Merry Fitzmas, everyone!

Expect plenty of disagreement. Just keep it civil.
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Rspaight
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Postby Rspaight » Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:11 am

Clinton-did-it-too


It's very giggle-worthy that the man conservatives detest as the most immoral slimeball in the history of civilization is also the standard for acceptable behavior by the administration.

"Clinton was the worst President ever! He's an embarrassment! But if he did something, then it's OK for Bush to do something superficially similar but more evil."

no-underlying-crime


Far stranger is the argument that Libby's conviction for obstruction of justice is somehow null and void if the investigation he obstructed does not result in any charges being filed. That just makes no sense at all. Does that mean that if one successfully obstructs an investigation so that no charges can be brought, one is automatically given a free pass for the obstruction, sort of as a reward for doing a good job of obstructing?

it's-not-a-pardon


But for classic Bush II mendacity, the winner has to be the commutation itself. By not issuing a pardon and explicitly endorsing the jury verdict, Bush/Cheney has admitted that Libby was guilty of running interference in the Fitzpatrick investigation. Then they commute *only* the jail time, leaving the fine and probation alone. (Although the judge now says that the probation is unenforceable if Libby doesn't serve time.) The fig leaf offered, that the jail time is "excessive," is blatantly fiction -- it's consistent with sentencing guidelines, and Tony Snow has indicated that *any* jail time would be unacceptable, implying that Bush feels jail is wholly inappropriate for obstruction of justice (which is a rather breathtaking proposition). The fact that the commutation was issued *before* the appeal even was heard reveals that Bush's main worry was keeping Libby out of jail *at all costs*, not some phony concern over the "severity" of the sentence.

It's crystal-clear that this is a quid-pro-quo. Libby stays quiet, Bush and Cheney keep him out of jail.

And they don't care who knows it.

Our Republican governor, on the other hand, pardoned what seemed like most of his administration before the investigation (into hiring policy violations) even finished, after running on a "clean house" agenda. And then he won the nomination for re-election. Washington is still amateur hour compared to Kentucky corruption.

Ryan
RQOTW: "I'll make sure that our future is defined not by the letters ACLU, but by the letters USA." -- Mitt Romney

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Postby lukpac » Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:39 pm

White House: Clinton shameless in Libby comments

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- White House spokesman Tony Snow fired back at former President Bill Clinton after Clinton charged that the Bush administration believes the law is a "minor obstacle" in the "Scooter" Libby case.

"I don't know what Arkansan is for chutzpah, but this is a gigantic case of it," Snow told reporters in an off-camera briefing Wednesday.

Webster's New World dictionary defines chutzpah as "shameless audacity; imprudence; brass."

President Bush on Monday spared former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from federal prison, commuting his 30-month sentence for perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to federal agents investigating the 2003 exposure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson.

Bush left a $250,000 fine and two-year probation intact, but he left the door open to a pardon, which would clear Libby's record.

"You've got to understand, this is consistent with (Bush administration) philosophy," Clinton said during an interview on Des Moines news-talk station WHO.

Bush administration officials, he said, "believe that they should be able to do what they want to do, and that the law is a minor obstacle."

In an op-ed piece in USA Today on Wednesday, Snow defended Bush's action, charging that Clinton was "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."

Clinton's flurry of last-minute pardons issued as he left office in 2001 -- particularly his absolution of fugitive financier Marc Rich -- sparked largely partisan outrage. Critics alleged that the pardon of Rich was linked to contributions raised for Clinton's presidential library by Rich's ex-wife.

Libby's defenders have pointed to Democratic support for Clinton during that period to accuse critics of Bush's commutation order of hypocrisy.

Asked by a reporter if he was asserting that "two wrongs make a right," Snow said: "Do we feel we've done wrong? Do we feel we cut corners? The answer is no."

Snow also said the White House feels it is on safe legal ground in contending that Libby will serve two years of probation, despite questions now being raised by Judge Reggie Walton, who issued an order Tuesday suggesting Libby cannot serve any probation since he never served any prison time before the commutation.

"Strictly construed, the statute authorizing the imposition of supervised release indicates that such release should occur only after the defendant has already served a term of imprisonment," Walton wrote.

After first suggesting he wasn't sure, Snow said White House counsel Fred Fielding had "absolutely" checked on this question before the president signed off on the commutation.

"The White House did not make a misstep," he said. Despite the certainty expressed by Snow, he did add that there's some "gray area in the law."

Asked about the plan of House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Michigan, to probe the Libby commutation, Snow snapped that the congressman should "knock himself out," but also probe the slew of pardons granted at the end of the Clinton administration.
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Postby lukpac » Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:50 pm

Ha ha ha!

Image
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Postby Rspaight » Thu Jul 05, 2007 5:50 pm

The Republican response to the Libby conviction and commutation, condensed for your convenience:

"Clinton!"

Ryan
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Postby Xenu » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:03 pm

Did you see the congressman (Christ...blanking on his name) on that recent Crooksandliars clip, who spent literally the entire time talking about how CLINTON GOT AWAY WITH IT?
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Postby Rspaight » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:08 pm

Yes. It's officially pathological at this point.

Ryan
RQOTW: "I'll make sure that our future is defined not by the letters ACLU, but by the letters USA." -- Mitt Romney

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Postby lukpac » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:28 pm

Xenu wrote:Did you see the congressman (Christ...blanking on his name) on that recent Crooksandliars clip, who spent literally the entire time talking about how CLINTON GOT AWAY WITH IT?


Dan Burton
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Postby lukpac » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:39 am

lukpac wrote:
Xenu wrote:Did you see the congressman (Christ...blanking on his name) on that recent Crooksandliars clip, who spent literally the entire time talking about how CLINTON GOT AWAY WITH IT?


Dan Burton


I continue to find that clip fascinating.

Does anyone know what Burton is talking about in terms of Clinton and perjury? "Bill Clinton committed perjury twice." "The perjury charge was entirely different from the impeachment, and you know that. He was charged with perjury for lying to the grand jury not once but twice, and to the American people."

http://www.11alive.com/rss/article.aspx?storyid=74815

On Clinton's last full day as president, Jan. 19, 2001, he agreed to a five-year license suspension. The agreement came on the condition that Whitewater prosecutors would not pursue criminal charges against him after he lied under oath about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.


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

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was accused of perjury and as a result was fined for contempt of court, agreed to be disbarred, and was impeached by the United States House of Representatives on December 19, 1998. The Senate rejected the perjury with 55 not-guilty votes and 45 guilty votes. No criminal charges were ever brought.
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Postby Xenu » Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:19 am

It's shit like this that makes me wonder why I'm so sure I could never be elected to Congress. Clearly, these fools have an easy time of it...
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Postby Rspaight » Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:42 am

No, no clue what he means by the perjury and the impeachment being "entirely different." The impeachment was based on the charge of perjury (and maybe obstruction, don't remember), and the Senate trial ended in the outcome quoted above. Burton's only possible meaning I can come up with is that although the impeachment was technically about the perjury, the public focus was on the sex. (Like how Libby was convicted for perjury and obstruction though the public focus was on the war and the Plame leak, though what his point is I have no idea.)

For that matter, I don't know under what conditions one may be charged with perjury for "lying to the American people" (unless he's using "American People" as a construct for the "state" in a legal proceeding).

What any of this has to do with Libby, of course, is another question altogether. It's nonsense under a layer of obfuscation in a big box of smoke and mirrors.

Ryan
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Postby Xenu » Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:07 pm

Firedoglake has some fantastic livebloggery of both today's Sara Taylor and Libby-related hearings. In the latter, there are a few moments where the liveblogger has to resort to repeating "Clinton Clinton Clinton" in lieu of whatever actual statements were being made.
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Postby dcooper » Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:25 am

Rspaight wrote:No, no clue what he means by the perjury and the impeachment being "entirely different." The impeachment was based on the charge of perjury (and maybe obstruction, don't remember), and the Senate trial ended in the outcome quoted above. Burton's only possible meaning I can come up with is that although the impeachment was technically about the perjury, the public focus was on the sex. (Like how Libby was convicted for perjury and obstruction though the public focus was on the war and the Plame leak, though what his point is I have no idea.)

For that matter, I don't know under what conditions one may be charged with perjury for "lying to the American people" (unless he's using "American People" as a construct for the "state" in a legal proceeding).

What any of this has to do with Libby, of course, is another question altogether. It's nonsense under a layer of obfuscation in a big box of smoke and mirrors.

Ryan


The interesting thing about that, vis a vis Clinton, is that if you say to a conservative that Clinton was impeached for getting a blow job, you get a lecture in return about how it wasn't about the sex, it was about the perjury. However, Burton has just acknowledged that it was in fact about the sex and the perjury was simply the technical "crime" to bring about the impeachment.

The bottom line here is this is Bush's Archibald Cox moment. Hopefully Bush's moment will lead to the same final act as Nixon's.
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Postby krabapple » Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:16 am

It wasn't about the blowjob OR about the perjury. It was about politics and power.
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