Reax to the commuting of Libby’s sentence

Make sure to read James Taranto’s flashback to Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to Clinton’s pardoning of 14 FALN terrorists, versus her reaction to the President commuting Libby’s sentence:

The House voted 311-41 for a nonbinding resolution “expressing the sense of Congress that the President should not have granted clemency to terrorists.” All 41 of those voting “no” were Democrats, as were 71 of the 72 members who voted “present” (the other was a self-styled socialist who abjured formal membership in the party).

Nancy Pelosi, now speaker of the House, did not vote. But the Congressional Record reveals that was only because she showed up late;

Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Chairman, on the last vote, H. Con. Res. 180, I was detained in traffic while returning to the Capitol. Had I been present, I would have voted “no.”

Pelosi was unwilling to criticize a president of her own party when he turned loose terrorists convicted of such crimes as seditious conspiracy, possession of unregistered firearms and interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle. Keep that in mind as you read her statement yesterday:

The President’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison sentence does not serve justice, condones criminal conduct, and is a betrayal of trust of the American people.

The President said he would hold accountable anyone involved in the Valerie Plame leak [sic] case. By his action today, the President shows his word is not to be believed. He has abandoned all sense of fairness when it comes to justice, he has failed to uphold the rule of law, and he has failed to hold his Administration accountable.

The word hypocrite doesn’t even come close to describing our Speaker of the House.

This next one will crack you up: Here was the reaction of one of the far left’s favorite blogger’s to the news of Bush’s decision on Libby’s sentence:

Inevitably, the subject of Marc Rich comes up every time presidential pardons come up. Without going into all of the issues, can we just remind the world that… Marc Rich’s lawyer was Scooter Libby.

Um, um, but Scooter Libby wasn’t the one who was sitting in the big chair that would have allowed him to pardon Marc Rich, now was he? Doofus.

On that note, Tom Maguire quotes Reuters on the sentence commuting:

Many at the White House found criticism from New York Sen. Hillary Clinton particularly ironic. Aside from the Rich pardon, her husband’s former national security adviser, Sandy Berger, reached a plea deal in 2005 and avoided a jail sentence for illegally removing classified documents from the National Archives and destroying some of them.

These clowns on the left actually want you to believe that they are outraged at this ‘miscarriage of justice’ that Bush has carried out by commuting Libby’s sentence, when in actuality they don’t give a damn about ‘justice’ – they just, as they always have, wanted to be able to savor the ‘victory’ they received out of this overhyped non-scandal which produced Lewis Libby’s conviction on four counts – because they couldn’t get Karl Rove, the guy they were really after. Now Libby is not going to jail, and they’re being robbed of their perp walk, and like spoiled children who have been denied their chocolate milk, they’re going to whine about it until the next ‘scandal’ erupts that they can overhype and lie about it.

Update: Via ST reader NC Cop comes this AP link, where Hillary Clinton herself tries to distinguish Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich with Bush’s commuting of Libby’s sentence:

KEOKUK, Iowa — Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton drew a distinction between President Bush’s decision to commute the sentence of White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby — which she has harshly criticized — and her husband’s 140 pardons in his closing hours in office.

“I believe that presidential pardon authority is available to any president, and almost all presidents have exercised it,” Clinton said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “This (the Libby decision) was clearly an effort to protect the White House. … There isn’t any doubt now, what we know is that Libby was carrying out the implicit or explicit wishes of the vice president, or maybe the president as well, in the further effort to stifle dissent.”


Her husband’s pardons, issued in the closing hours of his presidency, were simply routine exercise in the use of the pardon power, and none were aimed at protecting the Clinton presidency or legacy, she said.


What she doesn’t mention is what some of them really were for: Political payback – not just for Bubba, but for HER, too (emphasis added):

Marc Rich’s socialite ex-wife has donated an estimated $1 million to Democratic causes, including $70,000 to Hillary Clinton’s successful Senate campaign and $450,000 to the Clinton presidential library fund. She also lobbied heavily for Marc’s pardon. Investigators want to know if Denise’s contributions led to a direct quid pro quo exchange for her ex-husband’s pardon. Clinton has denied any connection, saying he relied solely on the information provided by Jack Quinn (former White House counsel and Rich’s current lawyer) when he was weighing the pardon request.

Uh huh …

Nice try, Hillary – or should I say in this case, Hillaryous (sorry, couldn’t resist!)?

More: Hilarity ensues. The usual suspects are diggin’ it, of course.

Even more: How could I have forgotten? This definitive piece by David Brooks was the reason I started this post in the first place :)

In retrospect, Plamegate was a farce in five acts. The first four were scabrous, disgraceful and absurd. Justice only reared its head at the end.

The drama opened, as these dark comedies are wont to do, with a strutting little peacock who went by the unimaginative name of Joe Wilson.

Mr. Wilson claimed that his wife had nothing to do with his trip to investigate Iraqi purchases in Niger, though that seems not to have been the case. He claimed his trip proved Iraq had made no such attempts, though his own report said nothing of the kind.

In short order, Wilson established himself as the charming P.T. Barnum of the National Security set, an inveterate huckster who could be counted on to wrap every actual fact in six layers of embellishment. His small part in the larger fiasco of the Iraq war would not have registered a micron of attention had the villain of the epic — the vice president — not exercised his unfailing talent for vindictive self-destruction.

Act Two opened with a cast of thousands crowding the stage, filling the air with fevered vapors and gleeful rage. Perhaps you can remember those days, when the Plame story pretended to be about the outing of an undercover C.I.A. agent. Perhaps you can remember the howls of outrage from our liberal friends, about the threat to national security, the secret White House plot to discredit its enemies.

It’s only an excerpt, but if you’ve got a subscription to Times Select where you can read it in full, it’s a must-read.

Wed. AM Update: ST reader Karl has a rundown of who the real ‘pardon kings’ are – hint: the two Bush presidents don’t even come close.

And the NYT continues to browbeat the President’s decision.

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