Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 6, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

PARDONING LIBBY....I'm curious: why is it that George Bush is apparently digging in his heels and planning not to intervene in the Scooter Libby case? Consider:

  • The conservative base is furious that Bush hasn't pardoned Libby, and Bush usually tries to tend the base pretty carefully.

  • You have to figure that Dick Cheney wants Libby to be pardoned, and he's usually pretty persuasive about this kind of thing.

  • Bush is a lame duck, so it's not as if a pardon will hurt his reelection chances.

  • Pardoning Libby and claiming that this is a principled stand against a liberal witch hunt is precisely the kind of thing Bush would normally be expected to do.

What am I missing? In what way would a pardon hurt Bush?

POSTSCRIPT: On another note, if I'm ever convicted on federal charges, I'd just like to ask all of Washington's prominent hawks and neocons not to write letters to the judge on my behalf. It just seems to have pissed him off.

Kevin Drum 12:27 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (119)

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Comments

Maybe he's worried about angering the base by granting "amnesty" to someone who has broken the law!

Posted by: zainib on June 6, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think you have to worry about prominent hawks and neocons writing letters on your behalf for any reason whatsoever.

Posted by: mats on June 6, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

> I'm curious: why is it that George
> Bush is apparently digging in his
> heels and planning not to intervene
> in the Scooter Libby case?

That is a very typical frat-boy pseudo-athlete mentality in my experience. Yeah, they are loyal to the members of their "team" /as long as those people are "on" the team/. As soon as they are "off" the team, whether due to injury, suspension, or being voted off the island they cease to exist. And not only is the team not loyal to those who no longer exist, it actively attacks them when the opportunity arises. No heresy allowed.

Also, I suspect W is finally realizing that he is going to be around a lot longer than Cheney, and he is starting to actually diverge from Cheney's friendly guidance.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 6, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

It's amazing to me that the conservative base sees even this as some sort of partisan competition. I don't understand their reasoning. The man lied under oath, obstructed justice, and was convicted of those crimes. What's so hard about that?

Posted by: smiley on June 6, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

The pardon deal went down during the trial. Libby will do some jail time in exchange for his silence (and no White House personnel testifying at trial). He'll get out of jail Xmas 2008 -- or -- the day after the 2008 election. (remember the Rummy firing?)

Posted by: lina on June 6, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Pardoning Libby would finally establish the Bush administration as totally corrupt even to their most devoted followers. So I expect Bush to pardon Libby only after the elections. Maybe Bush will do it on his last day in office, as is usual with controversial pardons.

Posted by: charlie don't surf on June 6, 2007 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

My pet theory is that USA Fitzgerald has already communicated to the White House that a pardon would result in his resignation and/or a public condemnation of the pardon by the most respected USA in the country.

Also, aren't there some provisions of pardon power that require the person being pardoned to admit to wrondoing? If that's the case, why not wait for Libby to make a long-shot appeal, so that, if the appeal works, and the case gets overturned, Bush doesn't have to pardon him, and Libby can maintain the lie that he never did anything wrong in the first place?

Posted by: badger on June 6, 2007 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

What's the evidence that he is "digging in his heels"?

I just assume that he's waiting for the bail decision.

The political damage is less, the closer Libby's pardon is to inauguration day. If Libby is out on bail for the next year or more, there's no reason to rush into pardoning him.

If there is a rational fear in the Bush White House, it is that some firestorm will set off a serious call for either an Independent Prosecuter, or -- and this is the absolute worse case -- a Democratic demand for a respecable and politically independent Attorney General.

So, re-election or no, Bush should be reluctant to be striking matches.

28% is an incendiary drought.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder on June 6, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

What's the evidence that he is "digging in his heels"?

I just assume that he's waiting for the bail decision.

The political damage is less, the closer Libby's pardon is to inauguration day. If Libby is out on bail for the next year or more, there's no reason to rush into pardoning him.

If there is a rational fear in the Bush White House, it is that some firestorm will set off a serious call for either an Independent Prosecuter, or -- and this is the absolute worse case -- a Democratic demand for a respecable and politically independent Attorney General.

So, re-election or no, Bush should be reluctant to be striking matches.

28% is an incendiary drought.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder on June 6, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

What's the evidence that he is "digging in his heels"?

I just assume that he's waiting for the bail decision.

The political damage is less, the closer Libby's pardon is to inauguration day. If Libby is out on bail for the next year or more, there's no reason to rush into pardoning him.

If there is a rational fear in the Bush White House, it is that some firestorm will set off a serious call for either an Independent Prosecuter, or -- and this is the absolute worse case -- a Democratic demand for a respecable and politically independent Attorney General.

So, re-election or no, Bush should be reluctant to be striking matches.

28% is an incendiary drought.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder on June 6, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

What's the evidence that he is "digging in his heels"?

I just assume that he's waiting for the bail decision.

The political damage is less, the closer Libby's pardon is to inauguration day. If Libby is out on bail for the next year or more, there's no reason to rush into pardoning him.

If there is a rational fear in the Bush White House, it is that some firestorm will set off a serious call for either an Independent Prosecuter, or -- and this is the absolute worse case -- a Democratic demand for a respecable and politically independent Attorney General.

So, re-election or no, Bush should be reluctant to be striking matches.

28% is an incendiary drought.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder on June 6, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

I think what really pissed Walton off was Ted Wells' insistence on reading from some of the letters during the hearing, which was a pointless waste of time.

I clerked for a federal judge, and sentencing letters really don't have much sway regardless. Sometimes ones from family, or from the victims, might be taken into account a little bit, but even then not usually. Letters like those that went in for Libby from Mary Matalin & James Carville (way to go, Jimmy), etc., i.e., have zero effect. Except to (in this case) prove your conservative bona fides.

Posted by: Glenn on June 6, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Here's my prediction: after the bail hearing next week and the decision by the judge to deny bail, Scooter will be given 45-60 days to prepare for prison. Sometime before Scooter goes to prison, Bush will commute his sentence. Then in Dec. 2008 he will issue a full pardon.

Posted by: kathyp on June 6, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

I tend to think George views it as a problem of Dick's making, and up to him to solve.

At this point, I don't think Dubya gives a rat's ass about "the base" or much of anything else other than not leaving Iraq during his presidency so he can't be held responsible for that debacle.

Posted by: pdq on June 6, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

It sounded from the trial like there was no love lost between Libby and Karl Rove. So it's a reasonable guess that not pardoning him is a bit of personal payback, for some kind of slight or insult aimed either at Karl or even W.

Posted by: lampwick on June 6, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

According to Firedoglake, if Bush pardons Libby and Libby ACCEPTS it, Libby is admitting he lied and is therefore obligated to cooperate with Fitzgerald's investigation. He can be charged with obstruction AGAIN if he doesn't. If Libby's forced to tell the whole truth, that's the ballgame for Cheney and Bush, indictments on multiple felonies. I think Bush's reasoning is, it's be better to be thought an asshole than go to prison.

Posted by: dalloway on June 6, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

It's simple, really.

A pardon would effectively conclude the "proceedings," and eliminate the reason why Bush has refused to comment on the treason behind the Plame leak.

Posted by: Mimir on June 6, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK
I'm curious: why is it that George Bush is apparently digging in his heels and planning not to intervene in the Scooter Libby case?

Is he? All I've heard is that he's said he isn't going to do anything at this time. Seems to me he is waiting to see if Libby gets off without a pardon before deciding to pardon him.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 6, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Granting a pardon could put Bush in legal jeopardy, if Fitz construes the act as complicity in obstruction of justice.

John Dean recently wrote:
"After all, the March 1, 1974 indictment of Mitchell, Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Chuck Colson (who pled guilty, rather than risk a trial) charged each of them with a conspiracy to obstruct justice by offering to provide clemency to those involved in the Watergate break-in. In addition, as Nixon's tapes showed, the president discussed pardons on several occasions, and this abuse of power was included in the bill of impeachment against him that was pending when he resigned."

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20070601.html

Posted by: bz on June 6, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

> Also, aren't there some provisions of pardon
> power that require the person being pardoned to
> admit to wrondoing?

That's in the Justice Dept guidelines, but there is nothing that requires the President to follow those guidelines.

There is a theory that Fitzgerald has signaled, or Cheney realizes, that if Libby is pardoned Fitzgerald can haul him (Libby) _back_ in front of a grand jury and start interrogating him about Cheney with Libby now having no 5th Amendment shield. Libby then has a choice of telling the truth or being prosecuted AGAIN for obstruction - this time under President Hillary. I don't buy it, but since it is exactly what Cheney would do in similar circumstances he might be worried about it.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 6, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if you make a few simple assumptions or conclusions, there is a very compelling reason to be very cautious about a pardon. Let's assume that Libby has not told all that he knows about the Plame outing. Let's assume further that there is an explicit or implicit understanding that if he stays shut up he will be taken care of (i.e. pardoned). If those things could be demonstrated you would have a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice.

A prosecution isn't at all likely to happen. It is, however, a sufficiently serious matter (imagine a Democrat as AG in early '09) to make a well-advised president cautious.

Posted by: ursus on June 6, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

I am not sure that the White House means the same thing by "intervene" as you do.

Given their use of language I wouldnt be surprised if they did not consider pardoning as intervening.

The White House is essentially saying they are not going to do anything while the legal process is ongoing.

If I were Libby I would want my appeal to be resolved before Bush leaves office.

"What am I missing? In what way would a pardon hurt Bush?"

It might further weaken his Presidency. It might strengthen the hand of Democrats seeking to investigate this administration. It might further darken his "legacy." It might hurt the GOP in 2008 elections which can be minimized if he waits until after the 2008 election to pardon Libby.

Another question. In what way would a pardon help Bush?

Posted by: Catch22 on June 6, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Why wasn't Scooter tried for treason? He outed a secret agent and burnt a whole network of humint. He hurt the national interest of the USA. Why the casualness? Is it favoritism? If a republican does it, it's not treason? Smells bad and is bad; look at what happened when we gave the cretin Oliver North a pass. Conservative criminality will be back until one of these traitors fries like the Rosenbergs did. Then republicans will behave better in office, maybe, at least they will know the penalty before they commit treason for their party.

Posted by: Northern Observer on June 6, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

I think President Bush will not pardon Libbey because maybe they think that they can win on appeal and that Libby will not have to serve jail time anyway.

Posted by: adlsad on June 6, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

> According to Firedoglake, if Bush pardons
> Libby and Libby ACCEPTS it, Libby is
> admitting he lied

I keep reading that (the other variation is "a pardon is an admission of guilt"), but I don't see it. Bush can just write the pardon as "I issue a full and unlimited pardon for Scooter Libby for the unjust prosecution and false conviction of Date X. All record of these false criminal charges shall be considered null and void and shall be stricken from the records of the United States Government, nor may such false records be used against Mr. Libby in any proceedings whatsoever". Then Libby can say, "I am sorry - sorry that the judge and jury were misled by the false accusations of the treasonous Democrat Joe Wilson. I accept President Bush's full exoneration and pardon as restoration of the state of truth and justice". Pretty hard to see how he would be 'admitting' anything after that sequence.

Now, the story goes that Libby could be brought back in front of a grand jury and forced to testify about Cheney. First, I think Fitzgerald has stated as clearly as he can that if there is to be any further remedy it will be through impeachment. Second, Libby would simply use the Gonzales Defense and not tell the grand jury anything anyway.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 6, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

A prosecution isn't at all likely to happen. It is, however, a sufficiently serious matter (imagine a Democrat as AG in early '09) to make a well-advised president cautious.

That should give us all a tremendous feeling of hope, as all the evidence accumulated during the last six and a half years appears to strongly contradict the notion that this president has been well-advised on any issue. That is, if by being 'well-advised' you mean having been counseled to do what is morally right and what is good for our country.

Posted by: gregor on June 6, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe...just maybe, Bush honestly didn't know about the leak. He did say that he would find and punish the person responsible. Maybe that was a moral moment for Bush, where he was genuinely annoyed that someone supposedly loyal to him broke the law.

Now he's found out it was his best friends who leaked and made him look like a fool. He's pissed. And so he intends to wash his hands of the whole mess and let Scooter rot, just to show Dick not to do things behind his back.

It fits in with the view of Bush as a petulant puppet who is trying to cut his strings. I want to see if he manages to win free of the Dick/Rove influence, or if he's eventually going to waffle and pardon Scooter. I'll root for Bush's redemption, but I wouldn't put my money on it.

Posted by: Remus Shepherd on June 6, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

The presidential pardon should be eliminated. For every one pardon based on merit, ten are very questionable, regardless of what party is in the WH. Admittedly, that is just a general impression; I have no stats to back it up. I also suspect that is more of a problem in the last couple decades. Corruption and a lack of integrity is contagious.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on June 6, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

badger: "My pet theory is that USA Fitzgerald has already communicated to the White House that a pardon would result in his resignation and/or a public condemnation of the pardon by the most respected USA in the country."

I'm at a loss to see how that stop them. The White House political arm under Karl Rove had previously considered and openly discussed Fitzgerald's removal, going so far as to place temporarily his name on that now-notorious list. His departure would hardly be cause for such hesitation.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 6, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Why are we talking about a mere pardon?

Not only is Scooter innocent, a decent family man, and a patriot--he is also a supremely competent lawyer and a skilled operator.

Put Scooter BACK to work, now. America's enemies are lining up to attack us and liberals want to take one of our key players out of the game? It's as insane as taking LeBron James out of a playoff game because he wore the wrong colour shoes.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 6, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK
There is a theory that Fitzgerald has signaled, or Cheney realizes, that if Libby is pardoned Fitzgerald can haul him (Libby) _back_ in front of a grand jury and start interrogating him about Cheney with Libby now having no 5th Amendment shield.

This is not, in fact, true. Well, its true if Bush issues a blanket pardon. If Bush only pardons Libby for the obstruction for which he was convicted, he'd still appear to have the 5th available.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 6, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Why wasn't Scooter tried for treason?

A better question is, why wasn't Joe Wilson tried for treason? He criticized the government in a time of war and made the President look bad, just so he could win new fans from the unhinged lefties.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 6, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Now the Fifth Beatle thinks Scooter is going to save America.

Posted by: Bob M on June 6, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Put Scooter BACK to work, now. America's enemies are lining up to attack us and liberals want to take one of our key players out of the game?

I quite agree--ship him to Pakistan so he can tell lies to Osama!

Posted by: rea on June 6, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Glenn on June 6, 2007 at 12:53 PM:

I think what really pissed Walton off was Ted Wells' insistence on reading from some of the letters during the hearing, which was a pointless waste of time.

Insomuch that Walton basically told Wells that he had read them already.

Drum: ...why is it that George Bush is apparently digging in his heels and planning not to intervene in the Scooter Libby case?

1. Since when have these Corruptlicans pulled their shit openly and intentionally?

2. Libby's a firewall between Justice and the rest of the traitors in the Bush administration. As long as he's the face of the scandal, Bush, Rove, Cheney, et al aren't

Yes, I said 'traitors'. Exposing a covert operative for the CIA and her network is a treasonous act, regardless of the reasons given for the leak.

Posted by: grape_crush on June 6, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

What makes you think Scooter will have to go to jail before all of his appeals are exhausted? The plan is to keep the ball in the air until the pardon comes at the end of the term. The judge has made sounds that he will send Scooter to jail right away, but I'll believe it when I see it. What pressure do you think will be brought to bear on the judge to grant something that is relatively common? On what basis can he deny it?

Posted by: Neal on June 6, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

When Bush took office and was doing his Clinton bashing, he took what he considers a "principled stand" and signed an executive order stating that he would not pardon anyone within XXX amount of time of a conviction. I believe this executive order was in response to the pardons Clinton gave as he left the White House. This means Libby could not be pardoned for several years after Bush leaves office.

If Bush pardons Libby now after issuing this executive order, it will diminish Bush's legacy. Bush, as delusional as he is, takes the position that everything he has done while in office is based upon his "principles" or upon his religion and he believes he will be vindicated in the end. There is no way he can reconcile the position he took when he was first voted into office on issuing pardons, and issuing Libby a pardon now.

Posted by: anon on June 6, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

The conservative base is furious that Bush hasn't pardoned Libby, and Bush usually tries to tend the base pretty carefully.

Really? Record spending, NCLB, Harriet Myers, the immigration bill, and so on would seem to indicate otherwise.

Libby deserves time behind bars. He may not deserve 30 months, but he should get some.

Posted by: Brian on June 6, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

It just seems to have pissed him off.

Most likely because their input showed an utter contempt for the law.

Neal: What pressure do you think will be brought to bear on the judge to grant something that is relatively common?

Since it is not relatively common under current law, your question makes no sense.

Posted by: anonymous on June 6, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

...why is it that George Bush is apparently digging in his heels and planning not to intervene in the Scooter Libby case?

Besides the above comments about waiting for the bail results, Bush is a petulant little boy. He will stick out his tongue and say "You can't make, me" He will do it when he wants to, on his schedule and for his benefit.

Posted by: Martin on June 6, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK
When Bush took office and was doing his Clinton bashing, he took what he considers a "principled stand" and signed an executive order stating that he would not pardon anyone within XXX amount of time of a conviction. I believe this executive order was in response to the pardons Clinton gave as he left the White House. This means Libby could not be pardoned for several years after Bush leaves office.

An executive order that purports to limit the authority of the President is an absolutely ridiculous nullity from the outset.


Bush pardons Libby now after issuing this executive order, it will diminish Bush's legacy.

Diminishing Bush's Presidential legacy is, by this point, a lot like ruining homeless malnourished crack addict's credit.


Posted by: cmdicely on June 6, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

brian: Record spending, NCLB, Harriet Myers, the immigration bill, and so on would seem to indicate otherwise.

That 35% (or thereabouts) of Americans continue to support Bush indicates you a FOS.

Conservatives love spending when it is on them or when it is for a futile foreign policy that nevertheless lets them pretend they are tough.


Posted by: anonymous on June 6, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

pdg has it right.

Bush's conern now is delaying the inevitable pullout from Iraq until he is out of office -- or close to it -- so that Democrats will get the blame for the full-fledged civil war that will follow.

So far, Democratic strategists have not taken this much into account and thus Democrats have no strategy to counteract the plan. Mrs. Clinton seems to be most aware of the ramifications of the situation and has begun rightly to put responsibility for the war firmly on the Bush Administation by tagging it "Bush' War." She is exactly right, of course.

Other considerations aside, as with all of the Bush-Cheney Iraq plans, these politically-inspired delaying tactics probably will go awry.

For instance, Turkey today invaded Northern Iraq and there wasn't a damn thing Bush-Cheney could do about it.

Posted by: onthenose on June 6, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

If I were Bush, I'd be furious at Libby. Bush instructed everyone to cooperate fully with Fitzgerald's investigation. By committing perjury, Libby disobeyed Bush's instructions and also embarrassed the White House and the entire Republican Party.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 6, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

That should be pdq rather than pdg.

Sorry. Credit given where credit due.

Posted by: onthenose on June 6, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with multiple poster Bruce. Where is the evidence he's digging in his heels?

I don't think you can say that until Scooter actually goes to the Big House.

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 6, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

My absolute bestest friend tells me that judges have a real attitude about perjury. It grates on them more than it does most of us.

...it will diminish Bush's legacy.

Impossible.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on June 6, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK
What makes you think Scooter will have to go to jail before all of his appeals are exhausted?

The fact that the judge appears to take 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b) seriously.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 6, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: . . . Libby disobeyed Bush's instructions and also embarrassed the White House and the entire Republican Party.

The White House is clearly incapable of being embarassed about anything that happens on its watch or by its staff.

It it was, Cheney, Rice, Gonzales, Rove, and a host of others would be gone, gone, gone.

Posted by: anonymous on June 6, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: . . . Libby disobeyed Bush's instructions and also embarrassed the White House and the entire Republican Party.

The White House is clearly incapable of being embarassed about anything that happens on its watch or by its staff.

If it was, Cheney, Rice, Gonzales, Rove, and a host of others would be gone, gone, gone.

Posted by: anonymous on June 6, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

I have no idea why President Bush hasn't pardoned Libby yet, but if I were the president, I would issue the pardon in the middle of August when all the chattering classes have gone off to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.

Posted by: DBL on June 6, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Bush will pardon Libby if necessary, as he's leaving office.

Posted by: luci on June 6, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Silly liberals.

No one is going to jail. Scooter is rich. If it looks like the liberal courts in DC are going to make him spend 2.5 years at hard labour at the Supermax in Colorado, he'll merely put on a fedora and disappear into the suburbs of Montevideo in Uruguay. He will enjoy a peaceful, quiet life and America will have lost a good public servant. As some people like to say in the Spanish language, que sera sera. Translation: Whatever will be, will be.

But prison? Prison is for shank-happy animals and knuckle-dragging cretins.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 6, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

OK. Here it is. In an article written an hour ago by Dan Froomkin, WaPo. It is the DOJ guidelines, which govern the review of presidential pardons, that state:

"require a petitioner to wait a period of at least five years after conviction or release from confinement (whichever is later) before filing a pardon application,' according to the Justice Web site."

Here is Froomkin's article, page down to "Bush's View of Pardons" :

http://tinyurl.com/2plj78

Posted by: anon on June 6, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Bush doesn't have to make a decision yet- Libby is still free.

However, at most, Libby will serve his sentence until after the election in 2008, or about 18 months, then Bush will likely pardon him on the way out of office.

If he gets bail (looking unlikely right now), then he may never serve a day.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on June 6, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: The fact that the judge appears to take 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b) seriously.


Thank you for the cite, cm. I never knew that was the law. I'm not sure I can recall anyone else being denied bail because the appeal was unlikely to succeed. I would guess that this is rare.

If an appeal were granted, it would most likely be because of judicial error. So, the judge might be biased in favor of his own rulings. It seemed to me the judge had to make some difficult rulings about what material could or could not be presented to the jury. I think those ruling might possibly constitute grounds for a reversal, but I'm no lawyer.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 6, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

> It is the DOJ guidelines, which govern
> the review of presidential pardons, that state:

The authority to pardon is granted by the Constitution, which nowhere mentions "Department of Justice" guidelines or any other. The President may and can grant pardons in any manner he desires. Pardons serve at the pleasure of the President so to speak. And IF you think that there should be an avenue of final pardon then it logically has to work that way.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 6, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky,

My point is that after Clinton pardoned Marc Rich and Bush came into office, Bush took one of his principled(?) stands and revamped the pardon process. Bush is a fanatical, black & white person - with us or against us. If he were to not take a 180 degree turn and state that no one was to receive pardons except those who were lying to cover up war crimes, it wouldn't look very good.

Posted by: anon on June 6, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii: I think that what you said only proves my point. Fitzgerald was on early lists, but didn't stay long. He didn't get off the list because he started targeting Dems (like M.B. Buchanan and maybe Biskupic) or have powerful homestate political sponsors (like Biskupic. He got off because, in addition to the fact that he was conducting an ongoing investigation of Administration officials, he is widely seen in the USA corps as the most adept USA of his generation. They have good reason to be concerned if he chooses to go to the mat over a hypothetical pardon (not that I necessarily believe that it's really their reason for not pardoning Libby).

Posted by: badger on June 6, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers on June 6, 2007 at 1:30 PM:

..made the President look bad

As if Dubya needed any help with that, Normie...

Here's a retread of an old joke:

Patrick Fitzgerald and Pope Benedict die on the same day and arrive at the Pearly Gates. The Pope is instructed to wait at the end of the long line to get into Heaven, while Fitzgerald is quickly ushered to the front. St. Peter looks at Fitzgerald and waves him on through the Gates. After what seems like an eternity, the Pope gains entrance into Heaven.

While being guided to his quarters, the Pope passes a mansion where, through the huge front window, he sees Fitzgerald feasting on fine foods and drinking a glass of excellent wine...The Pope, on arriving at his residence, finds a simple room with a folding cot, a rough blanket, and a meal of gruel, bread crust, and water.

The Pope asks his guide, "On Earth, I was the leader of millions of God's followers, and devoted my life to God's word. Why am I a pauper in Heaven when Patrick Fitzgerald is treated as a king?"

The guide shrugs his shoulders and says, "We have, like, hundreds of Popes, Saints, Sisters and Bishops..."

"...But we've never had a Republican lawyer before."

Posted by: grape_crush on June 6, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Passive-aggressive payback to Cheney, perhaps?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on June 6, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

If he were to not take a 180 degree turn and state that no one was to receive pardons except those who were lying to cover up war crimes, it wouldn't look very good.

Except for the fact that this is George W Bush, and except for the fact that he always does the right thing because the right thing causes liberals to lose their minds, you're still not getting it.

The President signs executive orders and he signs bills into law. He signs pardons and he signs all manner of things. When it comes time to IGNORE liberals and do the right thing, he will do it. I only hope Mr. Libby has been generous in his donations to the Republican Party.

For, you see, I am expecting a pardon sometime in the next 18 months--all I had to do was have my lawyers submit the request and then I had to back it up by raising money for the Republican Party. Last month, with my contribution and the contribution of three friends of mine, I crossed over the $100,000 mark.

Don't get your panties in a bunch--this is how things work.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 6, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: I'm no lawyer

No, you're a dishonest neocon toad whome no one, but no one, mistakes for a good-faith commentator.

If I were Bush, I'd be furious at Libby. Bush instructed everyone to cooperate fully with Fitzgerald's investigation. By committing perjury, Libby disobeyed Bush's instructions and also embarrassed the White House and the entire Republican Party.

Irony alert: "ex-liberal," who has shown him/her/itself to be quite beyond embarrassment or shame, comments on embarrassing the Bush Administration, which has done the same.

But note that damaging national security by outing a covert CIA agent -- working on Iran's weapons programs, yet! -- figures nowhere in "ex-liberal"'s feeble and bad-faith attempt to paint the Bush Administration in a positive light.

Shame on you for continuing to carry the neocons' water, "ex-liberal."

Posted by: Gregory on June 6, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: I would guess that this is rare.

Divorced from reality, as with all your "guesses."

[other] anon: . . . it wouldn't look very good.

Since when has that stopped this White House?

After all, Gonzales is still on the payroll.

Posted by: anonymous on June 6, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it is a good thing Saint Ronny had those special wings set up in Federal Prisons. The ones for "But, he is not a criminal at heart", such as he felt about the Iran-Contra types.

When visiting Libby, FAUX, just look for the Technicality sign and turn right. Glad to hear that you are no lawyer - Has narrowed it down to you working for insurance companies - Who else would get upset over California dropping contributory negligence and going with comparative.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 6, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Why wasn't Scooter tried for treason?
A better question is, why wasn't Joe Wilson tried for treason? He criticized the government...
Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 6, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Err because we don't live in a totalitarian dictatorship...yet.

Posted by: Northern Observer on June 6, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK
I'm not sure I can recall anyone else being denied bail because the appeal was unlikely to succeed.

So what? Your ignorance is not an argument for anything except ignoring you.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 6, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

My prediction? Paaaaaain.

But after that? Scooter gets pardoned on Pardon Day during the week before the 2009 Inauguration. That means he will have to serve a bit of time. Sorry about that.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 6, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I think Cranky Observer had it right way up at the top of the thread. Bush has this undeserved reputation for being "loyal to a fault", but he's not loyal at all. Scooter made Bush look bad by getting indicted and then convicted, therefore Scooter is dead to him.

The only way Scooter's getting a pardon is if there's someone out there who really wants him pardoned, wants it enough to call in chits, and has something Bush wants.

Posted by: Evan on June 6, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Off thread - But, is anyone else out there getting deluged with spam, today? One after another, using various names, all having the same subject of boxed Realtors and boxed No Subject. Thought, perhaps, I had ticked off some troll. If so, fine.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 6, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Err because we don't live in a totalitarian dictatorship...yet.

Of course not. But when Hillary takes over, good luck driving the car you want to drive, living in the town where you want to live, eating the meat you want to eat and watching the shows you want to watch. Goodbye to all of that, and hello to higher taxes and crazy people on drugs living in expensive subsidized housing in the nicer parts of town.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 6, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Did a quick text search, and the word "Armitage" doesn't even appear in the comments.

Amazing how the Left can cling to a dead horse long after the facts have come in.

Posted by: rnc on June 6, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

brian: Record spending, NCLB, Harriet Myers, the immigration bill, and so on would seem to indicate otherwise.

"That 35% (or thereabouts) of Americans continue to support Bush indicates you a FOS.

Conservatives love spending when it is on them or when it is for a futile foreign policy that nevertheless lets them pretend they are tough.
Posted by: anonymous"

Incorrect, moron. It shows that some supporters of ANY politician are willing to brook some level of behavior from their guy that they would not accept from others. Simple concept, really.

Posted by: Brian on June 6, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers,

Good list about things Hillary will accomplish - You left out disbanding the Minnesota Twins for failing to advance in the playoffs against the A's.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 6, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Colour? Labour? Norman your not even an American so shut up.Worry about Prince Harry will ya.The Queen MUM would like you back home please.

Posted by: john john on June 6, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

I never expected a pardon. Libby seems to have made a choice in his defense - accusing the Administration of using him as a fall guy. Which is what they *were* doing. My hunch is that if Libby had tacitly taken one for the team, he may have gotten a pardon. But once he accused the Administration of sacrificing him to protect others, they left him to twist in the wind.

This administration's personel decisions are best understood in terms of loyalty calculus.

Posted by: Raskolnikov on June 6, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Did a quick text search, and the word "Armitage" doesn't even appear in the comments.

Yes shocking that Armitage wasn't mentioned in a post about Scooter Libby being pardoned (or not) for lying and obstruction of justice. Neither was Nelson Mandela. And Armitage forced Libby to lie and obstruct justice how exactly?

Posted by: ckelly on June 6, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely, you know far more than I do about legal matters. Based on your knowledge, how common is it for a convicted person to be sent to prison before his appeal was heard? Does this happen in 25% of cases? In 2% of cases? In less than 1% of cases? Less than 0.1%?

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 6, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

the Left can cling to a dead horse

The Right can't even keep its cliches straight.

Posted by: kc on June 6, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: cmdicely, you know far more than I do about legal matters

With all due respect to cmdicely, Skippy the Wonder Lizard knows more than "ex-liberal" about legal matters, and all other matters save Badic and Advanced Neocon Propaganda, for that matter.

Posted by: Gregory on June 6, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Colour? Labour? Norman your not even an American so shut up.Worry about Prince Harry will ya.The Queen MUM would like you back home please.

British? No. Educated and rich? Yes. Occasionally, I lapse into the Commonwealth spelling of words, and for that I make no apologies.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 6, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

> British? No. Educated and rich? Yes.
> Occasionally, I lapse into the Commonwealth
> spelling of words, and for that I make no
> apologies.
> Norman Rogers

Longtime comment readers may recall that I have hypothesized (with a z, not an s or a zed) several times that the Radical Right's counterblogging project hires snarkwriters from England.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 6, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Longtime comment readers may recall that I have hypothesized several times that the Radical Right's counterblogging project hires snarkwriters from England.

That kind of outsourcing would be necessary because it is so hard for the Right to find literate advocates of their own cause at home.

And Norman? Here's a thing about Americans-- rich people don't use British spellings. It's an affectation limited to members of the middle classes who aspire to appear more sophisticated than they actually are. Your portray your persona as someone who was "raised rich," and that class normally doesn't even spell very well, because they don't have to. They have "people" who take care of those things, particularly those in your supposed generation. That generation didn't even write their own business letters-- their secretaries did.

Posted by: Tyro on June 6, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers: "Put Scooter BACK to work, now. America's enemies are lining up to attack us and liberals want to take one of our key players out of the game?"

Go take your medication.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 6, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

How would it hurt Bush? Let me count the ways:

He actually is trying to get immigration legislation passed, regardless of how much it pisses off his base, and that effort would be hurt by a partisan pardon.

By waiting until the end of the appeals process, he can claim he gave justice a chance to right this. Acting sooner invites criticism he didn't respect the process. He emphatically does NOT respect the process, therefore he avoids behavoir that implies this if possible. Since Libby is guaranteed to stay quiet, he can screw him without obvious consequences.

Dick's desire is not paramount here. What does Rove want? He has the president's ear on this, and Karl doesn't like Dick, he likes Libby. Here is the deal: Libby drops the Karl conspiracy for an eventual pardon. The two must be as separate in time as possible to prevent implying a connection. Especially since there is one.

The Bush administration is driven by perception, and that fact is now driving them crazy. Look out for even crazier behavior in the near future.

Posted by: ART on June 6, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

> Here is the deal: Libby drops the Karl
> conspiracy for an eventual pardon. '

Libby's trial is over and done with, and the White House fall guy theory has already been used in public by the defense. The appeals court will not retry the facts, and Libby is not under indictment for any other crime. So I am at a bit of a loss to understand how Libby "drops" it.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on June 6, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Bush family has been managing spin and distorting the facts for so many decades that they are just waiting for the Libby conviction to fade in the public memory. Then, they will quietly pardon him and everyone will say, "Scooter who??"

The American public has a very short memory - which explains why we get shit like George W. Bush in the White House, after having his dipshit father fuck things up and pile up mountains of debt for four years. You wait - Jeb Bush will run and probably win in 2012.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 6, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Victimhood increases Scooter's value on the neo-con think tank and talk circuit both for himself and for the cause. Calls for pardon, denouncing Bush, etc is a charade. They're just setting themselves up to be the noble opposition to the next administration, which they know is not going to be Republican.

After all, Bush is not a true believer. He's not "one of us" to Kristal, et al. Bush knows how they feel and won't grant pardon because it's not in his personal interest.

Libby hopes for getting bail and then winning the appeal, I'm sure, but he'll go to prison rather than snitch. He doesn't think he did anything wrong! He's a good little soldier. And, when this is all over, he'll be respected & paid well.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on June 6, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

10 bucks says Cheney will decide that HE has the power to pardon criminals, and lets Scooter off within a month.

Posted by: semper fubar on June 6, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

The Libby defense team, in their opening statements, appeared ready to drag Karl thru the mud. Then this defense disappeared.

Cranky, I think the most likely reason is the deal I mentioned.

Posted by: ART on June 6, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Based on your knowledge, how common is it for a convicted person to be sent to prison before his appeal was heard? Does this happen in 25% of cases? In 2% of cases? In less than 1% of cases? Less than 0.1%?

In practice, it is extremely rare for a person to be allowed out on bail while his appeal is being heard. In the overwhelming majority of cases (well above 95%, I'd say) it's off to jail first.

To be granted bail on appeal, you need not only to show you’re not a flight risk, but also that there are legitimate appellate issues that implicate a "likelihood of success" analysis. See 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b). The statute says your appeal must raise “substantial” questions, which the D.C. Circuit has further defined to mean the appeal must raise a “close” issue. In addition, the legitimate appellate issues, if decided in your favor, have to result in overturning the conviction so that you were either ordered released or given a new trial.

Posted by: Stefan on June 6, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, 100 comments, and nobody's mentioned my thought.

Here it is: "the base" is NOT monolithic in this case. Yeah, some are die-hard Nazis, loyal to the Fuehrer even as the Russian tanks roll into Berlin, and a pardon for Scooter might really be important to them. (Of course, even that may not be true; it may be only the Wurlitzer that's really interested. Joe Mouth-Breather may not even know very well who Scooter is.)

But more importantly, there's a lot of the 28% who are genuine Law-And-Order Republicans. They support Bush, and to a lesser extent Cheney, but they also know a guy who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar when they see it. (Walton himself may well be an example of this.) To them, a pardon would say, clear as day, screw the rule of law, I consider myself and my buddies above it.

L&O Republicans are REALLY important to Bush right now. If he loses them, a LOT of wavering Senators and Reps are gonna go with them, and if they go, Iraq goes, immigration goes, the whole enchilada goes down the tubes.

IOW, by pardoning Scooter, he could risk what little support he still commands in Congress, at a stroke.

Posted by: bleh on June 6, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

HEH NORMAN ROGERS
HOW DARE YOU INSULT LEBRON JAMES BY MENTIONING HIM IN THE SAME PARAGRAPH AND/OR COMPARING THEM IN SOME MINDLESS WAY. BASICALLY FUCK YOU AND THE HORSE THAT RODE YOU IN ON.

Posted by: Gandalf on June 6, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK
….By committing perjury, Libby….embarrassed the White House and the entire Republican Party. ex-lax at 1:55 PM
Was there ever a Republican who felt shame? I remember how Bob Dole was screaming for pardons for the Iran-Contra gang and was damn proud of it.
…Prison is for shank-happy animals and knuckle-dragging cretins. Norman Rogers at 2:06 PM
Did you have a good time there?
….I crossed over the $100,000 mark…..Norman Rogers at 2:24 PM
Nope, not here. Or here Posted by: Mike on June 6, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky: Longtime comment readers may recall that I have hypothesized (with a z, not an s or a zed) several times that the Radical Right's counterblogging project hires snarkwriters from England.

We've had a couple of them here even today, yep.

Posted by: shortstop on June 6, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Gandalf: BASICALLY FUCK YOU AND THE HORSE THAT RODE YOU IN ON.

Classic.

Posted by: shortstop on June 6, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK


ex-lib: If I were Bush, I'd be furious at Libby. Bush instructed everyone to cooperate fully with Fitzgerald's investigation.


"Did you have any knowledge or did you leak the name of the CIA agent to the press?"

Karl Rove:......"No."

- ABC Sept. 29, 2003


well that was a lie....

Posted by: mr. irony on June 6, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

The conservative base is furious that Bush hasn't pardoned Libby, and Bush usually tries to tend the base pretty carefully.

?!

Posted by: Frank J. on June 6, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

GWB may be a lame duck, but there are still things he wants to do before Jan2009. A pardon now would be an obvious, visible albatross around his neck that even the MSM could understand, and he would be beaten with it everyday for the rest of his term.

Posted by: Disputo on June 6, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Scooter will be left to twist slowly in the wind more as a distraction than anything else. Fodder for a blogger feeding frenzy. A pardon would just focus all the attention where the WH doesn't want it right now...on them.

If he can stall the extended sleep-over at Club Fed for a year or so, he'll have to work on his tennis game at Danbury for a couple of months and then Bush can pardon him on his way out the door leaving the blogosphere to scream bloody murder while the rightwingnuts go into their "What about Clinton's pardons?" mode. Nothing anyone can do, there won't be any political will to go after the Bushies once they have made it to the exit door. They will be free to walk on through, where enough of them will land nice soft spots in the Republican/Corporate fantasy world where the newly freed, tanned and rested Scooter will be taken care of for life.

If DuhBya pardons Scooter before the nominating conventions in the summer of 2008, the end result will probably be investigations and worse than that, appointment of special prosecutor so the investigation and prosecution will survive the 2008 elections...and that is the last thing the WH wants. They're in stall mode and running out the clock. They don't want to do anything that might stop the clock.

Posted by: majun on June 6, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

According to Firedoglake, if Bush pardons Libby and Libby ACCEPTS it, Libby is admitting he lied and is therefore obligated to cooperate with Fitzgerald's investigation. He can be charged with obstruction AGAIN if he doesn't. If Libby's forced to tell the whole truth, that's the ballgame for Cheney and Bush, indictments on multiple felonies. I think Bush's reasoning is, it's be better to be thought an asshole than go to prison.

Well, that's nice and all, but GWBush can simply pardon Libby for all crimes emanating from the Plame investigation (just like his dad did for Cap Weinburger and other Iran-Contra crooks who were under investigation but who hadn't been charged) and he'll avoid that tangle easily.

Posted by: Disputo on June 6, 2007 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Haven't read all 102 comments in case this was mentioned above, but believe it's pretty obvious that Bush will pardon Libby After November 4, 2008 & before January 20, 2009. That is S.O.P. for presidents. Libby just has to stall for another 17 months with appeals.

Posted by: tarylcabot on June 6, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

We need some new terminology.

Goldwater was a conservative--the last one.

Reagan meant well, but in effect he was a borrow-and-spend liberal. A great fan of FDR, perhaps he should be called a "Reagan Democrat."

"Social conservatives" are really Catholics and Evangelicals. Republicans, but not conservatives.

Neo-conservatives are liberal Jews who liked the more militaristic posture of the Republican party for Israel. Republicans, but not conservatives.

Bush is the King of Spenders and an ally of Ted Kennedy on education and Hispano-fascism. With his nibbling away of our freedoms, his Attorney General Pancho Gonzales, signing statements, Bush seems more left than right--Stalinist left.

Posted by: Luther on June 6, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

It's quite amusing watching the wingnuts run away from Bush. Nice try Luther.

But... Bush privileges corps over labor. Which makes him more right than left -- Hitler right.

Posted by: Disputo on June 6, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe its just the usual Bush response -- when people tell he has to do something -- he resists it --- so the pardon has to be his idea -- if he grants it now -- it will show that he bowed under pressure and that is not Texas Macho.

Posted by: Strider on June 6, 2007 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

But prison? Prison is for shank-happy animals and knuckle-dragging cretins. Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 6, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

How long were you in prison, Norman?

Posted by: jcricket on June 6, 2007 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

The conservative base is furious that Bush hasn't pardoned Libby, and Bush usually tries to tend the base pretty carefully.

THAT'S WRONG, wong, wrong, wrong!- KEVIN!!

Bush tries to get the base to tend to him, via lies, whatever it takes, bribes, money, whatever, oh yeah, and Cheney and his woodshed trips, you don't go against the Cheney. Bush would oust Repugs that didn't get line - lets remember what happened with Jeffords.

And this proof:

Vice President Dick Cheney remarks that, "We didn't get elected to worry just about the fate of the Republican Party.

Oh yeah, same old DICK Cheney.

Poor libby:

Bush, Cheney Express Support for Sentences White House Aid
Voice of America - 5 hours ago

Bushie sez... rot in prison Libby - the price of loyal Bushieism, is that Libby played the scape goat to a kiss my royal ass Dick Cheney and his right to have his royal ass kissed.

Many thanks to Fitz.

I just have to wonder, what the HELL did Dick promise the ever gallible Libby?

GroupThink goes to prison

It's just too bad Jim Varney is dead. Libby is a slapstick comedy unwritten.

Posted by: Me_again on June 6, 2007 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

> POSTSCRIPT: On another note, if I'm ever
> convicted on federal charges, I'd just like to
> ask all of Washington's prominent hawks and
> neocons not to write letters to the judge on my
> behalf. It just seems to have pissed him off.

You can get the letters at http://www.fas.org/sgp/jud/libby/letters.pdf

Do not read them, seriously, it causes severe brain freeze. They contain a story of how one time "scooter" worked all night to keep leaked CIA identities out of the press... of course, thats other CIA identities, not the one he leaked.... Its from Doug Feith.

The good old "he didn`t blow all covers" defense from the guy who manages to get called "the dumbest guy in the world"... by a diplomat! And there are still people looking to write fiction!

Also on secrecy news, the intelligence budget. Remember how in the cold war the grand total spend on intelligence was a big big secret. Now the 9/11 commission figured that the grand total of a budget isn`t a bad place to start oversight.

People disagreed.

In the reporting over the outsourcing of intelligence work an unclassified powerpoint file surfaced based on data from the new DCI work in collecting all intel budgets. It turns out 70% of that goes to contractors. Good for them.

There is also a graph showing the development of of this part of the budget. Now to keep all this spooky there is no scale next to the graph.

But it turns out a simple douple click on the graph takes the powerpoint wielding terrorist straight to the numbers in which the graph is based... oops

http://www.thespywhobilledme.com/the_spy_who_billed_me/


Turns out that that the US spends $60 Billion on the intelligence stuff that is part of the DCI budget work. Thats 25% above the estimates. Kinda makes on suspect oversight could turn up interesting finds.

Now, I suspect much like the attendants, I dont recall the exact mix of CIA folk, smugglers, booze, sigars, poker, hookers at the watergate... but I am pretty sure after one night Dusty Foggo walked away with a contract to bring water to the CIA in Afghanistan and ace fighter pilot Duke sailed of on the bouy toy, which he renamed "the dukestir"... thus proving transparancy in black budget intelligence contracting wont do sh$@#%. The "I don`t recall"`s are actually credible if phrased "I was to pissed to recall", and of course "all I recall is this one hooker who could".... well you get the point.

Someone should pull a tent over DC, the admission fee could trounce Cirque du sollei. Elephants, donkeys and an endless supply of clowns.

Posted by: asdf on June 6, 2007 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

If Bush pardon's Libby, Bush no longer has any control over him. Bush can dangle the pardon until he leaves office, and keep Libby quiet until then. If Bush pardons Libby now, he loses his grip on Libby's shorthairs.

Posted by: Prisoner's Dilemma on June 6, 2007 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Prediction:

The pardon (or commutation) will be announced on a Friday, late in the afternoon, with no advance notice whatsoever.

Wait for it.

Posted by: William Slattery on June 6, 2007 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Scooter will not serve any jail time. He will receive a pardon from Bush, if necessary, to keep him out of the clink. Bush, Libby, Cheney, and everryone else knows this.

Anyone want to wager ono whether or not Libby spends a single night in jail?

Posted by: ed on June 6, 2007 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Bush will pardon him at the end of his term because Libby should not be in jail to begin with. He should do it now but won't - just a gut feeling. He should also consider a pardon for Patrick Fitzgerald for future disturbance of the peace when he hears news of the Libby pardon. What an assinine "news story" - being tried and convicted of obstructing justice of a non-existent crime. Someone tell me again how many months did Sandy Berger spend in prison?

Posted by: Dave! on June 6, 2007 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

It's because he wants a legacy.

And at this point, "Didn't pardon his treasonous buddy" is about the best legacy he can reasonably hope for.

Posted by: joaojsd on June 7, 2007 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

There have been multiple reports of a bitter, embattled Bush shocking his old Texas friends with long, rambling, paranoid harangues about everybody being out to get him, nobody "getting it", how right he is, how hard it is being the Decider etc. David Brooks, on the other hand, claims "unpopularity has liberated Bush" to do whatever he likes. It's possible that both views are correct & together they can help explain his (alleged) reluctance to pardon Libby.

In his last best attempt at a legislative legacy, Immigration reform, Bush enraged both his "base" and the right-wing media. He predictably, some might say reflexively, then attacked such critics as un-American. Peggy Noonan et al howled with wounded outrage, "after all we've done for him!", declaring Bush had now betrayed his staunchest supporters & unforgivably impugned their (gosh!) patriotism.

Interestingly enough, it's those selfsame once-staunch supporters in the right wing media that are easily the loudest voices clamouring for a Libby pardon. Whether "liberated" by his unpopularity as Brooks claims, or 'embattled & bitter' as his Texas buddies recount, it seems quite possible that Bush has decided to repay the traitorous right wing media with a big "fuck you!" by refusing to pardon Libby, their darling, victimised, cause celebre.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that if Bush actually, finally does do something right, like letting Libby rot, he'd do it for the most petty, unprincipled & vindictive reasons


Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on June 7, 2007 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

The most surprising Libby letter is at p. 330--from the clever and witty Deborah Tannen of all people! Quite shocking.

James Wolfensohn appears at page 362, right before his successor at the World Bank.

You've probably seen the letter from Victoria Toensing--I didn't write down the page and my .pdf search function isn't working.

ANOTHER MAJOR NEOCON in the letters: Francis Fukuyama, page 109.

Two funny letters from anti-Libby people are: a memorably wacky letter from one "Jackson Rip Holmes," page 147, and a "Victim Impact Statement," page 175.

Posted by: Anon on June 7, 2007 at 5:00 AM | PERMALINK

Dave!: What an assinine "news story" - being tried and convicted of obstructing justice of a non-existent crime.

Well, you've certainly described the Starr investigations into Clinton's behavior.

Unfortunately, you continue to lie about there being no underlying crime, even if that were relevant, since it has not been determined one way or the other whether such an underlying crime occurred.

Indeed, it cannot be determined exactly because Libby committed his crimes.

Bush Infactuation Syndrome at work in you, buddy.

Get the cure before you sink into further intellectual oblivion like your hero.

Posted by: anonymous on June 7, 2007 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe (just maybe) Bush has a "principle" problem pardoning Libby. He has issued far fewer pardons than any of his predecessors, and his criteria is incredibly stringent. For a guy who sees the world in black and white, recognizing what others of his ilk see as a shade of gray must be very difficult.

Also, Plame's outing seems to have been Cheney's doing and that Bush may not have even known. If so, there are a lot of reasons why he'd have no interest in pulling Cheney's boy from the fire.

Posted by: cobwebhead on June 8, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Anon,
"Indeed, it cannot be determined exactly because Libby committed his crimes." That is a great theory. Wrong but great. In order to be convicted of lying about something, Fitzgerald needed to show the jury what the truth was so that they could see Libby was lying. So the "truth" about whatever Libby lied about is known to Fitzgerald. If there was a crime, Fitzgerald would be able to prosecute it. There was no crime. Outting Plame is not necessarily a crime. He would have to prove that someone knew her covert status and KNOWINGLY outted her, way harder to prove. Innocent until proven guilty. Thus, no crime was committed.

Posted by: Dave! on June 10, 2007 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK
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