From the Raleigh News & Observer: "Well, now we know what 'compassionate conservatism' means. It means that if you're Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, and you're convicted of lying to FBI agents and a federal grand jury, you don't have to go to prison -- even when many others have for similar offenses."
From the LA Times:
[R]ecords show that the Justice Department under the Bush administration frequently has sought sentences that are as long, or longer, in cases similar to Libby's. Three-fourths of the 198 defendants sentenced in federal court last year for obstruction of justice — one of four crimes Libby was found guilty of in March — got some prison time. According to federal data, the average sentence defendants received for that charge alone was 70 months.With his commutation, Bush has further weakened our legal system. Expect future "Libby exceptions" and pleas in courts across the country. And as for the last paragraph referring to "without recent precedent," what we have is a singularly horrible president making singularly unprecedented decisions. What don't people get? Bush's actions are always wrong, but at this point far from surprising.
Just last week, the Supreme Court upheld a 33-month prison sentence for a decorated Army veteran who was convicted of lying to a federal agent about buying a machine gun. The veteran had a record of public service — fighting in Vietnam and the Gulf War — and no criminal record. But Justice Department lawyers argued his prison term should stand because it fit within the federal sentencing guidelines.
That Bush chose to make an exception for a political ally is galling to many career Justice Department prosecutors and other legal experts. Federal prosecutors said Tuesday the action would make it harder for them to persuade judges to deliver appropriate sentences.
Sentencing experts said Bush's action appeared to be without recent precedent. They could not recall another case in which someone sentenced to prison had received a presidential commutation without having served any part of that sentence. Presidents have customarily commuted sentences only when someone has served substantial time.
The St.Louis Post-Dispatch wrote:
Anyone who is surprised that President George W. Bush commuted I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's prison sentence hasn't been paying enough attention to the way this administration does business:Finally, and this is the kicker, in his book, "A Charge To Keep," Bush stated, "I don't believe my role is to replace the verdict of a jury with my own," he said referring to why he signed death warrants for 152 inmates as governor of Texas.
It wages a pre-emptive war in search of non-existent weapons of mass destruction. It ignores the judges of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and wiretaps citizens without warrants. It holds prisoners for years without charges or trial, and uses secret prisons overseas where prisoners are tortured in everything but name. It nominates its own unqualified lawyer to the Supreme Court and fires career prosecutors to make room for its own stooges. It ravages the environment and calls it the Healthy Forests Act and Clear Skies Initiative. It walks away from international arms treaties and even claims the vice president isn't part of the executive branch.
Surely giving Libby a get-of-jail-free card is no big deal.
Do *%^$#* hypocritical a-holes come any bigger?