Monday, July 02, 2007

Dial 1-202-456-1414

In a statement issued Monday, Senator Joe Biden decried the commuted sentence for former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. "It is time for the American people to be heard," said Biden. "I call for all Americans to flood the White House with phone calls tomorrow expressing their outrage over this blatant disregard for the rule of law."

It was phone calls overloading the switchboards at the U.S. Capitol that ended the immigration legislation debate last week. When Americans realize the power they have and the changes that their involvement in government can bring, the whole world will look bright again.

Some reaction to President Bush's decision Monday to commute the sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, sparing him from a 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case:

"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." — Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.


"When it comes to the law, there should not be two sets of rules — one for President Bush and Vice President Cheney and another for the rest of America. Even Paris Hilton had to go to jail. No one in this administration should be above the law." — Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.


"While for a long time I have urged a pardon for Scooter, I respect the president's decision. This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life." — Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.


"Accountability has been in short supply in the Bush administration, and this commutation fits that pattern." — Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.


"President Bush did the right thing today in commuting the prison term for Scooter Libby. The prison sentence was overly harsh and the punishment did not fit the crime." — House Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri.


"This is exactly the kind of politics we must change so we can begin restoring the American people's faith in a government that puts the country's progress ahead of the bitter partisanship of recent years." — Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.


"After evaluating the facts, the president came to a reasonable decision and I believe the decision was correct." — former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.


"Only a president clinically incapable of understanding that mistakes have consequences could take the action he did today. President Bush has just sent exactly the wrong signal to the country and the world." — former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.


"The Constitution gives President Bush the power to commute sentences, but history will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own vice president's chief of staff who was convicted of such a serious violation of law." — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.


"This commutation sends the clear signal that in this administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice." — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.


"The president said he would hold accountable anyone involved in the Valerie Plame leak case. By his action today, the president shows his word is not to be believed." — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.


"It is time for the American people to be heard — I call for all Americans to flood the White House with phone calls tomorrow expressing their outrage over this blatant disregard for the rule of law." — Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.


"President Bush's 11th-hour commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence makes a mockery of the justice system and betrays the idea that all Americans are expected to be held accountable for their actions, even close friends of Vice President Cheney." — Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.


"By commuting Scooter Libby's sentence, the president continues to abdicate responsibility for the actions of his administration. The only ones paying the price for this administration's actions are the American people." — Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn.


"This decision sends the wrong message about the rule of law in the United States, just as the president is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. How can we hold the line against injustices in other countries when our own executive branch deliberately sets out to smear its critics, lies about it and then wriggles away without having to pay the price in prison?" — Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif.


"The arrogance of this administration's disdain for the law and its belief it operates with impunity are breathtaking. Will the president also commute the sentences of others who obstructed justice and lied to grand juries, or only those who act to protect President Bush and Vice President Cheney?" — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.


The Author said...

Remember kids, it's only wrong when it's a Republican.

And also remember that the fact that no law was broken doesn't mean we can't send someone to jail.

--Blue Girl said...

You just know that there was a quid pro quo involved, and no Republican EVER gets to say one freaking word about the "rule of law" around me.

Bush is a panty-waist aWol coward, and impeachment is only the first step. Indictment and imprisonment should follow.

Maeven said...

...the fact that no law was broken...

No law was broken?

How about perjury and obstruction of justice?

How about the fact that it was Libby's obstructing that prevented the full investigation, and likely, further charges and indictments?

By your logic (with your inclusion of 'all things Clinton'), we should open all prison cells as Clinton ruined rule of law for everyone and forever. Or is it just rule of law for perjury and obstruction of justice that is no longer good, and Republicans now believe that lying to the FBI and grand juries is okay?

Personally, I've not lost track of what is at the root of this case: A rogue administration that lied to the Congress and to its citizens in order to engage in a preemptive war, fundamentally changing our course in the world and our national identity.

I'm not going to rest until every last detail of how they did it is uncovered and in the public record.

Maeven said...

...Bush is a panty-waist aWol coward,...

And the proof of that is Bush's refusal this morning to rule out pardoning Libby in the future (as I predicted yesterday).

He hid behind the brave and wounded soldiers at Walter Reed (his cowardice is really, honestly, spectacularly breathtaking, and is only surpassed by his GALL), to face the press over this gathering media storm, and took only TWO questions in the lobby where the press had been cordoned off, before scurrying away.

Besides lacking integrity, Bush doesn't even have the balls to own up to what he obviously intends to do once he's out of office and in exile in Crawford. If what he's saying is true, that he thinks the jury's verdict should stand and it's just the jail sentence that he thinks is "harsh", why can't he rule out overturning the jury's verdict by pardoning Libby in 18 months as he's on his way out the door?

When people talk about Bush's lack of intelligence, it's this kind of thought process they have in mind. He wants to achieve a result for reasons different than what he asserts, and so he walks backwards with tortured logic that doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Bush is the child all alone in a room where a vase has crashed to the floor into pieces, and insists, "A elephant sat on it."

Bush has never understood the role of President who, once in office, is President to all Americans, absent politics.

Nixon never got it either.

Senthooran said...

I am one of the millions of Obama supporter who saw the president Barack Obama as the beacon of hope, the world leader we desperately need. But today I stand heart broken when I see the world most humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Sri-lanka, where the Tamil minorities in the northern part of Sri-Lanka being wiped out from the face of the earth. All journalists & UN monitors are barred from entering the war-zone, and from the concentration camps run by the Sri-Lankan military, people are subjected to chemical attack and cluster bombed. And the civilians who were lucky enough to survive the bombings are starving to death.

All the NGOs and Amnesty International, Red Cross call this humanitarian catastrophe, yet no constructive action is taken while the civilians are dieing in hundreds every day. Within 3 months casualities surpassed 6500 (UN conservative figure). This is no exaggeration at all, the WarWithoutWitness captured the carnage:

John Holmes from the UN HCR fears the carnage in Sri-Lanka, may set precedence for rest of the human rights violators in the world.

I can never under estimate the tasks lie ahead for the Obama administration including the fixing the economy, at the same time it is hard to comprehend the fact that carnage of this magnitude can happen while Obama is in power.