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President Frees a Terrorist

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/washington/AP-CIA-Leak-Trial.html - Bush Commutes Libby Prison Sentence

<quote>
WASHINGTON (AP) -- 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.
</quote>

If I had a beard, I would stroke it and ponder, why? Why might the president free this criminal. This traitor. I wonder...
Permalink son of parnas 
July 3rd, 2007 12:44am
Compare and contrast:
- President is indicted but not convicted for perjury: railroad job
- President commutes jail term of guy convicted of perjury: Constitution is broken, must get rid of executive pardon power (even though nobody complained about previous President's pardons...)

Answer in essay form. Restrict your discussion to the issues at hand, including legal precedent and other peer revie.... oh who am I kidding.
Permalink Send private email Philo 
July 3rd, 2007 1:04am
an executive pardon would be one thing.  but since when does the president have power to arbitarily render sentencing?
Permalink worldsSmallestViolin 
July 3rd, 2007 1:40am
Executive pardon is the last refuge of liberty in a system gone amuck.

However, it has been severely abused. The president/governor should NEVER be allow to use it in cases where there is such an obvious conflict of interest. Such as to get friends out of jail who went to jail because of crimes they committed under the direction of and while working for the executive branch. Using it this way shows contempt for justice. It is nothing more than the executive office operating above the law, free from responsibility for their criminal acts.

The President is a traitor to the Constitution.

When he said in his pardon statement that he 'respected the decision of the jury' just before overturning their decision, it was a slap in their face, a sick, twisted perversion.

I hope that the first thing they do to this enemy of the republic is hang the sick bastard after he is driven out of office.

Of course that will never happen because the democrats and republicans are the same and they are all in this shit together.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 3rd, 2007 1:56am
Bush vindictively waited until the last possible moment to do this, prolonging the agony of waiting endured by all concerned quite unnecessarily. He's a mean man.
Permalink trollop 
July 3rd, 2007 4:03am
How do you know he didn't tell them, at least Libby and family, in advance that they'd be pardoned whatever happened?
Permalink s 
July 3rd, 2007 5:08am
He wasn't pardoned. He still has a criminal record and a $250,000 fine.
Permalink Send private email bon vivant 
July 3rd, 2007 6:16am
Okay pardoned is the wrong word. My main point remains: I expect Bush told Libby, long ago, that he wouldn't be doing jail time.

Which kind of makes the whole charade into a mockery of justice does it not?
Permalink s 
July 3rd, 2007 6:24am
"(even though nobody complained about previous President's pardons...) "

I am old enough to remember the outrage when President Ford pardoned Nixon. Nixon was pardoned before even being convicted of any crime. Many wanted Nixon to stand trial and to be punished. Wikipedia says, "Ford came under intense criticism for granting a preemptive pardon to President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Ford

However I think that Ford did the right thing--the nation needed to get over the Watergate scandal and move on.

In contrast, I do not think Bush did the right thing.
Permalink XYZZY 
July 3rd, 2007 7:00am
I think Bush should resign. But who wants Cheney as president?
Permalink XYZZY 
July 3rd, 2007 7:12am
>And given that and in keeping with what we have said in the past, the President has not intervened so far in this or any other criminal matter, and so he is going to decline to do so now, as well.
>But given the fact that the judge has set up a process for appeal and given the way that the President has handled this for the past year or so, he's not going to intervene.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/06/20070605-13.html

bush-the-flip-flopper> If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.
http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/09/30/wilson.cia/

Now we know what "taken care of" means: a motherfucking pardon.
Permalink Peter 
July 3rd, 2007 8:01am
Bush should fire Cheney first, then resign.  That would solve it.

NEVER going to happen, though.  It's sad.  I suspect that the justifiable impeachment of this administration is never going to happen, and 5 years into the next administration some neo-cons will still remember this administration fondly.

Then again, there were always people who thought Nixon was rail-roaded, too.  One can't have everything.

Still, it's been made clear now that this administration isn't concerned about traitor's per se.  They HAVE an obvious traitor, and they're "commuting his sentence" (can Presidents REALLY do that, I thought that was the Judiciary?). 

So any time they say "traitor" in the future, it's obvious they mean "people who disagree with us", not the more strict definition of the word.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 9:02am
He still has a conviction on his record.  What Bush did was commute his sentence in order to prevent his going to prison.

The reasons why are obscure -- perhaps for humanitarian reasons (Scooter won't survive prison), perhaps to maintain the dignity of the office (yeah right).

In any case, presidents usually issue their pardons commutations, etc. in their last week in office (when no one will notice because of the innauguration hoopla).
Permalink xampl 
July 3rd, 2007 9:27am
Oh, he's GOING to be pardoned.  It's just too early for that, is all.

And he's not a terrorist.  He's a traitor.  There's a difference.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 9:28am
http://dowling.lazarusid.com/node/17

Long and short of it: I think it stinks, but primarily because the true culprit, Libbey's boss, isn't the convicted felon here. 

Bush resigning, that would be nice in theory, but that would make Nancy Pelosi president, and that can't be a good thing.  She was fine as a minority leader, but she's not equipped to be majority leader, let alone President.  The only hope would be to move the elections up to this fall, so that an Obama/Clinton ticket could be installed in the White House in January 2008.
Permalink Send private email Clay Dowling 
July 3rd, 2007 9:55am
And how would they be any better?
Both parties are corrupt.  Only each in their own special little way.
Permalink xampl 
July 3rd, 2007 10:15am
"Special little way"?  Oh, sure.

Democrats sleep with interns and then get impeached for lying about it.  A Democrat put $100,000 in a freezer.
 
Republicans subvert the Constitution, implement illegal wire-taps, create a prison in Guantanamo, and invade another sovereign nation on false pretenses.  And fire THEIR OWN prosecutors when they get too close to the truth.  AND avoid impeachment for any of it.

Quite frankly, I prefer the Democrats "special little ways".  They get caught, for one thing, and they get prosecuted, and eventually they even admit wrongdoing.  And apparently they do it a whole lot less.

Given Nixon and Bush-II, I'd assert Republicans have damaged America's freedoms MUCH more than Democrats.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 10:30am
"The lesser of two evils is still evil."
Permalink Malcolm 
July 3rd, 2007 10:36am
How do you best fight evil, then?

I'm strongly reminded of the Star Trek episode -- "Both sides use similar methods.  What's the difference between good and evil?"

The difference is their goals.  And to a lesser extent, the means they use.  Republican's goals are smaller government, lesser taxes, more freedom and money for the rich.  Democrat's goals are effective government, appropriate taxes, and that the freedom and opportunities for the least of us indicate the quality of the country.

Having said that, the EFFECT of the current Republican rule is MUCH larger government, deficit spending increasing debt service, and incredibly ineffective government.  And widening the gap between the rich and poor.

You vote for what you want.  If what you want is perfection, and you're not willing to tolerate anything less, then you enable the worst abuses.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 10:43am
You're judging Democrats by their intent, but Republicans by their effect? Careful.
Permalink Send private email heartsheep 
July 3rd, 2007 11:08am
Fair enough.  The EFFECT of the previous Democratic Presidency was smaller government, reduced spending, a balanced budget, and one of the longest sustained economic booms America has seen.

Were you scolding me for leaving that out?  Fair enough, I should have mentioned it.

But of course, since "both sides are corrupt", all these good things are fatally tainted, I suppose.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 11:12am
As much as I dislike the administration and Libby, 2.5 years for lying does seem a bit stiff.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 3rd, 2007 11:28am
Oh Hubble... that was Reaganomics and Bush Sr., silly!

Say, I got this ocean front condo in Nebraska...
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 3rd, 2007 11:30am
No, Clinton opened his presidence "with the largest tax increase in the history of America" in order to make it possible.

That turned the Congress Republican with the next election.  But the balanced budget stayed in place until Bush-II did "the largest tax DECREASE in the history of America".

If just occurred to me -- saying "they're all the same" is like saying all basements have mold.  Some basements have more mold than others, and are harder to clean out.  But you don't just throw up your arms and let the fur grow.  You do what you can to fight the mold.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 11:41am
Oh, wait, JoC was joking.  Sorry, my humor nerve has been deadened lately.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 11:41am
Yes it has. Not a problem. Hope everything is well for you, you've been different lately.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 3rd, 2007 12:03pm
> The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Then all people are evil so it would be irrational to pick the largest of the evils.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 3rd, 2007 12:12pm
Ah, SoP, you can summarize in one sentence what it took me three paragraphs to fail to say.

Well done.  Exactly.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 12:15pm
Yeah, I've had this head cold for about two weeks now.  Stuffy head, most recently my left ear is so congested I can barely hear on that side.

I think I'm just fine, but looking back my reactions seem to tend way more negative than usual.  Thanks for noticing, and I'll try to relax a bit.

On the other hand, in the last two weeks we had the whole "creation of SuperFriends" debacle, and that too was hard on me.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 12:21pm
> What's the difference between good and evil?"

> The difference is their goals.

> Then all people are evil so it would be irrational to pick the largest of the evils.


So is the difference between good and evil qualitative, ie, their goals? Or quantitative, ie, the extent of the effect (the "lessness' of the evil effect)?

This still seems very confused.
Permalink Send private email heartsheep 
July 3rd, 2007 12:32pm
"Then all people are evil so it would be irrational to pick the largest of the evils."

All people are human. All people are sinners, at least according to some religions.

But all people are evil? Don't know about that. Would you say that Mother Teresa was evil?
Permalink Always Fresh, Never Stale 
July 3rd, 2007 12:40pm
> Would you say that Mother Teresa was evil?

On the lessor of evil scales everyone is to one degree or another, evil.


> So is the difference between good and evil qualitative

Very simple. A is more evil than B. Which do you pick?

> This still seems very confused.

When you make it confusing, it does seem that way.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 3rd, 2007 12:48pm
Malcom said "the lesser of two evils is still evil".  So SoP pointed out "then it makes no sense to choose the LARGER evil".
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 12:49pm
Yes, I've heard things about Mother Theresa that might change your opinion of her 'infinite goodness'.

All humans are fallable, and in that way all humans can sin (fall short of perfect behavior).  The relationship of sin and evil is a complicated one -- I certainly think it's possible to sin and NOT be evil.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 12:51pm
"Then all people are evil so it would be irrational to pick the largest of the evils."

Actually, if all people are evil then it is rational and rather expected that they would collectively choose the worst evil possible as it would be the one the majority most identified with.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 3rd, 2007 12:55pm
>> But you don't just throw up your arms and let the fur grow.  You do what you can to fight the mold. <<

If mold-fighting compound "D" is equally as ineffective as mold-fighting comound "R", then maybe you need to try a different mold-fighting compound.
Permalink xampl 
July 3rd, 2007 12:57pm
Hey, all I said was "The lesser of two evils is still evil."

At no point did I say that that was any kind of excuse to do nothing about any evil.

Geez, people, get a grip already.
Permalink Malcolm 
July 3rd, 2007 1:06pm
> Very simple. A is more evil than B. Which do you pick?

So it is quantitative then, no? And perhaps probabilistic. For if A is twice as evil as B, then there should B should be chosen 2/3 of the time and A 1/3 of the time. What do you think? That would be the way to ration it out. Rationally.

The other way to go is that B is *always* picked over A. In which case it doesn't matter how much more evil A is ... it's a qualitative issue.

> When you make it confusing, it does seem that way.

Nope. STH first said it was intent that differentiates good from evil. Then he goes and agrees with the "largest of evils" argument (assuming the effects are what are being measured).

In the end, I'm still confused how you all are judging B to be more good than A at all ... right action? right outcome? right heart? (the three general approaches to ethics.)
Permalink Send private email heartsheep 
July 3rd, 2007 1:08pm
> At no point did I say that that was any kind of excuse to do nothing about any evil.

It's a way of saying it doesn't make a difference which you choose. It abrogates responsibility for selection because it makes all selections the same, even thought the expected value of evil is greater in one case.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 3rd, 2007 1:08pm
"It's a way of saying it doesn't make a difference which you choose."

Your interpretation, which is not necessarily agreed upon.
Permalink Malcolm 
July 3rd, 2007 1:10pm
> which is not necessarily agreed upon.

No, that's what it means.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 3rd, 2007 1:12pm
Sez who?
Permalink Malcolm 
July 3rd, 2007 1:12pm
"The lighter of two fat guys is still a fat guy."

So it doesn't matter which one is selected? Well, it certainly does if I'm on an elevator and the heavier of the two fat guys is going to cause the elevator to get stuck.
Permalink Malcolm 
July 3rd, 2007 1:20pm
> "The lighter of two fat guys is still a fat guy."

Isn't that what SoP is saying?

But the doctor will tell both fat guys to lose weight. So they are in different break-the-elevator categories, but in the same reduce-caloric-intake category.
Permalink Send private email heartsheep 
July 3rd, 2007 1:27pm
You keep being confused and pondering, heartsheep.  Meanwhile Bush has just commuted the sentence of a convicted traitor who lied about outing a CIA agent to the press -- because the traitor was working for Bush at the time.

Personally, when it all gets 'too confusing' for me, I look at the bottom line.  This tends to be very clarifying.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 2:21pm
Ok, STH, everyone should just do it then. Make judgments. Not know why one judges as ones does .. like you yourself did, sometimes for intent, sometimes for effect, whatever suits the moment.

The bottom line is .. that Clinton got zero time for perjury. No probation, no fine, no criminal record. Not even lost his government job. But then again, he had a good heart.
Permalink Send private email heartsheep 
July 3rd, 2007 2:43pm
Well, now, that's a VERY good point, I hadn't thought about that.  True, Clinton lied about an affair, while Libby lied about outing a CIA agent in time of war, in order to discredit her husband, who was trying to say one of the major justifications for waging war on another country was in fact completely bogus. 

But it's both perjury, good point.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 3rd, 2007 2:49pm
"Would you say that Mother Teresa was evil?"

Look up some details of how she worked. You may find that she believed suffering was good for the soul and brought people closer to God, therefore she made the people in her care continue to suffer pain and hardship rather than helping them. You may also find that she assigned a lot of money and effort in converting and training young women as nuns for religious goals, rather than spending that money on caring for the sick in the way people giving the money thought it would be spent.
Permalink Send private email bon vivant 
July 3rd, 2007 3:24pm
I've heard this whole "Mother Teresa was worse than Hitler, or at least just as bad" routine before. It's an old schtick. But it's just as sick as snuff porn. You're a demented pervert, vivant.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 3rd, 2007 3:28pm
It's not like it would make her evil, but certainly misguided and far from being a saint.
Permalink Send private email bon vivant 
July 3rd, 2007 3:44pm
Has anyone seen Philo's mom?  I've been looking for her.
Permalink CANCER 
July 3rd, 2007 11:35pm
Keep a lookout for my two weevils. I want them back.
Permalink Lessor 
July 4th, 2007 1:43am
But what he really chooses is the LESSER of his two weevils.  You can keep the bigger one, if you find both.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 4th, 2007 7:51pm

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