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May 29, 2008

Passage from McClellan's book on the Libby commutation

Mclellan Thanks to this post at TalkLeft I saw this post from Christopher Bateman at Vanity Fair titled "McClellan Disappointed (and McCain Still Mum) About Libby Commutation."  Here are highlights:

Scott McClellan’s bombshell book... [includes] a forceful denunciation of President Bush’s decision to commute Scooter Libby’s sentence after his conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice in the Valerie Plame affair:

It’s … clear to me that Scooter Libby was guilty of the perjury and obstruction crimes for which he was convicted. When the president commuted Libby’s prison sentence and thereby protected him from serving even one day behind bars, I was disappointed.  This kind of special treatment undermines our system of justice…. President Bush certainly has the right and the power to commute Libby’s sentence.  But in choosing to do so, he sent an unfortunate message to America and the world — that in the United States criminal behavior on behalf of a political cause may go unpunished if those who support that cause have the power to make it happen.

The Vanity Fair post goes on to not that John McCain was spoke out on behalf of Libby in 2007 but that "McCain has declined to speak about the commutation, and his campaign has not returned VF Daily’s request to comment on McClellan’s statements." Needless to say, I think (along surely with folks at Pardon Power) that the Libby commutation should be a campaign issue in the weeks and months ahead.

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May 29, 2008 at 05:30 PM | Permalink


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Why in the world should the Libby clemency be a campaign issue? It doesn't say much about our system. The average criminal is not subject to an independent counsel investigation arising out of doing his government job. Moreover, there are very legitimate questions about the continuation of the investigation after Armitage stated that he was the source of the "leak".

But most importantly, Bush is not on the ballot. I think Doug just has a bee in his bonnet about the Libby pardon.

Posted by: federalist | May 29, 2008 6:09:16 PM

Libby's commutation is symptomatic of the current administration's perceived double standards, one set for them, one set for everyone else. Libby's commutation was a ham-handed way of shutting him up and getting the story off the front page as a pardon would have meant Congress could subpoena him. Meanwhile, numerous other commutations & clemency petitions have seen themselves shuffled to the bottom of the deck.

Posted by: karl | May 29, 2008 6:49:09 PM

yeah, karl, Bush is the only president to commute the sentence of a guy who's crime arose strictly out of the duties of his office and who was subject to a political investigation . . . .

A better indication of the them/ordinary people disparity would be Mel Reynolds.

I know it was a drag that Fitzmas never came through and that Rove was not frog-marched, but get over it. Now that the moratorium has been lifted, there are more victims, prosecutors, jurors and judges to smear, something which gives you unique delight.

Posted by: federalist | May 30, 2008 12:44:01 PM

It's a campaign issue because rather than disavow everything the current regime stands for--which the Libby commutation certainly represents--McCain has stated on the record that he will continue many of the policies begun by the current regime. Thus, the matter should be at the forefront of the campaign.

Posted by: mark | May 30, 2008 1:55:08 PM

mark, consider me completely underwhelmed by the logic in your post.

Posted by: wow | May 30, 2008 2:59:51 PM

"Regime" is an interesting choice of words for an Administration headed by a democratically elected President. Mark, are you a KosKid?

Somehow I doubt the Obama general election campaign will be taking a lot of advice from mark.

Posted by: federalist | May 30, 2008 3:07:24 PM

Perhaps "democratically elected" should be put in quotations? In any event, the actions of the current regime--which surely reveal more than its words--shows that it has little respect for the "democratic" elements of our system of governance or our founding charter. If anyone believes that my disgust at what our government has become under these people is unusual or out of the ordinary, you will most assuredly have a startling wakeup call in early November.

Posted by: mark | May 31, 2008 8:10:42 AM

and what exactly does that have to do with McCain (you know, the guy who says he would have fired Rumsfeld early on)? From now on, anyone who lionizes Teddy Kennedy will also be announcing their approval of killing young campaign volunteers.

Posted by: wow | May 31, 2008 10:08:43 AM

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