Libby: Will Congress Stand Up or Roll Over?

Bush has commuted Libby’s sentence. Harry Reid is talking tough on the surface (but weak once you get past that first millimeter of pond scum. Johnathan):

Harry Reid is mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore:

The President’s decision to commute Mr. Libby’s sentence is disgraceful. Libby’s conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq War. Now, even that small bit of justice has been undone. Judge Walton correctly determined that Libby deserved to be imprisoned for lying about a matter of national security. The Constitution gives President Bush the power to commute sentences, but history will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own Vice President’s Chief of Staff who was convicted of such a serious violation of law.

Oh, if only the United States Senate had some way of judging George Bush! If only our Founding Fathers had had the foresight to provide such a method in Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 of our Constitution!

But sadly, the Senate is completely powerless in such situations, leaving this matter entirely in the hands of history.

You’d think they’d at least investigate (mcjoan):

Isikoff said there’s nothing that prevents Congress from investigating the granting of this pardon and asking why the president chose to depart from the guidelines, for the first time, for his special assistant and the chief of staff to Cheney.

More than issuing strong statements, it’s time for Congress to investigate this commutation.

The impression of words over action is super glued to Congress. In a joint post, Mirth and D-Day write:

Regardless their words, however promising, they all comfortably ride the military/corporate gravytrain even as our country falls deeper into an abyss of loss and degradation.

At the very least, it appears a sizable chunk of Republicans see this for what it is, and aren’t impressed. It is just one more example of Bush’s complete disregard for the rule of law (From the Left):

President George Bush predictably made a mockery of the American justice system and commuted Libby’s 30 month prison sentence.

We could see this coming. And we should see it coming when it comes to the current crop of Republican party hopefuls. The taint is already spreading to the Republican candidates most desperate to claim Bush’s legacy (Bloggernista):


(Feigned look of shock) Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson following the right-wing talking points to a t, issued this statement on Bush’s amnesty for Scooter Libby:

I am very happy for Scooter Libby. I know that this is a great relief to him, his wife and children.

While for a long time I have urged a pardon for Scooter, I respect the president’s decision.

This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life.

Is there any wonder why Americans are so disgusted with the way that Bush and the Republican Party have misled our government?

When you look at people locked away for minor, non-violent drug-crimes, and see who the President chose to help, you can’t help but get angry. Putting the President’s act in context is damning (Jesus’ General). This is what justice looks like to a Republican.

And yet the President’s decision goes beyond justice to a profound issue of how our government plays out in reality. The President is obviously “still drunk with power” (Kay). This is another power grab for the executive.

Will Congress do anything about it?



12 Responses

  1. Will Congress DO anything about it? —
    Not unless they’re made to. Somehow, we need to get impeachment out past the blogosphere and into the street. I think the communtation this afternoon was actually a dare. And (sadly) I think Bush’s assessment — that Reid et al. will do nothing except talk — is likely correct.

  2. Congress will stomp their feet and scream and then get on with raising money and running for president.

    Words are cheap.

  3. Congress will do nothing, and Pelosi will blame “somebody” for the problem. Yawn.

    This just confirms what we already knew – nobody in the power-elite gives 2 shits about law and order.

    Robber barons indeed!

  4. There will be no impeachment. The big I is always a risk, not just to the supposed victim of the proceeding who, in the last 17 months of his job stands to lose nothing more than his legacy, but also to the Congress that initiates the proceeding. The Dems desperately want back in the White House and any steps toward impeachment could swing either way in the court of public opinion. They _should_ do it, but they won’t. It’s perceived as too risky. Besides they couldn’t even get enough votes for a no-brainer no-confidence vote against the Attorney General. If that failed, an impeachment proceeding is doomed….and losing the impeachment attempt will be worse than starting it and winning.

    That said, this commutation (not pardon) is an absolute disgrace, but a shrewd move politically. I had predicted no pardon because to do that would be to leave Libby out as an open wound on the GOP. This doesn’t take away his criminal record (GWB leaves that to the court of appeals) but it takes away the punishment. Everybody wins! Oh yeah, except rule of law and basic human dignity.

  5. That’s why the Democrats are criminal. They are exploiting everything they can for political gain. Meanwhile, more americans and iraqis die daily. All so they can drag it out into a general election stumping point. It’s disgraceful.

  6. In 8 short months, the Harry and Nancy show has driven public opinion of the Congress down to 14%.

    This number is lower than Bush’s approval number.

    Speaker Botox is a weakling and the wrong person for the job. I say she should step aside and hand the Gavel to Rep. Henry Waxman.

  7. It appears that the House Judiciary Committee will do their own investigation into Libby’s clemency. If they do this, hold onto your hats! It’s going to be a wild ride. Can’t pardon anyone who is being investigated by Congress.

    Libby may reveal too much especially since he’s lied his way into 5 felonies….


  8. I propose that the real issue before us is one of gullibility. The reason I say this, is simply because recognized George Bush as lying, ever since his campaign days and, wondered about the gullibility of my countrymen ever since.

    You know, “security” is an EMOTION. As such, it is a psychological issue, not a material one.

  9. 1. Stein,
    We need to make them do something about it.
    What use do we have for ineffective cowards?

    2. Christopher,
    Even a pragmatic congress would be better than what we have.
    A real investigation could be outstanding PR for a campaign.

    3. bret,
    Hardly robber barons, but it does seem as though law and order
    is some kind of a game. Pity they don’t have longer attention spans.

    4. JimPanzee,
    They don’t even need to impeach. Just going after Libby, or going after the guy behind the whole thing in the first place (Cheney), would strike a blow for justice, and be a hit in the court of public opinion.

    It is a shrewd move on the part of Bushco. Note that he’s keeping pardon open as an option. For him, I’m sure this is all about preserving his power to do as he pleases.

    5. Bret,
    The Republicans are criminal too. The Dems at least make noises about opposing the President. The Republicans publicly support him and the war.

    6. Christopher,
    I say she should step up and lead. She has been a disgrace, but it is not too late for her to regain a sense of justice and help lead us out of this mess.

    7. Kay,
    Huzzah for the House Judiciary Committee!
    I imagine all sorts of interesting things could spill out.

    8. Sue Ann Edwards,
    This provides a good litmus test for the Republican candidates. Fred Thompson was the first to jump on board and support the President. He really is running as George W Bush II. He’ll share the same view of Americans, and the same stategery of fooling most of the people too much of the time.

  10. Sir,

    One Republican, at least (and there are more, if you look), does not support the president and the war. That man is of course Ron Paul. 😉

    Also – they certainly ARE robber barons. These are after all OIL EXECUTIVES in the White House. They use their political power to bend and stretch the law to benefit them and their cronies. It is as far from capitalism as one can be. Thus, why we have to take the fight to ’em.

  11. Bret,

    And it is one of Ron Pauls most outstanding positions.

    Point, Match on the White House Oil Executives.

  12. So, you concede there are other “outstanding positions”?!?! Wink wink…

    I dunno if you look at older threads that often so check the one under Obama, there’s some interesting stuff in that book I mentioned, I think.

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