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AAAARRRRGGGHH!

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suetu



Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 1447
Location: San Francisco, CA
AAAARRRRGGGHH!  Reply with quote  

Bush commutes Libby prison sentence
By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer
18 minutes ago

President Bush spared former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from a 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case Monday, stepping into a criminal case with heavy political overtones on grounds that the sentence was just too harsh.

Bush's move came hours after a federal appeals panel ruled Libby could not delay his prison term in the CIA leak case. That meant Libby was likely to have to report to prison soon and put new pressure on the president, who had been sidestepping calls by Libby's allies to pardon the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

"I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison."

Bush left intact a $250,000 fine and two years probation for Libby, and Bush said his action still "leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby."

Libby was convicted in March of lying to authorities and obstructing the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative's identity. He was the highest-ranking White House official ordered to prison since the Iran-Contra affair.

Reaction was harsh from Democrats.

"As Independence Day nears, we are reminded that one of the principles our forefathers fought for was equal justice under the law. This commutation completely tramples on that principle," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said through a spokesman.

Libby's supporters celebrated.

"That's fantastic. It's a great relief," said former Ambassador Richard Carlson, who helped raise millions for Libby's defense fund. "Scooter Libby did not deserve to go to prison and I'm glad the president had the courage to do this."

A message seeking comment from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's office was not immediately returned.

Bush said Cheney's former aide was not getting off free.

"The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged," Bush said. "His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant and private citizen will be long-lasting."

A spokeswoman for Cheney said simply, "The vice president supports the president's decision."

The president's announcement came just as prison seemed likely for Libby. He recently lost an appeals court fight that was his best chance to put the sentence on hold, and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons had already designated him inmate No. 28301-016.

Bush's statement made no mention of the term "pardon," and he made clear that he was not willing to wipe away all penalties for Libby.

The president noted Libby supporters' argument that the punishment did not fit the crime for a "first-time offender with years of exceptional public service."

Yet, he added, "Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable."

Bush then stripped away the prison time.

The leak case has hung over the White House for years. After CIA operative Valerie Plame's name appeared in a 2003 syndicated newspaper column, Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald questioned top administration officials, including Bush and Cheney, about their possible roles.

Nobody was ever charged with the leak, including Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage or White House political adviser Karl Rove, who provided the information for the original article. Prosecutors said Libby obstructed the investigation by lying about how he learned about Plame and whom he told.

Plame believes Libby and other White House officials conspired to leak her identity to reporters in 2003 as retribution against her husband, Joseph Wilson, who criticized what he said was the administration's misleading use of prewar intelligence on Iraq.

Attorney William Jeffress said he had spoken to Libby briefly by phone and "I'm happy at least that Scooter will be spared any prison time. ... The prison sentence was imminent but obviously the conviction itself is a heavy blow to Scooter."

___

Associated Press Writer Matt Appuzo contributed to this report.

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Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 4:10 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Notdeadyet



Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 4056
Location: Midwest
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unfreakinbelievable Shocked
Anybody else remember that stuff about bringing dignity back to the oval office?
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Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:04 pm   View user's profile Send private message
fortune cookie



Joined: 18 Mar 2006
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Never in doubt.
Was never a matter of if, but when.
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Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:01 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Ginjg



Joined: 04 Sep 2004
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his defense fund will raise enough donations to pay the fine so no penalty there. And he'll get his pardon in January 2009.
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Last edited by Ginjg on Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:14 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
zendao42



Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13570
Location: Somewhere in a galaxy near you
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Ah, just what I was looking for- another reason to be depressed!

Plans for a bloody coup, anyone?

Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:48 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
knikkki



Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
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"stepping into a criminal case with heavy political overtones on grounds that the sentence was just too harsh."


Punishments happen on a daily basis which are too harsh.

This is fucking disgusting.

An absolute abuse of power, and just one more slice of evidence in the Bush Douche Pie.
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Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:33 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
fortune cookie



Joined: 18 Mar 2006
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Location: Easy street
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Leaking the name of a CIA operative/Spy.
The little chunk of fecal matter should have been tried for treason
and hung by the neck untill dead.

Too harsh indeed. Evil or Very Mad
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We all enter this world in the same way: naked; screaming; soaked in blood.
But if you live your life right, that kind of thing doesn't have to stop there." Dana Gould

Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:23 pm   View user's profile Send private message
dougp



Joined: 25 Feb 2006
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If it is truly as the Democrats would have us believe, a "them against us" situation, why is it that even when they are in power, "us" get's screwed?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton_pardons_controversy

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying that there is anything right about this. I'm just pointing out that it's business as usual. Anyone who thinks that those in power play the same game we do, is misinformed. The reality should be that they be forced to higher standards because of the roles they play.
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Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:21 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Amigo



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 2499
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Ginjg wrote:
his defense fund will raise enough donations to pay the fine so no penalty there. And he'll get his pardon in January 2009.


Precisely, and as FC said, this was never in doubt. Cheney, I'm sure, insisted that he do this, and Bush felt he had nothing to lose as a lame duck whose ratings are in the toilet.

It's the Republicans who are probably pulling their hair out as this is just another nail in their coffin. I'm sure they were hoping that Bush would wait to do this in January, 2008, after the election. Too bad, suckers!

Post Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:03 am   View user's profile Send private message
LostInWalmart



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 1900
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I was half right (meaning half wrong). I said he'd be pardoned before he sets foot in jail. Turns out a commutation will keep him out of jail, but I firmly believe that Bush is going to pardon him fully before the end of his term. This way he can have the victory of having Scooter scoot, while still having the option to pardon him when it's less politically awkward.

Brilliant

B

Post Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:18 am   View user's profile Send private message
chris
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Joined: 02 Mar 2004
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Location: People Republic of Northern California
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You know how people are always raising money for a defense fund? What about a fund to pay Mike Tyson to sodomize Scooter cell-block style anyway? *

I'll match funds. Come on, kids, it's for a good cause! Who's with me!





*(I know, Scooter is probably already pooping out of a windsock after working for Cheney all this time anyway, but it's the principle of the thing.)**


**(These people have really turned me into a mean-spirited prick. I'm not happy about that, either.)

Post Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:42 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
ken
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Joined: 02 Mar 2004
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LostInWalmart wrote:
I was half right (meaning half wrong). I said he'd be pardoned before he sets foot in jail. Turns out a commutation will keep him out of jail, but I firmly believe that Bush is going to pardon him fully before the end of his term. This way he can have the victory of having Scooter scoot, while still having the option to pardon him when it's less politically awkward.

Brilliant

B

Not only that, but the government will have to "refund" the 200k fine to Libby after he gets pardoned. And he'll be able to practice law again, since he won't have a felony on his record any longer.
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Post Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:00 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website ICQ Number
fortune cookie



Joined: 18 Mar 2006
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Location: Easy street
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chris wrote:

**(These people have really turned me into a mean-spirited prick. I'm not happy about that, either.)


Welcome to the club.
Dues are the 5th of each month.
Meetings held every second tuesday of the month at the Elks.
(Right after BINGO!!!!)

Yeah, it's a bummer.
On the other hand, you'll live longer not repressing your anger.
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We all enter this world in the same way: naked; screaming; soaked in blood.
But if you live your life right, that kind of thing doesn't have to stop there." Dana Gould

Post Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:38 am   View user's profile Send private message
fortune cookie



Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 10534
Location: Easy street
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chris wrote:

**(These people have really turned me into a mean-spirited prick. I'm not happy about that, either.)



Or we could go this way...

People cannot make you into anything, they can only bring out that potential which you already possess.


Or we can go like this...(sure to be a fan favorite)

Bite me, fc!
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We all enter this world in the same way: naked; screaming; soaked in blood.
But if you live your life right, that kind of thing doesn't have to stop there." Dana Gould

Post Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:43 am   View user's profile Send private message
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