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President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

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  • President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/cia_leak_trial


    By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer 1 minute ago

    WASHINGTON - President Bush spared former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from a 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak investigation Monday, delivering a political thunderbolt in the highly charged criminal case. Bush said the sentence was just too harsh.

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

    "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's decision enraged Democrats and cheered conservatives — though some of the latter wished Bush had granted a full pardon.

    "Libby's conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq war," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "Now, even that small bit of justice has been undone."

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Bush's decision showed the president "condones criminal conduct."

    Unlike a pardon, which would have wiped away Libby's criminal record, Bush's commutation voided only the prison term.

    The president left intact a $250,000 fine and two years probation for his conviction of lying and obstructing justice in a probe into the leak of a CIA operative's identity. The former operative, Valerie Plame, contends the White House was trying to discredit her husband, a critic of Bush's Iraq policy.

    Bush said his action still "leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby."

    Libby was convicted in March, the highest-ranking White House official ordered to prison since the Iran-Contra affair.

    Testimony in the case had revealed the extraordinary steps that Bush and Cheney were willing to take to discredit a critic of the Iraq war.

    Libby's supporters celebrated the president's decision.

    "President Bush did the right thing today in commuting the prison term for Scooter Libby," said House Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri.

    "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."

    Already at record lows in the polls, Bush risked a political backlash with his decision. President Ford tumbled in the polls after his 1974 pardon of Richard M. Nixon, and the decision was a factor in Ford's loss in his bid for re-election.

    White House officials said Bush knew he could take political heat and simply did what he thought was right. They would not say what advice Cheney might have given the president.

    On the other hand, Bush's action could help Republican presidential candidates by letting them off the hook on the question of whether they would pardon Libby.

    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 White House said Bush came to his decision in the past week or two and made it final Monday because of the ruling of the appeals panel, which meant Libby would be going to prison soon.

    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."

    A White House official notified the trial judge, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, of the decision. Walton, a Bush appointee who served in the White House under the president's father, had cited the "overwhelming" evidence against Libby when he handed down his sentence. A courthouse spokesman said Walton would not comment.

    ___

    Associated Press writer Matt Apuzzo contributed to this report.
    "Worst President Ever" gets to be more and more plausible every day.
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  • #2
    Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

    worst president ever is to loaded, other presidents sucked worse. Worst president of our life time is better. And what he did any president would have done.
    that sounds like a good idea trooper.
    -Vulcan

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

      I recall a sitting US Senator state, "No One is Above the law."
      I actually scoffed and thought to myself ,"What America are you living in."

      If I had given up the covert identity of a CIA agent. I know for a fact that I would not have gotten a Presidential pardon.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

        Originally posted by Trooper View Post
        worst president ever is to loaded, other presidents sucked worse. Worst president of our life time is better. And what he did any president would have done.
        What President sucked worse?
        Originally posted by amu107.9 View Post
        If I had given up the covert identity of a CIA agent. I know for a fact that I would not have gotten a Presidential pardon.
        For the sake of accuracy, Valerie Plame was not a covert agent, and Libby was not accused of that crime anyway...
        Become a supporting member!
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        • #5
          Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

          Total BS!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

            FDR, The new deal.
            that sounds like a good idea trooper.
            -Vulcan

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

              Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
              What President sucked worse?
              Jimmy Carter. Hands down. But yeah, Libby's sentencing or the lack thereof is complete and utter BS.
              "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

                How shocking.
                |TG-9th| TheFatKidDeath
                "Born to Party, Forced to Work."
                - Check me out on The Onion
                - I'm on the local news!

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                • #9
                  Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

                  I for one am completely astonished at this surprising turn of events.

                  Now taking bets on what position he will have in the next republican administration.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

                    Originally posted by Iamthefallen View Post
                    I for one am completely astonished at this surprising turn of events.

                    Now taking bets on what position he will have in the next republican administration.
                    I don't think he'll get a position in the administration, but history shows that a medal is not out of the question.
                    [volun2]
                    NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
                    Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
                    <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
                    <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

                    Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

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                    • #11
                      Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

                      Originally posted by Pokerface View Post
                      I don't think he'll get a position in the administration, but history shows that a medal is not out of the question.
                      That made me laugh!
                      |TG-9th| TheFatKidDeath
                      "Born to Party, Forced to Work."
                      - Check me out on The Onion
                      - I'm on the local news!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

                        Originally posted by Trooper View Post
                        FDR, The new deal.
                        Surely you are joking?

                        Bush is without a doubt the most corrupt and worst president ever. He has not done one good thing for the country. No other president has taken us from such a high point to a low. We had a budget surplus, we had a balanced budget, we had goodwill around the world (not total but some). Now what do we have? We are hated, we have a huge deficit, unbalanced budget, etc.

                        Most presidents do their dirty work in secret and try to hide it. Bush just throws it in our faces.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

                          Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                          For the sake of accuracy, Valerie Plame was not a covert agent, and Libby was not accused of that crime anyway...
                          She wasn't a covert agent but often traveled using a cover identity. And Libby should have been charged but the special prosecutor was surprisingly special!

                          Here is a link to her CIA records:
                          http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the...o_exhibits.pdf

                          It is on the second page, second paragraph from the bottom.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

                            Originally posted by deathknight View Post
                            Surely you are joking?

                            Bush is without a doubt the most corrupt and worst president ever. He has not done one good thing for the country. No other president has taken us from such a high point to a low. We had a budget surplus, we had a balanced budget, we had goodwill around the world (not total but some). Now what do we have? We are hated, we have a huge deficit, unbalanced budget, etc.

                            Most presidents do their dirty work in secret and try to hide it. Bush just throws it in our faces.

                            Surely im not joking. Every single idea in the new deal was ment for 20years only. It was setup to help during the great depression, which was 80 some years ago. Medicare, social Security, government funded housing, Now we are broke and those systems are complete failures. People are to dependent on those ideas and systems that we will never get rid of them, unless they go broke which is possible.

                            Dont get me wrong Bush is messed up and i pretty much disagree with everything he has to say, but to say he is the worst president in history takes more then 8 years to determine. Wait 20 years and then see what you think. Any policy enacted during his presidency doesn't effect our economy or country until he is out of office.
                            that sounds like a good idea trooper.
                            -Vulcan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's sentence!

                              Originally posted by Trooper View Post
                              Surely im not joking. Every single idea in the new deal was ment for 20years only. It was setup to help during the great depression, which was 80 some years ago. Medicare, social Security, government funded housing, Now we are broke and those systems are complete failures. People are to dependent on those ideas and systems that we will never get rid of them, unless they go broke which is possible.

                              you cant call Roosevelt the worst president ever because the ideas he put forth continued for so long, and in your opinion where "complete failures". He did his job and pulled this country out of one of its darkest periods in its history, as well as overseeing a war that was fought on 2 sides of the world. Many presidents since, from both parties, had the ability to end or reverse those programs if they were so bad and they either failed or refused to do so.

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