Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pardon me?

Two days have passed since Scooter Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice…

Two days… and already we’re starting to hear the peanut gallery that is the U.S. right-wing media calling for Bush to pardon him.

(And my favorite reaction to the Libby verdict is this quote from uber-political strategist David Gergen who said; “

This is an administration that has been mostly free of scandal over the last six years and now they have the taint that they cannot erase,”
… uh, sure… I don’t know what Mr. Gergen is smoking, but whatever it is, I’d like some please… … but I’m getting off-topic)

National Review… The Weekly Standard… Wall Street Journal… and conservative blogs from across the country… all of them are calling for Bush to pardon VP Dick Cheney’s patsy fall-guy former aide.

First, let me explain what exactly a pardon is… well, not me really, but the good folks at… according to them, a pardon is: act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed...A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance.

Everyone got that? Goo— wait a minute…

‘…a crime he has committed’… ‘a crime’… ‘he has’… ‘committed’…

Now that sounds like a confession to me…wouldn’t accepting a pardon essentially mean that Libby is admitting that he did lie and that he did obstruct justice???

And while we’re on the semantics of what a pardon is and what it signifies, how about we look into the rules on granting pardons.

The Rules Governing Petitions For Executive Clemency, brought to us by the good folks at the U.S. Departent of Justice, are:

No petition for pardon should be filed until the expiration of a waiting period of at least five years after the date of the release of the petitioner from confinement or, in case no prison sentence was imposed, until the expiration of a period of at least five years after the date of the conviction of the petitioner. Generally, no petition should be submitted by a person who is on probation, parole, or supervised release.

So it seems there are some legal parameters and rules that have to be followed in order for someone to get executive clemancy,and that Libby would have to wait until 2012 to be eligible for a pardon… but… seeing as how this is the White House – the BUSH White House that is – I’m sure they’ll ignore all those parameters and make it work for them anyway they have to…

But they should keep in mind that this thing ain’t over yet… Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) will hold hearings investigating the outing of Valerie Plame… and has already got a veritable who’s who of people coming to testifying, including Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and the woman herself; Ms. Valerie Plame.

As always, stay tuned…

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