Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bush Does Something Right

The press is in a rage over President Bush commuting Scooter Libby's prison sentence (no word on the rumors that Bush thought he was issuing a statement offering to drive Libby to prison). I believe this is the right move. Depending on the outcome of Libby's appeal, Bush may pardon him entirely. It can't hurt his approval ratings. Everyone knows that Libby did not reveal Valerie Plame's identity to the press, that was Richard Armitage, who has no connection to the White House. Libby was technically convicted of perjury, making false statements, and obstruction of justice for recalling that Tim Russert first told him about Plame's identity when it was really Dick Cheney, but the D.C. jury just wanted someone to pay for the Plame non-scandal.

Compare this action by Bush to the President Clinton's pardons (see wikipedia). He pardoned several people in exchange for payments to relatives, but most egregiously, he commuted the sentences 16 Puerto Rican terrorists. They were members of FALN, which set off 120 bombs in New York and Chicago, killing 6 and maiming dozens. Clinton's action was condemned by a vote of 95-2 in the Senate and 311-41 in the House. Why would he do this? The most plausible theory to me is that he thought it would help Hillary get the Puerto Rican vote in her New York Senate race.

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