Thursday, June 14, 2007

Libby Heading To Jail; Neocon Pardon-mania To Hit

From my Capital Games" column at

Now it gets serious.

On Thursday afternoon, federal district court Judge Reggie Walton ruled that he will not put off sending Scooter Libby to jail. Last week, the judge sentenced Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff to 30 months and a $250,000 fine for obstructing justice during the CIA leak investigation. Libby's lawyers asked for Libby to remain free on bail while they appeal the conviction. Walton said he would entertain the request, though he indicated he was not at all sympathetic to their legal arguments. He did not change his mind.

His ruling was a routine legal decision. Walton usually sends criminals convicted in his court (who are not flight risks) to prison once the Bureau of Prison notifies him it has selected a prison for the convict. That process tends to take 45 to 60 days. So unless Libby's layers can persuade an appeals court to overturn Walton's decision, Libby will soon be reporting to a federal penitentiary.

Which means neocon pardon-mania is about to hit.

The Libby Lobby has long called for George W. Bush to pardon Libby--even before his trial and conviction. And the neocons and conservatives have amped up their demand for a pardon in the days since Libby was sentenced.

On June 5, The National Review reiterated its call for a pardon:

[Libby] is a dedicated public servant caught in a crazy political fight that should have never happened, convicted of lying about a crime that the prosecutor can't even prove was committed. President Bush has the power to end this ridiculous saga right now. He should do so.

Days later, William F. Buckley suggested this was an issue involving Bush's manhood:

Mr. Bush will have to exhibit the courage for which he is loved and hated, by doing the right thing, and letting Mr. Libby get on with life.

Today, P.S. Ruckman, writing for The National Review, proposed that Bush issue a "respite" that would delay Libby's jail term while Libby's appeal continues.

The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, too, has been in the forefront of the free Scooter movement. Three days ago, it opined:

With Mr. Libby, what is Mr. Bush afraid of--jeopardizing his 33% approval rating? A pardon would be a two-day story. His opponents can't hate Mr. Bush more than they already do, and his supporters would cheer to see the President standing by the man who stood by him when others in his Administration cut and ran.

Days earlier, The WSJers proclaimed:

Mr. President, this buck stops with you.

Among the rush-to-war crowd, there is outrage that Bush has not waved his magic wand for Libby. These conservatives believe that that Libby (and they) have been betrayed by the president. Rightwing columnist Bob Novak (who started the leak scandal when he outed covert CIA officer Valerie Plame in his column) recently channeled this rage in a column:

The treatment of Lewis Libby, once Vice President Cheney's influential chief of staff, enrages Republicans far more than their public utterances suggest. The president's studied distance from the CIA leak case led to the appointment of a special prosecutor by then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey at a time when Comey already knew the leaker's identity. That distance has continued with Bush's response from Europe to Libby's conviction; it was filtered through a deputy press secretary, emphasizing that he had no intention of issuing a pardon.

One Republican who did not watch her words last week was Washington lawyer Victoria Toensing: "If the president can pardon 12 million illegal immigrants, he can pardon Scooter Libby." Toensing is joining the procession supporting the still-unannounced run for president by Fred Thompson, who is unequivocal in his outrage over Libby's fate and asserts that he would pardon him.

You can feel the rage. And the neocons know how to gin up campaigns. They will do whatever it takes to pressure Bush. Expect them to go--to use a technical term--bananas. Especially since the White House still is indicating Bush is not eager to untie Libby from the train tracks. After Walton turned down Libby's request to remain free, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said, "Scooter Libby still has the right to appeal, and therefore the president will continue not to intervene in the judicial process. The president feels terribly for Scooter, his wife, and their young children, and all that they're going through."

There was wiggle room in the statement. Perhaps if Libby exhausts his appeals on the issue of staying out of prison while he appeals the conviction, Bush might then consider a pardon. But this was not the message the Libby Lobby wanted to hear.

These days Bush has lost the general public due to the Iraq war, He is in trouble with party's base because of the immigration bill he's been pushing. Now the elite guard of the GOP is in an uproar over his failure (so far) to pardon Libby. These guys and gals are going to endeavor to make this decision a painful one for Bush. They know how to play (read: manipulate) the media. And they have a mole in the White House: Dick Cheney. With Americans and Iraqi civilians being killed in Iraq every day, they will pour all their passion into the Save Scooter fight. After all, he is one of them. And though most neocons who misguided the United States into the failed war in Iraq have never served in the military, they do share a credo with one of the military services: leave no man behind. Scooter is their holy cause. The crusade has just begun.

BLOGGINGHEADED AGAIN. Yes, the Jim Pinkerton and David Corn Show is back on We talk immigration, Iraq, and Albania. Watch it here.

Posted by David Corn at June 14, 2007 04:30 PM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

You mean the Jim Pinkerton that:

Pinkerton falsely claimed CNN showed photo "still" juxtaposing Falwell and Hitler Monday, May 21, 2007 2:56PM

Citing Bush's dismal approval ratings, Pinkerton claimed he is "hanging in there" and not in "such bad shape" Tuesday, April 24, 2007 1:28PM

Sounding a familiar refrain, Pinkerton linked Walter Reed problems to Clinton Tuesday, March 13, 2007 4:58PM

Fox News whitewashes evangelical hostility to Romney's faith Tuesday, February 27, 2007 7:50PM

On Fox, Pinkerton claimed Wash. Post Walter Reed story was "going after the administration from the right" Monday, February 26, 2007 7:06PM

And you take this guy seriously enough to debate him? You belittle yourself and demean your good character while giving his brand of insanity validation. By doing so you make certain he ALWAYS wins and you will always lose even when you win every argument and score every point.

Jim is not even sincere or is a lying sack of crap. You are on your own with this one.



capt said...

Libby judge harassed after sentencing

WASHINGTON - A federal judge showed no sign that he would delay I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's prison term in the CIA leak case Thursday — even as he reported getting threatening letters and phone calls after sentencing the former White House aide.

"I received a number of angry, harassing, mean-spirited phone calls and letters," U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said. "Some of those were wishing bad things on me and my family."

Walton made the remarks as he opened a hearing into whether to delay Libby's 2 1/2-year sentence while the former White House aide appeals. Walton heard arguments on the request and was scheduled to continue them Thursday afternoon.


*****end of clip*****

This is the show of respect JUSTICE gets from the Reich-wingnuttia.


David B. Benson said...

Well, send 'em all to sing-sing...

capt said...

I have named the destroyers of nations: comfort, plenty, and security - out of which grow a bored and slothful cynicism, in which rebellion against the world as it is, and myself as I am, are submerged in listless self-satisfaction : John Steinbeck: American novelist, Nobel Prize for Literature for 1962, 1902-1968

The only security for the American people today, or for any people, is to be found through the control of force rather than the use of force : Norman Cousins: American essayist and editor, long associated with the Saturday Review, 1912-1990

Power always has to be kept in check; power exercised in secret, especially under the cloak of national security, is doubly dangerous : William Proxmire

Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.: Groucho Marx: American comedian, actor and singer, 1890-1977

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers: Jose Narosky

If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks: Frederick The Great


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...


The WORST case scenario for Scooter is more likely a Penal Country Club ala CMC at San Luis Obispo.

All in all prison is still prison and I would HATE to be in the nicest facilities. (not even to visit)


David B. Benson said...

capt --- If Scooter went there, he could learn how to do dry cleaning...

capt said...

"Glove factory, jacket line, knitting mill, laundry, shoe factory, silk screening, T-shirt line, specialty printing plant, textile products, NOMEX firefighting clothing, maintenance."

NOMEX - That would be fireproof pants too?

Now THAT would be poetic justice.



capt said...

Libby and Wolfie: A Story of Reacharounds

Funny title but a very well put together piece with some information crossovers of interest.


capt said...

Nightmare at Reagan National Airport: A Security Story to End all Security Stories

If you travel enough, you've seen it all -- and possibly some of the awful things that can happen while traveling will have actually happened to you. But nothing I've read about or experienced comes close to what Monica Emmerson experienced while at Reagan National Airport on June 11th while traveling with her 19-month-old toddler. This isn't one of those Catch-22 bureaucratic snafus; this isn't about rules being applied to the letter. This story is mostly about what can happen simply because the authorities in charge decide that they're going to exercise their authority because they can, regardless of whether it's legal or right or makes any sense at all.

And if this can happen to a former law enforcement officer with the United States Secret Service, it can happen to anyone.

The incident started when Monica, who left the Secret Service to raise a family, was stopped while going through airport security because there was water in her son's sippy cup. The sippy cup was seized by TSA. Monica wanted the cup back because the sippy cup was the only way her son would drink -- and it was a long flight between Washington, DC and Reno, Nevada where she was going for a family reunion. If you've ever had a toddler you understand about sippy cups.

So she was willing to spill the water out. Drink the water. Anything -- all that she wanted was to be able to have a cup that her 19-month-old toddler could drink from.

Here's what happened in Monica's words:

"I demanded to speak to a TSA [Transportation Security Administration] supervisor who asked me if the water in the sippy cup was 'nursery water or other bottled water.' I explained that the sippy cup water was filtered tap water. The sippy cup was seized as my son was pointing and crying for his cup. I asked if I could drink the water to get the cup back, and was advised that I would have to leave security and come back through with an empty cup in order to retain the cup. As I was escorted out of security by TSA and a police officer, I unscrewed the cup to drink the water, which accidentally spilled because I was so upset with the situation.

"At this point, I was detained against my will by the police officer and threatened to be arrested for endangering other passengers with the spilled 3 to 4 ounces of water. I was ordered to clean the water, so I got on my hands and knees while my son sat in his stroller with no shoes on since they were also screened and I had no time to put them back on his feet. I asked to call back my fiancé, who I could still see from afar, waiting for us to clear security, to watch my son while I was being detained, and the officer threatened to arrest me if I moved. So I yelled past security to get the attention of my fiancé.

"I was ordered to apologize for the spilled water, and again threatened with arrest. I was threatened several times with arrest while detained, and while three other police officers were called to the scene of the mother with the 19 month old. A total of four police officers and three TSA officers reported to the scene where I was being held against my will. I was also told that I should not disrespect the officer and could be arrested for this too. I apologized to the officer and she continued to detain me despite me telling her that I would miss my flight. The officer advised me that I should have thought about this before I 'intentionally spilled the water!'"

Monica said that the incident ended this way: "I missed my flight, needless to say after being detained for over 40 minutes. After the officer was done humiliating me, I was advised that I could go through the security check point in an attempt to catch my flight. The officer insisted that my son and I be rescreened despite us both being detained and under her control the entire time."

During the weeks and months after 9/11 some passengers who were caught with unidentified fluids while going through airport security were told to drink the liquid (including breast milk) to prove that it wasn't an explosive. In one incident, a fourteen year old boy was ordered to drink water that he was carrying, and it turned out that this was unclean pond water he was carrying for a science project. Monica was more than happy to drink her child's tap water --all three or four ounces of it-- and tried, in fact. But it was the trying and spilling that seems to have escalated this into a situation that required the presence of four TSA officers and three police officers.

TSA found no other security problems with Monica Emmerson. Not even a nail clipper. Just the water and the sippy cup.

TSA's rules allow passengers to take up to three ounces of liquid on board; they also allow parents to take milk or baby formula on board in larger quantities than that, if declared to TSA. But the question that she was asked by TSA --was this "nursery water" in the sippy cup?-- was an unanswerable one, since there's no such thing as nursery water in the TSA regulations, and it's not a generic term.

Monica Emmerson was detained for 45 minutes. She wasn't questioned about possible ties to terrorists. Her carry-on items weren't rigorously searched -- or even searched again. Neither the police nor TSA took any action that indicated that they thought she might be a security risk. She was just detained, harassed and threatened with arrest. All because of a sippy cup with water in it.


*****end of clip*****

I am certain the SS Nazis demanded apologies and threatened anybody they wanted (especially Germans).

This is what the neocreeps have done to make us safer?


David B. Benson said...

I suppose she canattempt a civil suit...

capt said...

"a civil suit"

True enough but I wonder if it is too much like a German citizen of non-Aryan descent bringing suit against the brown-shirts in the early days of the Reich?

The fascist fix is in within our judicial system and the AG is an obvious liar and criminal just like Hitler's henchmen.

The worst thing that comes from the abuse of power is the expansion of that abuse met with tacit acceptance from outrage fatigued or fearful witnesses to the abuse. This gives the abusers the illusion of having the authority to do as they do, they even convince themselves that inaction against their abuse is support from their superiors. As everything goes wrong they first think the problem is not enough abuse or not creative enough displays of their petty powers. It gets ugly very fast.

Sounds like these TSA employees have more power than authority - if that power goes unchecked it will only get worse. Any person with the power to detain others has to exercise that power judiciously or they are just thugs. (but I digress)


micki said...

The GOOD DADDY JUSTIFICATION LIBBY LOBBY is ratcheting up the pressure on bush to pardon Libby right tomorrow afternoon late, the Friday before Father's Day, which is June 17th.

To their minds, a perfect impression.

capt said...

Lame duck, lame Congress

Voters are fed up...period

More than two-thirds of Americans say they have lost faith not only in President Bush but also in the Democrats running Congress.

All of the presidential candidates should be extremely worried about this development.

Because of rivalry among the states, next year's primaries have been scheduled in warp speed. In only eight months from now, we will know who the Republican nominee will be and who the Democratic Party's nominee will be.

If current polling numbers remain steady -- never a sure thing; in politics, everything can change in a week -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York will be the Democratic nominee and either former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani or former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson will be the Republican nominee.

That means that for nine months next year, before Americans go to the polls in November, the intramural horse races will be over and we will be seeing, reading about, hearing from and pondering those candidates almost 24/7. No matter how sterling their qualities, we will be bored to death with them.

And no matter how much we expect from them, they will be essentially powerless, stuck in campaign -- not governing -- mode. The winner won't take office until Jan. 20, 2009.

In the meantime, President Bush will be a lame duck, struggling against huge odds to repair his diminished legacy, tarnished by failure in Iraq, a growing catastrophe in the Middle East (witness the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority), venomous tensions with Russia, nuclear proliferation, an energized and poisonous Iran, environmental debates, the immigration stalemate and emerging crises we haven't yet fathomed.

The other day, Bush, trying without success on Capitol Hill to shore up Republican allegiance to his immigration policy, referred to "my government." No doubt he meant to say, "my administration." Nonetheless, it was a bad mistake, emphasizing what an increasing number of Americans believe -- his is a failed presidency, made worse by arrogance and stubbornness.

But Democrats, who took charge of Congress in January, are also branded with the label of incompetence. They have been unable to do anything about the war in Iraq, which has taken the lives of 3,500 American service members (and maimed thousands more). Despite Bush's surge of troops into Iraq, the average number of attacks now exceeds 1,000 each week. And a Pentagon analysis shows that no decrease in violence is expected anytime soon. Each month, the outlook gets gloomier, the prognosis for escalating civil war worse.

At home, health-care costs are rising, energy costs are soaring, the individual savings rate has tanked, the fruitless immigration debate has exacerbated bitterness and fear, and few Americans can be found who think the country is on the "right track." That's an essentially meaningless polling term generally meant to convey whether the country is in an optimistic or a pessimistic mood. At the moment, pessimism reigns.

The elections last November essentially were a rebuke of the president and his mishandled, miscalculated war in Iraq. But there has been a negligible effect. Democrats seem unable to do anything concrete with their slim margins in the Senate and the House and Bush is unrepentant, refusing to admit to any mistakes or change significantly any of his policies. Many Republicans are left feeling furious with him. Many Democrats are left impotently steaming at their ineffectual leaders in Congress. And the hope of more bipartisanship has disappeared.

The unity of the country after 9/11 has completely vanished, almost entirely because of how badly the war in Iraq was handled. Americans, shocked by the attacks, were ready to pull together in a World War II-type spirit of joint sacrifice and patriotic fervor to defend their country. That's gone. The sympathy and support America had from around the world after the attacks have been eroded. Now we're regarded by millions, if not billions, as a mighty bully without principles while the unprincipled terrorists are increasingly hailed in some countries for keeping the big guy dancing around with his dukes flailing.

But for the next eight months we're not likely to hear very much inspiring rhetoric about returning America to greatness with new solutions to old problems, but instead the same tired campaign whining, internecine jousting and meatless promises. Even the freshest faces, Barack Obama and Fred Thompson, are starting to look overly familiar, their words sounding too rehearsed.

Candidates, be warned. The new polls show that Americans are fed up with the status quo and might not be in the mood to take it anymore. They could tune out, not vote or be receptive to the first demagogue who comes along.


capt said...

New Thread