The Candidates Talk About Scooter Libby

President Bush commuted Scooter Libby’s 2 and half year prison term just handed down 5 hours earlier after a federal appeals panel ruled that Libby could not delay his prison term. “I respect the jury’s verdict,” President Bush said in a 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 thirty months in prison.” So Paris Hilton will serve more jail time than Scooter Libby. Some of the candidates have taken the time to respond to Bush’s latest move. Fred Thompson in the past has urged Bush to pardon Libby, so it is no surprise that he supports the decision. “I am very happy for Scooter Libby,” said Thompson. “I know that this is a great relief to him, his wife and children. This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life.”
Rudy Giuliani who always seems to agree with Bush said, “After evaluating the facts, the President came to a reasonable decision and I believe the decision was correct.” The Democratic candidates weren’t as friendly.
Barack Obama was the first to respond saying, “This decision to commute the sentence of a man who compromised our national security cements the legacy of an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law. 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.”
John Edwards released a statement saying, “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. In George Bush’s America, it is apparently okay to misuse intelligence for political gain, mislead prosecutors and lie to the FBI. George Bush and his cronies think they are above the law and the rest of us live with the consequences. The cause of equal justice in America took a serious blow today.”
Bill Richardson said, “It’s a sad day when the President commutes the sentence of a public official who deliberately and blatantly betrayed the public trust and obstructed an important federal investigation,” said Richardson. “This administration clearly believes its officials are above the law, from ignoring FISA laws when eavesdropping on US citizens, to the abuse of classified material, to ignoring the Geneva Conventions and international law with secret prisons and torturing prisoners. There is a reason we have laws and why we expect our Presidents to obey them. Institutions have a collective wisdom greater than that of any one individual. 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?”
Hillary Clinton said in a press release, “Today’s decision is yet another example that this Administration simply considers itself above the law. This case arose from the Administration’s politicization of national security intelligence and its efforts to punish those who spoke out against its policies. Four years into the Iraq war, Americans are still living with the consequences of this White House’s efforts to quell dissent. This commutation sends the clear signal that in this Administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice.”
And Joe Biden sent an email urging supportors to flood the White House with phone calls expressing your outrage. Joe Biden’s release said, “Last week Vice President Cheney asserted that he was beyond the reach of the law. Today, President Bush demonstrated the lengths he would go to, ensuring that even aides to Dick Cheney are beyond the judgment of the law. 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.” He includes the phone number, 202-456-1414, and a video of Bush saying, “I expect every member of this administration to stay well within the boundaries that define legal and ethical conduct. This means avoiding even the appearance of problems.” Biden has the whole quote on his website. Just one more part of the Bush legacy.
Alan Cosgrove
Here is video Biden includes in his email;

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