Monday, July 02, 2007

no prison for scooter, no justice

De facto President Bush has commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence. He says it was too harsh. So much for a law and order Republican Party, whose members were pushing hard for a pardon for Libby. But wait, harsh prison sentences are just for the little people, you know those who have two convictions for smoking pot and one for shoplifting who get 20 years. Not for allegedly respected public "servants" whose only crime is LYING DURING A TRIAL. But wait, Bush said:

"our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable."

But Scooter has no prison term now. He does face a $250,000 fine but you know the same neocons who raised millions for his legal fees will quickly raise this small amount to pay off the fine. So he's just left with probation. That means Scooter can't carry a gun or hang out with other felons. Since nobody in the de facto Bush Administration has been convicted (yet) of any of their crimes, that really won't even keep Scooter from hanging with his peeps. This is now less a slap on the wrist than a gentle caress.

Bush said he "respected" the jury's decision, but clearly he did not. This is the worst pardon or commutation since Ford did Nixon. At least then Ford could make the argument that this would let the US get over Watergate. There is no similar excuse for this commutation. (And no, the absurd and indefensible Clinton pardon of Marc Rich isn't as bad because Rich hadn't been convicted of crimes in office, where higher standards should prevail. But it was still stupid and wrong.)

As for expressing compassion for Scooter's wife and kids, two thoughts. Republican-backed mandatory sentencing laws show no such compassion towards families of other convicted criminals, especially if they are not the big corporate criminals who are likely to vote and donate Republican. And second, no justice for the undercover agents the US employs, who often risk their lives.

No prison for Scooter, no justice. Bush's America.

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