Monday, July 02, 2007

Breaking: Bush Commutes Libby's Prison Term

Just coming in via BBC News...Bush has commuted Scooter Libby's jail sentence but he'll still have to pay the fine and be on probation.

Checking for a news story link now...

Update via Bloomberg:

July 2 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush commuted Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby's prison term in the CIA leak case, saying the 2 1/2 year prison term was ``excessive.''

Libby, 56, was convicted of lying to investigators probing the 2003 leak of CIA official Valerie Plame's identity. Backers of Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, had argued for a pardon. Bush acted after a U.S. appellate court today refused to let Libby stay out of prison during his appeal.

``My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby,'' Bush said in a statement. ``The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long- lasting.''

The president's action means that Libby's conviction still stands and he is still required to pay the $250,000 fine ordered by a federal judge.

And let's not forget what Libby was convicted of:

Libby was convicted of obstructing justice, perjury and making false statements. He resigned as Cheney's chief of staff upon being indicted in 2005.

Libby was found guilty of lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and a grand jury probing whether the Bush administration deliberately leaked Plame's identity to retaliate against her husband, Joseph Wilson. In a New York Times column on July 6, 2003, Wilson accused the government of twisting intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq earlier that year.

Yet his prison term was seen as "excessive"? If Joe Average had been guilty of those crimes and received the same lax sentence does anyone honestly think Bush would give a flying fart? Not bloody likely.

So Libby will still be a convicted felon. Big bloody deal. I'm sure he'll find a cushy Washington consulting job in no time flat while raking in the millions to pay his relative pittance of a fine.

It's obvious that none of these administration criminals will ever be brought to justice. They'll all just sail off into the sunset waving and smiling while leaving the rest of the world to clean up the horrendous mess they've left behind. Every damn one of them belongs in jail.

Update: The announcement to commute Libby's sentence followed the news on Monday that Libby's bid for bail was denied. You can read Bush's statement here. He even revisits the particulars of the case and makes himself the ultimate judge and jury.

Shorter Bush version: This administration has absolutely no respect for the law and spits on the legal process repeatedly when it doesn't get exactly what it wants.

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