Jul 5, 2007

Payday Loans...

...and insufficient words.

President respects and deflects justice
So he lifted excessive sentence but left convictions, fine, probation.

By Tony Snow

President Bush commuted part of Lewis Libby's sentence because he considered a 30-month stretch in prison too severe. Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury; was fined $250,000; must serve two years probation; and will likely lose his license to practice law. That qualifies as a stern penalty for a first-time offender with a long history of public service

The Constitution gives the president the power to grant clemency in a wide range of cases, at his discretion, with no restrictions. In the final hours of the Clinton administration, this unfettered authority was embodied in a mad rush to push through pardons with dizzying haste � 141 grants on Clinton's final day in office, part of 211 in the final nine weeks.

In contrast, no president in recent history has made more careful use of the pardoning power than George W. Bush: The president believes pardons and commutations should reflect a genuine determination to strengthen the rule of law and increase public faith in government.

The Libby case was one such situation. After a highly publicized trial, involving calm legal analysis in the courtroom (but vicious vilification outside), Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice. In reviewing the case, the president chose to rectify an excessive punishment, and at the same time, the president made clear that he would not second-guess the jury that found Libby guilty. He believes it is important to respect the jury's work. The concept of judgment by a jury of peers forms the backbone of our judicial system. So the president left intact the felony convictions and two of the major punishments � the fine and probation.

Many analysts cleverly avoid grappling with either of these issues, and instead try to analyze the commutation as a raw political exercise. That sort of analysis is off-base. The president was not motivated by politics in making this decision. If he had made the decision based on opinion polls, he wouldn't have lifted a finger.

Instead, he did what he does normally, and what makes those of us who work for him proud. He proceeded on the basis of principle, and arrived at a sound and just decision � knowing he would take hits in the court of public opinion, but also knowing he was doing the right thing.

Tony Snow is White House press secretary.


Blogger jan said...

Crock of crap that is...

4:39 PM  
Anonymous thinkinglogically said...

Just leave my 250k in the bank.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Heavenbee said...

Tony, the president has been lifting his middle finger at the American people for the last 6 years.

8:36 PM  
Blogger calamityjane said...

I get the impression from this post that Tony Snow is saying this commutation is totally business as usual. I wonder. Read this.

Libby Case May Aid Hamas Suspect - July 5, 2007 - The New York Sun

8:50 PM  
Blogger PrissyPatriot said...

Tony should not be given the time of day...and Scooter sure came up with the cold cash rather quickly. Thank goodness for equally crooked friends, huh?

Hello, Interesting post CJ:)

Look what the judge said when she lifted the injunction on the Ms Palfrey's phone records. I have a feeling some better get those resignation letters ready.

At oral argument, the Government was asked whether the List contained the telephone numbers of unindicted co-conspirators. After a significant silence, Government counsel agreed that the answer to the courts question was “yes.”

One cannot help wondering why the government has exhibited such a strong interest in protecting a list containing the telephone numbers of unindicted co-conspirators, i.e. the women who the Government alleges provided the illegal sexual services and the men who the Government alleges sought and obtained such illegal sexual services.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Captain Kit said...

Calam - Of course the commutation is business as usual, see heavenbee re a certain finger. Totally accurate.

They know their ship is sinking and are grabbing everything they can as fast as they can. In other words, they seem to be saying, if everyone hates us anyway, might as well do what we want.

If it weren't my country being pummeled you'd almost have to admire their sheer blatantcy flying in the face of reason.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jailed conscientious objector hits out against Libby clemency

A veteran who spent 14 months in prison for filing a conscientious objector application against redeployment to Iraq has spoken out against the commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence by President Bush.

"I was imprisoned for 14 months after trying to apply for conscientious objector status after seeing the reality of the Iraq war," Kevin Benderman, who had to serve his sentence at a prison 3,000 miles from home, said.

Kevin Benderman had served as an army mechanic for 10 years when he developed moral and religious objections to the war in Iraq, after serving there in 2003, and refused to deploy there again. After seeing scenes of devastation in Iraq, and through his readings of both the Bible and the Qu’ran, Kevin Benderman filed an application for conscientious objector status on 28 December 2004.

He was then sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment at a court martial.

“Homes were bombed, people lived in mud huts and drank water from the mud puddles," Benderman wrote in his conscientious objector application. "I could not ignore the little girl standing by the side of the road with her mother. Her arm was burned to her shoulder, and she cried in pain. To be aware of the mass graves throughout the area that we were in, full of bodies of women and children and men, all who had died by the hand of war, maybe not our war, but war.”

His wife Monica Benderman, who organized a campaign to obtain her husbands released, also hit out at Bush's action.

"Parole was denied to Kevin because he had not been 'sufficiently rehabilitated.'", she said. "What were they rehabilitating him from? Not wanting to go to war. During those 14 months Kevin would be sitting in a plastic chair getting shouted at; he was denied his mail at times, they tried to prevent his talking to his attorney and our congressperson. Meanwhile, Libby -- who covered up the truth on issues of war that affect the lives of people like my husband -- is going to walk away."

The couple are currently helping America 's veterans through their new organization, Benderman's Bridge.

President Bush commuted Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby's sentence saying "I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive."

Libby was convicted in federal court for obstruction of justice, making false statements, and perjury in the CIA leak grand jury investigation into the "Plame affair", and sentenced to 30 months in prison.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous cat woman to bat man said...

Riddle me this, riddle me that

When Sealed v Sealed comes undone,

Which government officials will scat?

9:44 PM  
Anonymous just say no to wiretapping said...

White House efforts to keep congressional Republicans united over the Iraq war suffered another major defection yesterday as Sen. Pete V. Domenici (N.M.) broke with President Bush and called for an immediate change in U.S. strategy that could end combat operations by the spring.

The six-term lawmaker, party loyalist and former staunch war supporter represents one of the most significant GOP losses to date.

Boo-hoo and cry me a river, the thug. This guy is desperate to save his job, I would like to hear why he called the US Atty asking how the investigation was going?
I don't think he has sufficiently answered that question yet.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous heehee it was mosquito me said...

Speaking of soldiers...I will have to look into Kevin Bendermans' org. Thanks, I had not heard an update in a while. The quote used for DC could be used to cover this war...

I am trying to build bridges re the war-they understand how utterly PO'd military personnel are with them. Asking understanding for the crime of this war they did against us and the Iraqis. I say probably leave that for God.

Lugar said, “I speak to my fellow senators when I say that the president is not the only American leader who will have to make adjustments to his or her thinking. In my judgment, the costs and risk of continuing down the current path outweigh the potential benefits that might be achieved.”

Lugar’s courageous — albeit late — condemnation of the war in Iraq sent shock waves through the halls of Congress. Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, followed Lugar’s lead the next day with a letter to the president that said, in part, “We must begin to develop a comprehensive plan for our country’s gradual military disengagement from Iraq and a corresponding increase in responsibility to the Iraqi government and its regional neighbors.”

Voinovich told CNN, “I think everybody knows that we fumbled the ball right from the beginning on this.”

The two Republican lawmakers are right. We have to begin the withdrawal of troops. It needs to be an orderly exodus in order to protect our troops and to give some hope that the Iraqi army will fill the void over time.

It was a lie to say we invaded Iraq to protect the United States from terrorists just as it is a lie to say leaving will aid the terrorists. Let them wallow alone in the middle of this bitter, multi-front civil and sectarian war. It isn’t worth a single more American life.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous g'night till morn said...

hmm...ABC said there were no "notable names" on the DC madam's list

so why do you suppose they didn't bother to mention the injunction has been lifted?

12:29 AM  
Blogger airJackie said...

Good to see Libby had enough taxpayers money to pay his fine in full. Now I remember Fitz telling me about a chess game. There's a new Chess match now it's between all the US Federal Court Judges and all the Appeals Judges. Bush has allowed all of them to know they don't know the law like he does. He's a little advice don't piss of a Judge you'll surely pay in ways you could imagine.

I read about how the media and Libby supporters are all talking about how Bill Clinton pardon Marc Rich. I noticed not one remembered or printed that Libby was one of his lawyers and got paid very well I might say.

Now for those of you not in your 60's here's a little history. Many baby boomers were part of WoodStock and the Flower Children. Yes the years of protest and drugs. It's said that some from that time had their brains fried on drugs. I think you can tell now who were the drug users by their lack of brains and common sense.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think Progress » Tony Snow returns.

Glad you beat your cancer, Tony. Now STFU and wipe those brown stains off your nose.

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Spys, spys go away said...

Federal appeals court dismisses suit challenging domestic spying

Murdoch just bought WSJ

What's next? Will Dubya and Cheney finally announce they ARE fascist dicktators?

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If at first, you don't kill 'em, kill 'em again. Make that the #2 leader, after the #2 leader, after the #2 leader, etc.....where's bin Laden? Tony?

10:58 AM  
Anonymous tin can and string said...


Hope? People should call and threaten to cancel WSJ if they sell to this old miser

Is the old boy on the madams list too? haha

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Thanks for the reminder. In an earlier post, we wrote: "We've been hearing interesting rumors about some possible departures at the Assistant Attorney General (AAG) level." And since today is Friday, the favored day for DOJ resignations, we figured we might as well squeeze this in before lunchtime.

Some of the rumors have already come to pass -- like the departure of Eileen O'Connor, as head of the Tax Division, and the departure of Rachel Brand, as head of the Office of Legal Policy. But there's one resignation rumor that's still outstanding.

We hear that Assistant Attorney General Wan J. Kim, who oversees the Justice Department's important (and controversial) Civil Rights Division, will step down from his post before the end of the year. He was sworn in as AAG in November 2005, so by this fall he will have held the job for two years -- a long-enough stint in that position."

I wonder if Tony Snow would comment?

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Next Hurrah: Another Disappearing Republican Front Group

12:31 PM  
Anonymous there must be another way said...

LOL a comment someone left about the attys leaving doj

Boo hoo, another fox departs the henhouse. Next up, a gig litigating on behalf of Diebold?

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MichaelMoore.com : BlueCross Secret Memo Re: 'Sicko' ... "You would have to be dead to be unaffected by Moore's movie..."

Greedy CEOs.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous leftandrightonjeaneslist said...

Charade question time.

How many 1200.00 haircuts will 250k buy?

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Members of the Libby Legal Defense Trust are BuzzFlash.com's GOP Hypocrite of the Week

It's a small world for pardons, after all | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did the Libby Defense Fund pay Irving's fine too? Dude, that's a lot of chicken dinners.

Libby Defense Fund: Defending America From Scooter Libby

5:00 PM  
Anonymous left and more right fine by me said...

Navy Investigates Falluja Claims

The investigation was launched after a former member of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, based at Camp Pendleton, reportedly revealed details while taking a polygraph test for a Secret Service job.

I know they don't count, but how do you suppose loyal bushies would test out on the poly? I hear sociopaths do quite well on them

Senators are running away from prezident kookoo, guess they see how the wind is blowing.

Wonder who will turn up on the madams list, expect solid answers soon. what great way to start the week. They are praying Pat Fitzgerald made the list hehe

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Libby poll bump seems unlikely for Bush

The results are strongly structured by party identification, which is certainly no surprise. Only 13% of Democrats and 19% of Independents approved of the commutation, while 50% of Republicans approved. However, as with the SurveyUSA poll, a substantial fraction of Republicans disapproved-- 47% in the ARG poll.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AlterNet: Senator, You Used to Be a Pot Head -- Now You're Talking Like a Narc

7:59 PM  
Anonymous cheech or was that chong said...

Toke up Normie

he needs to be more mellow, or maybe he's mad madame shut down

I have noticed amongst the republican extremists, a large number of them glug the drink too

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Florida Kossacks: Amnesty and Obstruction of Justice

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moshe Dayan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Archives show Israel levelled mosques: report - Yahoo! News

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And they claim Palestinians are the barbarians? Seems there are barbarians in all cultures...

The Mashhad Nabi Hussein mosque was blown up deliberately as part of a broader operation that included at least two additional mosques, one in Yavneh and the other in the nearby Mediterranean city of Ashdod, Haaretz said.

Of the 160 mosques in Palestinian villages incorporated into Israel under the armistice agreements, fewer than 40 are still standing, the newspaper quoted a Tel Aviv University study as showing.

7:48 AM  
Blogger PrissyPatriot said...

Good Morning

Good posts-obstruction for the dubya sounds good to me.

That guy is leaving footprints on the face of America and wiping his feet on the constitution. His daddy didn't discipline or put any limits on the boy and now at age 60-he must learn it the hard way...

Letter to a Neighbor TPM Cafe -Larry Johnson

David (Brooks),
Read your NY Times piece today and felt compelled to comment a little more in depth. You are correct in one respect, Plamegate is farce, but not in the way you imagine. The farce is that folks like you are making farfetched excuses for perjury and obstruction of justice. You piece today is dishonest on so many levels.
Go Larry!!

So whats is it like to live without any conscious, Mr. Brooks? Tell those of us who are not loyal Bushies

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Putting Old men in their place daily said...

David Shuster on Hardball. Give 'em hell David!

Hardball: David Shuster's Libby smackdown extravaganza

Fouad Ajami, argued that Libby is similar to a fallen soldier. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Ajami wrote, "Scooter Libby was a soldier in your--our--war in Iraq... He can't be left behind as a casualty of a war our country had once proudly claimed as its own." Shuster retorts, "A lot of people find it very offensive that you would dare compare Scooter Libby to soldiers who have had their limbs blown off in Iraq."

VERY offensive, that is yet another stupid old man from Bushco world, who shouldn't be given air time. Send him and Scooter to Iraq. If he and Scooter did a year deployment and survive, I might be able to live with his commutation.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous uh oh said...

Reuters reporting French official suggested Bush was behind September 11

8:52 AM  
Anonymous 911 truth will set us free said...

However, the French are not alone in their skepticism.

According to a Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll carried out last July, more than one-third of Americans suspect U.S. officials helped in the September 11 attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could later go to war.

The U.S. State Department has rejected these accusations.

Rejection is not denial, now is it?

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CorpWatch : A Translator's Tale

Titan, evil=doers..AIG, evil-doers.

Finally, it is coming more to the 'main stream' so to speak, about France and Germany.
Sheep in the U.S. finally are getting the bush-crap off of their faces so they can see.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How interesting about Titan.

Yes, and the scales fell from their eyes.

It was all Bushit haha

9:29 PM  
Anonymous neocons give me a virus said...

Something wrong with my computer today...

9:32 PM  
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