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February 17, 2009

Even VP Cheney couldn't convince President Bush to grant one more pardon

The New York Daily News has this notable new piece reporting that Dick Cheney made a major (but still failed) final push to get President Bush to pardon Scooter Libby. Here are some of the details:

In the waning days of the Bush administration, Vice President Dick Cheney launched a last-ditch campaign to persuade his boss to pardon Lewis (Scooter) Libby — and was furious when President George W. Bush wouldn't budge.

Sources close to Cheney told the Daily News the former vice president repeatedly pressed Bush to pardon Libby, arguing his ex-chief of staff and longtime alter ego deserved a full exoneration — even though Bush had already kept Libby out of jail by commuting his 30-month prison sentence. "He tried to make it happen right up until the very end," one Cheney associate said.

In multiple conversations, both in person and over the telephone, Cheney tried to get Bush to change his mind.... Several sources confirmed Cheney refused to take no for an answer.  "He went to the mat and came back and back and back at Bush," a Cheney defender said.  "He was still trying the day before Obama was sworn in."

After repeatedly telling Cheney his mind was made up, Bush became so exasperated with Cheney's persistence he told aides he didn't want to discuss the matter any further.  The unsuccessful full-court press left Cheney bitter.  "He's furious with Bush," a Cheney source told The News....

In July 2007, at Cheney's urging, Bush commuted Libby's 30-month prison sentence.  But he also said, "I respect the jury's verdict" and noted that his decision "leaves in place a harsh punishment" for the man often described as "Cheney's Cheney."  Libby was fined $250,000, and as a convicted felon, he has been disbarred from practicing law and cannot vote.

February 17, 2009 at 07:04 AM | Permalink


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Mr. Cheney to advance his cause--a pardon for Scooter Libby--might do well to listen to the counsel he gave to the Kimmel family.

In 1989, then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney counseled that to advance their cause--posthumous advancement of Rear Admiral Kimmel on the retired list to admiral--the Kimmel family should obtain endorsements from:
1) the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association;
2) Admiral Arleigh Burke;
3) other "voices of that time;" and
4) the United States Senate. He said that until such endorsements were obtained "advice to the President [to advance Kimmel] would not be prudent."

Accordingly, since then we have obtained all of Mr. Cheney's suggested written endorsements and much more (see my website: www.pearlharbor911attacks.com for details).

Presented with the preceding endorsements by my father and uncle in 1991, Mr. Cheney replied "that the promotion process is not the way to address the issue of your father’s place in history.” He made no suggestion as to what the way was.

Tom Kimmel,
eldest grandson of Admiral Kimmel

Posted by: Tom Kimmel | Feb 19, 2009 2:10:16 PM

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