Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Scooter Libby jailed..while Sandy Berger walks free

By now, many of you know that Scott `Scooter' Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff has been sentenced to thirty months in prison, a $250,000 fine and two years' probation after his release after being found guilty of obstruction of justice and perjury in March over the investigation into the Valerie Plame case.

Libby remains free pending a hearing scheduled for next week on his appeal.

Deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino, told reporters that Bush "felt terrible for the family, especially for his wife and kids."

Cheney issued a statement saying he was "deeply saddened by this tragedy."

"I relied on him heavily in my capacity as secretary of defense and as vice president," it said. "The defense has indicated it plans to appeal the conviction in the case. Speaking as friends, we hope that our system will return a final result consistent with what we know of this fine man."

The sentence itself was interesting, particularly since Fitzgerald never proved the leak was a crime.

"No one was ever charged. Nobody ever pleaded guilty," attorney William Jeffress said. "The government did not establish the existence of an offense." Not that Libby was actually charged with leaking Plame's identity. And neither were the two initial sources of the leak — Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and White House political adviser Karl Rove.

It's interesting to compare Libby's sentence, in an instance where the `crime' was the alleged impeding of an investigation with the sentence meted out to ex-National Security Advisor Sandy Berger for stealing classified documents out of government archives and destroying them, in the wake of the 9/11 Commission investigation - a mere $50,000 fine, no jail time or even probation and loss of his security clearance for two years.

Perhaps the fact that Berger actually destroyed the incriminating evidence as opposed to merely making misstatements during the course of an exhaustive, federally funded fishing expedition had something to do with it. In Libby's case, the evidence was on tape and he never got the chance to trash it.

Will President Bush pardon Libby? I wouldn't bet on it.

Maybe just before he leaves the White House, unless he's forced to leave prematurely himself. I put the odds on Bush lasting his full term at no better than 60/40.


Rosey said...

Libby got railroaded, just like Martha Stewart, for lying about something that couldn't be proven they did. Great country America. It's part of the Great Left Wing Conspiracy.

Now what's crap this about Bush not finishing his term???

Freedom Fighter said...

I think the odds are only about 60/40 that Bush will finish.

Right now, Henry Waxman(d-CA) Head of the House Ethics in Government committee, John Conyers ( d-MI), head of the House Judiciary Committee and Patrick Leahy (d-VT) head of the senate judiciary committee are digging like crazy for just about anything they can find.

Given the massive corruption involving Iraq and other issues, I think they just might find something that could implicate Bush..perhaps not in direct corruption, but maybe obstruction of justice or other malfeasance.

Dennis Kucinich, for instance, has already said he will bring articles of impeachment to the House floor.

It ain't over till it's over.

Josh said...

I don't doubt that Libby was railroaded. Does anyone know what exactly Libby's alleged perjury is? While I don't doubt that an overzealous prosecutor would prosecute for perjury on a technicality, having a jury find someone guilty on that is another matter, especially when the defendant is able to afford a strong defense team like Libby.

I think he was railroaded, but also feel perjury to be a serious crime even if it was to cover-up a non-crime. But if it were over a technicality, I would feel much better defending him.

Freedom Fighter said...

Riddle me this, people: how can you have `obstruction of justice' without the commission of a crime?

Rosey said...

My point exactly.