Not So Great Britain

Bush acknowledges administration official leaked Plame’s name

July 14, 2007
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At a White House press conference Thursday, President Bush acknowledged that someone in his administration leaked the name of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, but he avoided addressing the question of whether he saw it as a moral issue or was at all disappointed in his senior advisers.

When the Crimes of the White House are Unpunishable

July 11, 2007
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On the day that Scooter Libby’s prison sentence was lifted by President Bush, Mordechai Vanunu was sentenced to prison, again, in Israel. In both cases, the underlying offense was the same: speaking to journalists. In each case, the nominal charges were otherwise. For Libby, lying under oath about the circumstances, thereby obstructing justice. For Vanunu, it was breaking a restriction laid upon him when he emerged from prison three years ago, after serving an earlier full sentence of eighteen years, also for speaking to journalists: he was ordered not to speak, at all, to journalists or foreigners. Like a free man, he did both, openly and repeatedly.

But whereas Libby had passed classified information, and Vanunu had served his earlier sentence for doing the same, in this instance Vanunu was not charged with revealing any secrets. The transcripts or published accounts of his conversations being available, it was open knowledge that what he had mainly talked about was the truth of his personal convictions about nuclear weapons: that they should universally be abolished, Israel’s among them.

Keith Olbermann Scathing Special Comment

July 10, 2007
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Keith Olbermann’s closing Special Comment on his show Countdown from July 3rd, 2007. This is after Bush commutes “Scooter” Libby’s jail term in spite of public opinion and outrage and possibly in an attempt to keep certain unknown things secret in a cover up. His final remarks call for the President and the Vice President to resign.

Senator accuses Bush of being ‘brain dead’

July 6, 2007
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At a campaign stop in Des Moines, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had some tough words for the President, along with two GOP presidential candidates. “This guy is brain dead,” Biden said of Bush, eliciting a chorus of laughter from his audience. Known for his slips of the tongue, Biden added, “I know I’ll be quoted, I’ll be killed for that.”

Speaking of Bush’s decision to commute the sentence of Scooter Libby, Biden stated, “This is a guy who is on the balls of his heels, here’s a guy who is lower off in the polls than any president in modern history and he goes ahead and he does something that just flies in the face of the sensibilities of the American people.”

Bush And Cheney Declare Themselves Above The Law Again

July 6, 2007
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George W Bush has decided that if you happen to work in the White House a two-and-a-half year jail sentence for intentional obstruction of a federal investigation and four counts of perjury is “too harsh”. As a result the President has commuted the sentence of convicted felon Scooter Libby and sent him home with a pat on the back and orders to put his feet up.

Amid all the frothing media terror hype, the fact that the Bush administration has once again declared itself above the law has been relegated to the “and also in the news” sections.

Saved from prison by Bush’s favour: the White House aide who lied to a grand jury

July 6, 2007
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George Bush created a political storm yesterday by intervening to stop the disgraced White House aide, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, from going to jail. The president, in a statement, said the prison sentence imposed on Mr Libby, who was found guilty of perjury in a complex spy case linked to the Iraq war, was too harsh.Mr Bush, who made the statement after leaving a summit with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, at Kennebunkport, Maine, said: “I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence is excessive.”

When Presidents Pardon Their Own Crimes

July 6, 2007
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George Mason (1725-1792), the father of the Bill of Rights (1791-2002), argued at the Constitutional Convention in favor of providing the House of Representatives the power of impeachment by pointing out that the President might use his pardoning power to “pardon crimes which were advised by himself” or, before indictment or conviction, “to stop inquiry and prevent detection.”

James Madison (1751-1836), the father of the U.S. Constitution (1788-2007), added that “if the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds to believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty.”

Of course, Bush has long been connected in a suspicious manner to Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, and others. Madison would probably have called for Bush’s impeachment when Bush first refused to investigate or hold anyone accountable for leaking Valerie Plame’s identity, or rather when Bush lied us into the war in the first place, or when he confessed to illegal spying, or when he detained people without charge and tortured them, or when he overturned laws with signing statements or refused to comply with subpoenas, and so on and so forth. Madison wouldn’t have wanted to see his Constitution tossed aside until the moment Bush commuted Libby’s sentence. But he certainly would have acted now if not before.

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