City of Roses
That dog won't hunt at all, reb. If that same OJ jury were presented with the same facts in the same type of case a year later, only this time with a white defendant, and found him guilty, then I'd agree. That's basically what we have here. Substitute Democratic leaders for jury and democrat/republican for black/white, and you have the current scenario. BTW, Libby wasn't pardoned like the 140 Clinton cronies. Quarter of a million dollar fine, 2 years probation, certainly a loss of his right to practice law...pretty serious stuff for simply being a Democrat scapegoat. He will serve as much time for perjury as Clinton did for perjury...so the system is fine.
You're right; the system is fine in this particular case, and mind you I'm well aware it isn't a pardon (though I expect the president to pardon him by the time he leaves office) and rather a consummation of his sentence.
I also agree Libby is very much the "fall guy" here and the greater scandal stretches to Richard Armitage in particular and the Vice President's office. I've heard frequently that on a personal level Lewis Libby is quite a decent man, and I truly understand how scandals and punishments like this can hurt their families emotionally very much, I truly do.
United States Sentencing Commission: 2006 Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Offenses Involving the Administration of Justice
United States Sentencing Commission: 2006 Federal Sentencing Table
But I also don't buy at all that lame argument that Libby's sentence is "excessive" either. According to the United States Sentencing Commission, the base level for an Obstruction of Justice crime is 14, where three points could be added if "the offense resulted in substantial interference with the administration of justice.". Perjury is also a level 14 crime, but "If the perjury, subornation of perjury, or witness bribery resulted in substantial interference with the administration of justice, increase by 3 levels."
2006 Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Offenses Involving the Administration of Justice
Of course there's also the False Statement guideline, then the grouping rules have to be considered because Libby was charged on more than one count. But the gist of it here is that once the final offense level is computed, and cross-referenced with the criminal history table (Libby has no prior convictions) you refer to the sentencing table, find the appropriate range, and when one does so, the sentence sounds just about right; 18-21 months on the low end and 24-30 on the high end. And since he was a high level government official and a lawyer who obstructed justice, surely it's sensible that he would get a sentencing in the higher applicable range.
You may note I indeed feel particularly strongly about this case, and you're right, I absolutely do, and it's because 1) this whole scandal goes to the heart of the big lie behind Bush and Blair's justifications for going to war in Iraq, a war whose "reasons" I didn't buy to begin with, that Saddam Hussein was trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction, where in his 2003 State of the Union speech, Bush said that "the British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" and Rice took it to the next step that Saddam was trying to turn "a smoking gun into a mushroom cloud".
Yet, regardless of all the other heinous acts Saddam committed on the Iraqi population, that yellowcake "intelligence" was doubted months, even years in advance by a wide number of sources and agencies, including Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, CIA Director George Tenet, who argued the Africa-uranium claim not be included in the speech because it was based on only one source, the CIA agency in particular and the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, who in January 2003 expressed publicly convincing concerns that the Iraq-Niger documents were forgeries.
So Joseph Wilson had the temerity to share those conclusions with the public, the very man who was sent to investigate alleged sales of yellowcake uranium to Iraq in the first place. Administration officials resent what he's doing, so what do they do? Organize a campaign to discredit him, to smear any dissent or healthy questioning against the war within the circle, which all but certainly gravitates especially around the Vice President's office, and Libby, who happens to be Cheney's chief of staff, was willing to lie to the Grand Jury with the sole intent of protecting his own boss.
And this whole consummation stunt is nothing but a cynical political ploy that sinews the fact that protecting the secrets of his inner circle and mollifying the eroding slice of right-wing water-carriers left in his political base are a higher priority to the president than preserving our right of law and ideals, as well as reveal how soft on crime this president can truly be often despite his tough record as a governor. It's a slap in the face to me, a slap in the face to the rule of law, a slap in the face to our young men and women in uniform who bravely and courageously continue serving on the torrid streets of Baghdad and beyond, left coping for themselves as both parties continue to offer the President a blank check on a failed foreign policy that has taken 3,586 lives, a slap in the face to their families who await and pray for their safe and healthy return and, frankly, it should feel like a slap in the face to every American right now I believe.
This is far from the only time such a scandal has gotten to me emotionally, certainly, and in the decades ahead I expect to write verses on them gravitating around both parties. Frankly, I'm outraged about both the scandal and the consummation, along with 40% of Republicans in a new Pew Research Center poll, and it is beyond me why the other 60% in the survey aren't equally as outraged.
The only circus act is the democrat outrage and foaming at the mouth and then the backtracking and attempt at damage control when it dawned on them how hypocritical they are coming off. Change "housewives" for "Dem leaders" and we have a new "Desperate" tv series!
And this is where you're absolutely correct, my friend, as all the Democrats who have called for Libby's head but defended Clinton on the same crime are just as heinously hypocritical these past several days as the Republicans are for vice-versa.
Yahoo: July 3, 2007
Why, Hillary Clinton had said at a debate on June 9th, when asked what her opinion was about a Libby pardon, refused to answer and said that the question was too personal and the night was anout the audience. Yet, on Tuesday, she comes out and says: "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."
She's a hypocrite to the umpteenth degree and personifies among many others the grim promise of maintaining the status quo of inconsistency in Washington for years to come. Heck, spin-offs of the "Desperate Housewives" have been airing long before "Desperate Housewives" even aired its pilot episode. If only now we had a spin-off of "Nanny 911" named "Indy 911".
Okay, goosfraba.......goosfraba.......LOL! I indeed had a wonderful Fourth of July and hope you did too, sir!
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"