Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Time for Us All to Stand Up to Bush and Cheney

Attending and posting on the Anderson trial has kept me from addressing another important issue: the commuting of Scooter Libby's prison sentence. With so much to be said about this, how does one zero in on the truly important issues here? Let me try to articulate why I think this is such an important event.

Our nation is founded on the rule of law. The Constitution spells out the compact that Americans have. It outlines the procedures by which we will make decisions. It is this set of procedures and the laws made following those procedures that have made the US a special place in the world. We make decisions based on a set of rules we that all have a role in establishing and changing. We don't make decisions through the whim of a monarch or through violence. Not everyone follows those rules, and we may not always find 'truth' in the court, but even if there are mistakes, there are further procedures with which to correct those mistakes.

Thus obstruction of justice is not a minor crime, it is an assault against the foundations of the United States of America. Bush has now said, "Fuck the Rule of Law. Libby is one my friends and I don't want him to go to prison." [I almost never use "Fuck." Not because I'm a prude, but because if we use it all the time, it loses the power it has as a taboo word. I use here, then, with all the shock value it once had, to say, "This is serious."]

But he hasn't denounced the Special Prosecutor or the Judge. When Clinton was impeached, he faced a conservative Special Prosecutor and a Republican controlled Congress. But in Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald and Judge Reggie Walton, Libby was facing people appointed by George W. Bush.

Essentially, this event should make clear to even the most obstinate Bush supporter that
  • the rule in the administration is not the rule of law, but the protection of their own interests. But we knew that after the 2000 Florida voting theft.
  • Criminals aren't people who break laws, they are people Bush and friends don't like. There is nothing wrong with five years at Guantanamo for people who have never been charged with a crime, but one night in prison is one too many for our close friends.
I'm convinced this is not just, or even, a gesture to a friend. I'm persuaded by Marcy Wheeler it is also a way to insure that Libby will not reveal what he knows about Cheney's and Bush's obstruction of justice in the Plame leak and who knows what all else. There isn't one single event that is the turning point in any trend, but this one shows that those who are guilty in Bush's campaign to dismantle the Constitution and establish a dynasty, will be taken care of and that American justice as we knew it (think Guantanamo, secret detention camps, firing US attorneys as well) no longer exists. If we don't stand up now to stop this assault, it will be much harder to stop things later on.

Even if you only say, "Commuting Libby's sentence is an outrage. I expect you as my (Representative/Senator) to do something immediately to get to the bottom of this" now is a good time to write to you legislators.

Other bloggers are all over this.

I've mentioned before a minor addiction to the Blog Next Hurrah and the key blogger there, Marcy Wheeler. She and her commenters mostly write with knowledge and insight. She sat through the Libby trial and blogged live from the Libby sentencing. She knows this as well as the attorneys involved almost.Here's what she has to say about commuting his sentence. Her take is that commuting Libby's sentence (and presumably the fat legal defense fund that was raised to help Libby will take care of the $250,000 fine) will ensure that Libby won't say what he knows about Bush and Cheney's involvement in obstructing justice. Here she is on MSNBC in the video.


  1. Interesting article! Funnily we over here could not believe you had voted Georgie Boy back in for a second term. We thought he was dangerous.

    When I mentioned this to an visiting American customer they could not understand why we thought that... now I think you all do.

    Interestingly your constitution is based on the Scottish Declaration Of Arbroath from 1320... ah we Scots just get everywhere!

  2. Mirk, most of us didn't vote for Bush the first time.


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