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Thread: Why Libby's Pardon is a "slam dunk"

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    Why Libby's Pardon is a "slam dunk"

    best editorial i've seen in months....

    Why Libby's Pardon Is a Slam Dunk

    By Frank Rich
    The New York Times


    Sunday 11 March 2007

    Even by Washington's standards, few debates have been more fatuous or wasted more energy than the frenzied speculation over whether President Bush will or will not pardon Scooter Libby. Of course he will.

    A president who tries to void laws he doesn't like by encumbering them with "signing statements" and who regards the Geneva Conventions as a nonbinding technicality isn't going to start playing by the rules now. His assertion last week that he is "pretty much going to stay out of" the Libby case is as credible as his pre-election vote of confidence in Donald Rumsfeld. The only real question about the pardon is whether Mr. Bush cares enough about his fellow Republicans' political fortunes to delay it until after Election Day 2008.

    Either way, the pardon is a must for Mr. Bush. He needs Mr. Libby to keep his mouth shut. Cheney's Cheney knows too much about covert administration schemes far darker than the smearing of Joseph Wilson. Though Mr. Libby wrote a novel that sank without a trace a decade ago, he now has the makings of an explosive Washington tell-all that could be stranger than most fiction and far more salable.

    Mr. Libby's novel was called "The Apprentice." His memoir could be titled "The Accomplice." Its first chapter would open in August 2002, when he and a small cadre of administration officials including Karl Rove formed the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), a secret task force to sell the Iraq war to the American people. The climactic chapter of the Libby saga unfolded last week when the guilty verdict in his trial coincided, all too fittingly, with the Congressional appearance of two Iraq veterans, one without an ear and one without an eye, to recount their subhuman treatment at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

    It was WHIG's secret machinations more than four years ago that led directly to those shredded lives. WHIG had been tasked, as The Washington Post would later uncover, to portray Iraq's supposedly imminent threat to America with "gripping images and stories not available in the hedged and austere language of intelligence." In other words, WHIG was to cook up the sexiest recipe for promoting the war, facts be damned. So it did, by hyping the scariest possible scenario: nuclear apocalypse. As Michael Isikoff and David Corn report in "Hubris," it was WHIG (equipped with the slick phrase-making of the White House speechwriter Michael Gerson) that gave the administration its Orwellian bumper sticker, the constantly reiterated warning that Saddam's "smoking gun" could be "a mushroom cloud."

    Ever since all the W.M.D. claims proved false, the administration has pleaded that it was duped by the same bad intelligence everyone else saw. But the nuclear card, the most persistent and gripping weapon in the prewar propaganda arsenal, was this White House's own special contrivance. Mr. Libby was present at its creation. He knows what Mr. Bush and Dick Cheney knew about the manufacture of this fiction and when they knew it.

    Clearly they knew it early on. The administration's guilt (or at least embarrassment) about its lies in fomenting the war quickly drove it to hide the human price being paid for those lies. (It also tried to hide the financial cost of the war by keeping it out of the regular defense budget, but that's another, if related, story.) The steps the White House took to keep casualties out of view were extraordinary, even as it deployed troops to decorate every presidential victory rally and gave the Pentagon free rein to exploit the sacrifices of Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman in mendacious P.R. stunts.
    The administration's enforcement of a prohibition on photographs of coffins returning from Iraq was the first policy manifestation of the hide-the-carnage strategy. It was complemented by the president's decision to break with precedent, set by Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter among others, and refuse to attend military funerals, lest he lend them a media spotlight. But Mark Benjamin, who has chronicled the mistreatment of Iraq war veterans since 2003, discovered an equally concerted effort to keep injured troops off camera. Mr. Benjamin wrote in Salon in 2005 that "flights carrying the wounded arrive in the United States only at night" and that both Walter Reed and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda barred the press "from seeing or photographing incoming patients."

    <snip>

    Mary Matalin, the former Cheney flack who served with Mr. Libby on WHIG and is now on the board of his legal defense fund (its full list of donors is unknown), has been especially vocal. "Scooter didn't do anything," she said. "And his personal record and service are impeccable." What Mr. Libby did - fabricating nuclear threats at WHIG and then lying under oath when he feared that sordid Pandora's box might be pried open by the Wilson case - was despicable. Had there been no WHIG or other White House operation for drumming up fictional rationales for war, there would have been no bogus uranium from Africa in a presidential speech, no leak to commit perjury about, no amputees to shut away in filthy rooms at Walter Reed.

    Listening to Ms. Matalin and her fellow apparatchiks emote publicly about the punishment being inflicted on poor Mr. Libby and his family, you wonder what world they live in. They seem clueless about how ugly their sympathy for a conniving courtier sounds against the testimony of those wounded troops and their families who bear the most searing burdens of the unnecessary war WHIG sped to market.
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    Why shouldn't Bush pardon Libby. The guy lied about an investigation when they already knew who the leaker was. Furthermore, Clinton lied under oath and obstructed justice and was not held accountable by a single Democrat Senator.

    Clinton pardoned people who actually hurt people. Melvin Reynolds is a pedophile. He also let drug trafficers out of jail. He also let out Mark Rich the single biggest tax cheat in US history. I think that makes Libby pale in comparison.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jguig View Post
    Why shouldn't Bush pardon Libby. The guy lied about an investigation when they already knew who the leaker was. Furthermore, Clinton lied under oath and obstructed justice and was not held accountable by a single Democrat Senator.

    Clinton pardoned people who actually hurt people. Melvin Reynolds is a pedophile. He also let drug trafficers out of jail. He also let out Mark Rich the single biggest tax cheat in US history. I think that makes Libby pale in comparison.
    it's almost as if staunch righties here never even read the debates that preceed them, and instead repeat already debunked talking points from Billy Kristol over and over again...

    Scooter Libby is a liar, not only impeding an investigation that MAY have brought justice to leakers, but also a liar as a member of the WHIG team that cooked intel for this occupation of a sovereign nation in the first place...

    if you're going to sit here and suggest Bush/Cheney's lies haven't hurt anyone, it may be time to seek confession for bearing false witness...
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    Lying under oath undermines the entire legal system. And it doesn't matter if the leak was against the law in the end or not. The bottom line is that he was found guilty of lying under oath. And that cannot be tolerated. It especially can't be tolerated by a high ranking public official. So lets not try to make light of what he did. If you or me did it, we would have to serve our sentence and not even have a shot at being pardoned.

    And from what I have heard, pardons are usually considered years down the road. And considering Bush will not be in office much longer, the decision to pardon Libby will have to come at an earlier time compared to when other pardons are handed out.

    I agree with the article about whether Bush will do it. Given the history of him and his administration, they don't see to care what the law says or what is taboo in relation to any law. If they want him pardoned, which I am sure they do, they probably won't have any reservations about doing it. They may wait a while and let things cool down. But I can see it being done.


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    Quote Originally Posted by jguig View Post
    Why shouldn't Bush pardon Libby. The guy lied about an investigation when they already knew who the leaker was. Furthermore, Clinton lied under oath and obstructed justice and was not held accountable by a single Democrat Senator.

    Clinton pardoned people who actually hurt people. Melvin Reynolds is a pedophile. He also let drug trafficers out of jail. He also let out Mark Rich the single biggest tax cheat in US history. I think that makes Libby pale in comparison.





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    Quote Originally Posted by DolfinDave View Post
    Lying under oath undermines the entire legal system. And it doesn't matter if the leak was against the law in the end or not. The bottom line is that he was found guilty of lying under oath. And that cannot be tolerated. It especially can't be tolerated by a high ranking public official. So lets not try to make light of what he did. If you or me did it, we would have to serve our sentence and not even have a shot at being pardoned.

    I thought you were talking about Clinton. Although not a single Democrat had the moral integrity to convict him despite his guilt, at least the bar in Arkansas found enough evidence to strip him of his law license.

    The Dems only have moral outrage when the target is a Republican. Right and wrong is determined by party affiliation in the Dem's eyes. I wouldn't have a problem with Libby serving his sentence, if Clinton did for what was essentially the same crime.

    BTW, Libby's lie didn't change the direction of the investigation. They already knew who leaked the information thanks to Armitage's confession. Clinton did obstruct a legal proceeding that was on going.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jguig View Post
    I thought you were talking about Clinton. Although not a single Democrat had the moral integrity to convict him despite his guilt, at least the bar in Arkansas found enough evidence to strip him of his law license.

    The Dems only have moral outrage when the target is a Republican. Right and wrong is determined by party affiliation in the Dem's eyes. I wouldn't have a problem with Libby serving his sentence, if Clinton did for what was essentially the same crime.

    BTW, Libby's lie didn't change the direction of the investigation. They already knew who leaked the information thanks to Armitage's confession. Clinton did obstruct a legal proceeding that was on going.
    Wasn't Clinton caught in a perjury trap, because that wouldn't be the same thing at all.

    But on a side note Libby being caught this way doesn't paint the entire Republican party as liars. People take their party affiliation a little bit too seriously down south. I think that most Republicans would like to have most of the post 9/11 information sorted out once and for all, like everyone else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megatron View Post
    Wasn't Clinton caught in a perjury trap, because that wouldn't be the same thing at all.

    But on a side note Libby being caught this way doesn't paint the entire Republican party as liars. People take their party affiliation a little bit too seriously down south. I think that most Republicans would like to have most of the post 9/11 information sorted out once and for all, like everyone else.
    sup Megs !

    Clinton lied... more than once, Arkansas got it right

    maybe not "all" repubs, but certainly this entire administration has proved itself liars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jguig View Post
    I thought you were talking about Clinton. Although not a single Democrat had the moral integrity to convict him despite his guilt, at least the bar in Arkansas found enough evidence to strip him of his law license.

    The Dems only have moral outrage when the target is a Republican. Right and wrong is determined by party affiliation in the Dem's eyes. I wouldn't have a problem with Libby serving his sentence, if Clinton did for what was essentially the same crime.

    BTW, Libby's lie didn't change the direction of the investigation. They already knew who leaked the information thanks to Armitage's confession. Clinton did obstruct a legal proceeding that was on going.
    I was talking about anyone and everyone who commits that act. I was only in high school during Clinton's tenure and I paid practically zero attention to politics at that time. So I can't really comment on who happened with that situation. But my conviction is still the same. If he lied under oath and was convicted by a jury, he too should suffer the consequences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jguig View Post
    I thought you were talking about Clinton. Although not a single Democrat had the moral integrity to convict him despite his guilt, at least the bar in Arkansas found enough evidence to strip him of his law license.

    The Dems only have moral outrage when the target is a Republican. Right and wrong is determined by party affiliation in the Dem's eyes. I wouldn't have a problem with Libby serving his sentence, if Clinton did for what was essentially the same crime.

    BTW, Libby's lie didn't change the direction of the investigation. They already knew who leaked the information thanks to Armitage's confession. Clinton did obstruct a legal proceeding that was on going.
    incorrect... and once again, Bush League spin must be held accountable...

    Karl Rove spoke to both Novak and Cooper about Wilson's wife in July of '03, and knew nothing about Armitage's casual conversation with Woodward days earlier... the only reason they pulled back an indictment was because they knew it would be difficult to prove in court that Pig Boy and Tricky Dick knew Plame was covert.... regardless, they most certainly revealed her employment and insinuated she sent him on the trip, the latter a charge since blasted out of the water...
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