I can't wait for the Canadian dumbshit-o-sphere to start weighing in with their junior high school opinions on this:
Pardon a sensitive topic for White House
Bush faces dilemma in case of ex-Cheney staffer Libby
The sentence imposed on former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby yesterday put President Bush in the position of making a decision he has tried to avoid for months: Trigger a fresh political storm by pardoning a convicted perjurer or let one of the early architects of his administration head to prison.
The prospect of a pardon has become so sensitive inside the West Wing that top aides have been kept out of the loop, and even Bush friends have been told not to bring it up with the president. In any debate, officials expect Vice President Cheney to favor a pardon, while other aides worry about the political consequences of stepping into a case that stems from the origins of the Iraq war and renewing questions about the truthfulness of the Bush administration.
No, really, let's crack open a cold one and wait to see which Blogging Tories embarrass their species by pontificating on this topic while forgetting to mention salient details such as:
If Bush were to decide to pardon Libby, he would have to short-circuit the normal process. Under Justice Department guidelines, Libby would not qualify for a pardon. The guidelines require applicants to wait at least five years after being released from prison. The review process after the submission of an application typically can take two years before a decision is made.
But I absolutely can't wait for someone to try this grotesque illogic (*cough* Dr. Roy *cough*):
[National Review] contended that Libby had been "found guilty of process crimes," when the special prosecutor never brought charges relating to the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame's name: "He is a dedicated public servant caught in a crazy political fight that should have never happened, convicted of lying about a crime that the prosecutor can't even prove was committed."
Yeah, goddamit ... "convicted of lying about a crime that the prosecutor can't even prove was committed." I mean, Jesus, Scooter didn't commit the crime, he only committed perjury when he lied about it afterwards. I mean, when did perjury related to a non-existent crime become such a big fucking deal? Oh, wait ... that's when.
So let's go, BTs!! I frequently accuse you of being vacuous, lamebrained dumbasses and, so far, you haven't let me down yet. Now would be a bad time to start.
We need to "abstract up" from rightwing dialogue to realise what they're doing. The strategy of the Repulicans (and which the Harper 'Conservatives' are adopting, although with dwindling success) is to "simply do what comes next" regardless of any real-world considerations, such a law, evidence, democratic process...or indeed ethics or morality. It's been obvious for a long time that the Republican apparatchiks would call for a pardon for Libby and would immediately start churning out the talking points such as "process crimes" to "chat into reality" the conditions they're arguing for Libby's pardon in order to disappear the past and to go forward, far into the future with no record of past crimes. This is fundamentally, and clearly Orwellian.
This continues to work for a variety of reasons; the American ruling class is largely amoral and simply acts in its own interests (the dollar) and the average 'conservative,' in both Canada and the US is increasingly becoming convinced that amorality is a good starting point in which to frame not only political action and political discussion, but pretty much a way to approach everything in life, particularly if one is ignorant and lacks meaningful life experience. It's simply the path of least resistance for them.
We can predict, far into the future, just what the Republicans and the CPC intend on doing by simply anticipating what they'd decide comes next. When we do that, we know where it's heading...complete disaster.
Amorality is a condition proper to non-intelligent entities or sociopathy, both conditions that characterise the corporation. In fact, what we're seeing is the abandonment, on a chillingly wide scale, of human consciousness in favour of unconscious action dictated by the demands of corporate capitalism.
I'm sure at some level, a lot of the brighter 'conservative' propagandists are aware of this, but are choosing short-term gain (largely monetary but for some, a xenophobia-driven satisfaction of 'getting back' at people they've long blamed for whatever problems they've failed to overcome in life) and will continue to do so until whatever conditions arise no longer permit them to do that.
When this period comes to its inevitable conclusion, progressives and the two or three ethical 'conservatives", if we manage to survive the whole thing, are going to have to do some serious work to rehabilitate or marginalise these people. When I look around, I sometimes get the feeling it's hopeless (which is also part of the 'conservative' strategy...to engender hopelessness and capitulation among people with a conscience).
One small step at marginalising these people would be for progressive bloggers to stop entertaining their instrusion into sensible discussions, but I realise that has its own problems and that some progressives still seem fascinated by how *weird* or novel these people are.
"If Bush were to decide to pardon Libby, he would have to short-circuit the normal process. Under Justice Department guidelines, Libby would not qualify for a pardon. The guidelines require applicants to wait at least five years after being released from prison. The review process after the submission of an application typically can take two years before a decision is made."...from your post
"The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." ....from Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution
Pretty sure that the Constitution trumps DOJ "guidelines".
By the way, does the Constitution count as a "salient detail"?
Pretty sure that the Constitution trumps DOJ "guidelines".
That's not the issue. From the very next paragraph in the cited article:
But the president's power to pardon under Article II of the Constitution is essentially unrestricted, so he can ignore the guidelines if he chooses.
The DOJ has guidelines to give the impression of a fair and just process. If Bush wants to ignore that process and use his powers like a king, that's up to him; but just because he can take a course of action doesn't make that action above reproach.
"That's not the issue."
Oh, but it is, Adam, for CC made it so. Don't you recall such famous words as "No, really, let's crack open a cold one and wait to see which Blogging Tories embarrass their species by pontificating on this topic while forgetting to mention salient details"? Can't speak for you, amigo, but where I come from, that sounds like making an issue of something. Remember, sarcasm is just one of the services he offers.
Yes, he made the circumstances of a potential pardon of Libby an issue. No, he didn't make Bush's legal authority under the constitution to pardon Libby an issue. In fact, he linked to an article that specifically cited the same constitutional passage that you did.
Thanks for not speaking for me.
Ah, but CC didn't quote the entire article, did he? He stressed the section which would put Blogging Tories in poor light (his point, I know) and left out the portion which contradicts the snark he intended to fire off. In effect, CC did exactly what he is accusing the BTs of doing. Which, of course, is the very thing you are putting yourself through hoops to avoid admitting.
Do you have to see a chiropractor after that kind of thing?
Bush has the authority to pardon Libby. You win, I guess.
Nobody is arguing that with you. Find one quote from CC where he says that Bush cannot pardon Libby. What he pointed out is that if Bush pardons Libby now he would be going against the conventional guidelines for pardons.
It puts me in mind of one of my favourite movie quotes: "I know he can get the job, but can he do the job..."
We know he can pardon Libby, but should he pardon Libby..
Bush should not pardon Libby, period. In fact, I believe that Bush should pardon no one, ever. A crime was committed, a judgement was made, and now, barring some kind of appeal, the process is complete. Time to serve your sentence, end of story.
It would be a good thing, in my opinion, if pardons were a thing of the past. The concept is simply too open to abuse (Ford pardoning Nixon, Clinton pardoning his entire Rolodex...) to be worth retaining for its theoretical value to the state.
Well, I certainly agree with you there - and with both of your examples.
Let me clear this up if I may.
Of course Bush has the right to pardon Libby. That's never been an issue in anything I've ever written, so when the screeching members of the wankerhood suggest that a pardon is within Bush's power, naturally, they're right. I've never denied that and, as buckyfuller points out, that fact is spelled out clearly in the very article to which I link.
The point I was trying to make is that a pardon at this time would be highly unusual and would fly in the face of longstanding DoJ guidelines, and it's that point that the wankerhood likes to gloss over when they talk about pardons.
Now, have we cleared this up? Are we good here? 'Cuz I really don't want to have to explain this again.
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