmm...howzabout if he’s an accessory?

I don’t know if the Dems are going to do dick about any of this. I mean the Fed has been tuned like a violin. Either they’re not kicking because they’re expecting to take it over, or...

...say, what are the most current odds on whether there are going to be elections when the terms up?
posted by Smedleyman at 4:32 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Well, on the bright side, treason's perfectly fine now, i guess. And burning a covert agent and all their contacts--a-ok too.
posted by amberglow at 4:33 PM on July 2, 2007


Zombie Teddy Roosevelt won't stand for this!
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:33 PM on July 2, 2007



...say, what are the most current odds on whether there are going to be elections when the terms up?


Exactly. Every one of these F-Us to the law and the people make it more and more likely.
posted by amberglow at 4:34 PM on July 2, 2007


Department of Justice mnaual on commutations (via Talking Points Memo
Section 1-2.113 Standards for Considering Commutation Petitions

A commutation of sentence reduces the period of incarceration; it does not imply forgiveness of the underlying offense, but simply remits a portion of the punishment. It has no effect upon the underlying conviction and does not necessarily reflect upon the fairness of the sentence originally imposed. Requests for commutation generally are not accepted unless and until a person has begun serving that sentence. Nor are commutation requests generally accepted from persons who are presently challenging their convictions or sentences through appeal or other court proceeding.
posted by orthogonality at 4:35 PM on July 2, 2007


This is like a bad dream.

Actually, more like a national nightmare.

How the hell did this country ever sink so low?

Man.......
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 4:35 PM on July 2, 2007


Um, Libby on the Hill under oath wouldn't matter; he just got a free pass for obstructing justice. He's not impeachable (he's a personal staffer, not a public official), and he has proven carte-blanche to do whatever he wants.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:35 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


(And I think it’s a vastly superior insight to realize that Clinton COULD do the same thing in the future rather than assert that it happened in the past. I mean Goddamn, I really have to wonder what the partisans that are - or aren’t - kicking now will be saying the same things under a different administration. Playing games with the legal system is dangerous no matter who’s at the helm)
posted by Smedleyman at 4:35 PM on July 2, 2007


I think that Bush has clearly established that he's not playing for popularity. He's playing to the loyal core who are pulling the same "prosecuted due to politics" defense that Ollie North has made his bread and butter on for the last 20 years, and which gave Nixon a kinder eye in conservative circles.

Meanwhile, did anyone else catch the news that Lugar called on the White House to cooperate on a withdraw plan? Granted he doesn't have the star quality of McCain, but on foreign policy issues he's one of the shaprest tools in the shed. If he argues its time to throw in the towel, it puts Bush further out onte the fringe.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:37 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Did these people learn nothing from the Paris Hilton early release event? America hates it when criminals are set free!
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:38 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]



Um, Libby on the Hill under oath wouldn't matter; he just got a free pass for obstructing justice. He's not impeachable (he's a personal staffer, not a public official), and he has proven carte-blanche to do whatever he wants.


Let him refuse to talk in public. Let him sit and do that. Let the people see.

All we have left is public shaming, and waking up the rest of the public to their crimes.
posted by amberglow at 4:39 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


If [Lugar] argues its time to throw in the towel, it puts Bush further out onte the fringe.
From Bush's point of view, so what?
posted by Flunkie at 4:39 PM on July 2, 2007


Bush and company hate the government so much that they pursue, actively to rot it from the inside out. Justice as injustice. Ethics as greed. Truth as lies.

I believe that they hope to hollow it out, and allow a parasite to control the host. It is too grand of a notion to believe that it is happening to us.

When do you start to call these types of actions treason?
posted by zerobyproxy at 4:41 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wonkette: ... Hooray! By commuting his sentence Bush has declared for the record that Scooter is guilty of the crimes he’s been convicted of but it doesn’t matter because he’s friends with Dick Cheney. Let that be a lesson to you, children: don’t lie without Uncle Sam’s permission.

Libby will still get his $250k fine and two years probation, at the end of which time he is expected to be appointed to head the World Bank.

posted by amberglow at 4:42 PM on July 2, 2007


People are stunned?
posted by fire&wings at 6:27 PM on July 2


Yes, thankfully.

Perhaps we can get the RIAA to see if Libby has downloaded a song or two. Then maybe he'd get some prison time.
posted by juiceCake at 4:43 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


/yeah, amber - s’what bothers me. I mean it’s far more plausible that a given administration could, in the course of avoiding justice, paint itself into a corner and have to secure power than some sort of naked power grab.
But perhaps not. It’s a double edge. I mean, us little folks have more interest in the rule of law and good government than the wealthy. If the bovine excriment hits the fan they can just split on their yachts or what-not. So perhaps they could just flee justice and thumb their noses at us. It’s been done before (I’m thinking the Harding admin). On the other hand, if we’ll put up with this crap - why not a little more? Dunno how much it’d take for people in the U.S. to revolt. Screwing federal prosecutors seemed like messing with the wrong bunch of people. But that all remains to be seen.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:43 PM on July 2, 2007


Let him refuse to talk in public. Let him sit and do that. Let the people see.

All we have left is public shaming, and waking up the rest of the public to their crimes.


Why on earth would he care what people think at this point? He'd sit there with a big grin on his face and taunt the Dems with the fact that Congress can't do a thing to him if he doesn't talk to them.

It's not like Scooter's running for office or something. Why should he care about public opinion?
posted by The World Famous at 4:44 PM on July 2, 2007


Chalk up another great victory for Truthiness, Freedom & the American Way!
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:44 PM on July 2, 2007


Meanwhile, did anyone else catch the news that Lugar called on the White House to cooperate on a withdraw plan? Granted he doesn't have the star quality of McCain, but on foreign policy issues he's one of the shaprest tools in the shed. If he argues its time to throw in the towel, it puts Bush further out onte the fringe.

Not really--it was all talk and no action
posted by amberglow at 4:45 PM on July 2, 2007


I'll set the alarm for 1-20-09. Night-night.

Yes, good that you'll be sleeping rather than, I dunno, doing something about this.

Cheney cashes Bush in to cover his own ass. Bush has been the front man, gone through the motions of the system, and now he's dead weight for the Republicans; get him out of the way as soon as possible and let the party salvage what they can. Who cares what his approval ratings are? Who cares if he's reviled forever? He was a useful idiot, an empty suit to keep the rubes distracted.

Besides, the real work is done: the judiciary, from top to bottom, is hopelessly compromised; the looting of the national treasury was a total success, and the Middle East has a huge American presence to secure oil resources against China. The middle managers of the global security state have done exceptional work, and will be commended. Promotions all around. True, most of America had to be wrecked, but the transition from republic to empire is a pretty shaky thing without a Caesar. Now that all is secure, the true consolidation of power can reign unimpeded.

After all, the citizens won't do anything; they'll be too busy blogging about it. Let's hear it for the reality-based community.
posted by solistrato at 4:46 PM on July 2, 2007 [14 favorites]


When do you start to call these types of actions treason?
posted by zerobyproxy


Years ago...to no effect...
posted by taosbat at 4:47 PM on July 2, 2007


I love America. You get to have a real monarchy. We Brits just get a pretend one.
posted by athenian at 4:47 PM on July 2, 2007 [30 favorites]



Why on earth would he care what people think at this point? He'd sit there with a big grin on his face and taunt the Dems with the fact that Congress can't do a thing to him if he doesn't talk to them.


Good. Let him. Let him smirk, and let Congress recount all the crimes involved. Let him sit there and listen. As long as Cheney is silent on all of this, this is still an unsolved crime precisely because Libby obstructed justice. Let Libby's smirk and arrogance on TV during the hearings paint the whole administration.
posted by amberglow at 4:48 PM on July 2, 2007


amberglow, if I wanted to read blogs, I'd read blog. We don't need the five-second updates, ya know?
posted by solistrato at 4:48 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


...

...


No..
posted by Skygazer at 4:49 PM on July 2, 2007


But, but, Clinton ...

Surely, this will ...

Well, he is the Decider ...







I've got nothin'. (other than disgust, contempt and bitter, bitter hatred)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:50 PM on July 2, 2007


Here's Bush's statement, in which a guy who is pushing to restore minimum sentencing laws says that Libby's sentencing--which was the minimum according to the guidelines, was too tough: ...

It also puts his activist judges concept in an entirely horribly hilarious light.
posted by juiceCake at 4:50 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]



Besides, the real work is done:...


Yup--and they've placed "loyal Bushies" in career positions alll over every single Dept and Agency already. These people will still be there after 08.
posted by amberglow at 4:50 PM on July 2, 2007


Folks, we need a new constitution.

Its a bad idea -- plainly absurd on its face -- to invest a single man with the power to make crimes into uncrimes and allow punishments to go unpunished.

This man, with a single stroke of his pen, can unilaterally decide which laws he wants enforced, and which ones he doesn't. How is that distinguishable (in any meaningful way) from a dictatorship? The President can't make laws but can decide which ones get enforced?

Why even have a congress?

WTF were the founding fathers thinking?
posted by Avenger at 4:52 PM on July 2, 2007 [8 favorites]


The only good thing is that this knocked the burning Glasgow car and "TERROR!!!! BE AFRAID!!!!" off tv.
posted by amberglow at 4:53 PM on July 2, 2007


Avenger, they thought Congress would have balls, and the press too. Little did they know....
posted by amberglow at 4:53 PM on July 2, 2007


Lugar's speech to the senate: course change in Iraq (mp3)
posted by acro at 4:54 PM on July 2, 2007


athenian - I traded one for another.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:55 PM on July 2, 2007


... Bush has granted fewer pardons -- 113 -- than any president in the past 100 years, while denying more than 1,000 requests, said Margaret Colgate Love, the Justice Department's pardon attorney from 1990 to 1997.

In addition, Bush has denied more than 4,000 commutation requests, and hundreds of requests for pardons and commutations are still pending, Love said. ...

posted by amberglow at 4:55 PM on July 2, 2007


Did these people learn nothing from the Paris Hilton early release event? America hates it when criminals are set free!

Paris got 23 days for a DUI. Libby is getting 0 for lying to a grand jury about a matter of national security.

Once again, our Administration shows that they're simply not willing to settle for second best.
posted by spiderwire at 4:56 PM on July 2, 2007


Time's Up
posted by A189Nut at 4:57 PM on July 2, 2007


Who would have thunk that Paris would serve more time than Scooter? That's a head scratcher right there.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:58 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


said Margaret Colgate Love, the Justice Department's pardon attorney from 1990 to 1997.

OH NOES SHE IS TEH CLINTOON LACKEY SHE IS TEH LAIR HERF DERF 9/11 NEVAR FORGET
posted by Avenger at 4:58 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Money quote from Speaker Pelosi:

The President said he would hold accountable anyone involved in the Valerie Plame leak case. By his action today, the President shows his word is not to be believed.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:59 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


In other news, bush is coming to Sydney soon. A warm welcome should be expected.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:00 PM on July 2, 2007


I'll set the alarm for 1-20-09. Night-night.

1.20.09 - The End of an Error!
posted by ericb at 5:01 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


... The entire case — from betrayal of Valerie Plame Wilson by members of her own government to the inception of the investigation into that betrayal from a referral from the CIA…all the way through to the conviction of I. Lewis Libby of multiple felony counts by a federal jury and the stiff sentence for a convicted felon meted out by a conservative federal judge — all of it has served to highlight the lies on which the invasion of Iraq rested. And how far the members of the Bush Administration were willing to go to keep those lies buried and away from the public’s knowledge.
... There is nothing that these people will not do to protect their own, whatever the cost may be for the long term to the public confidence in the rule of law. This is a slap in the face to the members of the jury and all of the federal judges who have ruled on the substantial amount of evidence of Libby’s guilt and the weakness of his attempts to appeal. ...

posted by amberglow at 5:01 PM on July 2, 2007


After all, the citizens won't do anything; they'll be too busy blogging about it. Let's hear it for the reality-based community.

Oh, please. It's almost 7 PM here, and the lawmakers have gone home for the day. I assure you that if there are people down at the Capitol Building in Austin tomorrow, I'll be skipping out on my law school classes to join them.

Likewise if there are riots. I'm down for whatever, really. Tonight I'm spending my time telling everyone I know to WRITE THEIR DAMN CONGRESSPERSON and raise as much hullabaloo as possible. I want their inboxes stuffed with letters, their phone lines ringing off the hook with outraged callers, their email accounts overflowing with complaints, and hundreds of angry people outside their offices screaming to high heaven.

They've finally crossed the line with me. I'm generally against public protests because I think they come across as cheap soapboxing -- this is different, as far as I'm concerned. They're not even trying to justify it. There is no argument that legitimates it or can be spun as legitimating it. This is not tolerable.
posted by spiderwire at 5:02 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Olbermann is spitting fire on tv right now.
posted by amberglow at 5:02 PM on July 2, 2007


I'm still in shock, I think.

My "shock-o-meter" got burned out (unfortunately) quite a while ago. Outrage fatigue has set in.

I need a drink!
posted by ericb at 5:04 PM on July 2, 2007


amberglow, if I wanted to read blogs, I'd read blog. We don't need the five-second updates, ya know?

The horse in this case is not only not dead yet, (but it'll be stone dead in a moment,) but it's still hopping around wondering why people are beating it.

Plenty of info still to come one this. If amberglow wants to provide it, more power to him.
posted by Cyrano at 5:04 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]




Don't forget that Bush refused to commute a Texas woman in jail even after the pope spoke on her behalf--we know where his priorities are.


So? The Pope also wants to stop abortion, contraceptives, and gay rights. You'll need a better reason.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:06 PM on July 2, 2007


TV talking head guy just stated that "this has been expected by Scooter Libby's supporters, because he is seen as having been a loyal soldier for the Vice President, and having protected the Vice President".

Protected the Vice President from what?

Good lord, Republicans are scum.
posted by Flunkie at 5:06 PM on July 2, 2007


Edwards: "Only a president clinically incapable of understanding that mistakes have consequences could take the action he did today. President Bush has just sent exactly the wrong signal to the country and the world. In George Bush's America, it is apparently okay to misuse intelligence for political gain, mislead prosecutors and lie to the FBI. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:08 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know, he commuted the sentence, but he lacked the balls to pardon him. Well, I'll do it. Scooter, you know how you obstructed justice? I pardon you. Now get back to work and, gorram, stop obstructing justice, ok?
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:11 PM on July 2, 2007


Keep in mind that this has no practical effect on how you live your life. The ideals you think are given up here were given up long ago, and they will not return. We are too far gone. Really, the best you can do at this point is to sit back and watch the rest of it fall apart, enjoy the show from some distance, and try to stay clear of flying debris. Read a book. Listen to some music. Take that vacation you keep putting off. Do that thing you've always wanted to try. It's been a nice run, overall, and we all knew it was just a matter of time.
posted by troybob at 5:12 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Well, the secret had to get out at some point: Paris Hilton officially has bigger balls than Scooter Libby.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 5:12 PM on July 2, 2007 [6 favorites]


Liberal paraphrasing of a strongly worded letter of protest I've composed and am mailing now:

Dear Mr. Bush and the Congress of the United States of America:

Fuck you. Fuck, you. Fuck! you. Fuck you? FUCK YOU!

Fuckingly yours,
WolfDaddy

posted by WolfDaddy at 5:15 PM on July 2, 2007 [7 favorites]


Pardon me?
posted by jaronson at 5:15 PM on July 2, 2007


Ubu, you just got yourself put in a list somewhere...
posted by Jimbob at 5:15 PM on July 2, 2007


I seem to recall the idea of a commutation/pardon being thrown around previously. It was agreed that this would be laughable, since it would open the administration up to impeachment on conspiracy grounds. What ever happened to that.
posted by mullingitover at 5:16 PM on July 2, 2007


The happiest guys in the U.S. today have to be the writers for The Daily Show.
posted by spock at 5:16 PM on July 2, 2007


Maybe Irving Scooter has a real phobia about being in prison and let it be known that if he ever was in prison he would start squealing and leaking like a dog strapped to the roof of a station wagon.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 5:19 PM on July 2, 2007


This reminds me of that part of the movie where out of nowhere Bush turns to the Judicial System and says I don't remember asking you a God-Damn thing!
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:19 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


You're doing a great job Libby!
posted by Bonzai at 5:22 PM on July 2, 2007


Get over it people. He's the president. He can do whatever he wants. Nyaa nyaa nyaahh!
posted by Anne Coulter's Butt Plug at 5:23 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


The happiest guys in the U.S. today have to be the writers for The Daily Show.

Sadly, I think this week is reruns.
posted by brain cloud at 5:24 PM on July 2, 2007


What will happen.

Nothing. If the Democratic Party would fight, maybe something would happen, but they won't. Bush *knows* they'll cave in, so why not pseudo-pardon Libby?
posted by eriko at 5:24 PM on July 2, 2007


The happiest guys in the U.S. today have to be the writers for The Daily Show.

Hmm. I would have put my money on Libby.
posted by spiderwire at 5:24 PM on July 2, 2007


Something tells me that Ann Coulter does have a butt plug.

Its shaped like a rolled up, dessicated draft of the US Constitution.

I mean, seriously, we fought 200 years for this? For American Idol and an Imperial Presidency?

This must be our payback for killing the Indians. They're laughing their ghostly asses off at us.
posted by Avenger at 5:25 PM on July 2, 2007 [6 favorites]


its almost as if he's worried someone will come along and steal the mantle of "worst president ever" away from him.
posted by cazoo at 5:26 PM on July 2, 2007 [11 favorites]


Can't the next (presumably Democratic) president just give him a full pardon, removing his right to the fifth amendment, then call him before congress and ship him off to jail for contempt if he doesn't talk? If they are serious about getting to the bottom of the leak, that is.
posted by roquetuen at 5:32 PM on July 2, 2007


“Don't forget that Bush refused to commute a Texas woman in jail even after the pope spoke on her behalf--we know where his priorities are.”

The Pope. Yup. He’s got a BIG hat.

*chin jut in affirmation to other thread implying corresponding degrees of pointlessness in contention with the fanatic, myopic, or insular powers in an arch yet snarkless manner recognized by some, favorited by less, truly appreciated by only a few, but mostly overlooked by the many in much the way ironically that seemingly minor details like the topic at hand and commentary concerning BushCo, moralists like the Pope and relativist bullshit artists that defend whatever position, aggregate into a disturbing yet self-referencing re-iteration of the picture of the whole because although I’m disturbed that I may be impotent in the face of outrages like this - it comforts me that I’m just that goddamn witty*
posted by Smedleyman at 5:33 PM on July 2, 2007


Another Fourth of July will pass and still nothing will change.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:37 PM on July 2, 2007


Unbelievably believable.
posted by Snyder at 5:38 PM on July 2, 2007


Do you know who Hitler reminds me of?
No, wait, I told it wrong.

You know why Bush is just like Hitler?
No, no...hang on.

Does Hitler know who else used to do that?
No, wait...

Why does it take so many Hitlers to screw up a lightbulb?
Agh, that’s way off.

Ah, got it.
You know who else used to pardon people?
Amon Goeth
posted by Smedleyman at 5:38 PM on July 2, 2007 [5 favorites]


Can we as the American people commute the rest of Bush's term?
posted by amberglow at 5:40 PM on July 2, 2007 [7 favorites]


I'm pissed.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:41 PM on July 2, 2007


Maybe it was his way of celebrating the four year anniversary of “Bring ‘Em On”.
posted by homunculus at 5:46 PM on July 2, 2007


Something tells me that Ann Coulter does have a butt plug.

Ann Coulter: "I'm more of a man than any liberal." [talking with Bill O'Reilly on his Fox show about her aggressive stance toward politicians like John Edwards].
posted by ericb at 5:49 PM on July 2, 2007


It will be interesting to see the effect on the candidacy of Fred Thompson.

Thompson: "I am very happy for Scooter Libby."

I guess he's only a fan of Law & Order when it's fictional.
posted by homunculus at 5:49 PM on July 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


Fuck you lot. I'm moving to Sweden.
posted by mds35 at 5:50 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


ö

That was my surprised face.
posted by LordSludge at 5:50 PM on July 2, 2007


Andrew Sullivan: For what it's worth, I don't think the Republican base gives a damn about Scooter Libby. But many others now will. The defense of the commutation is complicated and unpersuasive. The case against it is simple: You don't get a cleaner example of different justice for the rich and powerful. It seems to me that real conservatives - not the lawless hoodlums now parading under that banner - should be as outraged as anyone. This man risked national security for political payback, and perjured himself to cover it up. This commutation will rightly become a symbol of a great deal of rot in Washington that needs to be swept clean. Get out that broom.

Sullivan, a Republican, is right to point out that "Get Out of Jail Free" cards cut across the ideological divide. But Republican pundits aren't known to truck much with reality, so they blather on and on while their party sinks into the mud. Good times.
posted by bardic at 5:52 PM on July 2, 2007


ö

That's the face of most Americans while this administration f'ucks-us-up-the-butt!'
posted by ericb at 5:53 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


No more worries about what will fill the void left by the end of The Sopranos.
posted by NortonDC at 5:54 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I feel sorry for you guys, having a leader that just makes a really good country look really, really bad.

Whenever our PM does something stupid and I get mad, I just look south and remind myself that it could be much, much worse. I hope the Dems manage to get themselves together before the next election.
posted by Salmonberry at 5:54 PM on July 2, 2007


I bet the Republican presidential candidates are all beating their head against the wall right now. Bush just keeps reminding voters why they shouldn't vote Republican in 2008.

Actually Fred Thompson actually advocated for a pardon, and Guiliani semi-supports 'looking into it' but said he wanted to wait till the appeal was finished.

Official dios policy: those convicted should serve. I understand the historical background and legal basis for the concept of pardons and commutations, but I think they are fundamentally wrong across the board. I think the entire practice is wrong. It violates my legal sympathies.

I think pardons should be a good thing, but I actually think presidents should not be able to pardon people 'close' to them convicted for doing things in capacity an executive branch job.

Bush has nothing to lose. I'm surprised he didn't do this sooner

Libby was about to go to jail. Up until today there was a chance he might still be free after the next election, when bush could pardon him without any political consequence.

You know, I actually did believe that bush wouldn't pardon before the election, and that if Libby wasn't allowed to stay out on appeal he would actually go to jail for a few months. Even now I can still have expectations broken by the Bush administration. Pretty Amazing.

I was under the impression that the pardon power was all-or-nothing.

You could modify the pardon power via Amendment, and

The very first thing that the next administration does should be to launch a massive and fully public investigation into this administration.

Damn straight. Too bad none of the candidates have the balls to say anything like that. (He'll I'd worry about being assassinated. Why not? Bush would just pardon the assassin (okay that's sarcasm, semi-sarcasm)). But there is no way Hillary would do this. She's a part of the high-up mucketty-muck. and she's even dodged questions about whether or not Libby should be pardoned, not wanting to draw comparisons between Libby and Bill most likely.

Would Obama or Edwards do that? I don't know. Obama seems like he'd be most likely too, but I wouldn't hold my breath. We're going to be ruled by the same douche-bag elites for a while, I think.

Unless it could be proved that he'd accepted a bribe for this, there's no way it's impeachable for the President to use a power which is explicitly granted to him by the Constitution.

Not true Steven, The president can be impeached for anything congress considers crime-ish. There is no appeal process. And anyway they could just impeach him on any of the multitude of likely crimes without ever bothering to really prove them. If a majority of congressmen and senators think that impeachment is political expedient it will happen. Still quite unlikely, IMO.
posted by delmoi at 5:54 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know, he commuted the sentence, but he lacked the balls to pardon him.

Pardoning would have removed Libby's ability to take the Fifth. Commuting means there's still no accountability for the rest of Bush's term, since Libby will still be on probation.
posted by spiderwire at 5:55 PM on July 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


In related news -- George Bush is "grasping for answers....trying to understand how he got off course."
posted by ericb at 5:56 PM on July 2, 2007


homunculus writes "Thompson: 'I am very happy for Scooter Libby.'"

Now this is an interesting angle. Thompson is announcing on the 4th. Could this be a trick to saddle him with a very unpopular viewpoint? Does Cheney have something against Thompson?
posted by mr_roboto at 5:57 PM on July 2, 2007


Oh, Mr. Shenanigans is quite the man.
posted by caddis at 5:59 PM on July 2, 2007


Maybe Irving Scooter has a real phobia about being in prison and let it be known that if he ever was in prison he would start squealing and leaking like a dog strapped to the roof of a station wagon.

four points for bashing to republicans in one swipe.
posted by delmoi at 6:00 PM on July 2, 2007


Fitzgerald to continue with appeals process for Libby. His statement:
"We fully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment on the exercise of that prerogative.

We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as “excessive.” The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. 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. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

Although the President’s decision eliminates Mr. Libby’s sentence of imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies, and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process."
posted by ericb at 6:00 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Would Obama or Edwards do that? I don't know. Obama seems like he'd be most likely too, but I wouldn't hold my breath. We're going to be ruled by the same douche-bag elites for a while, I think.

Obama's statement was actually not as definitive as I would have liked. Edwards, on the other hand, did not pull any punches, and frankly, his statement is at the moment enough to convince me to switch my vote from Obama. Edwards:
“Only a president clinically incapable of understanding that mistakes have consequences could take the action he did today. President Bush has just sent exactly the wrong signal to the country and the world. In George Bush’s America, it is apparently okay to misuse intelligence for political gain, mislead prosecutors and lie to the FBI. George Bush and his cronies think they are above the law and the rest of us live with the consequences. The cause of equal justice in America took a serious blow today.”
posted by spiderwire at 6:05 PM on July 2, 2007


Really, he should have done it on July 4th, when everyone was distracted by like America and stuff.
posted by RMD at 6:07 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Crazy. Amusing spoof of the Gnarls Barkeley hit and quite apropos.

It's from give2shitz, which may or may not be a cynical exploitator of gullible people caught up in a net meme.

But watch it nonetheless. Is funny, laff.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:09 PM on July 2, 2007


In light of today being the "Bring em on" anniversary, I hereby propose that July 2nd should henceforth be known as national "Bush Outrage Day."
posted by nevercalm at 6:13 PM on July 2, 2007 [5 favorites]


I'm not at all surprised, but I do really wonder why he didn't just go all out and pardon the guy.

I mean, what's the worst that could happen? He gets more unpopular? Come on.
posted by sparkletone at 6:13 PM on July 2, 2007


But, Clinton...
posted by The Deej at 6:14 PM on July 2, 2007


I hope Kelly does a cartoon for this.
posted by treepour at 6:15 PM on July 2, 2007


I'm surprised there's not more Nixon comparisons being drawn. What a bunch of criminals. I'm appalled, and I'm not even American.
posted by anthill at 6:19 PM on July 2, 2007


ö

That's the face of most Americans while this administration f'ucks-us-up-the-butt!'


You sure that's their face?
posted by lenny70 at 6:20 PM on July 2, 2007


Apropos Kelly
posted by anthill at 6:23 PM on July 2, 2007


I'm not at all surprised, but I do really wonder why he didn't just go all out and pardon the guy.

Just explained this.
posted by spiderwire at 6:24 PM on July 2, 2007


.
posted by fungible at 6:30 PM on July 2, 2007


I mean, what's the worst that could happen?

Libby, being guilty and pardoned, is no longer protected by the fifth amendment, and is forced to testify. By commuting part of the sentence, Libby can continue to appeal, being under appeal, he can still cite the fifth amendment.

Libby walks, and Bush is safe.

Remember, kids -- we have clear precedent that obstruction of justice is, in fact, a High Crime or Misdemeanor, worthy of impeachment. We have, in fact, impeached presidents for such.
posted by eriko at 6:31 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Is it time to march on Washington? I hear some folks have the 4th free this month...
posted by deCadmus at 6:32 PM on July 2, 2007


Shame Scooter isn't retarded. Then Bush would have wanted to execute him.
posted by Legomancer at 6:33 PM on July 2, 2007 [15 favorites]


On the bright side, maybe it's a clever political stunt, to let the Iraqis know that "Freedom & Democracy" are entirely compatible with autocratic, elitist rule.

It should make the American Way more palatable in the Middle East once they realise that you only need to pay lip service to the Rule of Law, all the while doing whatever is in the best personal interests of yourself & your cronies. If only Saddam had realised this sooner.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:36 PM on July 2, 2007 [6 favorites]


Libby, being guilty and pardoned, is no longer protected by the fifth amendment, and is forced to testify. By commuting part of the sentence, Libby can continue to appeal, being under appeal, he can still cite the fifth amendment.

What about an immunization like Monica Goodling got? How would that work? (I'm not being snarky. I honestly don't know but would like to. I assume his pending appeal factors in there somehow.)
posted by Cyrano at 6:38 PM on July 2, 2007


Libby, Liddy. Liddy, Libby.


I know it doesn't make sense. It's the Chewbacca defense. Plus I liked how it sounded, and it also is a Nixon Godwin.
posted by Eekacat at 6:39 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Money quote from Speaker Pelosi"
Wel I hope that got you off, because that's all you're going to get out of speaker Pelosi.
posted by 2sheets at 6:43 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


And not even polite enough to give a reach around
posted by Rancid Badger at 6:45 PM on July 2, 2007


Libby, being guilty and pardoned, is no longer protected by the fifth amendment, and is forced to testify. By commuting part of the sentence, Libby can continue to appeal, being under appeal, he can still cite the fifth amendment.

Libby walks, and Bush is safe.


Gah! I just said that!

Twice!

Politically, it's a virtuoso move --
(1) Libby maintains immunity
(2) Bush gets to sell this as a "compromise" deal
(3) The $250,000 is already covered (and then some) by Libby's legal defense fund (thanks, Fred Thompson)
(4) 2 years of probation is meaningless (shorter than the prison term)
(5) It's not like having the "blemish" on his record hurts his future job prospects -- Hell, G Gordon Liddy's a pundit nowadays. Libby will have a cushy job at AEI or the Heritage Foundation before the year is out.
posted by spiderwire at 6:45 PM on July 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


Obama's statement was actually not as definitive as I would have liked. Edwards, on the other hand, did not pull any punches, and frankly, his statement is at the moment enough to convince me to switch my vote from Obama. Edwards:

Well good. I'm an Edwards guy myself, since I feel like he's been the one who seems to most willing to call bullshit on the administration. Still, I just don't see any kind of investigation or whatever happening. It's just not done (Although I think it should be, obviously. And maybe this will be a catalyst for that sort of thing happening). I would like nothing more then for the people fucking up this country for years to go to prison. Dick Cheney and the bush Family are criminals.

But that said, I just don't see that sort of thing happening. It's like people who thought that Democrats would end the war after getting elected, and they pussied out. The next president will probably pussy out on this stuff too.

It would be nice if it wern't true.

I do hope this damages Hillary, it really brings up some uncomfortable questions for her. Either she's against it, in which case, how does she square it with what Bill did, or she's for it, which could knock her out of front-runner status, like her support for the war even into 2005 at least should have
posted by delmoi at 6:48 PM on July 2, 2007


Since Scooter and his buddies have already learned that it's "not who you know, it's who you blow", why was jail time such a big deal?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:49 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


What about an immunization like Monica Goodling got? How would that work? (I'm not being snarky. I honestly don't know but would like to. I assume his pending appeal factors in there somehow.)

Doesn't work. Immunization protects you from self-incrimination for the crime in question, but it doesn't allow you to lie.
(1) It only makes sense in the investigation of a crimes, but the only crime here is against Libby, not the Administration -- so he already has 5th Amendment protection.
(2) Even giving someone specific immunity when he's already been convicted of perjury makes no sense.
(3) And that's even assuming a world where he could still be convicted of perjury, when it's already been made clear that there's no fucking consequence to that.
posted by spiderwire at 6:49 PM on July 2, 2007


Awww..
posted by delmoi at 6:52 PM on July 2, 2007


what's the name of that kid doing 18 years or something for consentiual oral sex?

commute! commute! all one or NONE.
posted by vrakatar at 6:52 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Holy SHIT did I pick the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.
posted by The Straightener at 6:52 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


I realize this is a rather small potatoes question, but does Libby at least lose the right to vote?
posted by blueberry at 6:54 PM on July 2, 2007


Awww..
posted by delmoi at 6:52 PM on July 2


Her parents probably have less teeth than she does.
posted by b_thinky at 6:58 PM on July 2, 2007


Millions were raised for Libby's defense. Presumably, those funds will cover his fines. The tarnish is getting darker.
posted by Oyéah at 6:59 PM on July 2, 2007




Well good. I'm an Edwards guy myself, since I feel like he's been the one who seems to most willing to call bullshit on the administration.

I was an Edwards guy last time around, but this time I was looking to Obama, because I felt we needed an FDR type to really unify the nation under a new banner and restore our credibility in the world. Hillary's a decent politician, but even if she wins, I feel like her negatives will turn her into a Carter, and just send us back into the deadlock that saddled us with Bush in the first place. We need to redraw the lines.

That said, I thought that Obama's inclusiveness was the way to go, but as Smedleyman said above, I'm no longer in the mood for Mr. Nice Guy. I don't want to rise above the fray; I want the Republican Party as it stands crushed and discredited, and if any of the fiscal conservatives or non-fundie religious conservatives want to come over here and join the discussion, I'll welcome them, as long as they accept that honesty and dignity have to become Priority One in our politics before anything else happens. Democrats who aren't willing to get on board with that one fundamental plank -- well, I'll take 'em or leave 'em, as long as they vote the right way... but they're next on the list, and they'll be watched.

But this sort of corruption, plunder, and disrespect for the country's values, on such a massive scale, deserves nothing less than a complete purge, a total realignment, a reprioritizing that make good governance Job One, and everything else subject to that. This cannot be tolerated any longer.
posted by spiderwire at 7:02 PM on July 2, 2007 [10 favorites]


Libby will have a cushy job at AEI or the Heritage Foundation before the year is out.

To reiterate, AEI, Heritage, Hudson -- one of the primary purposes of all of these right-wing institutions is to provide welfare for any disgraced politician or failed academic who's willing to carry water for the Republican party. (Their primary purpose, however, is to normalize crazy with their official-sounding press releases.)
posted by bardic at 7:03 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Still no response from Clinton. She doesn't want to talk about it.
posted by delmoi at 7:03 PM on July 2, 2007


Write your representative.
I appreciate it, but why does everyone keep repeating me? :)
posted by spiderwire at 7:04 PM on July 2, 2007


b_thinky, I asked you a question up-thread but not directly. So here it is -- you've admitted that Bush did the honorable thing by commuting Scooter's sentence, since he wasn't the one who committed the underlying crime, and it'd be unfair to let him dangle for what someone else (Armitage? Cheney?) did.

So, are you for Libby being called before Congress so we can get to the bottom of this? I mean, it sounds like we agree -- it'd be a shame for the American people not to know what actually happened, if indeed Libby was merely a patsy for someone higher up.

Let's work on this one together, mkay?
posted by bardic at 7:06 PM on July 2, 2007


delmoi, I just read a response from Clinton on Yahoo news, of all places. Did they make it up?
posted by yhbc at 7:07 PM on July 2, 2007


Here it is -

"This commutation sends the clear signal that in this administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice." — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
posted by yhbc at 7:08 PM on July 2, 2007


I felt we needed an FDR type to really unify the nation under a new banner and restore our credibility in the world.

Yeah, cuz nobody wants to move here anymore.
posted by b_thinky at 7:08 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


The title of this post made me hunt down the Freedom video that was posted here a while back.

It was good to watch it again and I wish the Democrats would pony up some of their campaign money to buy the rights and get it on TV.
posted by Staggering Jack at 7:10 PM on July 2, 2007




Here it is -

"This commutation sends the clear signal that in this administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice." — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.


Yet again, a day late and a dollar short. I'd bet my last dollar she had to have it vetted by her handlers and pollsters before she took such a brave and honest stand. Hillary is not a leader - she's a professional politician, worried more about her resume and possible missteps than actually taking the lead.

Edwards is the best hope for the Democratic party and the country.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:16 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


bardic, sorry, i missed your question. i'm just saying it was the right thing to do on a personal level.

If you buy into the whole theory that Libby was covering for something, Bush should pardon him because you can't send a guy to jail for helping you out.

And if you don't buy that theory, well, then that means Libby really didn't do anything wrong in the first place.

So it was the right thing to do on a personal level, and the choice was made difficult for Bush because he's going to get a lot of political shit for it.

Personally, I think it's obvious that there were many leakers - lots of people who knew Valarie Plame was a CIA agent. Maybe Libby was intentionally clumsy but I don't think the punisment at all fit the crime.
posted by b_thinky at 7:18 PM on July 2, 2007


Bush 41 on traitors in 1999
posted by homunculus at 7:29 PM on July 2, 2007


spiderwire, thanks for the answer. I know all the IANAL responses might be driving you slightly batty.
posted by Cyrano at 7:34 PM on July 2, 2007


If you buy into the whole theory that Libby was covering for something, Bush should pardon him because you can't send a guy to jail for helping you out.

It must be very strange being you.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:35 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you buy into the whole theory that Libby was covering for something, Bush should pardon him because you can't send a guy to jail for helping you out.

This is not a "theory." 12 jurors found him guilty. This is how our system works, unless you are a Republican operative with connections to the president.

Personally, I think it's obvious that there were many leakers - lots of people who knew Valarie Plame was a CIA agent. Maybe Libby was intentionally clumsy but I don't think the punisment at all fit the crime.

OK, so there was a leak of highly classified information that risked national security. Why aren't you more outraged? OK, Libby was a low-man on the totem-pole, and took a bullet for people above him. Why aren't you more interested in achieving full justice and having those higher-ups tried for treason?

Thus, the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the modern-day Republican party is made painfully clear to all of us.

Good luck in 2008, crooks, toadies, and scum.
posted by bardic at 7:40 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


A different way of handling a rogue president...too bad it won't happen here.
posted by gimonca at 7:42 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, FUCK.

On the other hand, it seems to be turning into a decent sorting hat for the Dem hopefuls.

Yay, Edwards.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:43 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


"See, things are trendin' downward. Used to be a guy got pinched, he took his prison jolt no matter what. Everybody upheld the code of silence. Nowadays, no values. Guys today have no room for the penal experience. ... I feel exhausted just talking about it."

- Tony Soprano
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:52 PM on July 2, 2007


(5) It's not like having the "blemish" on his record hurts his future job prospects -- Hell, G Gordon Liddy's a pundit nowadays. Libby will have a cushy job at AEI or the Heritage Foundation before the year is out.
posted by spiderwire at 9:45 PM on July 2


Thinktanks are so 1990. Private equity funds are the wave of the future. After 1/09, he can join W, daddy, Jim Baker and John Major over at the Carlyle Group.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:55 PM on July 2, 2007


And a special star to Georgie for the symbolism of doing this the week of July 4th.

I know people get sick of sentences that begin: "The Founding Fathers would ..." But really, the people who fought to be free from another Crazy King George have got to be twirling in their tombs at what these SOBs have done to their great idea.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:56 PM on July 2, 2007


Bush commuted Scooter Libby's sentence.

If Bush and Cheney refuse the subpoenas, impeach. Impeach them both. Then have them both tried for war crimes, or crimes against humanity. Or both. The following is pretty rough because I'm pressed for time.

Here's how. Clearly they cannot be tried in the USA-- too much potential for chaos. Instead, try them in the International Criminal Court in the Hague. This could be a problem , since the US has not signed the Rome Statute, which would have accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC.

The rule is that a State can accept jurisdiction of the ICC for one set of crimes only , under the Rome Statute, Part 2, Article 12:
If the acceptance of a State which is not a Party to this Statute is required under paragraph 2, that State may, by declaration lodged with the Registrar, accept the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court with respect to the crime in question. The accepting State shall cooperate with the Court without any delay or exception in accordance with Part 9.
Link
The next President, then, directs her UN ambassador to have the security council vote to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court. The rule is Rome Statute, Part 2, Article 13(b) that:
[t]he Court may exercise its jurisdiction with respect to a crime referred to in article 5 in accordance with the provisions of this Statute if
(b) A situation in which one or more of such crimes appears to have been committed is referred to the Prosecutor by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations
Chapter VII of the UN Charter, Article 40:
The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Link
So there would be a meeting, where the UNSC can find the ongoing activities of Bush etc are a breach of the peace, or a threat to the peace. I can't remember what the standards are for a "breach of the peace." Regardless, I'm sure the UN can come up with something-- the torture allegations from Abu Ghraib as well as the secret prisons are likely evidence enough.

They will do this, if we ask. Cynically, even the countries which have co-operated with the USA will do this, because it gives their political leaders a chance to make Bush/Cheney the scapegoats, and escape disfavor at home. They can spin it as "finally coming to their senses."

I don't care that much how long they serve in prison. Even 3 years would be humiliating enough. I realize that some of you probably would want to see longer sentences. Besides, it's jail in the Netherlands, and given the high profile of the case, I imagine that both men (and anyone else that is tried) will get three hot meals a day, a bed, and have their human rights respected. They might even get Red Cross visits.

As long as government officials, and Presidents feel they can act without fear of consequences, they will continue to act like idiots and kill people for no good reason. It is time for us as Americans to end the culture of impunity that says it is okay to lie to the American people, that it is okay to enrich oneself at the expense of the common good, that it is okay to wrap oneself in the flag while simultaneously pissing on everything that America should stand for, that it is okay to maim innocent people for no reason but to alleviate puerile feelings of fear and insecurity, that it's okay to invoke the name of Jesus in service of naked greed and hatred and that it is okay to act with no regard for reality whatsoever.

It is not okay.

No. More. Impunity.
posted by wuwei at 8:11 PM on July 2, 2007 [9 favorites]


Un.freaking.real. On so many levels.

I'm of the opinion that Libby was willing to take one for the team, but wasn't willing to go to the enclosed golf course of minimum security prison and threatened to squeal like a pig if he had to do a perp walk.

Cheney ordered Bush to sign the commute, because Cheney knows that Bush is pretty much disposable at this point, and Cheney didn't want to do a perp walk either...which would probably happen if Libby squealed.

This entire administration has been a pirate raid on America...and a really successful one at that. They've raided the treasury, destroyed civil liberties, created an executive branch that operates like a dictatorship, and have rewarded the bearers of the skull and crossbones.

This administration has been a travesty and a tragedy, and I'm not even sure how we can fix everything that they've plundered.
posted by dejah420 at 8:16 PM on July 2, 2007 [10 favorites]


Man, I can not think of anything that would bring people knee-jerk to the Bushite cause than some crazy UN and/or ICC interference.
posted by absalom at 8:16 PM on July 2, 2007


OK, so there was a leak of highly classified information that risked national security. Why aren't you more outraged? OK, Libby was a low-man on the totem-pole, and took a bullet for people above him. Why aren't you more interested in achieving full justice and having those higher-ups tried for treason?

Well, there was a full investigation, which dragged on and on and on, and this is what the prosecutor came up with. This is how our system works. You can't just call a congressional investigation because a special prosecutor doesn't find the dirt you think is there.

I can see the outrage on having the verdict imposed by a judge and jury commuted, but that's the right of a president. There is precident for this.

And please, spare me your false anger on national security. This is nothing more than another chance to pile on the president you love to hate. Let's call it what it is and be done with it.
posted by b_thinky at 8:17 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


spiderwire, thanks for the answer. I know all the IANAL responses might be driving you slightly batty.

IANAL, IAALS who's too big for his britches. I could be wrong about the immunity thing (e.g. my interpretation of the Pardon and Impeachment Clauses certainly isn't canonical -- but that's not the issue you raised). But I just finished Conlaw with Sandy Levinson, so I've heard enough about this stuff to last me for a long, long while.
posted by spiderwire at 8:19 PM on July 2, 2007


That's the thing abaslom. It wouln't be interference. It would be admitting that the situation had gone beyond our ability to render justice , and accepting the jurisdiction.
posted by wuwei at 8:20 PM on July 2, 2007


Somebody needs to teabag this presidency.
posted by phaedon at 8:21 PM on July 2, 2007


This administration has been a travesty and a tragedy, and I'm not even sure how we can fix everything that they've plundered.
Harper's: Undoing Bush: how to repair eight years of sabotage, bungling, and neglect
posted by amberglow at 8:24 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Did scooter threaten to roll on Bush and Cheney? No traitor left behind.
posted by specialk420 at 8:25 PM on July 2, 2007


wuwei: OK, this is a topic that I can speak about pretty authoritatively. Even if we had signed the ICC as Clinton tried to, it probably wouldn't be availing here. The ICC is targeted at regimes that lack functioning legal systems. Bad as ours seems today, as long as we abide by our own codified legal processes (or at least go through the motions), an ICC action doesn't work.

The enabling treaty contains a provision stating that a fair hearing conducted under the established rules of the country is basically a pro se defense against prosecution under the ICC. So even if we were a signatory, it's likely that the impeachment process (or court-martial process, in Rumsfeld's case) would trump the ICC.

(Incidentally, the inclusion of this provision makes it ridiculous that the U.S. won't sign it -- it's a toothless weapon against First World countries. They just don't want the negative PR of having an action brought against them.)
posted by spiderwire at 8:27 PM on July 2, 2007


b_thinky: I can see the outrage on having the verdict imposed by a judge and jury commuted, but that's the right of a president. There is precident [sic] for this.

Cite please? I've gone over the caselaw, and I think you can easily make a nonfrivolous case distinguishing this situation from a whole bunch of angles. Hoffa is a real good place to start.

Regardless, you're completely wrong on this point. Congress is well within its power to bring impeachment proceeding now, if they have the votes. The purpose of impeachment is to discover if there's been an underlying crime -- your argument is tantamount to claiming that a prosecutor can't bring a case until a defendant has already been convicted. It's facially idiotic.

Even if there wasn't a conviction here, Congress would be well within their authority to start impeachment proceedings. The fact that there was a conviction, that the Special Prosecutor appointed by the DOJ suggested looking into the matter, and all the other horseshit that's gone on would have been more than enough. The transparent political commutation which conveniently preserves Libby's Fifth Amendment privileges is just icing on the cake.
posted by spiderwire at 8:32 PM on July 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


while scooter heads back to his life of leisure these people will spend decades more in prison ... maybe Bush should learn a little something about "harsh punishment" from these victims of sentencing guidelines
posted by specialk420 at 8:36 PM on July 2, 2007


This entire administration has been a pirate raid on America...and a really successful one at that.

They'll be retiring in Dubai. Land of the bajillionaires. It's the robber barons all over again.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:41 PM on July 2, 2007


wuwei: Specifically, even if there was a referral under Article 13 of the Rome Statute (which won't happen -- and the next administration can't while remaining within the ambit of Article 17(1)(c)...), and the court has jurisdiction under Article 5, any of the four Article 17 admissibility hoops would be sufficient to halt an investigation where a First World nation is concerned. The fact that the SC has been slowly rolling back Admin policies in cases like Hamdi, Rasul, Hamdan, etc. makes any ICC prosecution impossible.

(sorry for the serial posts, btw)
posted by spiderwire at 8:42 PM on July 2, 2007


Well, that's the issue isn't it:

Does the impeachment trial constitute a proceeding sufficient to meet the standard?

I'd argue no, because the rule is that the impeachment proceeding is used to remove the President (or other government official), and not to punish. The impeached ex-president is not a convicted felon-- he's convicted of "high crimes and misdemeanors," and thus removed from office.

However, I would argue that removal from office did not constitute significant punishment in light of the gravity of the crimes at issue (crimes against humanity, war crimes). Therefore, the impeachment proceeding is inadequate. I am away from ready access to reference materials-- the sub-issue is whether a conviction by trial in the Senate is actually a felony conviction? What is the precedent there? Because if it is _not_ a felony conviction (with concomitant loss of certain rights) then the trial isn't a proceeding that really punishes in the way that a criminal trial would. Rather, it would be more analogous to an administrative proceeding where there is no possibility of criminal sanction delivered against the accused.
For example, one can remove a mayor from office, and still prosecute him under state law for fraud. What is the precedent for Congressmen, I wonder?


Furthermore, I would argue that the American legal system is inadequate to prosecute this case, due to the fact that the Justice Department has been fatally compromised by a high level of politicization with respect to US Attorneys. There is also some doubt whether the US Supreme Court could, in fact render neutral judgment on this case, due to the fact that one of the justices was recently appointed by the President of the United States. Also, there is some question whether the Supreme Court accepts the prevailing international law on the subject, and would apply it to a former President.

As an aside, I am actually a bit more knowledgeable about how the Alien Tort Statute applies against foreign defendants, w.r.t. the Rome Statute. I'm writing off the cuff here.
posted by wuwei at 8:44 PM on July 2, 2007


This is nothing more than another chance to pile on the president you love to hate.

I speak for myself when I tell you...you are reversing cause and effect.

Of all the wrong actions and decisions they have endorsed -- torture, the suspension of habeus corpus, lying about WMD, sacrificing democratic institutions such as voting, national security, and justice itself on the altar of their own power -- nothing, but nothing has inspired my disgust and contempt like the betrayal of Valerie Plame.
posted by edverb at 8:44 PM on July 2, 2007


*on removal from office.
Removal from office is not punishment in the legal sense.

We did not simply remove Ribbentrop from office. He was prosecuted and convicted by the IMT.
posted by wuwei at 8:49 PM on July 2, 2007


And please, spare me your false anger on national security. This is nothing more than another chance to pile on the president you love to hate. Let's call it what it is and be done with it.

b_thinky, lard over your lame attempts at justifying hypocrisy all you want, but there's a reason why Americans no longer trust the Republican party, and won't for a long time.

Again, it's cowardly of you to duck my question. Libby was indicted for perjury -- he "threw sand" in the prosecutor's face, in Fitzgerald's words. So, who was Libby covering for? And what information was he trying to hide? What damage was done to our national secuirty standing?

Why aren't you concerned? As a patriotic American, I sure as hell am.
posted by bardic at 8:50 PM on July 2, 2007


For the illegal spying on all of us and ignoring the FISA courts, even after a judge ruled it illegal, impeachment is warranted. This Libby thing doesn't even need to be involved--there are plenty of other crimes--some already admitted.
posted by amberglow at 8:52 PM on July 2, 2007


Wait a moment... did dios himself condemn Bush's action upthread?

Isn't that kind of like a fire elemental asking for a cool, refreshing iced tea?
posted by JHarris at 8:52 PM on July 2, 2007


I don't think anyone's asking for intereference - I think you misinterpreted. I believe what was outlined was a path the NEXT President could take in order to try Bush & co for war crimes.

And if not - fuck it. I could care less if he gets more sympathy while he's in jail, provided he's IN jail. A large part of this is yes- the invulnerability that comes with the office. MORE Presidents need to be lawsuit'd immediately after they leave office, so that future Presidents know they have to weild the power they have wisely, justly, and carefully. None of this CRUSH THE INFIDELS, SKIP THE PLANNING PHASE, APPOINT MY TOADIES, AND DAMN THE CONSEQUENCES nonsense.

Bah, it's time for more sleep and less beer and politics.

'night all.
posted by Imperfect at 8:57 PM on July 2, 2007


June 13: Bush Seeks To Re-Impose Mandatory Minimums
posted by amberglow at 8:57 PM on July 2, 2007


What surprises me is that Bush didn't flat-out pardon him. Why not go all the way?

As for dios, I see he's not totally without principles and honor. Salute.
posted by davy at 8:59 PM on July 2, 2007


spiderwire: I said the president has the authority to commute or pardon. Maybe Congress can impeach, but I betcha they won't.

bardic: Fitzgerald had plenty of time and resources to conduct the investigation. This is what he came up with. I think the reason Libby's conviction and sentence seemed lame is that he was convicted of obstructing... for what?? At the end of the day there was more smoke than fire in the whole Plame matter.

I don't believe this story ever had much traction with the American public. It was just a Democratic talking point, much like Whitewater for Republicans in the 90s. It was a big nothing.
posted by b_thinky at 9:01 PM on July 2, 2007


Needs to be a popular outcry/demonstration/rebellion against this bullshit. The Administration is essentially behaving dictatorial: unto their own law and accountable to none. It has become so damned blindingly obvious that one's basically forced to act, or chose to lose the country.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:04 PM on July 2, 2007


What surprises me is that Bush didn't flat-out pardon him. Why not go all the way?

Skim the thread; it's been explained many times.
posted by mediareport at 9:05 PM on July 2, 2007


I think we found our 20%.
posted by Artw at 9:10 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


b_thinky, why did a jury of his peers find Libby guilty of lying? This is technically an on-going investigation anyways -- Fitzgerald's point is that there might have been wrong-doing, but since Libby lied, he couldn't get the information he needed to find out who and why Plame was outed.

Again, why not some outrage on your part? Who gave the order to out Plame, and why?

Sorry, you're doing your useful idiot routine and no amount of logic can break though that. But please, take a look at yourself. You have no shame.

I don't believe this story ever had much traction with the American public.

Sorry, but you are a raging idiot.

I can only hope the damage done by dutiful Republican apparatchiks like yourself isn't so great as to be irreversible. At this point, I'm really not sure.
posted by bardic at 9:12 PM on July 2, 2007


Also, there is some question whether the Supreme Court accepts the prevailing international law on the subject, and would apply it to a former President.

I'd say that question is pretty well-settled post-Hamdan, actually.

But the point is that the ICC doesn't distinguish between different grades and legitimacy of punishment (as you're suggesting in the discussion of felonies) so long as the legal system isn't completely dysfunctional -- e.g., the ICC probably wouldn't apply against sharia law in Islamic countries, despite that many of its doctrines offend some Western nations. The ICC doesn't guarantee Constitutional rights, or fair treatment, or anything of that nature -- it's a much lower baseline than that.

And in fact, the ICC was significantly watered-down for precisely this reason: to get the U.S., China, and other nations to sign on to it and give it legitimacy, by giving them guaranteed protections against prosecution. (And, in fact, we were signatories for a brief period, until Bush 'un-signed' us in his first year.) Its rule is essentially: if you set down your own rules, and then at least attempt follow them, you've prima facie met your ICC burden. It's not a high bar.

The ICC is targeted at a few specific situations: (1) Genocidal regimes, e.g. Nazi Germany or the former USSR; (2) Failed states like the Sudan; (3) States too weak to bring prosecutions on their own, e.g. many African states with legitimate governments that can't rein in warlords roaming their countries. In other words, the ICC is a vehicle for targeting psychopaths and mass murderers, not liars and thieves.

I realize that it's very psychologically satisfying to claim that members of the Bush Administration should be prosecuted for war crimes (and I don't disagree, necessarily), but that's not what the ICC is for. As long as the U.S. has a reasonably functional political and judicial system (and that means across-the-board -- one-offs like a Libby pardon or a botched court-martial don't count), it's exempt from the ICC. That's just the way it is.

Anyway, not to distract from the question at hand, which is the travesty of justice that happened today, but the "international crimes" route is not at issue here -- impeachment, however, is very much on the table.
posted by spiderwire at 9:15 PM on July 2, 2007


I was wondering what it would take to make the sliding approval ratings go even lower.

If running the country were a role-playing game, I'm pretty sure it's around 10-15% approval that the proletariat start rioting. The graphs seem to be trending toward zero before the end of his term.
posted by mullingitover at 9:17 PM on July 2, 2007


I think there is a distinction to be drawn between raging idiocy and intentional sophistry in defense of all that is unamerican.
posted by Flunkie at 9:19 PM on July 2, 2007


It just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Its like the political process is an insane joke now. To imagine that all that happened in such a short time could have happened at all is unimaginable.

A very close friend of my father's was formerly the AP Washington bureau chief. He moved on to run Hearst's Washington operation. When I first got to this town in the summer of '97, I met for lunch with him and he told me that the news business was dying, that we had entered a period of no great events which was to last for the foreseeable future.

I just gasp when I think about how wrong he was. Our children are going to ask us what it was like to live in this insane era.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:20 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


b_thinky: I said the president has the authority to commute or pardon. Maybe Congress can impeach, but I betcha they won't.

No, you said, "You can't just call a congressional investigation because a special prosecutor doesn't find the dirt you think is there."

I'm telling you that Congress is very much within its rights to call an investigation or impeachment proceedings at this point, and has been for some time.

As to the President's power to commute or pardon, you said there was precedent, and I asked you for specific caselaw. I've been looking for hours and still haven't found a case that's on-point with many of the facts here -- in particular, a crime committed under a President's own Administration. If you can help me out, then by all means, do -- but don't tell me "there's precedent" when you obviously have no clue what you're talking about.
posted by spiderwire at 9:21 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I can see the outrage on having the verdict imposed by a judge and jury commuted, but that's the right of a president. There is precident for this.

Yeah yeah. If Clinton were the one doing the commuting of some stand-up crony's sentence, the Republicans would vote to impeach faster than you could say it.

Yap all you want about how poor Scooter's just the fall guy, but he fucking lied and covered up and that is called obstruction of justice and perjury, which are against the law regardless of what the underlying crime was (or was not). He's not an idiot. He knew what he was doing.

By keeping loyal to his bosses, he betrayed his country. Those excusing his behavior seem to agree that loyalty to your patrons is more important than loyalty to your country and its laws.

Jesus. Those fuckin' guys!
posted by rtha at 9:23 PM on July 2, 2007


What's everybody complaining about? Bush said, "if the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of," and he certainly kept his word.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:36 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was talking to my mom about how w thought Scooter must be spared the slammer.
posted by taosbat at 9:36 PM on July 2, 2007


The judge sentenced them to three years in prison - suspended sentence. Suspended sentence! They went free that very day! I stood in the courtroom like a fool. And those two bastards, they smiled at me. Then I said to my wife, 'for justice, we must go to Don Corleone.'
posted by kirkaracha at 9:42 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


have i mentioned i have a fish? in my pants?
posted by quonsar at 9:44 PM on July 2, 2007


yes
posted by taosbat at 9:50 PM on July 2, 2007


Another sad day for democracy.
posted by dougzilla at 9:52 PM on July 2, 2007


I for one would like to welcome our new ant overlords...
posted by gallois at 9:52 PM on July 2, 2007


Wait a moment... did dios himself condemn Bush's action upthread?

Isn't that kind of like a fire elemental asking for a cool, refreshing iced tea?


Unless there's a deleted comment that the rest of us are missing, he did and you acknowledged it upthread. The first time.

This makes your subsequent comment an awful lot like a:

Troll
Frequency: Uncommon
No. Appearing: 1-12
Armor Class: 4
Move: 12"
Hit Dice: 6 + 6
% In Lair 40%
Treasue Type: D
No. Of Attacks: 3
Damage/Attack: 5-8/5-8/2-12
Special Attacks: See below (Cyrano's note: there isn't going to be a "below...")
Special Defenses: Regeneration
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Low
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Size: L (9' + tall)
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil
posted by Cyrano at 9:53 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


...I mean, shit, I was going to go hiking with the girlfriend's family this 4th, but Washington's only a few hours away and the Fung Wah bus is only $15...
I've never protested anything before in my life (which is probably partially how we got into this mess), but has anyone mentioned protesting in Washington on Independence Day?
posted by 235w103 at 9:59 PM on July 2, 2007


Mom hadn't quite got over Dick's new fourth estate when I brought Scooter up. Geez-O-Pete!
posted by taosbat at 10:03 PM on July 2, 2007


HASN"T HE SUFFERED ENOUGH?!?
posted by mazola at 10:14 PM on July 2, 2007


spiderwire: I'm telling you that Congress is very much within its rights to call an investigation or impeachment proceedings at this point, and has been for some time.

OK, then they should do it. Why don't they? Hmmmm

bardic: Again, why not some outrage on your part?

I told you - this case is about politics and nothing else.

The prosecutor looked at this for many, many months. And this is what he came up with. It's a dud.

And yes, 2/3 are of the opinion that Bush should not have commuted the sentence. But do they really care? Does this story have traction like Iraq, immigration and taxes? I don't think so.

Who gave the order to out Plame, and why?

Halliburton, of course.
posted by b_thinky at 10:18 PM on July 2, 2007


Spiderwire:

I'd be curious (non snark) to see what your precedent is as far as the standard the ICC applies as to the sufficiency of the proceedings. Although, I can't remember (again, off the top of my head) if the ICC looks as much to precedent (of its own making) as to international customary law. Again, I think it's worth making the argument in any case, simply to set a precedent (in the United States) against impunity and in favor of accountability.

The other alternative, of course, is impeachment followed by extradition to a nation that wants to try them based on universal jurisdiction. That would not be entirely novel-- see Pinochet for example.

Although, ultimately he was not tried in Spain of course.

Realistically, it's all a long shot of course. However, given the widespread disdain for Bush/Cheney abroad, I think that, were a future sitting President to take the course of action I outlined above, that indeed the ICC would take the case and rule against Bush and Cheney at the minimum.

I would argue that the US legal system is in no way situated to carry out the prosecution of a former President and Vice President-- it's never happened before. There is no accountability for top leadership, and functionally, we ARE like a failed state in that regard.

I take it you're 2L at UT?
posted by wuwei at 10:18 PM on July 2, 2007


Sorry I'm late. Has everyone commented now?

Happy Birthday America.
posted by salishsea at 10:22 PM on July 2, 2007


Actually, I couldn't care less about exposing a CIA agent, regardless of who did it, how or why. I don't like the CIA. It's that this commutation is just one more blatant abuse of power that bothers me. What more proof does anybody need that the U.S.A. is not a "government not of men but of laws," that it's really just one more tyranny and always has been? How many more times must some President commit treason before the People do the obvious?

But nothing will happen. There are more important things going on!
posted by davy at 10:24 PM on July 2, 2007


"I want to make some general comments about pardons and commutations of sentences. Article II of the Constitution gives the president broad and unreviewable power to grant "Reprieves and Pardons" for all offenses against the United States. The Supreme Court has ruled that the pardon power is granted "[t]o the [president] . . ., and it is granted without limit" (United States v. Klein). Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes declared that "[a] pardon . . . is . . . the determination of the ultimate authority that the public welfare will be better served by [the pardon] . . ." (Biddle v. Perovich). A president may conclude a pardon or commutation is warranted for several reasons: the desire to restore full citizenship rights, including voting, to people who have served their sentences and lived within the law since; a belief that a sentence was excessive or unjust; personal circumstances that warrant compassion; or other unique circumstances"
- William Jefferson Clinton
posted by b_thinky at 10:29 PM on July 2, 2007


Like I said b_thinky, the nicest thing I can say about you is that in intellectual terms, you're a complete coward. Libby was convicted of perjury. Fitzgerald couldn't go further because a perjurer wouldn't allow him to. None of this would ever have happened if Bush hadn't, ya know, done what he said he was going to do and ask his people who leaked the name and why.

Hope you enjoyed the last six years, because they're over for good.
posted by bardic at 10:30 PM on July 2, 2007


(Oh, and now I see you're blaming Clinton, the last refuge of the true, bred-in-the-bone, wingnut. Well played.

Personally, Bush has every right to commute Libby's sentence IMO. And Congress has the right to call hearings about the whole affair, as I hope they soon will.

As for the American public, like I said, having a POTUS less popular than Nixon is going to be something to behold.)
posted by bardic at 10:34 PM on July 2, 2007


Screw July 4th. It's just an excuse for twits to pop off firecrackers (or worse) all week, scaring my gentle little dog half out of his mind. And we have to pay cash for his Valium.

Then too, "America never was America to me."
posted by davy at 10:35 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


bardic, I hope you get past your blind rage someday.

Fitzgerald would have found something if it were there. Are you under the impression all witnesses are completely cooperative with prosecutors and investigators? Are you aware that usually investigators are able to crack a case even when someone is lying? Fitzgerald interviewed countless people and found nothing. NOTHING. It's not like Libby was the only one ever questioned.

The prosecutor found nothing. Why can't you live with that? If Congress wants to investigate, I'm sure they will. I don't know why you have so much faith in them... in the past 5 years they've investigated 9/11, Iraq, steroids in baseball and gotten nowhere. Congressional investigations are a big show where nothing actually happens.

I see you're blaming Clinton...

Geez, and I thought it was an illustrative quote which answered many of the questions being posed here. I didn't know you held the man in such contempt! interestingly, Libby assisted in winning a pardon for Marc Rich
posted by b_thinky at 10:45 PM on July 2, 2007


Fitzgerald did find something! He found a top-level presidential aid who perjured himself!

What part of logic and/or the English language don't you understand?

As for Libby, yeah, he was Rich's lawyer. That makes him a double scum-bag IMO, and his apologists like yourself that much more reprehensible.

I thought the Rich pardon was pretty disgusting myself. But Marc Rich didn't threaten our national security. Outing a covert CIA agent did.
posted by bardic at 10:56 PM on July 2, 2007


I think that, were a future sitting President to take the course of action I outlined above, that indeed the ICC would take the case and rule against Bush and Cheney at the minimum.

Would the future president need to repeal the Hague Invasion Act first?
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:01 PM on July 2, 2007


I'd be curious (non snark) to see what your precedent is as far as the standard the ICC applies as to the sufficiency of the proceedings.

The ICC hasn't developed a lot of precedent, really -- I'm just speaking on the basis of the thousands and thousands of pages of treatises I read on this when it was the NDT's debate topic. The commentators are pretty unanimous on this point, and indeed, made it ad nauseam since it's always been clear that there was no way the U.S. would sign on to it otherwise -- and the goal was to get international consensus, as I'll explain below, not to restrain the U.S. (sadly).

Although, I can't remember (again, off the top of my head) if the ICC looks as much to precedent (of its own making) as to international customary law.

Unfortunately, the ICC wasn't written to codify international customary law, but rather provide a single forum for trying war criminals like Pinochet and Milosevic -- it's a step forward in that it would consolidate those trials and help create a single international norm, but the whole reason to create it in the first place is that you can't really leapfrog into straight-up international law.

Again, I think it's worth making the argument in any case, simply to set a precedent (in the United States) against impunity and in favor of accountability.

I tend to disagree, for the reasons stated, and I have more to follow -- I think that it's unfortunate that the First World nations are able to run amuck over the provision laid down in the U.N. charter, but setting down this sort of precedent would mean that you'd never be able to get sufficient buy-in to the ICC in the first place; much as it might be useful in some situations, deploying it against First World nations would be a sure way to see it destroyed, which would mean it couldn't be used in a lot of other places (e.g., most of Africa) where it's desperately needed both as a procedural matter and as a way of providing international legitimacy for human rights interventions.

The other alternative, of course, is impeachment followed by extradition to a nation that wants to try them based on universal jurisdiction. That would not be entirely novel-- see Pinochet for example.

Although, ultimately he was not tried in Spain of course.


Yeah, again, the ICC doesn't really apply in that case.

Realistically, it's all a long shot of course. However, given the widespread disdain for Bush/Cheney abroad, I think that, were a future sitting President to take the course of action I outlined above, that indeed the ICC would take the case and rule against Bush and Cheney at the minimum.

Unfortunately, that's highly unlikely. Because we have impeachment proceedings available that prohibit violations of international law, and as the Supreme Court recently reaffirmed our commitments to the Geneva Convention in Hamdan, we don't come close to reaching the ICC's very high bar. It's written (and the commentary makes painfully clear) to apply to countries with completely broken legal regimes -- and again, as problematic as ours may be (and really, many penal regimes are), it's a little disingenuous to say that it's akin to what you'd find in Kenya, or Nigeria, or even China and India, for that matter.

And again, it's difficult to draw a principled distinction between the U.S.' legal system and, say, a sharia-based legal system. I mean, in Singapore you can get a caning penalty for theft, IIRC -- we're a far cry from that.

I would argue that the US legal system is in no way situated to carry out the prosecution of a former President and Vice President-- it's never happened before. There is no accountability for top leadership, and functionally, we ARE like a failed state in that regard.

First, I think you misunderstand what I mean by "failed state." Of the three situations I outlined, we clearly don't fall into the targeted-genocide category, despite what some may say. And "failed state," as I was using the term, doesn't mean "poor accountability," it means literally "no recognized government." Sudan and Somalia are salient examples -- there's just no one running the show. The last category -- the weak government that needs outside assistance -- is the only situation in which an established state with a halfway-working legal system would involve the ICC, and that's what Article 13 is targeted at: a state so weak that it can't reinforce any of its own rules.

Functionally, the United States is not a "failed state." We're on a serious and frightening downward slope, and we've broken many things in our political system, but as world powers go, we're still ahead of most of the world besides Europe -- Russia, China, India, most of the former Eastern Bloc / Warsaw Pact, many of the major Islamic regimes, etc. That's not a favorable comparison (just because you're not a bank robber doesn't make petty theft OK), but our political processes are nevertheless not of the sort that the ICC is meant to implicate.

And in fact, as I said, it's exactly this sort of argument that's threatening to the ICC in the first place, and which prevents it from being used to achieve what it would actually be good for, which is bringing some stability and accountability to nations that would give quite a bit to be dealing with the problems we're having with the Bush Administration, unacceptable though they may be by our standards. The U.S. was reticent about the ICC because it was afraid of frivolous prosecutions against its soldiers and officials, not because it was actually afraid of those prosecutions being successful (let alone enforceable). It might be difficult to get Bush or Cheney out of office, but I assure you that it'd be a damn sight easier that impeaching Vladimir Putin.

Again, psychologically satisfying though the "international law" trope may be, we need to deal with our own problems, not appeal to that authority -- this line of argumentation just makes the all-important buy-in to the ICC all the more difficult to achieve. In an ideal world, there will be international accountability in these cases, but the ICC is only the first step on a long, long road to that world, and trying to -- or even talking about -- tackling the Bush problem right now is an unnecessary interference with that critical first step. If we can't even deal with these clowns, the ICC is the least of our worries.

I take it you're 2L at UT?

I can neither confirm nor deny that. :)
posted by spiderwire at 11:08 PM on July 2, 2007


Used to, right-wingers thought Perjury and Obstruction of Justice were crimes worth jail time. Not anymore.

Used to, right-wingers were enamored of having, and following, mandatory sentencing guidelines. Not anymore.

My, how times change...
posted by darkstar at 11:11 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, hey, b_thinky, that Vince Young sure turned out to be a bust, huh?

Sorry for the OT -- I just remembered why b_thinky will never have credibility with me.
posted by spiderwire at 11:12 PM on July 2, 2007


Just explained this.

Pardon me!*

I skimmed the thread looking for an answer to that question, knowing I wouldn't be the only one asking, but I must've skipped right over that comment when searching the page...

* - Sometimes I kill me...
posted by sparkletone at 11:15 PM on July 2, 2007




I skimmed the thread looking for an answer to that question, knowing I wouldn't be the only one asking, but I must've skipped right over that comment when searching the page...

I cannot forgive this! Nevermind, yes I can.

No, amberglow, keep going.

Somehow I don't think he would have stopped anyway. He and ericb are both pretty religious about providing the continual updates. I rely on it :)
posted by spiderwire at 11:21 PM on July 2, 2007


Speaking of updates:
President Bush limited his deliberations over commuting the prison term of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to a few close aides, opting not to consult with the Justice Department and rebuffing efforts by friends to lobby on Libby's behalf, administration officials and people close to Bush said yesterday.

"We were all told to stay away from it," said an old Bush friend from Texas who is close to Libby and would not speak for attribution. "When we called over there, they said the president is well aware of the situation, so don't raise it. None of us lobbied him because they told us not to."

For the first time in his presidency, Bush commuted a sentence without running requests through lawyers at the Justice Department, White House officials said. He also did not ask the chief prosecutor in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, for his input, as routinely happens in cases routed through the Justice Department's pardon attorney.
Not-consulting has been condoned by the SC (on one occasion) as acceptable, but it's still super rare and... man, that's just sketchy. I figured that, being such a bombshell, this was a highly coordinated effort, weird and logically vapid though the announcement was. This strikes me as odd. Something else will happen here.
posted by spiderwire at 11:28 PM on July 2, 2007


150 death sentences while Bush was governor in Texas. And Libby's sentence was too harsh to be endured.

When told that one woman had reformed and was a born again Christian, Bush pursed his lips and mock whimpered "Please don't kill me."

I can only assume that if we want to make sure Libby's sentence -- or any of Bush's cronies -- is not commuted by the President, the only way to be sure he will honor the judge's decision is to sentence them to death.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:39 PM on July 2, 2007


Oh, hey, b_thinky, that Vince Young sure turned out to be a bust, huh?

Vince Young: 12 TDs, 13 INTs. 51.5% completion. 146 passing yards per game. 66.7 QB rating.

Matt Leinart: 11TDs 12 INTs (appeared in 3 fewer games). 57% completion. 212 passing yards per game. 74.0 QB rating.

Vince played well, but the Titans are actually a decent team and he got waaay too much credit for their success. He'll end up a disappointment much like Mike Vick, though hopefully without the off-field troubles.
posted by b_thinky at 11:41 PM on July 2, 2007


Social protection is due only to peaceful citizens; there are no citizens in the Republic but the republicans. The royalists, the conspirators are, in its eyes, only strangers or, rather, enemies. Is not the terrible war, which liberty sustains against tyranny, indivisible? Are not the enemies within the allies of those without? The murderers who tear our country apart internally; the intriguers who purchase the consciences of the people's agents; the traitors who sell them; the mercenary libelers subsidized to dishonor the popular cause, to kill public virtue, to stir up the fires of civil discord, and to prepare political counterrevolution by means of moral counterrevolution—are all these men less to blame or less dangerous than the tyrants whom they serve? All those who interpose their parricidal gentleness to protect the wicked from the avenging blade of national justice are like those who would throw themselves between the tyrants' henchmen and our soldiers' bayonets



Robespierre, "On Political Morality"
posted by Rancid Badger at 11:55 PM on July 2, 2007


Spiderwire:

You know, I tried to have a civil discussion with you , and what I get instead is you misrepresenting what I said. I wanted to kick some ideas around. You on the other hand seem to be in the debate team/moot court model. Good for you.

I did not say that "functionally the US is a failed state." I said, that "There is no accountability for top leadership, and functionally, we ARE like a failed state in that regard." You know exactly what I mean, and you chose to distort it. I'll have a bit more on that in a moment. I know exactly what a failed state is, thank you very much. And no, I'm not going to let you set the terms of the argument such that if a nation is not failed in all aspects of its governance, only then can it submit to the jurisdiction of the ICC.

It's a tangential point, but now that I think about it, a lot of nations (how about all of them) have accountability issues with their top leadership. If it takes international institutions to deliver that accountability, then I'm all for it. It's a fundamentally condescending point of view to say that the ICC should not be used against First World (your characterization) states, because if there is to be accountability, it must be for all, or for none. Period.

Frankly, I should have realized that discussion with you was going to veer in this direction, since I noticed your readiness to name drop (Levinson), and to appeal to authority (NDT participation). I had a suspicion, which was confirmed by your last post that distorted what I said, and "assured" me that it would be "a damn sight easier" to impeach Bush than to remove Putin. Really? I didn't know that. Thank you so much for your assurances.

I remember people like you from law school, and you have reminded me of why I disliked it.
posted by wuwei at 12:00 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Vince Young: 12 TDs, 13 INTs. 51.5% completion. 146 passing yards per game. 66.7 QB rating.

Matt Leinart: 11TDs 12 INTs (appeared in 3 fewer games). 57% completion. 212 passing yards per game. 74.0 QB rating.


You forgot:
Vince Young: 552 yards rush, 6.7 YPC, 7 TDs (oops, that gives him 19 total, don't it?), 31 first downs...
oh and those two rookie of the year awards.

The original thread was about, of course:
Reggie Bush, 565 yards rush, 3.3 YPC, 6 TDs, 18 1st downs.

yup, VY sure was overrated. never gonna cut it in the NFL.


anyway, back to the high crimes and misdemeanors, shall we?
posted by spiderwire at 12:27 AM on July 3, 2007


I don't believe this story ever had much traction with the American public. It was just a Democratic talking point, much like Whitewater for Republicans in the 90s. It was a big nothing.

It's great to see Republican apologists come out and just admit that the whole 'law and order' and 'justice for all' is nothing but a talking point to them. It's really all about traction.

This entire administration has been a pirate raid on America...and a really successful one at that. They've raided the treasury, destroyed civil liberties, created an executive branch that operates like a dictatorship, and have rewarded the bearers of the skull and crossbones.

It's a good thing that America is openly making that crucial step to kleptocracy. Frankly it's always bothered me that the rich and powerful have to pay lip service to the commoners in America. This is so demeaning and not beneficial to either, really. It's great that we are finally seeing a clear display of disregard for plebian notions on behalf of the ruling class in America. We should celebrate the differences between those are "good people" and those who are not and, as if there's any any doubt about it now, but let's make it clear: Scooter Libby is "good people." It really has to be made very clear that the rich, the powerful, and the well connected are fundamentally different from commoners irregardless of any notions of "all men are created equal." Nobody would actually want to live in a state where justice is perfectly blind and undeniable -- people want choice. Choice == Freedom.
posted by nixerman at 12:29 AM on July 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


b_thinky is impervious to facts.

It doesn't take much courage to chuck right-wing bullshit on mefi, but I'd love to see him tell some die-hard Titans fans that Vince Young can't play.
posted by bardic at 12:38 AM on July 3, 2007


You know, I tried to have a civil discussion with you , and what I get instead is you misrepresenting what I said. I wanted to kick some ideas around. You on the other hand seem to be in the debate team/moot court model. Good for you.

I wasn't trying to be vicious, wuwei, and I apologize if I misunderstood you, but I don't intentionally misrepresent people. The way I argue is just naturally adversarial -- it has nothing to do with "debate" or "law" -- and it's not at all personal. I don't disagree with the sentiment of your arguments so much as the practical effects. I'm not trying to win anything here -- I see a debate as the same thing as kicking ideas around, perhaps, but I want to give your ideas the credit they deserve, so you're welcome to correct me where I misinterpret. I'm not out to "win" anything here, especially not on such a tangential issue.

I did not say that "functionally the US is a failed state." I said, that "There is no accountability for top leadership, and functionally, we ARE like a failed state in that regard." You know exactly what I mean, and you chose to distort it. I'll have a bit more on that in a moment. I know exactly what a failed state is, thank you very much. And no, I'm not going to let you set the terms of the argument such that if a nation is not failed in all aspects of its governance, only then can it submit to the jurisdiction of the ICC.

No, I know what you meant, and I don't disagree with you. I wasn't trying to distort your argument so much as to refer back to my language in describing a "failed state," i.e. the sort of total breakdown of conventional government that the ICC is intended to address. The ultimate point is that while the U.S. might have a lack of accountability at the top of its government, that sort of difficulty in removing a top official is common to many functional governments, and it's not a sufficient criteria for forced intervention by the ICC.

More specifically, I'm not "setting the terms of the argument" in any respect -- I'm telling you that the plain text of the ICC, as well as its commentaries, describe fundamental breakdowns in governance, but absolutely do not contemplate extreme partisanship or poorly-designed accountability procedures.

You are welcome to argue that your premise is correct and point to some authority that would sufficiently define-down the admissibility criteria of Article 17 to include a level of judicial function that would encapsulate the United States' relatively trivial (on an international scale) problems, but I assure you that you won't find it. I've looked.

Again, important though these things (the Libby Pardon, etc.) are to you and me, they are not what the ICC is designed to address. You can see this pretty clearly just on the face of Article 5, I think.

It's a tangential point, but now that I think about it, a lot of nations (how about all of them) have accountability issues with their top leadership. If it takes international institutions to deliver that accountability, then I'm all for it. It's a fundamentally condescending point of view to say that the ICC should not be used against First World (your characterization) states, because if there is to be accountability, it must be for all, or for none. Period.

Don't dispute that in the least. In fact, most of those nations do. But I absolutely did not say that the ICC should not be used against the First World, except insofar as that would threaten the ICC itself. In fact, I said the opposite -- that in an ideal world, the ICC would be used against everyone, but that getting a functional ICC that can deal with the problems in Africa and start setting up justiciable norms of international law is a necessary stepping stone to that point. Trying to load it up with Bush, or Cheney, or Putin, or Musharraf, would create an international crisis and kill the project before it got off the ground. Rome wasn't built in a day. And it wasn't torn down in a day, either.

Frankly, I should have realized that discussion with you was going to veer in this direction, since I noticed your readiness to name drop (Levinson), and to appeal to authority (NDT participation). I had a suspicion, which was confirmed by your last post that distorted what I said, and "assured" me that it would be "a damn sight easier" to impeach Bush than to remove Putin. Really? I didn't know that. Thank you so much for your assurances.

I'm not sure why you're so sensitive about this. My mention of Levinson wasn't name-dropping by any means, and if you'd ever had to sit through one of his classes, you'd probably agree. It's sometimes hard to remember that people out here in the real world seem to take him as some sort of source of authority. I'll say right now: that dude's nuts. But he does talk a lot about impeachment, and deontology, and how many days are left in the Bush Administration. A LOT. (Conlaw, not so much.) As for the NDT "participation," I didn't debate that year, but I did write the file on the ICC, so yeah -- I do have more familiarity with the subject than I wish I did, but I can't really help that. I'm not trying to lord it over anyone, but, well, you asked -- I was just trying to clarify that I was speaking from independent research and not regurgitating something from a classroom. I'm not saying it's special knowledge, nor am I sure what NDT debating counts for (based on my observations, very little) -- so I'm a bit confused as to what you're ascribing to me here.

I'm also not sure what you mean by the Putin comment -- my point was merely that lots of the big-kid-on-the-block countries don't have accountability at the top, but the ICC requires buy-in from all of them, so the only viable compromise is to give the big kids protection. I see it as a question of whether we're going to stand on this ideological soapbox of the last half century (I mean, c'mon, all our Presidents commit war crimes) or get down to the business of trying to fix the worst problems in Africa and elsewhere without to force this instant, utopian consciousness-shift.

We'll get them eventually -- but Bush and Cheney are not going to be hauled before the ICC anytime soon, and doing so would unfortunately be a good way to get it torpedoed. There are a lot of countries in that could really use the ICC right now, so I would see that as a real tragedy, and as a fellow supporter of the ICC, I'd hope that you would, too.
posted by spiderwire at 12:56 AM on July 3, 2007


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by sveskemus at 2:12 AM on July 3, 2007


Maybe I'm just too optimistic, but I believe we have just witnessed the Administration ensuring an across-the-board Republican loss in 2008.

It seems to me that the Libby matter itself was not a huge issue for many people, but the president's action on this will be. The trial was long, confusing, and frankly, boring. But the outcome: defendant judged guilty, president pulls strings to get him off, is clear and to the point.

No matter how you spin it, this looks bad. They can't claim national security on this. They can't claim that the terrorists would win if Libby did time. This looks like, plain and simple, rich and connected elites helping each other out. A president who's pawn got captured but who invoked fiat to keep from losing his piece. And regular folks hate that sh*t.
posted by moonbiter at 3:23 AM on July 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Jesus fucking Christ.

For a bible thumping country touting justice and your own particular brand of way, this adds to a long chain of "Oh no he didn't"-moments that counters 50 years of post-WW2 friendship with < insert country here>
posted by flippant at 4:01 AM on July 3, 2007



So when do we start bombing Iran?
That is next isn't it?
posted by notreally at 5:16 AM on July 3, 2007


(Technicality: Milosevic wasn't brought before the ICC. Carry on.)
posted by gimonca at 5:28 AM on July 3, 2007


Too bad the democrats are such completely spineless pussies and won't do anything about it.

I'm fed up with all of them right now.
posted by empath at 5:39 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also, here is the official communication from the ICC stating that, at least in regards to Iraq, they don't have enough to start a prosecution. Date: Feb. 2006.
posted by gimonca at 5:40 AM on July 3, 2007


Maybe I'm just too optimistic, but I believe we have just witnessed the Administration ensuring an across-the-board Republican loss in 2008.

never underestimate the public revulsion for the spermburping babykillers.
posted by quonsar at 5:46 AM on July 3, 2007


Freedom Medals all around!
posted by zap rowsdower at 5:59 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know, 100 years from now, we'll think of him as a great president.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:33 AM on July 3, 2007


The only consolation in all this is that some ex-CIA types are watching George W. Bush on the television, smiling while they mutter under their breath, "It's on, beeeyotch!"
posted by jonp72 at 6:45 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


You guys have got the impeachment all wrong, although I must admit I have not read nearly all of the 370 some comments. You don't base impeachment upon the pardon, it probably isn't even an impeachable offense. Bush has done so many things which could constitute impeachable offenses already. This pardon just ups the overall outrage at his careless disregard for justice and the manner in which he and his administration hold themselves above the law. That is unacceptable and it is probably time to start seeking his removal, despite the cost to our system of government (the last time around took quite a toll and we don't want to see it become cheapened by being used as a political tool against someone we merely dislike) and the seeming improbability of obtaining a conviction.
posted by caddis at 6:50 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I believe we have just witnessed the Administration ensuring an across-the-board Republican loss in 2008.

I think you are giving Americans too much credit there.
posted by chunking express at 6:54 AM on July 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


You know, 100 years from now, we'll think of him as a great president.

Is that because those of us left alive will be entirely senile at that point?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:00 AM on July 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


You know, 100 years from now, we'll think of him as a great president.

Is that because those of us left alive will be entirely senile at that point?


Naw, naw. You see, the pronoun "we," in that context, refers to the inhabitants of the United States of America. In a hundred years, the inhabitants of the United States of America will be mutant rats and cockroaches everlastingly grateful to the man who left them such a glorious radioactive paradise.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:04 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nixon Articles of Impeachment Adopted by the Committee on the Judiciary (Article 1, paragraph 9):
endeavouring to cause prospective defendants, and individuals duly tried and convicted, to expect favoured treatment and consideration in return for their silence or false testimony, or rewarding individuals for their silence or false testimony.
Actually, most of Article 1 is interesting.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:09 AM on July 3, 2007 [4 favorites]




I can only hope that Bush gets caught receiving an extramarital blowjob.
posted by snowjoe at 8:17 AM on July 3, 2007


Yeah, it's all political.


"As I understand it, Bush political appointee James Comey named Bush political appointee and career prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the Plame leak. Bush political appointee and career prosecutor Fitzgerald filed an indictment and went to trial before Bush political appointee Reggie Walton. A jury convicted Libby, and Bush political appointee Walton sentenced him. At sentencing, Bush political appointee Judge Walton described the evidence against Libby as "overwhelming" and concluded that a 30-month sentence was appropriate. And yet the claim, as I understand it, is that the Libby prosecution was the work of political enemies who were just trying to hurt the Bush Administration."
- Orin Kerr
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:31 AM on July 3, 2007 [5 favorites]


the Libby prosecution was the work of political enemies who were just trying to hurt the Bush Administration.

If you remove the articles from that and pronounce it with a Russian accent, it sounds funnier.
posted by psmealey at 8:38 AM on July 3, 2007


Quoting stammer from a long, long time ago in this thread:

Could the Founding Fathers ever have envisaged such a cunty President?

Semi-Obscure Sci-Fi analogy: If the Founding Fathers were roughly analagous to the Foundation's psychohistorians, creating a system that could last even through societal and technological change, then Cheney/Bush would be the Mule: a genetic freak with extraordinary abilities who easily ruins all the carefully laid plans and safeguards from long ago and creates an empire.
posted by pandaharma at 9:03 AM on July 3, 2007


The original thread was about, of course:
Reggie Bush, 565 yards rush, 3.3 YPC, 6 TDs, 18 1st downs.

yup, VY sure was overrated. never gonna cut it in the NFL.


Well, I was wrong with the Akili comparison, I'll admit it. But the fact remains, he's not a great passer and running QBs are rarely anything but a flash in the pan.

BTW Reggie had 750 receiving yards and damn near led his team to the Super Bowl. The ROY should have been Bush or Devin Hester.

VY got a lot of hype for beating the Texans(!) and the Giants when stupid Mathias Kiwanuka dropped the sure sack cuz he thought the whistle blew. Moron.

At any rate, football is a matter of opinion, but here is a fact: Bush will not be impeached. Period.
posted by b_thinky at 9:25 AM on July 3, 2007


Pandaharma: If the Founding Fathers were roughly analagous to the Foundation's psychohistorians ...

Time for the Second Foundation.
posted by psyche7 at 9:28 AM on July 3, 2007 [3 favorites]




...The key dividing line is who's telling the truth and who's lying. Wilson is on the former side, his critics the latter. Everything else is triviality.

From day one this story has been about official lies -- corrupt power buttressed by fraud. Along the way it became a story about the president's hireling commentators who lost their honor by becoming part of the fraud. What Wilson said was true. His attackers are all parties to the same lie. Don't forget that.

posted by amberglow at 10:04 AM on July 3, 2007


(Technicality: Milosevic wasn't brought before the ICC. Carry on.)

Yeah, but he should have been, that's my point -- the ICC should provide a "single forum" for these sorts of cases.

At any rate, football is a matter of opinion, but here is a fact: Bush will not be impeached. Period.

Yes. I agree that Reggie Bush is unlikely to be impeached by Congress.

The NCAA, however, is a different matter.
posted by spiderwire at 10:06 AM on July 3, 2007




Editor & Publisher:
Editorials Hit Libby's Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card
posted by amberglow at 10:09 AM on July 3, 2007




...One member of the corps yelled repeatedly that Libby was convicted of "obstruction of justice." Another press corps member told Snow, "You are insulting our intelligence." ...
posted by amberglow at 10:37 AM on July 3, 2007


...One member of the corps yelled repeatedly that Libby was convicted of "obstruction of justice." Another press corps member told Snow, "You are insulting our intelligence." ...

Classy move there, cutting her mic. Does Tony have a "mute" button in his pocket, or what?
posted by spiderwire at 11:14 AM on July 3, 2007


Unimpeachably Impeachable
posted by homunculus at 11:32 AM on July 3, 2007


Christ. So he's all but saying outright that Bush will pardon Libby as soon as Libby loses his appeal.

So in other words, Libby will have been investigated, charged, tried, and convicted- twice- and the response will be a pardon from Bush.

The man who was re-elected because of his determination to end "judicial activism."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:36 AM on July 3, 2007


Libby was going to be pardoned at the end of Bush's term, regardless. Commuting his sentence now was just to keep him out of jail. And rest assured, the $250k won't be coming out of his pocket, either. It's his reward for keeping his mouth shut, helping to ensure the rest of them don't go down.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:32 PM on July 3, 2007


Bush will not be impeached. Period.

Democrats calling for his impeachment would be stupid. As we learned under Clinton, it made him more popular.

Nah -- let Bush stay in office, and let the word "Republican" continue to degenerate into a slur.

But nice of you to change the subject, yet again.
posted by bardic at 12:36 PM on July 3, 2007


i've read his "defense fund" raised over 5 million anyway, so the fine isn't even any punishment. This is totally to protect Bush and Cheney and not rewarding Libby as much at all. They don't really reward loyalty at all--they use people and throw them away or place them elsewhere.
posted by amberglow at 12:37 PM on July 3, 2007


All this is really what we knew about Georgie-boy from the beginning, though, isn't it...?

That, basically, he's a rich frat boy who will do whatever he wants to do and, because of his position or family connections, will get away with it. Oh, and he'll use whatever argument he can to justify it, which may be folksy, uberpatriotic or hyperchristian, depending on which he feels is called for at the time.

We've known this about Bush since before he was elected. There's nothing new here, really, except the logical manifestation of character flaws we all saw a mile away. "You knew I was a snake when you picked me up!"

The people that voted for this whistle-ass are the ones who seriously need to hang their heads in shame...
posted by darkstar at 12:43 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


The reason Libby's sentence is being commuted instead of pardoned is because if pardoned, libby loses the right to plead the fifth under oath.

The reason Gonzalez is still AG is because if Gonzo gets g0nz0r3d, the new AG will never pass congressional approval without pledging to start a lot of investigations Gonzalez is unwilling to commence.

Their wagons are circled.
A RICO prosecution is starting to seem like the way to go.
posted by Fupped Duck at 12:46 PM on July 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


And frankly, I'm glad Bush had to commute now. Had he waited until the last days of his presidency for the slew of crony-pardoning, it would be too late to have an effect on the electorate.

This way, it happens before the '08 elections, when it just goes to add to the growing heap of disgust at Bush and his Republican enablers like Fred Thompson.
posted by darkstar at 12:46 PM on July 3, 2007


More from Tony Snow

QUESTION: If there are more than 3,000 current petitions for commutation — not pardons, but commutation — in the federal system, under President Bush, will all 3,000 of those be held to the same standard that the president applied to Scooter Libby?

SNOW: I don’t know.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:50 PM on July 3, 2007


A RICO prosecution is starting to seem like the way to go.

Yes, if there's one thing we've learned in the last 48 hours, it's that judicial actions will be effective against this Administration.
posted by spiderwire at 12:51 PM on July 3, 2007


...ex-CIA types...smiling while they mutter under their breath, "It's on, beeeyotch!"

"Beware the fury of a patient man" -- Dryden
posted by pax digita at 1:02 PM on July 3, 2007


Yes, if there's one thing we've learned in the last 48 hours, it's that judicial actions will be effective against this Administration.

Tax fraud! That's how they got Al Capone.
posted by Artw at 1:29 PM on July 3, 2007


"And frankly, I'm glad Bush had to commute now. Had he waited until the last days of his presidency for the slew of crony-pardoning, it would be too late to have an effect on the electorate."

Oh, just you wait. I'm sure if Bush's shitpile was so deep that Libby was the first one he got to, he'll be pardoning evil so black that we haven't even seen it yet by the end of his turn. It'll be sheer comic-bookery ("The Dark Phoenix, who killed 5 billion people? She's a campaign contributor. Why the hell not?").

And, like every cynical and depressing prediction I've made since he gained office, it'll come true.
posted by klangklangston at 1:34 PM on July 3, 2007




Hey, do you remember that one time, when, like, Bush's Cabinet guy got thrown out for shoplifting? ...That was awesome.
posted by spiderwire at 1:49 PM on July 3, 2007




"...say, what are the most current odds on whether there are going to be elections when the terms up?"

100%. I've said it before here and elsewhere, there will be elections. It's the one thing they must keep doing because as long as there are elections with more than one candidate from more than one party, Americans will feel like the system is still working - even if the elections are complete scams and the rest of the system is visibly broken.
posted by zoogleplex at 2:00 PM on July 3, 2007


Money quote from above: "The Plame investigation was urged by the Bush CIA and commenced by the Bush DOJ, Libby's conviction pursued by a Bush-appointed federal prosecutor, his jail sentence imposed by a Bush-appointed "tough-on-crime" federal judge, all pursuant to harsh and merciless criminal laws urged on by the "tough-on-crime/no-mercy" GOP. Lewis Libby was sent to prison by the system constructed and desired by the very Republican movement protesting his plight."

Even when Republicans control every imaginable aspect of the power-machine, they still find ways to break their own rules. Disgusting.
posted by bardic at 2:02 PM on July 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


This commutation is a muzzle and leash on Libby until the pardon comes at the end of the term. Now Libby doesn't have to serve time, can't talk, and is still under a cloud--he's right where Bush and Cheney like people to be.
posted by amberglow at 3:02 PM on July 3, 2007


This has already moved to minor story status on CNN.

I say there is no more law. The law is dead. Do what you will shall be the law.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:13 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


100%. I've said it before here and elsewhere, there will be elections. It's the one thing they must keep doing because as long as there are elections with more than one candidate from more than one party, Americans will feel like the system is still working - even if the elections are complete scams and the rest of the system is visibly broken.

If he's not under impeachment at the end of his term, Bush can issue a complete, retroactive/prospective pardon to all members of his Administration, and he can do it as a "personal" decision, absorbing all responsibility -- he's under no duty to consult and is bound by nothing but the impeachment exemption. He could sell it just like the Libby commutation -- rising above politics, uniter not a divider, forgive and move forward, blah blah. No legal recourse.
posted by spiderwire at 3:26 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Look at the NY Times spinning this in a new direction for the administration-- Commuting Prison Term Is Implicit Critique of Sentencing Standards

appalling.
posted by amberglow at 4:56 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's moments like these that keep me thankful that I'm Canadian.

.Wow.
posted by sunshinesky at 5:08 PM on July 3, 2007


I don't see that article spinning it in favor of the admin. If anything, it points out the hypocrisy of Mr. Rita's sentence vis a vis Mr. Libby's sentence.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:10 PM on July 3, 2007




Is it me or is this story not exactly dying away?
posted by unSane at 6:00 PM on July 3, 2007


UHm lessons learned:

1. give somebody some power, they will use it
2. if they don't fear retribution, they will abuse it
3. that why something out to be protected by a right
4. but a right with no outspoken, strike and protest popular support isn't really a right
posted by elpapacito at 6:20 PM on July 3, 2007


A "right" is a contract for which humans are willing to fight to the death.
posted by taosbat at 7:09 PM on July 3, 2007


Winner takes all.
posted by taosbat at 7:10 PM on July 3, 2007


Kung-Fu Monkey, the Crazification Factor people, has a great post that relates Bush commuting Libby's sentence with exploits in video games. After I read this the little Gene Wilder who lives in my head said: Wow!
posted by JHarris at 8:24 PM on July 3, 2007


So I notice there were no protests or riots in the street or any real fuss at all outside of the "blogosphere". I guess people weren't as outraged as they claimed to be?
posted by nightchrome at 8:56 PM on July 3, 2007


Sigh.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:10 PM on July 3, 2007


Well...
posted by taosbat at 9:14 PM on July 3, 2007




I guess people weren't as outraged as they claimed to be?

I dunno 'bout that, Binky. I saw bunches of indignation 'round the office water cooler today from older ladies who are largely apolitical and (frankly) oblivious to the regular outrages of Team Bush. That tells me it very well might be spreading more than you think. Granted, mine is a small barometer, but people simply don't like reckless arrogance, rigged games and special treatment for the rich. The indignation reflects this; they zeroed in on things that hadn't occurred to me ("I sat on a jury for month and if some weasle came in and swept that away, I'd be out for blood!", etc.)

It is time to impeach.

Anything short of criminal investigations with an eye toward impeachment will be met with the same chickenshit tactic.
posted by RavinDave at 9:52 PM on July 3, 2007


RavinDave: It most likely is time to impeach, as you say. The problem, however, is that those in a position to start such a ball rolling are extremely unlikely to do so. And no amount of indignation and outrage on the blogosphere or around the watercooler seems likely to change that. I look forward to being wrong though, if such a thing occurs.
posted by nightchrome at 10:12 PM on July 3, 2007


What I don't understand is why there haven't been attempts at assassination. Apparently you have a significant number of citizens with long arms. You all may not be able to peg someone from two and a half kilometres out but surely these guys must be in range at least occasionally.

Or heck even a gun or bomb toting UAV. I've seen the stock cars that get hand built in garages all over the country, a UAV shouldn't be much of a problem.
posted by Mitheral at 10:19 PM on July 3, 2007


No one wants to see that.

We want to see the laws of the country work the way they are supposed to work and they want to see their politicians take the moral stand.

Anything else says we've failed as a country.
posted by RavinDave at 10:24 PM on July 3, 2007 [7 favorites]


Well said, RD. What's on the sacrificial altar here is the ideal of a "nation of laws, not men" -- a nation of vigilantes isn't exactly preferable. We need redemption, not revenge.

nation of women and any other gender, too, of course
posted by spiderwire at 10:31 PM on July 3, 2007


What I don't understand is why there haven't been attempts at assassination.

Two words: President Cheney.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:41 PM on July 3, 2007




So I notice there were no protests or riots in the street or any real fuss at all outside of the "blogosphere". I guess people weren't as outraged as they claimed to be?

Because this isn't BananaFuckistan and no one's going to storm Generalissimo Francisco Dipshit's compound.

We has a fuckhead in the White House right now. That's OK. We've had plenty of fuckheads there before. And it's still better than what the vast majority of the other 5,600,000,000 people on this rock have.

You think this letter on my head stands for France?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:09 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cool Papa Bell: See, the thing is, from the outside it sure as heck looks like BananaFuckistan. Oh yeah, also, that guy with the letter on his head? Like the effectiveness of the rule of law in your country, he's dead.
posted by nightchrome at 11:43 PM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


re: Keith Olbermann on YouTube.

I don't think I've ever seen four pages of YouTube comments unanimously condemning Bush before tonight.

I guess he IS the great "Uniter".
posted by RavinDave at 11:47 PM on July 3, 2007


Like the effectiveness of the rule of law in your country, he's dead.

Say it ain't so! ;-)

Besides, he'll be dead for about the same amount of time as Superman. Unfortunately, before the true resurrection, there will be four Caps, and one of them will be a robot.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:56 PM on July 3, 2007


CPB: Last I heard, there was talk of the Punisher taking up the shield. In light of how things are right now in the US, that almost seems appropriate.
posted by nightchrome at 12:04 AM on July 4, 2007


CunningLinguist writes "Two words: President Cheney."

I wasn't limiting it to just the president, I'd imagine the psychopaths would target anyone who's face is known. In fact the second stringers are going to be easier targets while still delivering the message that just because you're budz with the prez doesn't mean there are no consequences. It's just surprising to me that it doesn't happen considering the poor impulse control of much of the public.
posted by Mitheral at 2:04 AM on July 4, 2007


I wasn't limiting it to just the president, I'd imagine the psychopaths would target anyone who's face is known. In fact the second stringers are going to be easier targets while still delivering the message that just because you're budz with the prez doesn't mean there are no consequences. It's just surprising to me that it doesn't happen considering the poor impulse control of much of the public.

You missed the point. If something were to happen to President Bush, we would then have President Cheney. They almost never travel together, so the change of both of them being simultaneous targets is next to nil.
posted by spiderwire at 6:02 AM on July 4, 2007


"spermburping babykillers"

Hey quonsar, what's that?
posted by davy at 6:58 AM on July 4, 2007


I think people who are living in BananaFuckistan probably don't know they're living in BananaFuckistan.

Kind of like a fish doesn't know it's in water.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:00 AM on July 4, 2007


A Constitutional Crisis? by Scott Horton at Harper's.
posted by chunking express at 8:05 AM on July 4, 2007


I sat down last night to send yet another email to my congressman, and found myself totally blocked. I just don't have the words to describe my (out)rage. I also don't know what to do to light a fire under the people who could do something about this. I don't sense any real urgency in the statements I hear from the other pols.
posted by RussHy at 10:27 AM on July 4, 2007


Russ, you can tell them to investigate all of this, to impeach, to do their jobs, to grow a pair, to do something before you put a primary challenger in front of them, to withhold all donations in future, ...

more journamalism from the Times-- Bush Is Said to Have Held Long Debate on Decision, and a response by digby.

So far, we've heard that this happened because of their deep concern with sentencing and the rule of law and justice, and also that it took weeks and it was a very very hard decision --because they're all such deliberative and nuanced people--and thoughtfully arrived at. What's next?
posted by amberglow at 10:38 AM on July 4, 2007


I'm not so sure a letter to your congress man will do much of anything. Haven't people been writing letters for 7 years now? Somehow I doubt letters influence policy at all.
posted by chunking express at 10:45 AM on July 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cato institute: Commute these, Mr. President.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:49 AM on July 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


From one of my UK friends:

> Subject: Happy Fourth of July
>
> I gather that means something over there...
> Is it when your king lets a
> murderer go free or something?
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on July 4, 2007


Also from Harper's: A Bill of Indictment.
posted by chunking express at 11:29 AM on July 4, 2007




Even Paris Hilton did more time than Libby. This article is full of rage.
posted by chunking express at 1:44 PM on July 4, 2007


Wow. Now the Cato Institute. Could this be the surely-this that breaks the camel's back? This of all things? (Please, please dear god, let it be this.)

I think one of the problems here is that so many of us are like RussHy, with the rage building to non-verbal levels. I'd like the administration to end before I'm unable to say anything other than "HRGGH! RARRGH! GRAWWR!"

Cool Papa Bell: And it's still better than what the vast majority of the other 5,600,000,000 people on this rock have.

1. Your math is off by roughly 800M. Population of the world - population of the united states.
2. It's nice that you have to resort to including the population of the vast third world to make the U.S. look better, especially since we're among the reasons many of them have it so bad. Especially 27.5M of them.
posted by JHarris at 1:55 PM on July 4, 2007




JHarris, the Administration hasn't been able to regard Cato as a reliable ally, ever. They've opposed the Iraq war from the beginning and they're violently opposed to the sort of mandatory sentencing rules that the Administration has been pushing hard (only to flout preposterously in the sole case of Scooter) as recently as two weeks ago. Cato's quarrel is not necessarily that discretion was retroactively used in Libby's case -- though they're surely notin favor of such a nakedly autocratic and cronyistic action) but that equivalent judicial discretion is increasingly proscribed by the same Administration.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:07 PM on July 4, 2007


So today is the 4th, which I'm pretty sure is supposed to be the Big Day for the USA, lots of parades and rallies and fireworks and shit, right? Almost like Christmas season, but warm and squeezed into one day.

And it's about twenty to seven, Pacific, so it's pretty much the end of the day, especially for those out east.

Did anything happen today? Did everyone make an effort to speak to their representatives? At all levels of government? Take part in a rally, or spontaneously create one?

My guess, though, is that even too much isn't enough to make citizens do much of anything. Nothing will change, and this Administration will continue to tell you, the citizen to just go fuck yourself. And you will.

Gods, I hope I'm wrong.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:50 PM on July 4, 2007


Did anything happen today?

Fuck, yeah! An American smoked that slack-jawed foreign feller' in the Nathan®'s Hot Dog eatin' contest at Coney Island. U-S-A, U-S-A!!!

Hot dogs and circuses for all!!! Woo-hoo, woo-hoo. We're fuckin' NUMBER ONE! Go U-S-A!!!
posted by ericb at 7:10 PM on July 4, 2007


I think I detect a note of cynicism in your voice. Something about the way you've dotted your eyes.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:55 PM on July 4, 2007


D-oh! i's, of course, not eyes! [baps forehead]
posted by five fresh fish at 7:56 PM on July 4, 2007


five fresh fish: It appears you're not.
posted by nightchrome at 7:56 PM on July 4, 2007


Delicious bar-b-q was queued
Beer ensued
Fireworks issued
Fuck you, foreign dude!
posted by taosbat at 10:55 PM on July 4, 2007


Delicious bar-b-q was queued
Beer ensued
Fireworks issued
Fuck you, foreign dude!


And ironically, neither barbeque, beer nor fireworks are American inventions.

We're all very different people, we're not Watusi, we're not Spartans ... We're Americans, with a capital A, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're underdogs, we're mutts! ... Here's proof: his nose is cold ... But there's no animal that's more faithful, that's more loyal, more loveable than the mutt. Who saw 'Old Yeller?' Who cried when Old Yeller got shot at the end? Nobody cried when Old Yeller got shot?

* hands are reluctantly raised*

Yeah, I cried my eyes out.

--John Winger (Bill Murray), "Stripes"

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:00 PM on July 4, 2007


Yup, & we never say queue.
posted by taosbat at 11:06 PM on July 4, 2007


And ironically, neither barbeque, beer nor fireworks are American inventions.

Are you talking about grilling meat in general? Because American BBQ is definitely an American invention.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:30 AM on July 5, 2007


Okay, reposting this here as it was deleted as an FPP

Keith Olbermann being eloquently furious over Libby pardon.
posted by Zinger at 5:41 AM on July 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Here in the south, barbecue has absolutely nothing to do with grilling, except that there's meat and there's heat involved.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:53 AM on July 5, 2007


Welll, Zinger... it's already upthread a couple times. :)

Damn these MeFites, it's so tough to get a jump on them.
posted by The Deej at 10:51 AM on July 5, 2007






Words, just words.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:59 PM on July 5, 2007


Too bad the husband of the covert CIA operative outed by the Bush administration, Valerie Plame isn't running as a candidate for the 2008 presidential election.
posted by acro at 2:43 PM on July 5, 2007


five fresh fish: It's looking like blogospheric outrage is all they can muster anymore. It will probably blow over in a few days as soon as Paris Hilton does something new.
posted by nightchrome at 5:24 PM on July 5, 2007




I've seen it written a few times that Bush could hold a press conference and bite the head off a puppy, and nobody would do anything beyond blogging about how outraged they are.
I'm starting to think that's fact, not hyperbole.
posted by nightchrome at 9:41 PM on July 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


nobody would do anything beyond blogging about how outraged they are

Agreed, but I think that indicates how broken the Constitution is (or else how unimaginative our legislators are at dealing with it). We have an incompetent, dangerous self-dealing fool at the highest level of power in this country, and there is seemingly no mechanism for removing him or containing the damage wrought by his decisions.

I'm not sure it's the ideal form of government, but I can't help but wonder if a British style parliamentary system would not be a bit better for us. Then again, if we had has this form of government over the last 20 years, Clinton would have been knocked out after 2 years, and we likely would have had 10+ years of Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay as prime minister.
posted by psmealey at 5:54 AM on July 6, 2007


We have multiple mechanisms, but they're afraid to use them--censure, impeachment, withdrawal of all funding, obstruction of all bills and laws and actions from now until he's gone, filibusters, legal actions in courts including civil and criminal charges, ...
posted by amberglow at 10:37 AM on July 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


The 9-11/War On terror/Iraq nonsense has been their bubble of invulnerablity, and they've exploited it to the full. I'd like to think of it as them giving themsleves enough rope to hang themselves, but let's face it the chances of anyone directly involved facing any consequences are increasingly slim.

Let's hope those associated with the Bush Admin and hoping to carry on the torch suffer enough splash damage to take them out.
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on July 6, 2007


censure, impeachment, withdrawal of all funding, ...

(Some) American's have been waiting for their politicians to do their job, and that clearly isn't going to happen. People need to get out on the streets and start protesting on mass. The democrats aren't going to do shit.
posted by chunking express at 11:49 AM on July 6, 2007


The only possible use the Democrats can be is that Republicans might get so terrified that the public will lvote against them they'll start turning on themselves. Clearly the Dems aren't going to do anything worthwhile themselves.
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on July 6, 2007




Shocking!

Bush needs to cancel American Idol. Then people would be tearing shit up.
posted by chunking express at 12:17 PM on July 6, 2007


A majority of Americans oppose the commutation.....and favor impeaching Cheney.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:26 PM on July 6, 2007


Hey look! That's more than ever wanted to impeach Clinton. Indeed, more people want Bush impeached, even though it's not a majority, than ever wanted Clinton impeached.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:34 PM on July 6, 2007


More people also want them impaled on long wooden stakes outside of the White House.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:35 PM on July 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


Remember that episode of The West Wing where Bartlett was under fire and in danger of criminal indictment, so to avoid that trouble, he and his people conjured up a plan where Republicans in Congress would take the matter away from the prosecutors and impeach Bartlett instead, since impeachment is completely stupid? That was a great one. And a good strategy on Clinton's part. I mean Bartlett. Bartlett. Not Clinton. Sorry.
posted by The World Famous at 1:41 PM on July 6, 2007


"The disposition of all of the plaintiffs' claims depends upon the single fact that the plaintiffs have failed to provide evidence that they are personally subject to the [Terrorist Surveillance Program]. Without this evidence, on a motion for summary judgment, the plaintiffs cannot establish standing for any of their claims, constitutional or statutory..."

Who knew that all you had to do to violate the civil liberties of Americans is to simply cloak the violation in National Security so no one can prove standing. Judge Gilman's dissent is the reasonable approach.

"The closest question in this case, in my opinion, is whether the plaintiffs have the standing to sue. Once past that hurdle, however, the rest gets progressively easier. Mootness is not a problem because of the government's position that it retains the right to opt out of the FISA regime whenever it chooses. Its AUMF and inherent-authority arguments are weak in light of existing precedent and the rules of statutory construction. Finally, when faced with the clear wording of FISA and Title III that these statutes provide the 'exclusive means' for the government to engage in electronic surveillance within the United States for foreign intelligence purposes, the conclusion becomes inescapable that the TSP was unlawful. I would therefore affirm the judgment of the district court." (my emphasis)
posted by effwerd at 2:52 PM on July 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


My first thought on hearing the loss on appeal today was, "That's a hell of a catch, Catch-22."
posted by klangklangston at 2:56 PM on July 6, 2007


And they're still lying to us daily in and about Iraq: The U.S. command in Baghdad this week ballyhooed the killing of a key al Qaeda leader but later admitted that the military had declared him dead a year ago.

A military spokesman acknowledged the mistake after it was called to his attention by The Examiner. He said public affairs officers will be more careful in announcing significant kills. ...

posted by amberglow at 4:28 PM on July 6, 2007


It's late Friday. AFAIK, nobody done nothing about anything.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:21 PM on July 6, 2007


It's late Friday. AFAIK, nobody done nothing about anything.

Late Friday means it's time for another DOJ staffer to resign. /small blessings
posted by amberglow at 6:22 PM on July 6, 2007




Been a couple of days now. No consequences.
Dunno why I thought this would stir people to action, I probably should have known better given all the lost opportunities so far.
So we're all in agreement now, it's a dictatorship at worst oligarchy at best and you guys are fine with it that way?
posted by nightchrome at 5:08 PM on July 8, 2007


Been a couple of days now. No consequences.
Dunno why I thought this would stir people to action


Exactly what action did you expect?

Bush supporters, obviously, aren't going to do anything.

Independents just shrug it off as politics as usual, and are just waiting for the end of the Bush term.

Democrats are not going to waste their time and resources in trying to impeach a lame duck president, when they would rather putting their efforts into getting elected to the White House.

It's legal for a president to pardon or commute sentences. We all know what's right and what's legal are entirely different things.
posted by The Deej at 6:44 PM on July 8, 2007


Dunno why I thought this would stir people to action, I probably should have known better given all the lost opportunities so far.

You sound like the political version of the Simpsons' Comic Book Guy. "Last night's 'Itchy and Scratchy Show' was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever. Rest assured, I was on the Internet within minutes, registering my disgust throughout the world."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:51 PM on July 8, 2007


Cool Papa Bell: Yes, and apparently I was not the only one. It seems there's nothing left but Comic Book Guy style ranters in the world.
I'm not American, I dunno why this bothers me so much. I guess it's kind of like watching someone you used to be friends with get really drunk at a party and make a complete ass of themselves, groping women, starting fights, puking in the corner, etc.
posted by nightchrome at 8:43 PM on July 8, 2007


nightchrome,
This is just off-the-cuff (outta-my-arse) speculation / guessing / stream-of-conciousness (as an American).

The idea of individual liberty and freedom, enjoyed by Americans, sometimes precludes focused outrage and rebellion against the actions of any administration. In other words, there is a feeling that whatever Bush (or Clinton, or Bush I, or Reagan, etc.) does for his cronies really has no effect on my life. I can work where I want, start whatever business I want, go where I want, and do what I want as long as it's legal.

It's not until government action or inaction begins to have direct consequences on large numbers of us that we take to the streets. The civil rights movement and Viet Nam are ready examples. Protests for awareness regarding AIDS is another example, once it affected enough people that it couldn't be ignored. And in the case of Iraq, the casualties are nowhere near Viet Nam levels, so, even though public sentiment is decidedly more and more against our presence there, it has not reached the tipping point required for Viet Nam-level public outcry. Additionally, the majority of active military personnel, patriotic and brave individuals, do not come home and cry out against the war to their friends and families. They are proud to serve their country, and see themselves as part of a noble cause. Also, unlike Viet Nam, there is no draft, so you don't have tens of thousands of people being suddenly taken from their loved ones and shipped oversees without having volunteered.

I think to a degree, a certainly kind of apathy can be a good thing. It's easy for people to blame government for their own failures, or lack of ambition. (A great line from Raising Arizona. Nick Cage, playing a petty criminal narrates: "I tried to stand up and fly straight, but it wasn't easy with that sumbitch Reagan in the White House. I dunno. They say he's a decent man, so maybe his advisors are confused.") Having enough apathy, if that's the right word, to understand that you can still be happy and succeed no matter who sits in the White House, can be a valuable thing.

But then there's the flip side: thinking that nothing we do matters, and forgetting that our system is government of, by, and for the people, and not realizing that not holding our public servants accountable simply encourages more of the same behavior we despise. Our greatest power is the power of the vote. That is a great power, in many cases. But with a lame duck president, it's not much power at all. In fact, I am convinced that Bush knows nothing he does can hurt the Republicans in the presidential bid, because it's highly unlikely a Republican has a chance of winning anyway. You also have the relatively unusual situation of the sitting vice-president not running, which removes another layer of accountability.

Compared to the Iraq situation (among many others where the administration has lost the public trust) the Libby matter is of little consequence. Why would there be marches in the streets over Libby, when the 70% of Americans who disagree with the war do so in the comfort of their homes?

Whether Bush would have commuted Libby's sentence under other circumstances, we can never know. That Americans are complacent is a fact.
posted by The Deej at 10:22 PM on July 8, 2007


...President Bush invoked executive privilege Monday to deny requests by Congress for testimony from two former aides in connection with the firings of federal prosecutors.

The White House, however, did offer again to make former counsel Harriet Miers and one-time political director Sara Taylor available for private, off-the-record interviews.
...


Now they're claiming it for ex-employees too. Unbelievable.
posted by amberglow at 8:52 AM on July 9, 2007


Unbelievable? No, completely believable. This is an administration that has figured out the American people are a bunch of lazy fucks who won't bother to get off their ass to even bother calling their representative, let alone march in a demonstration.

This administration's transformation of the USA into a semi-dictatorship will continue unimpeded.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:45 AM on July 9, 2007


unimpeded... till the election anyway.
posted by The Deej at 3:23 PM on July 9, 2007


...just before they make it a full-blown dictatorship.

Bush/Cheney '08 ... They've already gotten away with so much.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:25 PM on July 9, 2007


Speaking of dictatorship: Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional committee today that top officials in the Bush administration repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.

Dr. Carmona, who served as surgeon general from 2002 to 2006, said White House officials would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues because of political concerns. Top administration officials delayed for years and attempted to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand tobacco smoke, he said in sworn testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

He was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of every speech he gave, Dr. Carmona said. He was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings, at least one of which included Karl Rove, the president’s senior political adviser, he said.

And administration officials even discouraged him from attending the Special Olympics because, he said, of that charitable organization’s longtime ties to the Kennedy family.
...

posted by amberglow at 4:59 PM on July 10, 2007


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