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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Monday, July 2, 2007


A Libby Liberation

There is no accountability in the Bush White House. - make no mistake about it. A federal judge told Scooter Libby and his lawyers that he would have to begin serving his thirty month prison term immediately while his appeal was exercised. The President felt otherwise. President Bush commuted that part of his punishment today allowing Libby's liberation. Sure, Libby still has to pay the $250,000 and his permanent record still says that he is a convicted felon, but, c'mon. This is certainly a "Get out of jail free" card. Mr. Libby was convicted of his crimes fairly and justly and now he doesn't have to serve one day of his term for them.

This is the administration of diminished responsibility.

What's the difference between Bush pardoning Libby and merely commuting his sentence? For one thing, the President can claim that he hadn't pardoned the former Chief of Staff for his co-president, Dick Cheney. Bush stated in his two-page letter that he thought the sentence was "excessive", and that's that. Other than the conviction, there really is no other punishment.

Some on the Right will point to the $250,000 fine that Libby still has to pay. Let's face facts, a one year appeal, while employing a battery of $300-an-hour attorneys would have cost him mush more than that measly quarter mil. And let's remember that Libby isn't really paying for his attorneys to begin with. GOP Presidential candidate, actor, former senator and photo-op truck driver Fred Thompson headed the Libby Defense Fund to make sure that Scooter didn't have to open his wallet to pay for his own defense.

Unless Libby's caught with a crack pipe, the only punishment he will actually be facing now is not be allowed to vote for Thompson in the 2008 elections.

At the very least, Libby attempted to make it harder for us to find out who released the name of CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame. President Bush's commutation is nothing more than a "Thank You" for his attempt to protect his administration and,, more specifically, his Vice President (co-president) Dick Cheney.

There can be no doubt that this "commutation" will magically turn into a "pardon" once the 2008 Presidential is over, or until it becomes obvious that a GOP candidate can't win. And much like those found guilty, then pardoned in the Reagan-era Iran-Contra affair, Libby will make his sleazy way back into the GOP political arena. Did it matter that Elliot Abrams pleaded two counts of unlawfully holding information about the Iran-Contra affair? Of course not. he was rewarded for it with his appointment as a special assistant to President Bush (43) and, again, worked in the White House. Nor did it matter that another five Iran-Contra convictee's found their way into GW's administration.

Whatever happened to GW's promise to fire anyone in his administration involved in leaking the name of Valerie Plame - Wilson? He even changed his position to firing anyone who committed a crime instead of just involvement.

"If somebody committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."

I guess that doesn't include people who actually work in his administration. After all, the Vice President's office is - or isn't - a part of the executive branch, as need be (or doesn't be). Just ask the co-president Dick Cheney.

-Noah Greenberg

In response to, "Remember to tell you friends who think they have good health care coverage that they are merely one illness away from testing that. Remember to point to the 48 million Americans who have no right to see a doctor when they are sick. Remember to point out to them that we are actually paying for the health care of the very poor and the very rich pay much less as a percentage of their income than we do. And then remember to tell them that this administration thinks that's just fine," Robert Scardapane writes:

Please go see Michael Moore's movie SICKO. As Michael Moore says at the outset, this movie is not for the 48 million with no health care coverage but for the 200 million who are covered. Changing the system from one that benefits the few to one that works for everyone requires support from the majority of Americans. We don't have to get everyone to agree with us that a single payer system is the most rational and just approach but we do have to build consensus.

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-Noah Greenberg