Archive for the ‘Scooter Libby’ Category
You’ll pardon us if we don’t jump on the “Yay Scott McClellan” band wagon – what we see is yet another son-of-a-b cashing in on what he knew to be wrong in the first place.
We wish to say to Mr. McClellan –
“What you have done, or more importantly, WHAT YOU DID NOT DO BY CALLING OUT THE UNTRUTHS AS YOU SAID THEM, has led directly to the deaths of thousands of American men and women as well as to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis civilians.
Whatever your beliefs are about ‘Karma’ – we’d hate to be in your shoes.”
If you have the stomach to read about yet another “fine American civil servant just doing his duty” and then finally telling “the truth” – click below for the story of Mr. McClellan’s book:
Not that we’re fans of GW or his cohorts but we’re just curious, Scott – as an admitted liar, what makes you think we should believe you now?
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 20, 2008; 11:59 AM Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was disbarred today by a District of Columbia court that ruled that his convictions last year for perjury and obstructing justice in a White House leak investigation disqualify him from practicing law.
Under the ruling by the D.C. Court of Appeals, Libby will lose his license to practice or appear in court in Washington until at least 2012. As is standard custom, he also would lose any bar membership he might hold in any other states.
Libby was convicted of lying to the FBI and federal investigators about whether he discussed the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame with reporters in the spring and summer of 2003. At the time, according to evidence presented at trial, Cheney had instructed Libby to talk to reporters to rebut claims made by Plame’s husband that the administration had twisted intelligence to justify going to war with Iraq.
A three-member panel of the Court of Appeals decided that the D.C. Code gave it no choice on the decision. Libby has not disputed the D.C. Bar Counsel’s recommendation that he be disbarred.
“When a member of the Bar is convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, disbarment is mandatory,” the judges wrote. “This court has held that obstruction of justice and perjury are crimes of moral turpitude per se.”
Libby’s disbarment is effective as of June 12, 2007, when he first filed a declaration saying he would voluntarily comply with the court’s rules on professional ethics for lawyers. Libby, 57, could seek reinstatement to the bar five years from that date, in June 2012.
Last July, a federal judge sentenced Libby to 30 months in jail. President Bush commuted the sentence, calling it “excessive.”
Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has written a new book which states that President Bush and Dick Cheney were directly involved in the leak of CIA-operative Valerie Plame’s name.
Unfortunately, the Associated Press has released the story – and, as you know, they are going after bloggers who repost their stories.
We will not post it here, but suggest you read it at this link – it’s a big enough story not to miss!
We will not be posting Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007. We are participating in the STRIKE FOR PEACE.
If you’ve had enough, you need to say “When.” Say-when.org
Bush Refuses to Explain Libby Order
Jul 11, 8:02 PM (ET)
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush refused to explain to Congress on Wednesday why he commuted the prison sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. The husband of the CIA agent outed in the case testified during a House hearing that the clemency grant had cast a pall of suspicion over the presidency.
In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., Bush counsel Fred Fielding said Congress had no authority to review a presidential clemency decision.
“To allow such an inquiry would chill the complete and candid advice that President Bush, and future presidents, must be able to rely upon in discharging their constitutional responsibilities,” he wrote.
The letter came in the middle of a politically charged hearing by the Judiciary panel on Bush’s move last week to erase Libby’s 2 1/2-year prison sentence. Libby, a former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted of obstructing justice in a federal probe of the leak of former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity.
When he issued the commutation July 2, Bush said in a statement that he respected the jury’s verdict but thought the prison term was too harsh.
The hearing’s star witness was her husband Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former diplomat whose 2003 newspaper column challenging Bush’s case for the Iraq war precipitated Plame’s unmasking and the resulting investigation that ensnared Libby.
“In commuting Mr. Libby’s sentence, the president has removed any incentive for Mr. Libby to cooperate with the prosecutor. The obstruction of justice is ongoing, and now the president has emerged as its greatest protector,” Wilson testified.
Wilson said Bush “at the very least owes the American people a full and honest explanation of his actions and those of other senior administration officials in this matter, including but not limited to the vice president.”
Conyers said he recognized Bush’s constitutional right to grant clemency, but he argued that using the power to benefit a former aide who was in a position to incriminate other administration officials was suspect.
Even President Clinton’s pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich “did not involve someone who worked in the White House and could potentially implicate others there, as may be or appears to be the case in this instance,” Conyers said.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., compared the commutation to the pardons issued by President George H.W. Bush in the Iran-Contra affair, arguing that both excused actions that “frustrated a legitimate investigation, and the pardons guaranteed … that that investigation could go no further.”
Republicans angrily derided the hearing as a partisan stunt that could accomplish nothing, since the president has inherent constitutional authority to pardon or grant clemency to whomever he wishes.
“What’s going on here today is more braying at the moon by my friends on the other side of the aisle, who spend more time looking into real or imagined misconduct on the part of the Bush administration, rather than doing the job that we were elected to do,” said Sen. F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.
Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., said Democrats were right that Bush might have handled the matter differently, but added: “The big difference is, he’s the president and you’re not, and he made the judgment to exercise his constitutional authority the way he did.”
At one point the hearing degenerated into name-calling, as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., accused Plame of lying to the Judiciary Committee during testimony in March when she said she had not tapped her husband to travel to Niger for the fact-finding mission that led to his op-ed questioning Bush’s Iraq war claims.
“This is yet a further smear of my wife’s good name and my good name,” Wilson loudly protested later, as Issa objected repeatedly and Conyers fought to gain control of the hearing.
From My Way News
Bush acknowledges his administration leaked CIA operative’s name
Thursday, July 12, 2007
WASHINGTON: President George W. Bush on Thursday acknowledged publicly for the first time that someone in his administration likely leaked the name of a CIA operative, although he also said he hopes the controversy over his decision to spare prison for a former White House aide has “run its course.”
“And now we’re going to move on,” Bush said in a White House news conference.
The president had initially said he would fire anyone in his administration found to have publicly disclosed the identity of Valerie Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and a CIA operative. Wilson is an outspoken Iraq war critic.
Ten days ago, Bush commuted the 30-month sentence given to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby by a federal judge in connection with the case.
Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, had been convicted of lying and obstruction of justice in the CIA-leak case.
Bush would not directly address answer a question about whether he is disappointed in the White House officials who leaked Plame’s name.
“I’m aware of the fact that perhaps somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person,” Bush said. “I’ve often thought about what would have happened if that person had come forth and said, ‘I did it.’ Would we have had this endless hours of investigation and a lot of money being spent on this matter? But, so, it’s been a tough issue for a lot of people in the White House. It’s run its course and now we’re going to move on.”
He also defended the decision to commute Libby’s sentence. “The Scooter Libby decision was, I thought, a fair and balanced decision,” Bush said.
Bush also presented a mixed picture of progress in Iraq, coinciding with an interim report to Congress by his administration that asserted progress on some fronts but not on others.
He said he understood the growing opposition to the war among the American public and recent defections by some Republicans in Congress.
“There’s war fatigue in America. It’s affecting our psychology. I understand that. It’s an ugly war,” Bush said.
He said he had listened carefully to influential Republican senators who had recently been critical of his war strategy. But, in the end, he said, he was commander in chief and he would rely on advice from his military commanders.
“I value the advice of those senators, I appreciate their concern. … I’m going to continue to listen to them,” Bush said.
He said he still believed the war could — and must — be won. “If we increase our support at this crucial moment, we can hasten the day when our troops come home,” Bush said.
Questions on Iraq dominated Bush’s news conference, his first full-blown question and answer session with reporters once since May 24.
The administration’s report said there has been satisfactory progress on eight political and military benchmarks, unsatisfactory progress on another eight, and mixed results in two other areas.
On one of the few other questions of the news conference not related to Iraq, Bush was asked whether he also had a “gut feeling” there might be a terror attack this summer, as Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff had recently suggested.
“My gut tells me that, which my head tells as well, is that: When we find a credible threat, we’ll share it with you.”
From the International Herald
July 7, 2007
Ewen MacAskill in Washington
President George Bush turned 61 yesterday but he had little to celebrate at the end of a week in which his isolation has been exposed as never before.
Laura Bush held an early family party for him on Wednesday, to which a few professional golfers were also invited, and on Thursday the president made a rare outing to watch a baseball game. But these few birthday celebrations apart, it has been a relentless week for the US president.
A backlash against his decision on Monday to commute the jail sentence of the former White House aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby was followed on Thursday by the withdrawal of support for his Iraq strategy by Pete Domenici, a Republican senator for 35 years. The loss of such a loyal senator is ominous for Mr Bush’s war plans.
More defections are expected, and Mr Bush cuts a lonely figure, holed up in the White House fretting over his legacy.
Professor Robert Dallek, author of several books about the presidency, said that while it was not unusual for a president to limp to the end of his term as a lame duck, he saw Mr Bush as a particularly pronounced case. “If you are looking at defeat, no one wants to be associated with the person responsible. This is the case with Bush. You do not see his party rally round. He has united opinion against him and it makes for a lonely, isolated position,” Prof Dallek said. “Once a president loses trust, he cannot govern effectively.”
Although he has 18 months left in office, Mr Bush’s options are limited. Last week, he lost his last chance for snatching a lasting domestic legacy when his immigration reform bill was destroyed in Congress. On foreign policy, there is little optimism of a late breakthrough on Israel-Palestine, Iran or Iraq.
The Washington Post reported this week on academics invited to the White House to discuss with him his legacy, including Sir Alistair Horne, author of a history of the Algerian revolt, which has parallels with Iraq. They, as well as former staffers and friends, spoke of his loneliness, his agonising over how history will portray him. Michael Conaway, a still loyal senator and long-time friend, said the president appeared to be worn down by the pressure and spoke of “a marked difference in his physical appearance”.
Although never a social animal, he is reluctant to drop into Washington restaurants unannounced for dinner, as the Clintons did, in part because he is fearful of the public response. This week, in particular, because of the Libby decision, he has largely avoided public contact – his July 4 speech in West Virginia was invitation-only.
The White House presented the Libby decision as a non-political compromise.
A well-connected source in Washington challenged the consensus that Mr Bush’s poll ratings, at just under 30%, could not fall much further because that figure represented bedrock Republican support. The source said commuting Mr Libby’s sentence, a popular move among Republicans, was a panic measure after an alarming erosion in support, mainly because of hostility to the immigration plan.
Mr Domenici’s withdrawal of support followed the desertion of the Republican senator Richard Lugar last week, also over Iraq. About 50% of the sitting Republican senators face re-election in November next year and their constituents have made them well aware of how unpopular the Iraq war is.
The White House yesterday expressed disappointment, saying it had hoped the senators would not go public with their frustration before September, when the army and others report back on whether Mr Bush’s “surge” strategy is working.
Steve Clemons, head of the progressive thinktank the New America Foundation, has heard the reports of Mr Bush’s decline in power and is sceptical. He cautioned: “Even though he has lost some ability to dictate events, he is still capable of deploying major influence on the big issues. We went through the same thing with [Vice-president Dick] Cheney when people thought he was down and out. I think it is a big mistake to think Bush is now powerless.”
With little positive to show from six years in office, Mr Bush has been talking up his transformation of the supreme court as his legacy. He has given it a strong rightwing bias, demonstrated by rulings on abortion, employment discrimination and rejection of death penalty appeals. That will please Republicans, at least.
But Prof Dallek remains unimpressed. Rating the worst presidents, he said: “Hoover was a disaster. Warren Harding rates very low in the pantheon of presidents and it is likely that Bush will be seen as a bottom feeder.”
In his official statement, President Bush says he believes it’s Libby’s reputation that has been “forever damaged,” adding, “his wife and young children have also suffered immensely.”
Nearly 3,600 American men and women and an estimated more than 70,000 Iraqi civilians are dead in Iraq. Their families suffer immensely. Scooter Libby, aka Federal Inmate No. 28301-016, walks free.
From Michael Winship – Truthout.org
Hey – did anybody else notice that Jr. looked a little “beat up” for his Scooter Statement? Maybe it was another run-in with a pretzel…
Look at the boo-boo over his left eye. Ow-y!
(Feel free to keep the sound off – I know I can hardly stand to hear him speak anymore.)
“In light of yesterday’s announcement by the President that he was commuting the prison sentence for Scooter Libby, it is imperative that Congress look into presidential authority to grant clemency, and how such power may be abused,” John Conyers (D- MI) said. “Taken to its extreme, the use of such authority could completely circumvent the law enforcement process and prevent credible efforts to investigate wrongdoing in the executive branch.”
Conyers – Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee – has scheduled hearings for Wednesday to look into the issue.
When told, White House spokesman Tony Snow said “Well, fine – knock himself out.”
I guess the smirk and the smart-ass attitude behind it has trickled all the way down.