Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Keeping Scooter Quiet

Bush's action is much more sinister than the press seems to understand. Scooter Libby knows where the bodies are buried, and he has had to pay for an expensive criminal defense. Scooter needs money and is no doubt angry at being made the scapegoat. If Bush does nothing for him at all, Scooter might cooperate with Fitzgerald to get released early from prison. A full pardon now is also dangerous for Bush, because it would also give Scooter Libby the chance to make a "tell all" book deal for a ton of money. Gratitude only gets you so far.

Under the "Son of Sam" laws, however, a convicted criminal cannot make money from a crime he has committed, so by leaving the felony conviction in place, Libby is blocked from telling his tale for money. He has no incentive to do so for free if he is not in jail. Thus, by commuting the sentence, but hinting at a full pardon later, Bush and Cheney can basically blackmail Libby and keep him quiet, at least until the end of the term.

1 comment:

Raised By Republicans said...

This is an important point. In their rush to appear "fair and balanced" the 24 hour cable news folks are being careful to always mention that both GHW Bush and Bill Clinton pardoned people under controversial circumstances.

But here's the difference between Clinton's pardon of a big time Democratic fund raiser and the pardons and commutations of both Bushes.

GHW Bush pardoned men convicted of the Iran-Contra abuses of power - acts to which he was widely rumored to have been closely connected.

Now GW Bush commutes the sentence of a man who lied under oath and obstructed an investigation into the illegal leading of an under cover CIA agent's identity for the purposes of scoring trivial political points against her husband on Sunday morning talk shows and in editorial pages. As we all know her husband has since been shown to be 100% correct in his criticism of the Bush administration's march to war.

The difference I see is that Bushes pardon and commute sentences to protect themselves from impeachment and/or criminal prosecution. Clinton used pardons in a suspicious and possibly corrupt way but well within the normal partisan/political boundaries.

For the press to currently attempt to blur this distinction is outrageous!