Monday, July 2, 2007

Libby Turned Down Again

From my "Capital Games" column at

Is Scooter Libby really going to jail now? Today a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, turned down Libby's request to remain free on bond while his attorneys appeal his conviction on obstruction of justice charges. In a two-sentence ruling, the three judges said that Libby "has not shown that the appeal raises a substantial [legal] question." This means that Libby will have to report to a federal penitentiary as soon as the Bureau of Prisons finds a spot for him, and that could occur within weeks.

Libby's defenders--the folks who claimed he was wrongfully investigated, then wrongfully indicted, then wrongfully convicted by a jury, then wrongfully sentenced to 30 months and a $250,000 fine--will no doubt say this matter was wrongfully decided by these three judges (one of whom was a Ronald Reagan appointee and one of whom was a George H.W. Bush appointee). But (hopeless) legal arguments aside, this ruling will cause the neocons (and their conservative allies) to intensify the campaign for a Libby pardon. (I recently detailed the Let Libby Go crusade here.) Now the Libby Lobby will pump up the volume, pressing George W. Bush to intervene.

Libby's champions seem to be motivated, in part, by an intense sense of personal betrayal. Libby partisans have essentially accused Bush of being an ingrate and coward for not rushing to the rescue of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff. With the clock ticking on Jail Day for Libby, the Save Scooter advocates can be expected to voice further their frustration and resentment.

Will Bush yield? There's no telling. So far he's kept his distance from the Libby case--which stands as a reminder that Bush led the nation to an unpopular war on the basis of misrepresentations and false statements. But one thing's for sure: if Bush doesn't pardon this former White House aide, he will receive plenty of abuse from people who once hailed him for initiating the war they had craved for years. The pro-war neocons often appear distant from the disastrous consequences of the invasion of Iraq, including the civilian casualties of the war. But when it comes to the plight of Libby, an architect of the war convicted of lying, they feel his pain so passionately. We are all Scooter! , they practically proclaim. And in a way, they're right.

Posted by David Corn at July 2, 2007 01:01 PM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

It takes a while for the news to actually set in.

This puts Bunnypants between Iraq and a hard place.

Excuse me while I smile too large and dance a little soft shoe. For now justice has certainly prevailed.



Gerald said...

Here is what will happen to Nazi Libby! The Bureau of Nazi Prisons will not find a spot for him or the Nazi U.S. Supreme Court will set Nazi Libby free!!! Libby walks!!!!!

Gerald said...

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

Praying Each Day: July 2

Gerald said...

Your Rights, Your Responsibilities, Your World

capt said...

DC has the Libby piece up on Yahoo News

So Yahoo!


capt said...

"And in a way, they're right."

I read it a few times before I could pinpoint it.

I like it when DC puts his touch on a phrase. It is kind of like the "Twilight Zone" of the political world and DC is Rod Serling - not just telling us the story but being smart about it.(smart in a good way - not smart ass)


Gerald said...

The tyrant always talks as if he's preserving the best interests of his people when he actually acts to undermine them. - Ramman Kenoun

capt said...

From -

"No one has ever succeeded in keeping nations at war except by lies." : by: Salvador de Madariaga - (1886-1978 ), Spanish writer, diplomat, and historian, noted for his service at the League of Nations

"The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people." : Justice Hugo L. Black - (1886-1971) US Supreme Court Justice - Source: New York Times v. Unites States (Pentagon Papers) 1971

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear.: Marcus Tullius Cicero - (106-43 B.C.) Roman Statesman, Philosopher and Orator.


I have always thought those three quotes go well together.


Gerald said...

Will we ever see the end of the Nazi American Party?

Gerald said...

Yes, Cicero, Hitler Cheney is a traitor!

Gerald said...

Fueling the fire to attack Iran continues

Gerald said...

The unintended consequences of the “cakewalk war”

By Paul Craig Roberts

07/02/07 "ICH " -- -- -John Lukacs in his monograph, June 1941: Hitler and Stalin, reports that “the best military experts throughout the world predicted the defeat of the Soviet Union within a few weeks, or within two months at the most” following Hitler’s invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941.

While the superb German military machine made an excellent showing, by the beginning of 1943 its offensive capability was exhausted and the Germans were defeated at Stalingrad. Germany lost the war one and one-half years before the US could manage the invasion of Normandy. If Hitler had not depleted the German Army in Russia, a US invasion of Normandy could not have been contemplated.

Lukacs concerns himself with unintended consequences of June 22, 1941. It is not too early, or too late, to concern ourselves with the unintended consequences of March 20, 2003.

Four and one-quarter years ago the Pentagon and its neoconservative advisors and media propagandists promised Americans a “cakewalk” war of 3 to 6 weeks duration. Six weeks later on May 2, 2003, in history’s most ill-advised propaganda stunt, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, whose tower was adorned with a banner declaring “Mission Accomplished,” and announced the end to major combat operations in Iraq.

In fact, the war had hardly begun. Four years later with the failure in June 2007 of President Bush’s desperate last measure--”the surge”--US offensive capability is exhausted. The US military can do no more and has less control of the situation than ever.

Perhaps the clearest indication that the war in Iraq is no longer under American control is Turkey’s announcement of plans to invade northern Iraq, the home of the Iraqi Kurds. As June 2007 came to an end, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul announced that if US or Iraqi forces did not eliminate the Kurdish guerrillas that were attacking Turkey, the Turkish Army would move into northern Iraq to deal with the situation.

Foreign Minister Gul was unequivocal: “The military plans have been worked out in the finest detail. The government knows these plans and agrees with them. If neither the Iraqi government nor the US occupying forces can do this [crush the guerrillas], we will take our own decision and implement it.”

This ultimatum puts President Bush in an impossible situation. Neither the Iraqi government nor the US military have the means to deal with Kurdish guerrillas in their mountain strongholds. The US military cannot even occupy Baghdad. The Iraqi government exists in name only and can be found only in its offices located inside the fortified and US-protected Green Zone in Baghdad. Moreover, to the extent that the in-name-only Iraqi government has any support, it comes from the Kurds in northern Iraq.

The rest of Iraq is controlled by Sunni insurgents and Shi’ite militias. Even Basra in the south has been abandoned to the Shi’ite militias by Bush’s British ally.

The over-stretched American Empire hasn’t any troops to send to northern Iraq. NATO, whose charter was to defend Western Europe from Soviet invasion should have been disbanded two decades ago. Today NATO functions as an auxiliary US force and has been sent to Afghanistan, where it is being defeated like the British and Russians before it.

In the midst of this unmanageable chaos, vice president Cheney, Bush’s former UN ambassador John Bolton and large numbers of Christian and Jewish Zionists are demanding that the US attack Iran, and Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The unintended consequences of the “cakewalk war” are already far outside the Bush administration’s ability to manage and will plague future governments for many years. For the administration to initiate new acts of aggression in the Middle East would go beyond recklessness to insanity.

Gerald said...

The unintended consequences of the “cakewalk war” are already far outside the Bush administration’s ability to manage and will plague future governments for many years. For the administration to initiate new acts of aggression in the Middle East would go beyond recklessness to insanity.

Let us shouted out, "Hitler Bush is insane!!!"

Gerald said...

The Dirty Word

Gerald said...

Slaying Our Dreams: Created Our Nightmares

By Jim Kirwan

07/02/07 "ICH" -- -- From 911 forward, the world has been consumed with discovering what really happened on that day, to the three buildings in the World Trade Center; to the plane that supposedly crashed in Pennsylvania and as to how that missile managed to hit the Pentagon. This is the latest video of what has been learned thus far. (1)

The single largest tragedy here is the one thing not in dispute: That is the "unending war" that Bush promised the world, supposedly in retaliation for 911. This will indeed be "never-ending" unless people in the United States demand the immediate withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. Many of he same people that were in-charge of US policies when 911 happened, are still in-charge today, and they have yet to answer for their parts in the crimes committed on that day.

The head of the FBI then is still in place today, Rumsfeld still has an office in the Pentagon, and others like Richard Pearl, John Ashcroft, Richard Armitage, along with Paul Wolfowitz, and General Powell have not disappeared. There was also John Bolton our stealth ambassador to the UN. Cheney, Rice, Rove and Bush are all still active and have been joined by Chertoff at DHS and now Gates at Offense. None of these people have been seriously questioned about their parts in what happened on 911.

The only member of government that did speak openly was Richard Clark who tried to warn Rice. But as CIA has largely taken the fall for the intelligence failures on 911 - the agency has changed hands several times. However, Richard Clark, the counter-terrorism chief in the Clinton Administration is still claiming responsibility for having created Al Qaeda, not as our enemy, but as an operating arm of the CIA, prior to 911. (2)

Exactly how Al Qaeda went from being an operating arm of the CIA to becoming "responsible for 911' needs further on-the-record elaboration. Just as Rummy needs to finally explain what happened to the $2.3 trillion that he admits his agency "lost" in Iraq. ($2.3 trillion would buy a lot of help for our bankrupt federal government). Where are the subpoenas? Where is the outrage? More importantly where is our sense of ourselves as a coherent people, within a nation that we say we claim as 'our country'?

The United States has adopted international threats and global-instability as our weapons of choice, backed up by overwhelming violence and military force, in dealing with the rest of the planet.

This has never worked for any length of time-throughout the long march of world history-and there is no reason to expect that it will ever work for us in this instance, either. Bush is fond of portraying himself as a loner, a cowboy who stands against the world, and defies anyone and everyone that opposes his insanities. Yet the fact is that he is nothing but a deluded puppet in a theater-of-the-absurd that has never drawn a crowd: except perhaps for others of his kind-a crowd that has equally oppressed their own people, for monetary gain and for petty-political-powers that by definition shall have to end, in infamy!

Bush believes he is bold and daring, and believes that he has much in common with Winston Churchill, the man who replaced British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, with his policy of appeasement in dealing with the Nazi's. However the facts of history make clear that it is Chamberlain, not Churchill that most closely represents Bush-the-lesser in the world today. (3)

In the Middle-East Bush has been a partner in the continuing Israeli massacre of the Palestinian people. For fifty years this country has worn many hats in regard to Palestine and Israel. But with the coming of the Bush-men in 2000, all of that began to change. Over the previous five decades we have given Israel trillions of dollars, and we've occasionally tried to play the part of an "honest broker" for peace in the Middle-East. But under the Decider, we have aided and abetted so many crimes against the Palestinians-while we have repeatedly failed to point out to the world that Israel wants to destroy the Palestinian people.

We stood by while Israel orchestrated the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, only to serve again as Israel's bully-boy protector while Israel's pitiful military tried unsuccessfully to invade Lebanon. The world held its breath for thirty days, back then, while that obscene farce was played out. And then we actually wondered why there was no movement toward "peace-in-Palestine." (4)

Then again we backed Israel when they recently scoffed at the open and freely democratic election that brought Hamas to power in Palestine. We not only endorsed Israel's view, but we blocked humanitarian aide from getting to the Palestinians from anyone else as well. We're still supporting the extremist Israeli government's decision to make war on Gaza and Hamas, while blackmailing the Palestinians in the West Bank with promises of food and water, if they do not come to the aid of Gaza and the rest of Palestine.

This behavior of the US, in favor of the blatantly criminal state of Israel, whose president kept sex slaves, and was evicted from office for that and other crimes: speaks volumes to all parties in the region, and the world. How then can wee expect anyone in the Middle-East to take the United States seriously about anything else we might have to say - such as what we are now demanding in Iran, or suggesting for Lebanon, or Syria or anywhere else where we are manufacturing more lies as an excuse to do our worst, and steal more of what is still not ours. The whole world knows that the USA today is nothing more than a blunt instrument in mercenary service to the global criminal-elites. The new Quartet under the direction of Tony Blair shall make this ever more clear, as that failed leader takes charge of yet another group of Bandits; this time Hell-bent on creating a Middle-East without Arabs or Palestinians.

At home, things are no better. All the wrong priorities have arisen to block anything and everything that this country needs to survive. Health care has become a con-game being run by those who directly profit from their failure to provide the services that they take money to provide. The nation reels from the failures of this government to help its people whether the topic is Katrina, or Education: Retirement or Social Security: Justice or ordinary daily survival: the United States Government has become the open and belligerent enemy of the people of this nation.

Our economy is in ruins, because the same philosophy that drove the nation prior to the Crash of 1929 is back in business again (thank Bill Clinton for that one), and they've just met: to consider how ready the conditions are for a repeat version of 1929. This collapse is not a question of if but when the bounty can begin to flow to those who shall have escaped the markets before they fall, again!

We kid ourselves that we have a diverse business economy when in fact what we have are the scraps left over from all the mergers and acquisitions that have left this nation almost totally under the spell of corporate oligarchies that thrive on conglomerate acquisitions and mergers and leave most of small business completely unprotected from their iron-fisted controls over profits, no matter how far removed those small businesses might appear to be from the global-corporatocracy that actually owns all their once private business opportunities: not to mention access to real 'capital.'

Oil Company's brag about the virtues of teaching every child about the wonders of Math & Science: when what is really needed are the humanities in mega-doses, if there is to be a world left for anyone to live in. They brag about burning corn instead of oil, when what should be happening is that hemp ought to be reintroduced so that the corn can be eaten, and the hemp can replace the sugar, the corn and everything else used to make artificial fuels. Hemp was once used in virtually everything-Henry Ford used it to make parts for the bodies his early automobiles. And, if we had a ready supply, plastics could be eliminated.

The same is true of much of what we now use to create medicines - nature's gift to mankind was this plant that we have banned from commercial use: "hemp." It was banned so that oil and chemical companies might be able to prosper undisturbed, look it up: it is fascinating reading!

The world that Bush and his handlers have created for us all is as false as their insurance company's promises that amount to the kind of extortion that has resulted in death, in far too many cases. The cynical and privileged elite have always tried to corner all the profits and relegated the poor to virtual slavery to achieve their ends. The time has come to reign in the artificial life-expectancy that most corporations now enjoy. The joys of multinational Corporate power should have limits placed upon them: just as the people who work for Corporations need to have their own separate and inviolate "Bill of Rights" for anyone that has to deal with corporate-anything. We have the power to demand that the government we pay for must work for all of us and not for those who seek to steal our lives and dreams.

By that token we ought to be able to have Universal Health Care. After all, as Michael Moore just so clearly pointed out in his film "Sicko" 'if we can pay out trillions for illegal and unnecessary wars then we can definitely afford to provide healthcare for every American' - for free! And if we can subsidize big-business to the obscene levels that we have raised corporate welfare to: then we can definitely begin to make some real demands of "our" federal government-so that it is no longer a feral threat to every man, woman and child in this country. We had rights once upon a time, but we had them only as long as we were willing and able to fight for those rights.

What we do now to change this equation for the future is really up to each and every one of us. Those who choose to act will be part of the solution: the rest will remain as part of the problem that will need to be removed. The choices will not be easy, but then freedom never was or is. If any of us are to ever have dreams worth dreaming once again-then something very different must begin to shape our thoughts!

Gerald said...

The United States has adopted international threats and global-instability as our weapons of choice, backed up by overwhelming violence and military force, in dealing with the rest of the planet.

This has never worked for any length of time-throughout the long march of world history-and there is no reason to expect that it will ever work for us in this instance, either. Bush is fond of portraying himself as a loner, a cowboy who stands against the world, and defies anyone and everyone that opposes his insanities. Yet the fact is that he is nothing but a deluded puppet in a theater-of-the-absurd that has never drawn a crowd: except perhaps for others of his kind-a crowd that has equally oppressed their own people, for monetary gain and for petty-political-powers that by definition shall have to end, in infamy!

Gerald said...

Soon there will be a new thread because everytime I dominate the comment scene David Corn puts in place a new thread.

I will take a rest so that all posters can relax.

capt said...

"The United States has adopted international threats and global-instability as our weapons of choice, backed up by overwhelming violence and military force, in dealing with the rest of the planet."

America is better than that - or we should be. We all know the true strength in power is in NOT using the power.

The MSM just wants us confused.

It is too simple that we just spent our power because Bush wanted to do so. We can get some back if we get the heck out of Iraq and stay out of other countries.


Hajji said...

Bush Commutes Libby's Prison Term in CIA Leak Case (Update1)

By Edwin Chen

July 2 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush commuted Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby's prison term in the CIA leak case, saying the 2 1/2 year prison term was ``excessive.''

Libby, 56, was convicted of lying to investigators probing the 2003 leak of CIA official Valerie Plame's identity. Backers of Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, had argued for a pardon. Bush acted after a U.S. appellate court today refused to let Libby stay out of prison during his appeal.

``My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby,'' Bush said in a statement. ``The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long- lasting.''

The president's action means that Libby's conviction still stands and he is still required to pay the $250,000 fine ordered by a federal judge.

The question of whether to intervene in Libby's case had been termed a ``no-win situation'' for the president by David Gergen, who advised Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

With Bush already suffering poor approval ratings, a Cable News Network/Opinion Research survey conducted after Libby's March 6 conviction found that 69 percent of respondents opposed a pardon while 18 percent favored it. Congressional Democrats, including Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, demanded that Bush promise not to pardon Libby.

Pro-Libby Firestorm

At the same time, a pro-Libby firestorm was being fanned by self-described conservative bloggers and talk-radio hosts, and many conservative leaders asked the president to step in.

Until now Bush had stayed out of the case, with his aides saying he would let the appeal go forward.

Libby's supporters argued that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was over-zealous in prosecuting Libby for lying to investigators when no one was charged over the actual leak of Plame's status as a Central Intelligence Agency official.

Libby was convicted of obstructing justice, perjury and making false statements. He resigned as Cheney's chief of staff upon being indicted in 2005.

Libby was found guilty of lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and a grand jury probing whether the Bush administration deliberately leaked Plame's identity to retaliate against her husband, Joseph Wilson. In a New York Times column on July 6, 2003, Wilson accused the government of twisting intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq earlier that year.

Novak Column

Plame's status as a CIA official was disclosed eight days later in an article by syndicated columnist Robert Novak. Novak testified during the trial that Plame's identity was provided to him by then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and confirmed by White House political adviser Karl Rove.

Fitzgerald argued that Libby lied about his knowledge of the leak to protect his job. It's a federal crime to knowingly reveal the identity of a covert CIA agent, and the White House had announced that anyone who leaked Plame's identity would be fired. No one was charged with a crime or fired for the leak.

Libby's lawyers said national security matters kept him too preoccupied to remember details about the leak.

Burn Him!


Hajji said...


capt said...

What ever happened to the "law and order" republicans?

Commutation is furthering the underlying crime.

Not a surprise but a bit of a disappointment if that is possible.


Hajji said...

A legal question...if the term is commuted, does the appeal go forth?

Hajji said...

A legal question...if the term is commuted, does the appeal go forth?

David B. Benson said...

I'm no lawyer, but as the appeal is for the entire conviction, I'll guess that it goes forward.

Unless Libby desides now not to go forward.

Which seems extremely unlikely.


Mookie said...

New thread!

micki said...

Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor in the CIA leak case, released a brief statement tonight. It read: "We fully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment on the exercise of that prerogative.

"We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as 'excessive.' The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

"Although the President’s decision eliminates Mr. Libby’s sentence of imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies, and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process.”

capt said...

New Thread

Sorry I'm late . .