Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Scooter Libby sentence

As you probably know, a federal judge (nominated by GWB, though I wouldn’t read too much into that) has sentenced Scooter Libby to 30 months in prison and assessed a hefty fine. He is also disinclined to acquiesce in Libby’s request that he stay out of prison pending an appeal, but will decide that soon. This is surprising, to say the least.


A lot of people are calling for President Bush to pardon Libby, including a soon-to-be-almost-is presidential candidate who was part of Libby’s defense team.

Until I heard about Judge Reggie Walton’s apparent obduracy about letting Libby stay out of prison pending an appeal, I had expected President Bush to pardon him as soon as was politically possible (which is to say, after we know who his successor will be). But if Walton compels Libby to begin to serve his time before his appeals are exhausted (why? is he a flight risk? a danger to the community? likely to repeat his offense?), he will force Bush’s hand.

And I think that, if it comes to that, the President ought to act sooner, rather than later. Let the political fallout come now, and pass long before the 2008 campaign. Let Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson have their last (one hopes) fifteen seconds now, rather than later. Let the Democrats scream and reveal their petty vindictiveness now...though, gosh, there’s a political reason for postponing the pardon. But no, I won’t give in to the temptation to call for a pardon only when it can achieve the maximal political effect.

Discussions - 8 Comments

What is the petty vindictiveness you're referring to. Does obstruction of justice no longer bother you guys?

Bush's tepid comments about the Libby situation, now and previously, make it clear that he is not inclined to go to the mat for him. It's typical GWB passivity and deference to the Democratic powers that be -- no need to make this question more complicated than it is; it's just what Bushes do in the clutch. If the president can't stand up to vindictive punks like Fitzgerald and Walton, I wonder what he has left in him. See Kristol's excellent short editorial in the Weekly Standard yesterday.

Obstruction of WHAT justice are we talking about?

There was NO crime committed and that is the irony, especially since many criminals, a certain Clinton era pants-clepto comes to mind, is let off without a peep!

"Obstruction of justice" means being inconvenient to the Democrats. That's all it needs to mean.

"There was NO crime committed and that is the irony" -- arguable point. It depends on whose opinion you read: Sean Hannity's or the law. But to make this sorry point again, what law was broken in the Clinton impeachment?

Like all neocons, Libby is a criminal. He and the rest of them should be deported. They are fifth columnist usurpers.

He is a criminal because he lied under oath.That said, his crime was in regard to something that was not criminal.

How ironic and how sad.

Yes, how sad that he felt it necessary to lie under oath to cover up nothing. Just think, he could have told the truth without any ill consequences!

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