Wednesday, July 4, 2007

George W. Bush is One Tough Hombre

By Paul Begala

07/03/07 "Huffington Post" -- -- Tough enough to execute Karla Fay Tucker -- and then laugh about it. Tough enough to sign a death warrant for a man whose lawyer slept through the trial -- and then snicker when asked about it in a debate. Even tough enough to execute a great-grandmother who murdered her husband -- after he abused her. A friend of mine at the time asked Bush to commute her sentence, telling him, "Betty Lou ain't a threat to no one she ain't married to." No dice.

Mr. Bush is tough enough to invade a country that was no risk to America, causing tens of thousands of civilian deaths and shedding precious American blood in the process. Tough enough to sanction torture. Tough enough to order an American citizen arrested and held without trial.

But if you're rich and right-wing and Republican, George is a real softie. As George W. Bush demonstrated in giving Scooter Libby a Get Out of Jail Free Card, he is only compassionate to conservatives.

What does it say about America in the age of Bush when Judith Miller spends more time in jail over the Valerie Plame smear than Scooter Libby?

One thing it says is that Mr. Bush and his partner in crime, Dick Cheney, believe they are above the law. The commutation of Libby confirms the belief that Mr. Libby lied to the FBI, perjured himself to the grand jury, and obstructed a federal criminal investigation in order to cover up the role Bush and Cheney played in smearing Joe Wilson and ruining the career of his CIA operative wife.

The arrogance of the act is astounding. In commuting Libby's sentence, Mr. Bush did not follow his own Justice Department's guidelines, which do not recommend commutations unless the convict has begun serving his or her sentence, and has dropped or exhausted all appeals. Of course, Mr. Bush is free to disregard those guidelines, as President Clinton did when he pardoned Marc Rich. The Rich pardon was wrong, in my opinion. But Marc Rich was a fugitive financier; Clinton did not benefit at all from Rich's crimes. Scooter Libby is a Bush-Cheney operative who may well have been doing Bush and Cheney's bidding when he obstructed the investigation into how and Valerie and Joe Wilson were smeared. (By the way, like many Democrats I spoke out publicly against the Rich pardon -- which Scooter Libby helped to arrange. Let's see how many Republicans have the character to speak out against this injustice.)

It's interesting that we still have the capacity to be shocked by the extra-legal acts of this crowd. They came to power by stealing an election, by staging a near-riot to stop the counting of ballots in Miami, and by virtue of a Supreme Court edict that has joined Dred Scott in the judicial hall of shame. From that day to this Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have held the rule of law in contempt.

And we still have 567 days to go.

4 comments:

tore's tour said...

the ruling classes are always hurting more than pity thieves and should therefore not be judged as hard even if their crimes affect millions.

Another Lally said...

How is it that you cannot come to understand that Libby was no more guilty of outing Mrs Wilson or purjury than the Duke students were guilty of rape?

Howard Dean demanded indictments in the Plame case and all Fitzgerald could deliver was a bogus purjury indictment of Libby. Libby was accused of withholding evidence in the outing, but in reality he knew nothing about Armitrage outing Plame.

Why is it that Schumer and Dean are not calling for Armitrgae's head? It is merely because he was not a target of their vindictive prosecution.

If Bush has or had ever done anything illegal, the Demoncrats would have indictments written within the hour.

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira.(If you speak English can see the version in English of the Camiseta Personalizada. Thanks for the attention, bye). Até mais.

tore's tour said...

irony is hard to grasp.
My comment was, I hope, ironic.
it's not meant as a joke. it's meant to enhance the message. However, it can be read either way
I guess.
That's why the language of lawyers are so intricate.
Or not.