Monday, July 02, 2007

One Hell Of A Commute

There are indeed two justice systems in this country. No doubt about it. Powerful people have a different set of laws than the rest of us. You don’t have to be a radical activist with a bullhorn to see that. It’s proven every day all over this country in cases you and I never hear about, though the latest example is anything but obscure. President Bush has given his pal, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the proverbial “Get Out Of Jail Free” card.

Bush considered the 2.5 years Libby was facing for lying (aka the old “I do not recall” defense) and obstructing justice “excessive,” and commuted the sentence. Considering the generous percentage of time the law will take off one’s sentence for good behavior in prison, was it really excessive? This is one of many questions which immediately come to mind.

Another is, since Bush has repeatedly said he wanted to “let the legal process play out” on so many things over the past few years (this was often said in lieu of a real answer to any uncomfortable question from the press, like those about Karl Rove's continued employment in the White House), why did he suddenly reverse this strict policy? Keep in mind, Libby was set to go to jail, but the appeals process had not yet been exhausted. In other words, the legal process had not yet played out. Libby could have been exonerated by the justice system yet.

Another is (I ask coyly), why did this particular case catch the president’s attention? Aren’t there any number of other miscarriages of justice in this country that the president could turn his attention and influence to, rather than a small, warranted sentence for a wealthy friend? Say, like an incarcerated black kid of modest means who didn't really do anything wrong?

And another: What is to stop any high-office official from breaking the law? Between the funds to hire “dream team” legal representation and the knowledge that, should the dream team fail, the president has your back, what incentive is there for you not to commit any crime, up to and including treason or murder? This is not a rhetorical question!

Libby's commutation means that his conviction will stand, and that probation and fines are still in order. But when you’re a wealthy person to start, and have some of the most influential people in the country raising funds for your defense, you’re going to do ok financially even if you are facing large fines. And when you're looking at being locked up in a cage for 30 months, probation must surely feel like a reassuring slap on the wrist. Is that paying for a crime?

I actually think the rules should be changed so presidents cannot pardon (which this commutation, since it eliminates any real punishment, is as good as) anyone they know personally. It’s a clear conflict of interest and an abuse of power. Then we’d have no more Marc Richs, Scooter Libbys or Oliver Norths. This is a view I’ve held since before Libby, by the way.

I also have some other unconventional ideas about the law which apply here. I’ve long believed in a kind of unofficial “banishment” for people who escape justice. That means making (Libby’s) life as shitty as possible without getting in trouble yourself. Don’t help him. Don’t talk to him. Don’t smile at him. If he enters your place of business, tell him that he’s making the other customers “uncomfortable” and ask him to leave. Persona non grata, on a nationwide scale. OJ, without the knife. I’m sincere in this, though I don’t expect anyone will heed it.

This issue is too big for a single post. For part two, I will offer a point-by-point analysis of the president’s statement announcing this commutation. This should be fun!

As we head into our Independence Day celebrations, I lament that we have not yet freed ourselves from the present-day tyranny that is the reign of King/Czar George II of the USA. Somebody get me a drink... STAT!

26 comments:

Infinitesimal said...

it's too sad to even comment on, and it won't change, because we ar too busy finding out what Paris Hilton did after her release from jail.

sigh

she said...

sadder even still is the stupid shyt that gets people in an uproar.

jihadis? 20 million+ illegals? do nothing congress with the lowest approval rate ever recorded?...er not so much. but scooter libby? get out yur pitchforks! grrherhahaha

what was all that crap nancy pelosi was gonna do in ninety days. not jack shyt thats what.

W is a traitor. but this scooter libby thing is nada compared to real damage done.
the LOT of them a nest of snakes.

you know if scooter would share a cell with say, some of the guys clinton PARDONED i might be on board. lets see....just hittin the highlights here....william anderson: Conspiracy to defraud a federally insured financial institution, false statements to a federally insured financial institution, wire fraud...

Adolph Schwimmer:Conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, conspiracy to export arms and ammunition to a foreign country and related charges...

brother roger clinton: coke head and liar...

*yawn, stretch*

lots and lots of Coke distributors, liars to the feds, securities frauds, tons of obstruction of justice, mail fraud, extortion ....much more.

she said...

and then of course Clinton LIED to a grand jury which is why he was impeached and disbarred.

no it wasnt about a blowjob.

so, if libs were a tad bit more universal in their outrage it might make sense.

Pete Bogs said...

she - notice the first person I listed among the pardons? Marc Rich? as I stated, I don't think they should be able to help their friends out... the fact that someone else did it doesn't make it any easier to deal with that justice continues to be undone in this country today...

Libby's case may be bigger or smaller than any other... I want them ALL prosecuted... don't leave the tadpoles alone just because there are bigger fish to fry...

the Congress has tried to achieve many, many things... the hard part has been getting the 60 votes needed to override Bush's veto pen... Dems don't have that big of a majority, yet... people want stuff to get done, but on most issues obstructionist Republicants won't let them get anything done... that's what Dems are called when they vote against something...

PS: I just can't get passionate about this immigration thing... it's not one of my hot buttons at this point...

Jack K. said...

Too steamed to make even an incoherent comment.

How was this for shock and awe? Or was it Aw shucks?

Either way, it sucks.

Wow! I can make an incoherent comment.

Rave on bogs, rave on.

Pete Bogs said...

jack - I hear you... I actually surprised myself last night that, even being so steamed, I was able to write a coherent post on this... I somehow managed it...

LeftLeaningLady said...

Good post!

Sadly there was just another case like this before the Supreme Court, same charges, longer sentence and that poor schmuck wasn't W's buddy, so he is in jail.

I think Scooter has something on W or Dick and they couldn't NOT let him out.

What a world we live in.

And, sorry, SHE, it really was about the blowjob.

she said...

if you say so, LLL.

yes Bogs i noticed mark rich but a tax-evading limo-lib was the least of it.

as far as the "i don't recall" defense its straight out of the hillary clinton playbook:

in 2000 she accepted $1.2 million from a two-time ex-felon, then lied about it to the Federal Election Commission.

"i do not recall" she said

the Federal Election Commission didnt buy it, btw.

but i agree, bogs, if powers are given to one president, and then those powers pass to the next, of opposing ideology, then it can really swim back around to bite ya in the arse!


ya'll all steamed over this. meanwhile rome burns.

she said...

OT to jack: where are your vacation pix? i went to 3 of your blogs and didnt find them.....

Aunty Belle said...

Uh, the country is sunk too low ter mention iffin' ya'll is hackle haired by the Scooter scandal--the fella ain't done nuthin' that every single fella in his postion in every adminstration did--since Geroge Washington..

Lordy, kids...grow up. Marc Rich (as Bawgs duly noted) is far more egregious example of pardons. Puh-leeze.

Pete Bogs said...

she - I trace "I do not recall" to Reagan, Oliver North and the Iran-Contra... they made the tactic successful and popular...

Bill was my candidate, but Hillary isn't... no chick is gonna tell me what to do! lol... I kid, but not about the candidate part...

as for Rome burning, you could say I sweat the big and little stuff...

Pete Bogs said...

aunt b - I think the Marc Rich case had financial implications? whereas, Scooters had national security implications... you're right, there's no comparison...

I don't care who else did it - I want to see the guilty punished... there's no better time than the present to start demanding accountability...

Infinitesimal said...

tou fuckin che BOGS!

rock em sock em.

A) Clinton was never impeached.
1. He made pardons on his LAST DAY in office... not as Bush does willy-nilly
a. I DO think Libby has something on Cheney.
2. The "I do not recall" was in fact incepted as a viable defense by the Ollie North debacle, and HE was called a hero for it.
b. Clarence Thomas ripped it out during the Anita Hill fiasco as well, and HE got a Supreme court nomination for it! (Oh wait... By WHOM you say? current administration.... Do you realize that if this thing does go to court, that Thomas will be sympathetic? It's the tactic what butters HIS bread every day, meaning he is not going to throw a glass stone in his own home.)

B) I'd say to venture the guess that the congress has a low approval rating, because nobody can approve of a congress that drops trou, lifts skirt and takes it up the ass the way this one has done. The butt fucking began with the patriot act, and the lube has run out long ago.
1. Nobody likes an ass-raping commander in chief.
a. Bush-Cheney approval rating is down to 34% This includes polls from liberals, moderates and conservatives.

Comparing Clinton and Bush is like comparing bad apples to rotting bannanas. They are both inedible, but at least the apple keeps it to himself and does not let the flies fester around him.

I would have to say, that being embarrassed over getting a little big-girl nookie and head is far less a crime than orchestrating catastrophe and flouting the law of the land. (read 9/11 and the patriot act)

One is bad apple, the other a rotten banana.

"One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, yeah" -(ironically) Michael Jackson

One bad banana and the whole bunch is trashed.

she said...

grrrherhaha you gots a barn burner post bogshond!

vanilla please!are you gonna bring "che" up now? viva la reva lucy on! grrherhaha

oh. clinton waited til the last day to pardon 140 rotten bananas? oh, well, then scuse me cause that makes all the difference in the world.

the most recent posting of the gallup poll puts the congress at 24% so in this context the white house comes out ahead.

thats right. in liberal land there is some external force that prevents the demoncrats from doing whatever. its racism! no its corruption! no its W. its karl rove! its poverty! its homophobia! no wait, its capitalism. no, its talk radio. grrherhaha

i thought nancy was a bad-ass.
well, at dialoging with murderous islamic despots, she rocks!

youre right vanille. they did drop trou. for the Koz and Huff and Soros.

but are you hearing my point? with all that there is to be truly pissed about, this gets the fire going? once "they" get to washington they are all the same.

she said...

oh forgot. vanille: i was being specific with regard to clinton. the argument on Libby was lying to the grand jury.no actual crime was committed. and that was also clintons mistake as well. he hadnt done anything "wrong" other than to commit adultery.

i know you all desperately want to make it out that a bunch of puritans hate him over a blow job. but its just not true.

Bird said...

oh contraire - lying to a grand jury is a crime. as is obstruction of justice.

here's the big message on the libby communtation:

if you do something rotten to help out the administration - we have your back.

this was a simple case of the Bush administration wanting to hurt someone who criticized them - who very early on questioned the lie about WMD, so the Bushies set Libby up to do the deed or Libby knows who did it. He is questioned and lies, and then tried and convicted. But the administration takes the sting away. So, if you do something unethical, illegal to help hide a serious lie of the administration (one that led us into a war, no less) and that undermines the national security of the country - that's ok - as long the administration is ok with it - as long as it protects the administration.

bull effing shit.
this is no small matter.

as for immigration -all anyone has to do is enforce the existing employment laws - but the government does't really want to (big buisness will get pissed off) and neither do those folks who hire illegals to clean their homes, care for their children, and do their gardening.

as for clinton - hell, if we keep going back and forth with the 'well if the repubs did it and got away with it - why can't the dems? and if the dems did it, and got away with it, why not the repubs" argument, we'll never get anywhere (which is about where we are now).

as for hilary - fuck her. though she for once made a very strong statement -instead of hedging - regarding the commutation still - the hell with her. i pray i don't have to hold my nose and vote for her in 08. please dear god, let some other dem get the nomination , please oh please oh please.

looking forward to your deconstruction of bush's statment bogs.

Go Giants! Go Brewers! Go Braves! Go Fish!

she said...

bird said:

"As for immigration -all anyone has to do is enforce the existing employment laws - but the government does't really want to (big buisness will get pissed off) and neither do those folks who hire illegals to clean their homes, care for their children, and do their gardening."

AGREED!

i tell you what is no small matter. Clinton pardoning the 16 FALN bombmakers. i mean, damn, they only killed 6 americans and seriously injured hundreds more in 130 bombing attacks. hows that for apples and bananas?

the "rope a dope" AGREED! like i keep sayin...all a nest of snakes.they are all going to serve themselves at the expense of us proles.

and vanille, one other thing; thinking of poor ol clarence thomas. maybe anita hill lied. i mean, gennifer flowers, kathleen willey, paula jones, monica, and juanita broderick were all liars. right?

boyed i give ya the third AGREED: Go Braves! Go Giants!Go Brewers! yay!

Infinitesimal said...

She:

There are three kinds of lies:
lies
damned lies
and statistics. -Disraeli

A poll is a statistic and a statistic is devised from a SAMPLE of the total population.


If you select the sample population at random, there is still a large margin of error.

If I select two people from 100 total and ask them how they feel about congress, the margin of error is great, however, if I select 30 people from 100 to poll, the margin of error is slim, but ONLY if they are selected at random and the N(umber) 100 is the total number of the population.

What this means is it really depends on how the poll was taken. Did they for example ask K9/She,

'How do you feel about congress?'

--oh, you think they drop trou to Huffington? OK well, the entire state of Georgia feels the same way.

HUUUGE margin of error. Did they, perhaps poll the red states heavier than the blue? Not a random sample.

But, in the end, they (Congress) do drop trou, and so I am sure your assumption of congress is correct. But not because they kow-tow to political commentators, but because they do NOTHING as the constitution is eroded.


I loves me a good barn-burner

Infinitesimal said...

Last week in June CBS poll shows congress approval 27% with 13% unsure

These two statistics illustrate my point nicely

The current confidence rating for Congress -- 14% (gallup poll)
The Fine Print:
"Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,007 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted June 11-14, 2007. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls."

1,007 adults???!!! of the entire National Population?????
That is a ridiculously small sample


BUSH: 27% approve, 8% unsure 6/07

Bush rating 34% with 2% unsure 6/07

2nd poll SOURCE: "This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone May 29-June 1, 2007, among a random national sample of 1,205 adults, including an oversample of African Americans, for a total of 284 black respondents. The results from the full survey have an error margin of plus or minus three percentage points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa. *Numbers may not add up to 100 due to rounding."

Again, a ridiculously small sample...|

www.bushlies.net/
It amuses me check it out

Clinton V Bush
Thems the facts, apples to bananas

Infinitesimal said...

SHE:

"gennifer flowers, kathleen willey, paula jones, monica, and juanita broderick were all liars. right?"

BAD DOG!! where's the rolled up paper!!??

Jeeezus H Keyrist

Solidarity among women She for God's sakes!!

None of them were lying INCLUDING Anita Hill.

And dammit, I would rather have a President who fucked other women, than a president who fucked over the constitution!

Choke Chain for you puppy! Where are my thigh-high boots???

Bird said...

i love it when infini gets all domimatix-like - you go girl, you go.

now she - you know how unfair it is to paint all women with the same brush ... but infini - sisterhood only goes so far (hence my disgust with HC).

hey she - no go FISH? Frankly, I don't like the Marlins (sorry bogs) - but at least they took Benitez off the Giants' hands, a blessing indeed.

Pete Bogs said...

woo-eee we gots us a hot post today! women cussin' and a spittin' and carryin' on so... I love it... part 2 is Thu, because tomorrow is a holiday and I don't work... besides, I want to let this one roil and boil a bit more...

Infinitesimal said...

An excellent take on independence !click here!

Pete Bogs said...

contessa - thanks...

she - I think I can address the question of why so many people are up in arms about this commutation... because it appeared, for a moment anyway, as if one person associated the White House and its many misdeeds was actually going to be held accountable for something... as if! remember, Gonzo, Rove, Cheney and Bush are still sitting pretty and breaking every law known to man... people like Rummy and Wolfy haven't paid simply because they left their WH jobs - they went right on to cushy new ones... justice denied again!

Jack K. said...

she, go to this site. for the first of the trip. The subjects are all As Seen Through the Windshield and are postings numbers 148 - 164. They are found in One Man's View from Lansing, KS. They were all posted in May.

Hope this helps.

Jack K. said...

With all of that commotion among and between the Amazons, I better keep my mouth shut and my keyboard quiet.

I gotta admit, it is fun reading the comments. You pays yer money and takes yer choice.

Bananas and apples, cool analogies.

nuff said.

ttfn