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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Republican Justice « Previous | |Next »
July 4, 2007

So President Bush has used executive clemency ( the president's exclusive power under the Constitution) to commute the prison term of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, who was convicted by a jury for perjury.

Clay Bennett

It shows the extent of the corruption of the political culture in the US. The powerful political elite are literally beyond the reach of the law.Their overriding priority is that they remain in power and as immune from the constraints of the law as possible.

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo gets it right:

From day one this story has been about official lies -- corrupt power buttressed by fraud. Along the way it became a story about the president's hireling commentators who lost their honor by becoming part of the fraud. What Wilson said was true. His attackers are all parties to the same lie. Don't forget that.

It's about protecting the backs of the powerful for all of the lies that the Republican White House told and continue to tell the American public. Bush is covering his own tracks and obstructing justice.

Glenn Greenwood over at says that the US has been a nation which allows our highest political officials to reside beyond the reach of law.

And over the last six years, that "principle" has been extended to its most extreme though logical conclusions. This administration expressly adopted theories -- right out in the open -- which, as it its central premise, states that the President is greater than the law, that his "obligation" to protect the nation means that nothing and nobody can limit what he does, including -- especially -- the laws enacted by our Congress, no matter how radical and extreme that conduct is.

Greenwood adds that over the last six years the Washington political press has directed their hostility only towards those who investigate or attempt to hold accountable the most powerful members of our political system.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:08 AM | | Comments (10)


We must move to indict all of these bastards after they leave office and send them to jail without pardons.

Impeachment will do nothing at this time. We need a super majority in both houses of congress and the Presidency to get these people and put them where they belong in JAIL.

Something is very wrong here, we have a president that pardon Scooter Libby that lied to a grand jury, to cover-up his corrupt administration. But this president refuses to pardon two border patrol agents that was doing their job. This is call Republican justice.

Bush seams to have forgotten that "No man is above the Law"
This administration was to be the absolute when held up to moral's standards. Clinton was Impeached or a lot less.
Our legal system is a double standard FARCE! If you have money and contacts, you can commit high treason, yet fear no retribution! If you lack money or contacts? God have mercy on your soul!
I feel it's time for the American public to do as the French once did, Have a "Bastille Day". If there was ever a Rat's Nest that needed cleaning it's in Washington. Start at the top and clean everyone out, Rep/Dem all, they no longer work for the people.

it is ironic isn't it? Listening to Fox News indicates that the right-wing movement made the defense of Lewis Libby one of its most impassioned causes.

And yet the same righteous Republicans run around the country giving tough sermons about the need to restore the "rule of law"!

the Libby travesty indicates that the highest Republican political officials can break the law freely, without any real consequence. The inference is that in the United States, the law does not apply to the President and his closest aides.

Glenn Greenwood says it well at He says that Lewis Libby's protection by George Bush from the consequences of his crimes only highlights how corrupt and broken our political system is.He adds:

Since 1977, it has been a felony in the United States for political officials to eavesdrop on Americans without judicial warrants. But in December of 2005, The New York Times revealed that George Bush had been breaking this law -- committing felonies -- every day for the prior four years. And when he was caught, he went on television and proudly admitted what he had done and vowed defiantly to continue doing it. And our wise and serious Washington media establishment shrugged, even applauded. They directed their fury only at those who objected to the lawbreaking. The GOP-controlled Congress blocked every attempt to investigate this criminality -- with virtually no outcry -- and then set out to pass a new law making this criminality retroactively legal. In response to revelations that the President was deliberately breaking the law, official Washington fell all over itself figuring out the most efficient way to protect and defend the President's crimes.

He adds that the US has been a nation which allows our highest political officials to reside beyond the reach of law. It is just that simple.

Did anyone notice that Greg Sheridan's article today defending Bush's decision over Libby disappeared from the website? I joked to a friend that even the editors at the American probably thought that was a step too far!!!


Thanks for providing that insight into the neocon mentality in which the ends justify the means. To accomplish a goal accepted by the neocon movement you are entitled to break the law.

Just like Alan Dershowitz Sheridan is All hail the president's commutation:

George W. Bush was absolutely right to commute Scooter Libby's prison sentence. He was only wrong in not providing a full pardon for Libby.Remember that the alleged crime is that someone leaked Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent when her status was covert, which is a crime under US law......The whole thing is both an anti-Bush, liberal witch-hunt and a sign of how special prosecutors go completely nuts, become obsessed with questions of process and seek to justify their multi-million-dollar budgets with a conviction, and any conviction of anybody for any offence will do.

"Alleged"? Wasn't Libby convicted by a jury for obstructing justice? Its' the old 'it's all political line even though it was a republican appointed prosecutor and a Bush appointed trial judge. Sheridan has lost it.

Sheridan finishes thus:

Similarly, Libby's greatest crime is to have been Dick Cheney's chief of staff. I predict Bush will fully pardon Libby shortly after next year's presidential election.This travesty of a trial has already ruined Libby's life. The least he could expect from Bush is a modicum of loyalty.

This means that the rule of law only applies to the people of the herd, and that the rules for the herd should not be applied against Scooter, and the other masters of the universe. Intrinsic legal immunity extends to the neocon Bush movement. Hence we have the defense not merely of individual acts of illegality, but of the claimed power to break the law in general.

What we have is an authoritarian movement which believes only in its own power.That is what Sheridan is defending.

Libby was a loyal soldier being asked to step forward and take the rap to protect Cheney, Rove and Bush.

Gary, They have been pretty careful where they have been asserting themselves. They have mainly been fighting over conventions and interpretations - not judicial decisions. So they have tried to keep it in the murky unknowns.

Where they have slipped up is FISA (and this though it is within his power). That is probably the only thing that can be nailed as a high crime and misdemeanour.

I also suspect that digging in the national security stuff will dig up a bunch of other examples of callousness for the law. But again, they are pretty careful not to break laws, but instead fight around the conventions and unknowns.

I know people are calling for impeachment, but I dont think they can be other than for FISA, not at this stage anyway. Their governance is repugnant, as is their attitude toward their power, but again, they have been pretty careful about their actual legal exposure.

The other issue is that the morality of democracy requires an elected executive to serve out their term, unless, as in the US they have committed a high crime or misdemeanour.

I also think it is important for a politically weak executive to have to undergo the scrutiny of the legislative so that body can re-assert themselves in many areas over the executive again.

Something that I dont think will happen if the democrats get control of the executive while they have the legislative.