Wednesday, July 04, 2007

How Quickly They Forget

What better way to celebrate Independence Day than with a round up of Libby opinion. Let's start with Alan Dershowitz, who has the heavy breathers at HuffPo...well...breathing heavily:

This was entirely a political case from beginning to end. Libby's actions were political. The decision to appoint a special prosecutor was political. The trial judges' rulings were political. The appellate court judges' decision to deny bail was political. And the president's decision to commute the sentence was political. But only the president acted within his authority by acting politically in commuting the politically motivated sentence.

The column is, in fact, an indictment of the judicial system in this case.

Jack Kelly wonders where all the "outraged" Democrats were just a few short years ago, or even a few short months ago: complaints were heard from these worthies when Sandy Berger, who had been President Clinton's national security adviser, received no jail time -- and only a $50,000 fine -- for stealing classified documents from the National Archives. We still don't know why Sandy stole those documents, or why he destroyed some. The news media aren't pursuing the story.

No complaints were heard either, when Bill Clinton opened the pardon floodgates to any criminal with the ability to sign a check. Michael Goodwin summarizes the list of 140 pardons and 36 commutations:

The list of people Clinton let off the hook was a rogue's gallery of drug dealers, petty criminals and the politically well-connected. One was Bill Clinton's brother Roger, one was a college friend and another was a former business partner. Their lawyers' connections were key in others, including the lawyer for a man who laundered more than $100 million for the Cali cartel.

Some cases reeked of blatant corruption. Hillary's brother, Hugh Rodham, collected $400,000 from two big-time criminals who got pardons. When the news of the payments broke, the Clintons claimed surprise and demanded Rodham give the money back.

But Bill Clinton never gave Denise Rich her money back. The former wife of disgraced financier Marc Rich gave $450,000 to Clinton's presidential library and raised and contributed more than $1 million to campaigns of the Clintons and other Democrats. Her husband, who had fled the country rather than fight charges of massive tax fraud and trading with Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis, suddenly received a pardon.

Let's remember, Libby will pay a $250,000 fine, serve two years of probation, and has been publicly disgraced, for having a different recollection than reporters in a case that had already been solved by the special prosecutor, and in which no one was charged with a crime. Now, Democrats are outraged. Interestingly enough, not about overly aggressive prosecutors, a bullied media, the CIA's undermining of an elected official, or a judicial system playing politics.

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