Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Everybody knows

I was asked by my local daily as a “man on the street” just last Sunday about Bush and Putin meeting in Kennebunk Maine, not far up the coast from where I live. In my snap response I called Bush "wrong headed" and Putin a "thug".

Once again I misunderestimated George Bush, for just over 24 hours later he did the most thuggish thing of his entire presidency: he commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence for obstruction of justice, perjury and lying to a grand jury.

President Bush has so little shame or fear that he will be held to account for what is itself a willful act of obstruction that he didn't even bother to make up a good story.

“Excessive” he called the sentence – not pretending to challenge the correctness of the verdict, even though the sentence meted out to Mr Libby was within the bounds of the law that he has supported.

“Excessive” he called it even though in a nearly identical case decided two weeks ago by the Supreme Court, a decision in the case of Victor Rita in nearly all aspects identical to Scooter Libby's (except Rita is not an administration insider) was held neither excessive nor warranting any remedy – Rita is doing the time.

In one short statement late on a Monday afternoon George Bush finally became a gangster. Mark the date: July 2, 2007. For the second time President Bush has deliberately derailed an investigation into the actions of his White House. The first was by denying his own Justice Department investigators the security clearance necessary to pursue allegations of illegal wiretaps.

Now he has willfully short-circuited a case decided in a federal court in public trial; a case that turns on national security issues that legally stops nothing short of treason. That is of deliberately outing an undercover CIA agent.

Left standing is the guilty verdict itself until of course President Bush issues a pardon – which he has deliberately not ruled out doing. Left standing is a 250,000 dollar fine which Libby will never have to pay thanks to an over 5 million dollar defense fund fed by Bush's minions.

In short left standing is the tattered shreds of a verdict that is not worth the paper that it was written on. And most importantly, left standing is Scooter Libby's silence in a matter that could show that the chief executive of the United States and his vice-president have committed treason.

"I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors." President George H.W. Bush.

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