More Than A Pardon

If there’s a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.

-President Bush, February 11, 2004

And so he shall. In a fit of contempt for the citizens of this country, President Bush commuted Vice President Dick Cheney’s former Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Jr’s sentence to no jail time, a $250,000 fine (reportedly to be paid by the likes of Fred Thompson) and two years probation.

“I respect the jury’s verdict,” Bush said in a written statement. “But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend 30 months in prison.”

Just to clarify, the commutation of Libby’s sentence is far worse than a pardon. Here’s why: not only is it now far less likely that “Scooter” will squeal like a pig, but if he were pardoned he would forfeit his Fifth Amendment rights. With the commutation of his sentence, he retains them. Isn’t that nice?

Happy 4th, everybody!

Bush wipes away Libby’s prison sentence [AP]

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