…If there is a leak out of my Administration I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated the law the person will be taken care of.
–George Bush, September 30, 2003
…The commutation “should demonstrate to the American people how corrupt this administration is.” He suggested that its goal was to prevent Mr. Libby from telling all he knew about White House actions, particularly in the planning for war.
“By his action, the president has guaranteed that Mr. Libby has no incentive to begin telling the truth,” Mr. Wilson said.
Little could the American people imagine in 2003 when George Bush said he would “take care” of the leaker what this would actually mean in 2007. What a travesty. Alexander’s Archive wittily calls this Bush’s version of amnesty. And how right Joe Wilson is in talking about this decision as an indication of the political corruption at the heart of this Administration. Not corruption involving money. But corruption of the values, ideals and principles of constitutional law. Of course, Bush has the RIGHT to commute anyone’s sentence. That’s not what I meant by corrupting the constitution. I mean that he has subverted the rule of law and the principle that no one is above it.
So we see that in Guantanamo there are human beings who are, according to Bush, not subject to conventional American justice but rather to George Bush’s version of rough extra-constitutional justice. Conversely, we see there are Bush apparachiks who will always be protected from the application of justice to their crimes. As Pat Fitzgerald so aptly said today:
“It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals.”
I find this Bush statement not only laughable but infuriating:
“I respect the jury’s verdict,” Mr. Bush said in a statement. “But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive.”
First, it’s ludicrous to say he respects the jury’s verdict since he’s just shat on it. Second, here’s a guy with no law degree and an attorney general as shoddy as they come and they’re making a considered judgment that a federal judge’s sentence is “excessive?” Who’s kiddin’ who here? Libby’s damn lucky Fitzgerald didn’t actually charge him with the leak and prosecute him under much more severe terms had he been found guilty. ‘Excessive’ my ass.
Here’s what I hope: that Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton when they win the White House immediately appoint Pat Fitzgerald attorney general. Then we’ll really know what it means to be a nation ruled by laws and not by whim or ideology.
In discussing the commutation with my wife, she made a terrific point. Bush, by his action, has essentially decided to write off the presidency for the Republican party. He’s said to his party’s candidates: “I could give a shit about you. Apres moi–le deluge.” Oops, that was French. Of course, he would never say that. But you get my drift.
What shocks me is that Giuliani and Romney have endorsed Bush’s action. I guess they don’t think it’s going to play too badly with the American electorate come 2008. I’m hoping they’re sorely mistaken. Of course, no single action like this will seal the deal for the Dems in 2008. But I’d sure love to see some campaign commercials in the general election reminding the electorate of Giuliani’s support for this schande if he’s the Republican candidate. I wonder what McCain is going to do. We all know what the “old” John McCain would’ve done. The Straight Talker would’ve said it stinks to high heaven. What will the expedient, pragmatic McCain do?
I recently wrote a post about Lt. Cmdr. Matt Diaz, the patriot who revealed the names of the Guantanamo detainees to a human rights lawyer. He’s serving 6 months in the Navy brig for his troubles. As we approach July 4th, it seems ironic the patriots are behind bars and the criminals get their sentences commuted!