Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pardon Me, Mr. President (Before You’re Impeached)

One thing I’ve learned about the Bush White House over the course of the last six years is that they love to do the unprecedented and they love to do it in the most over-the-top way possible. Given that history, when it comes to the question of a Scooter Libby pardon, I’m of the opinion that it will come sooner rather than later.

So what if the move is politically dangerous? So what if Libby doesn’t qualify for a pardon under the Justice Department’s own guidelines? So what if the only reason to do it is to silence Libby and make sure he doesn’t take Prosecutor Fitzgerald up on his offer to chat further about the case? After being “re-elected” in an election plagued by fraud, mysterious vote counts and voting machines that “erred” in Bush’s favor 100% of time, Bush swaggered around talking about mandates and political capital. Mired in an unpopular war and presented with recommendations from the Iraq Study Group that called for a pullback of troops and increased diplomacy, the President instead decided to escalate the conflict. When caught breaking the FISA law, Bush just smirked as if challenging Congress to do something about it. Once Bush makes up his mind to pardon Libby, if he hasn’t already, he’ll simply do it without explanation. Remember, he’s the decider, he can do as he damn well pleases. Bush follows the rules until he doesn’t. That is his trademark.

The chances of Scooter Libby cooperating with Patrick Fitzgerald are slim to none, so Fitzgerald’s investigation is effectively over. Now it is up to Congress to continue the investigation. Congress can decide to take up the issue of pre-war intelligence and conduct a real investigation that can lead to the answers that Fitzgerald was unable to unearth because of Scooter Libby’s intentional and blatant lies. Congress must ask the important questions that this case has raised. Why was Cheney so intent on discrediting Joe Wilson? How far did the White House go in manufacturing evidence to support an invasion of Iraq? Did Silvio Berlusconi put the forged Niger documents into the hot little hands of President Bush? Did the White House endanger CIA assets and out an undercover agent in an effort to cover up the high crimes of manufacturing evidence and lying to Congress and the American people about their case for war? With the Democrats in control of Congress and the American people firmly against the continued occupation of Iraq, it is finally possible to at least attempt to get to the truth of this case. The Democrats just need to find the political will to do it.

With President Bush’s approval rating at another all time low of 30% and the Vice President’s Chief of Staff (and advisor to President Bush) now a convicted felon, it shouldn’t be too hard to find the political will to uncover Bush administration crimes. Any real investigation into pre-war intelligence will most certainly lead to impeachment proceedings, so the sooner they start the better. The Democrats should strike while the iron is hot, they have the wind at their back, the American people on their side, hell, there’s even a Republican using the word impeachment, and there are many more looking to put a little (or a lot) of distance between themselves and the Bush administration before they face the voters again in 2008. It’s hard to imagine a better set of circumstances for investigations into impeachable offenses.

It really is simple. Scooter Libby lied to the FBI and to a Grand Jury in order to protect himself and his boss Dick Cheney. If Scooter is willing to face a few years in jail for lying, the alternative must be worse and that is the nut that Congress must crack. It’s likely that there were serious crimes committed in the White House while they were building their case for war. It’s hard to imagine a case more worthy of investigation. If a blowjob in the Oval Office sullied the office of the Presidency, how could anyone argue that this behavior does not? If impeachment is to remain a constitutional remedy for criminal behavior by public officials, it is our duty to use it in the most egregious cases, not just the superficial political ones.


Update: Apparently Rep. Henry Waxman has at least decided to start the ball rolling in this general direction. Thank you Congressman.

7 Comments:

Blogger Aaron A. said...

It's great too that people like Rep. Lindsey Graham, who groaned extensively for Clinton's impeachment, are now advocating for a pardon.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Kvatch said...

President’s Chief of Staff (and advisor to President Bush) now a convicted felon, it shouldn’t be too hard to find the political will to uncover Bush administration crimes.

Well...you'd think, but my impression of the Dems is that, even after they achieved both chambers of Congress, they still don't seem to have the cojones for serious oversight.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous david said...

I'd like to mention the passing of French intellectual Jean Baudrillard. He's the kind of figure the Christian Right and the Ayn Rand Republicans LOVE to hate. He made statements --such as "The Gulf War did not take place"-- which made the Neo-cons shake their heads.

And yet the Neo-cons ate him up in private. Afterall, what he meant was that the control of the media carefully filtered and simulated what was happening in the Gulf War so that it bore no resemlbance to reality and had become an artifact.

Baudrillard thought the Mainstream Media and consumer advertising built up such a complex "matrix" of symbols and simulated experiences that it became impossible to comprehend reality. It might be real or it might be artful illusion.

This is, of course, what the Neo-cons are all about. They believe in Noble Lies. They want to spin a tale for the 95% of us they consider inferior and too weak to handle "The Truth".

And so we see John Edwards labelled a "faggot"; Barack Obama raised in a Muslim 'terrorist' school and investing in 'suspect' stocks; Libby has been 'unjustly' convicted over 'nothing'; Cheney leads a war in its 'death throes'; and Bush is 'scandal-free' as he crows "Mission Accomplished".

Check out Slate's Glenn Greenwald's The Rightwing Cult of Contrived Masculinity to see how foul-mouthed witches like Ann Coulter create this Mirror World where Up is Down, Male is Female, Good is Evil, Slavery is Freedom, Truth is Ignorance, and War is Peace.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

David~

Thanks for the Slate link. The article is almost the equivalent of the T.O.E. sought by Physicists...Theory Of Everything!

I sent the following excerpt, with my own observation, to 3 Kool-aid swilling Busheviks:

" The underlying premise of the modern conservative movement is that the entire Democratic party consists of a bunch of fags and dykes who are both too effeminate and too masculine to properly lead the nation. Coulter says it out loud. Dowd hints at it broadly. And the entire press corps giggles and swoons at this shallow, sophomoric concept like a bunch of junior high pom pom girls.

That laughable absurdity really reveals the heart of this movement. It is a cult of contrived masculinity whereby people dress up as male archtypes like cowboys, ranchers, and tough guys (Hmmm, who else liked to do that? Oh yeah, the Village People! DH) even though they are nothing of the kind -- or prance around as Churchillian warriors because they write from a safe and protected distance about how great war is -- and in the process become triumphant heroes and masculine powerful icons and strong leaders. They and their followers triumph over the weak, effete, humiliated Enemy, and thereby become powerful and exceptional and safe."

6:06 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

LGND,

with all due respect but your statement is ridiculous.

"The chances of Scooter Libby cooperating with Patrick Fitzgerald are slim to none, so Fitzgerald’s investigation is effectively over. Now it is up to Congress to continue the investigation. Congress can decide to take up the issue of pre-war intelligence and conduct a real investigation that can lead to the answers that Fitzgerald was unable to unearth because of Scooter Libby’s intentional and blatant lies. "


What the hell does Fitzgerald's investigation have to do with pre-war intelligence? You need to pull your head out of the sand. Some facts:

1. Robert Novak write's that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA (turns out Richard Armitage is the leak source)

2. The CIA refers this to the justice department as a possible criminal matter. Funny, you would think the CIA would know if Valerie Plame was covert or not and such if disclosure of her name was a crime or not. Don't you find it strange that the agency that knows the status of Ms Plame would refer to the justice department something they know is not a crime?

3. Patrick Fitzgerald knew right away that Armitage was the source of Novak's column and yet he spent how many years investigating what?

4. Last time I checked Fitzgerald didn't ask anyone about pre-war intelligence and the validity of it. And why was that? Because it had nothing to do with the case

LGND, you are so hateful to the Administration that you want to use the full force of our Justice System and have special prosecutors who have a specific charge, to disregard that charge and go after the administration. I would think liberals would realize who dangerous out of control prosecutors can be...

p.s., GW should issue a pardon the day after all appeals are exhausted

10:27 AM  
Anonymous drm said...

LGND,

You get more and more wacko,

"Why was Cheney so intent on discrediting Joe Wilson? How far did the White House go in manufacturing evidence to support an invasion of Iraq? Did Silvio Berlusconi put the forged Niger documents into the hot little hands of President Bush? Did the White House endanger CIA assets and out an undercover agent in an effort to cover up the high crimes of manufacturing evidence and lying to Congress and the American people about their case for war? "

Discredit Joe Wilson? Do you actually think he is credible? What part of it is proven he was full of BS don't you get? 9/11 commission report and the reader's digest version this WaPo editorial

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR2007030602020.html?sub=AR

Some of the highlights

"The partisan furor over this allegation led to the appointment of special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald. Yet after two years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald charged no one with a crime for leaking Ms. Plame's name. In fact, he learned early on that Mr. Novak's primary source was former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage, an unlikely tool of the White House. The trial has provided convincing evidence that there was no conspiracy to punish Mr. Wilson by leaking Ms. Plame's identity -- and no evidence that she was, in fact, covert."

No evidence she was .. covert. The reason being "She WASN'T a covert agent".

Or this

"A bipartisan investigation by the Senate intelligence committee subsequently established that all of these claims were false -- and that Mr. Wilson was recommended for the Niger trip by Ms. Plame, his wife"

Let's see, the 9/11 commission concluded that Joe Wison's claims were false...

10:37 AM  
Anonymous david said...

drm, my, you do like to quote things out of context. And to quote things without qualification.

BTW, the CIA can't prosecute in the USA, so it has to refer criminal matters to the Justice Dept. And it's not up to the CIA to interpret the law for the Justice Dept. Sheesh!

The whole Niger/Yellow cake letter involved a forged document. This was known even before Joe Wilson checked it out --that his wife recommended him is irrelevant as he was the qualified person in the area. What we don't know is who forged the letter and why.

That the investigation didn't go deeper has to do with the obstruction of Justice. If Scooter had been honest and sung like a canary, I'm sure we'd be looking at the trial of Dick Cheney.

It's naive to think Armitage's confession would save Scooter. Remember, Novak cited two administration stooges: Armitage AND Karl Rove. And Libby was busy working other press members at the same time.

And then there's the big question: What was the point of attacking Wilson anyway? Remember that Britain's WMD expert Kelly commited "suicide" at the same time after having revealed that UK intelligenced had been "sexed up".

Who forged the Yellow Cake letter? Who "sexed up" the intelligence? Why is America in a war that should never have happened because none of the experts thought Saddam was a threat or linked to 9/11? Why would America put its citizen army in harm's way when the UN weapons inspectors were being given full and free access to every site they visited --and Saddam had reluctantly allowed the UN to destroy his arsenal of mid-range missles?

Let's face facts. Bush, Cheney, Rove, and Scooter are Guilty, Guilty, Guilty. And they've done what they've done in the interests of their friends and backers and NOT in the interest of the American people.

11:15 AM  

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