It sure is a good thing that the MSM has multiple layers of fact-checking at their disposal, lest they be perilously close to inaccuracies (willful or otherwise). From Newsbusters:
NBC News White House correspondent David Gregory, accused of being a partisan, made a false statement about the “Scooter” Libby case. In reporting former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s charge that the Bush administration fed false information, Gregory claimed Libby “went to jail for obstructing the leak investigation.”
Although Libby was sentenced to 30 months of prison, Libby never actually went to jail as Gregory claims. President Bush commuted Libby’s sentence, eliminating the prison term yet still upholding a hefty fine and probation.
There is a track record of sloppiness and of bias that Gregory possesses, so it’s hard to say which one is happening here.
Nope…no liberal media bias!
From Jack Kelly:
“Scooter” Libby will serve as much time in prison for lying under oath to a federal grand jury as Bill Clinton served for lying under oath to a federal grand jury.
Awesome analysis by the jaw-dropper (in more ways than one) known as Bill Clinton:
Former President Bill Clinton criticized President Bush on Tuesday for commuting the prison sentence of I. Lewis Libby Jr. and tried to draw a distinction from his own controversial pardons.
Yes, that’s right. The perjurer who sold pardons for fun and profit is criticizing Bush for commuting Libby’s sentence. My friends, that kind of chutzpah ought to be bottled up and sold on the market, so pure and potent is it.
In Iowa to promote the presidential candidacy of his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Mr. Clinton was asked by a radio host, David Yepsen, “You had some controversial pardons during your presidency; what’s your reaction to what President Bush did?”
“Yeah, but I think the facts were different,” Mr. Clinton said. “I think there are guidelines for what happens when somebody is convicted. You’ve got to understand, this is consistent with their philosophy; they believe that they should be able to do what they want to do, and that the law is a minor obstacle.”
Replace the “theys” with an “I” and you have the truth. We’re looking at a true sociopath here, a man who never let a pesky little thing like the law get in the way of a good time, a man who turned the Oval Office into the next best thing to a brothel, a man whose serial indiscretions earned the official desigination of “bimbo eruptions,” lecture Bush on the single commutation of a sentence that was the result of a highly dubious investigation into a crime that never occurred. And this man might wind up back in the White House.
“It’s wrong to out that C.I.A. agent and wrong to try to cover it up,” Mr. Clinton added. “And no one was ever fired from the White House for doing it.”
Well, that’s because Richard Armitage did it, and he didn’t work in the White House at the time. But it’s a useful lie, so Bill Clinton is the surest man on earth to wield it.
Mr. Clinton pardoned 140 people in the final hours of his presidency, including Marc Rich, the fugitive broker who had been charged with evading tens of millions of dollars in taxes, and who was the former husband of a top donor to Democrats and Mrs. Clinton’s first Senate campaign.
Rather than tread lightly on the Libby commutation, the Clintons have chosen to confront it; Clinton advisers said there was no real alternative, because the news media would bring up the Rich pardon anyway.
They’ve chosen to confront it they way they choose to confront everything–by lying, dissembling, and then going on the offensive.
Just let the record show that Mr. Clinton is a perjurer who had his license to practice before the Supreme Court taken away. Let the record show that he sold pardons to his rich friends. Let the record show that he’s still a brazen liar. And let the record show that it was his pal Sandy Berger who stole sensitive documents from the National Archives, hid them under a trailer, then took them home and destroyed them to cover up something that the Clintonistas didn’t want going public, and remember that Berger’s actions made the 9-11 Commission’s work incomplete, and we’ll never know what he covered up. And let the country remember the missing Rose law firm billing records that mysteriously turned up in the Clintons’ White House residence, and all the rest of that sordid mess that the Clintons drag around with them like a trailer park full of skeletons wherever they go.
I’d like a large order of hypocrisy with a side order of myopia and shamelessness to go, please.
UPDATES AT BOTTOM.
As many of you know by now, Scooter Libby was granted executive clemency by Bush yesterday. Here is his statement. I’ve got mixed feelings on the matter.
On the one hand, Libby lied under oath. Period. That’s perjury, and yes, I know that Bubba got away with it. But since OJ got away with murder, would you say that you are now entitled to kill your spouse? No. Just because Bubba wasn’t convicted in a court of law for perjury doesn’t mean that the law ceases to exist. Therefore, in my view, Libby did commit perjury, end of story.
On the other hand, I was stunned to see jurors talking afterwards to the MSM about how they wanted to nail Cheney and/or Rove, but since that wasn’t happening, Libby would have to do. Those particular jurors (two that I know of) were determined from the start to advance their political agenda. That’s hardly what I call a fair trial. Also, as Dubya rightly notes, Libby “was handed a harsh sentence based in part on allegations never presented to the jury.”
I disagree with Bush when he says that “My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged.” Libby will likely get a lucrative book and/or speaking deal, so while I have no doubt he has suffered up to now, I do indeed doubt he’s going to feel the repercussions from it for very long.
Prediction: Just as the left got all bent out of shape when Bush exercised his constitutional authority to fire the U.S. Attorneys and wanted to hold investigations into Bush exercising said authority, look for them to investigate this exercise of his authority, too.
You know what’s funny, though? I don’t seem to recall the left getting too bent at Bubba for exercising his authority on Mark Rich (international fugitive and tax evader), or on Mel Reynolds (convicted pedophile, obstruction of justice, bank fraud), or on Dorothy Rivers (who swindled $1.2 million in federal grant money for Jesse’s Rainbow/PUSH), or on Carlos Vignali (organized coke trafficker), or on Benjamin Berger, Kalmen Stern, David Goldstein, and Jacob Elbaum (conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud, false statement, money laundering, and filing a false tax return…but were all part of the Hasidic Jewish community in NY that inexplicably defied all prior voting patterns and voted overwhelmingly for Shrillary in her 2000 Senate bid, which I’m sure was TOTALLY coincidental and not a quid pro quo based on promises for upcoming pardons).
But that was different, I’m sure.
UPDATE (7/3/2007 1:47 P.M. EST): Well, what a prophet I turned out to be, huh? Jesse Junior is calling for a Congressional investigation into Bush exercising his constitutional authority, calling said exercise of constitutional authority a “very serious crime against the constitution of the United States” and an impeachable offense. Because, you know, doing what the Constitution says you can do is…uh…a crime against the Constitution?
Her Highness on Bush’s pardoning of Scooter Libby:
“…in this administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice.” – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.”
Geez, since when did Shrillary get so mad at her husband for cronyism and ideology trumping competence? Oh, wait…she wasn’t talking about Bubba, was she? It was a Republican she was referencing. Well, that’s different!
Pots and kettles are coming to mind right now. Not sure why.
Excellent column by Michael Barone:
“History will be kind to me,” Winston Churchill once said, “for I intend to write it.”
Indeed, he did. His multiple-volume histories of the two world wars are still widely read, though discounted by professional historians as incomplete and in some ways misleading.
Churchill is not the only politician who has wanted to write the history of his times; most politicians and political operatives want at least to shape the way history views their actions.
Some are better at this than others. In the previous century, Democrats did much better at this than Republicans.
Most of us still see the events of the first two-thirds of the 20th century through the words of gifted New Deal historians like the late Arthur Schlesinger Jr., who told the story as Franklin Roosevelt hoped and expected it to be told. And, to judge from the response to two recent criminal proceedings, Democrats are doing it better in this century, too.
The first of these criminal proceedings, not much noticed, was the plea bargain of former national security adviser Sandy Berger for removing classified documents from the National Archives, where he had been reviewing them under the authorization of Bill Clinton in preparation for testimony about 9/11.
What he admitted to doing, after first denying it (i.e. lying – Ed.), is extraordinary. On multiple occasions he removed documents from the room where he was reading them, concealed them in his pants and socks, hid them at a construction site outside the building, took them home, and, in some cases, destroyed them.
Some of these documents may have been unique and may have contained handwritten comments that could have looked bad in light of what happened on September 11. I have known Berger more than 30 years and find it unlikely that he would have done something like this on his own.
Did Bill Clinton ask him to destroy documents that would make him look bad in history? I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I ask that question. But this or something very much like it seems to be the only explanation that makes sense. The Berger case was prosecuted by career staff in the Department of Justice, with little publicity. In 2005 Berger was fined $50,000 — not a ruinous sum for one of his earning capacity — ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, and had his security clearance lifted for three years, which means he could come back in a new administration after the 2008 election. The attempt to write, or un-write, history — if it was that — evidently succeeded.
Berger’s treatment was light compared with that of Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, Scooter Libby. Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald prosecuted him for perjury and obstruction of justice for making statements contradicted by journalists Tim Russert and Matt Cooper, and last week, the 11-member jury found him guilty on four counts. He could face years in jail. The case arose out of attempts by Libby and others to refute the charges of retired diplomat Joseph Wilson that the administration had manipulated intelligence before the Iraq war.
Wilson is the Titus Oates of our time, a liar whose lies served the needs of a political faction. Oates’s lie was that there was a “popish plot” to murder King Charles II; Wilson’s lie was part of the “Bush lied and people died” mantra that has become the canonical version of history to much of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party (pardon the redundancy – Ed.).
Wilson’s story, retailed to journalists and then presented in a column in The New York Times, was that he had debunked evidence that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger and that his report had circulated in the highest levels of the administration; he suggested that he had been sent to Niger in response to a request by Cheney.
In fact, as a 2004 bipartisan report of the Senate Intelligence Committee found, all those claims were false, as well as his denial that his wife had recommended him for the Niger trip.
Still, the “Bush lied and people died” mantra resonates. Yet there was no lie. Given Saddam Hussein’s previous use of weapons of mass destruction and his refusal to cooperate with weapons inspectors, George W. Bush had to assume he had WMDs, just as Bill Clinton had before him — as we were reminded by Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech in favor of the Iraq war resolution.
The Libby verdict in no way undercuts that. But the Republicans are running behind in the battle to write history.
That’s a Dem for you: if facts don’t suit your needs, just make ‘em up.
Huh? What in the hell am I talking about? Libby was convicted on 4-of-5 counts, right? Yes, he was.
But neither he nor anyone else was convicted of what the initial investigation was alleged to have been about, which was a violation of the Espionage Act or of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Nor will anyone be convicted of violating either law:
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said the verdict closed the nearly four-year investigation into how the name of Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, and her classified job at the CIA were leaked to reporters in 2003 – just days after Wilson publicly accused the administration of doctoring prewar intelligence. No one will be charged with the leak itself, which the trial confirmed came first from then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
Personally, I think Libby is a fall guy, a sacrificial lamb to the left’s bloodlust for a decapitated administration head. They wanted Rove. Couldn’t get him. They wanted Cheney. Couldn’t get him. Oh, well, Libby will have to do.
Having said that, a jury found that he didn’t merely have a sh#tty memory, but that he willingly lied under oath. Obviously, a perjurer should do the time.
It’s a shame, though, that the left and the MSM (pardon the redundancy) didn’t have that same attitude about perjury just a few years ago when BJ Clinton was getting his putter polished by an intern (and lying under oath about it to prevent a plaintiff, Paula Jones, for having her day in court). I’m sure party alignment has nothing to do with their current change of heart and newfound adherence to the law, though.
Neal Boortz observes thusly:
The media is all worked up because Robert Novak testified in the Libby trial that Karl Rove told him Valerie Plame worked at the CIA. What’s missing in all of the media coverage is that none of this matters, because neither Karl Rove nor anyone else is on trial for disclosing Valerie Plame’s name, which wasn’t a secret. So once again Scooter Libby continues to be prosecuted for lying about something that he had no reason to lie about. Only in Washington.
Ignoring the truth, the mainstream media continues to advance the lie that Valerie Plame’s identity was a secret that was passed around by Cheney, Armitage, Libby and Karl Rove. It wasn’t a secret. And even if it was, it wasn’t a secret that needed keeping by law…because Valerie Plame wasn’t a covert agent. That would explain why Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, brought no charges against anyone for leaking her name.
So now, Scooter Libby, who as far as the media is concerned is the most powerful government official in the history of the world, is on trial for no reason. If he’s acquitted, perhaps the American taxpayers can get a refund of all the money wasted on his prosecution.
When one considers that Libby is basically on trial for misremembering an irrelevant conversation and not on trial for leaking the name of a non-covert desk jockey, and no one is on trial for leaking name of said non-covert desk jockey, this case has, for the left, got to be more disappointing than Bill Clinotn in a room full of women…at a convent.
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