Monday, July 02, 2007

The Pardoner's Tale

I'm not a big fan of putting human beings behind bars. It seems to me that there might be more useful and humane ways to rehabilitate offenders, particularly the non-violent ones. So George Bush's partial commutation of Scooter Libby's punishment today doesn't outrage me in the sense that I am rabid about just deserts = jail time.

However, the whole Valerie Plame outing and subsequent ducking and covering by the Bush administration is a very serious matter that was never properly sorted out -- precisely because Scooter Libby did his best to protect his boss, the real Decider manipulating his block head of a president.

From an AP report:
"I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison."
The pattern is all too familiar. If Bush-Cheney doesn't like the laws that are in place, he will decide to go around them. If he wants to spy on US citizens without any oversight, he will order it done. If government officials give him information that goes against his plans, he will ignore them. If one of his loyal cronies is in trouble, he will protect them no matter the evidence or the opinion of the public at large.

The problem is, if Bush thinks the sentence for obstruction of justice is excessive, then everybody in the country who is serving a similar sentence also deserves commutation. I mean, Bush didn't say he was doing this because Libby fell on his sword for Cheney. He said the jail portion of the punishment was excessive.

I think Libby should serve his 20 months in a Veterans hospital, tending to the wounds of those who were injured in the war in Iraq. After all, it was Libby and his boss who acted to smear VAlerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson. The lie of weapons of mass destruction had to be maintained at all costs.

As for Bush, it must have been real easy for him to save Cheney's chief henchman. His polls are already so low, a few more digits lower won't hurt him. The Washington Post published a very strange report about Bush calling upon various historians, philosophers and other academics to visit him and ponder the great mysteries boggling his meager mind:
Over sodas and sparkling water, he asks his questions: What is the nature of good and evil in the post-Sept. 11 world? What lessons does history have for a president facing the turmoil I'm facing? How will history judge what we've done? Why does the rest of the world seem to hate America? Or is it just me they hate?
I wonder how many of those "intellectuals" said, "Oh it's you they hate, for sure."

Last week, the Washington Post published a four part series detailing how Dick Cheney set up his office of vice president so that he can run the country without any oversight or accountability. I have to ask, what took them so long?

The above image of Cheney as the ventriloquist and W as the dummy is on a button I purchased outside the John Kerry rally at Firestone Stadium in the fall of 2004. It was the perfect image to describe the dynamic of who is in control of the country. Unfortunately, the main stream press chose not to look too hard at reality. And now we have to sit on pins and needles for the next 18 months, hoping against hope that Bush-Cheney doesn't decide to blow up Iran.

It might be smart to go ahead with impeachment now -- against both Cheney and Bush. That would at least keep them conferring with their lawyers all day instead of making plans to declare marshal law before the next election.

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