Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: With Liberty and Justice For Some .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

With Liberty and Justice For Some

On this 231st anniversary of the founding of our nation, the current occupant of the White House demonstrates how much he respects the principles our country was founded upon by thumbing his nose to the American people.

Irve Lewis “Scooter” Libby was found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice in the exposure of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Granted, Libby didn’t actually out Plame, but he lied to investigators to protect his boss, Vice President Richard Cheney, and was found guilty by a court of law and sentenced to 30 months in a federal prison, along with a hefty fine.

Speculation was high that the president would pardon Libby before he served any jail time. The president has that right, although typically they wait until the prison term is served, and it’s rarely done by a president for someone in his own administration.

When Libby lost his appeal this last week to remain free while he appealed the sentence, Bush did one better – he commuted his sentence. If the president had actually pardoned Libby, Scooter couldn’t use the 5th Amendment to refuse to testify against his administration. After all, if one is pardoned, one cannot reasonably argue that one’s testimony would be self-incriminatory.

So as a reward for protecting an obviously guilty administration, Libby doesn’t have to go to prison, and only needs to pay a fine, a tab which will undoubtedly be picked up by friends of Dick and George.

So much for liberty and justice for all.

Talking points for those who defend the administration usually lead off with “Clinton pardoned a lot more people than Bush. Besides, he had sex with that… woman”. But that argument doesn’t fly in the face of reason.

Clinton didn’t run his entire platform on integrity and values. Bush rode into office with promises to clean up government. So far we’ve seen how he cleaned up the government. His cronies, regardless of capability, infuse all branches and levels of government. We all witnessed FEMA’s handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the invasion and occupation of Iraq based on lies and cherry-picked intelligence. The administration announces a terror alert any time the administration needs a distraction or when Bush’s approval rating drops. And now, after vowing to bring anyone who was involved in leaking Plame’s identity to justice, its protecting a high-level administrator who was convicted of just that.

Remember this announcement Bush made in September of 2003?

"There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if that person has violated law, the person will be taken care of."

Now, in an example of the diminished ethics of this administration, we see how the person who has violated law has been “taken care of”.

Liberty and justice for all, indeed.


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