McClellan Criticizes Scooter Libby Commutation

Via Christopher Bateman at Vanity Fair: In his tell-all book about the Bush Administration, former Press Secretary Scott McClellan has harsh words for President Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence in the Valerie Plame leaks case:

It’s … clear to me that Scooter Libby was guilty of the perjury and obstruction crimes for which he was convicted. When the president commuted Libby’s prison sentence and thereby protected him from serving even one day behind bars, I was disappointed. This kind of special treatment undermines our system of justice…. President Bush certainly has the right and the power to commute Libby’s sentence. But in choosing to do so, he sent an unfortunate message to America and the world—that in the United States criminal behavior on behalf of a political cause may go unpunished if those who support that cause have the power to make it happen.

At the time, John McCain agreed with Bush: [More...]

“I think that you can make a case that he was singled out unfairly. I think that the appeals process goes forward. I happen to be one who admires Scooter Libby. I think he was a dedicated servant.”

VF has not been able to get a reaction from McCain or his campaign.

< How Puerto Rico Awards Its Delegates | Arrest Warrant Issued for Rezko Over Casino Gambling Debts >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    McClellan doesn't like Bush much (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by MarkL on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:05:30 PM EST
    does he?

    Actually it seems (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by cannondaddy on Thu May 29, 2008 at 02:21:00 PM EST
    it's not a total bashfest.  I believe his description of Bush is someone who is sincere in trying do what's best for the country, but is too caught up in the politics of it all to realize how misguided he has become.

    Passionate but clueless. (none / 0) (#37)
    by Fabian on Thu May 29, 2008 at 02:58:00 PM EST
    Is that what we really want in a leader?

    Jeez Louise. (none / 0) (#3)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:06:42 PM EST
    That's putting it mildly.  Talk about disgruntled.

    Would YOU (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by madamab on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:07:35 PM EST
    want George W. Bush as a boss?

    on the Today show he said he liked (none / 0) (#25)
    by thereyougo on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:48:05 PM EST
    the president.

    I always remember that Scotty always looked constipated at the pressers. He's much more relaxed in his interviews hawking the book.


    Hee hee hee! (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by madamab on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:06:31 PM EST
    I don't think McClellan is that credible, personally, but I love the media frenzy his book is creating. Certainly anything that puts the focus on Bush's lawbreaking works for me.

    I expect many more "disgruntled" BushCheney former employees to come forward as this administration slowly grinds to a halt.

    Many Already Have (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by flashman on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:25:32 PM EST
    McClellan's revealations only add to those who came before:

    Paul O'neil
    Richard Clarke
    George Tennate
    Allen Greenspan

    And most importantly:
    Colon Powell

    And, Ari Fleischer agrees about Scooter Libby.

    The spin will always be that of the wistle blower being 'disgruntled.'  But too many former admin officials are telling the same story.  The crooks and liars can't hide behind the 'disgruntled' dodge forever.


    A woman called Rush yesterday (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by kredwyn on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:35:55 PM EST
    about this.

    Swear to the FSM, she was in tears about how horrid this was of Scottie to seek to undermine POTUS in this way...it was giving those America haters fodder and making the US look weak.

    For her, Scottie is no patriot.


    Poor Scottie... (none / 0) (#19)
    by madamab on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:37:54 PM EST
    he really doesn't know how to win friends and influence people!

    Maybe he should have gone all-out and hung a hundred pictures of Bush's hands in his office, like Josh Bolten...


    He was a really really bad liar (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by kredwyn on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:38:32 PM EST
    and everyone knew it.

    So is Dana Peroxide (none / 0) (#21)
    by madamab on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:41:52 PM EST
    but somehow she gets a pass.

    Maybe because no one's paying attention to her the way they were to Scottie.


    among the many who already have come forth (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by thereyougo on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:43:10 PM EST
    we get the picture that Bush has absolutely no cred. left. Too much cronism throughout the ranks therefore corrupt decisions are what the Bush legacy will be.

    The phrase that paid for me was on the Today show with Meredith Viera when she asked him about why he's come forth at this time.

    Scotty said and I have been saying this all along, that the presumptive nominees, Obama and John McCain, are promising unity and change in the way DC does business -- the same thing that then Gov. Bush promised to bring to his administration. That was powerful in my view.


    I agree with this statement... (none / 0) (#24)
    by madamab on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:45:50 PM EST
    I just do not trust Scottie's motivation for saying it.

    Isn't it interesting how he is using his time in the spotlight to slyly trash the possible Dem nominee?

    Things that make you go hmmmmm....


    So the paid liar is cashing in? (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by andgarden on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:16:28 PM EST
    Sorry, not buying.

    I do. His reputation is in ruins forever (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by MarkL on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:17:22 PM EST
    because of what he said as Press Secretary.

    speculation is... (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by kredwyn on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:36:51 PM EST
    that this is partly in response to the less than tepid support his mother received in her run for TX gov.

    I buy it (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by andgarden on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:37:17 PM EST
    as much as my mother frustrates me... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kredwyn on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:41:53 PM EST
    (and believe me she does), I would be hard pressed to continue sitting on a pack of lies and not let fly the dogs of grrrrrr on the people who'd used me and blew my mom off.

    Better (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Emma on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:17:27 PM EST
    a whistleblower than a disgruntled former employee.  Sadly, all anybody really seems to care about is making money off their books.

    Somebody didn't get.... (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by kdog on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:19:15 PM EST
    some Iraqi reconstruction kickback money they were promised...it's the only explanation.

    I must say... (none / 0) (#12)
    by madamab on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:31:14 PM EST
    this theory makes a lot of sense to me.

    maybe he'll turn into a second john dean (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Turkana on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:21:22 PM EST
    and over decades partially redeem himself, but the act isn't working for me, thus far. glad to see him saying these things, but doesn't at all change my opinion of him.

    I think we will be a long time waiting for that (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:34:17 PM EST
    worm to turn.  The one that really chafes my butt is Colin Powell.  What the hell was he thinking?

    from his participation (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Turkana on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:35:52 PM EST
    in the my lai cover-up, on, powell has always been a "'yes' man."

    Too little too late (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by txpolitico67 on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:23:35 PM EST
    Sorry Scotty, but you still have no credibility and you are just as much an accomplice to all the war crimes committed by Bushco.

    A real patriot would have stepped up and said something.  Your cowardice should not be rewarded by a book deal.

    McClellan should be in jail with the rest of (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:31:45 PM EST
    the cretins.  He is no better than they are....beam me up scottie...

    Another (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:50:35 PM EST
    person with a tell all book. I tell ya, where have all these people been for years? For years and years they covered for Bush but now that Bush is political roadkill they are all going for the carotid artery. The GOP feeding frenzy is as bad as the democratic one.

    He may be brought (none / 0) (#27)
    by cannondaddy on Thu May 29, 2008 at 02:03:25 PM EST
    in to testify to Congress...bet he didn't count on that happening.

    He will be testifying (none / 0) (#28)
    by cannondaddy on Thu May 29, 2008 at 02:04:58 PM EST
    on The Daily Show on Monday.

    When they start coming forth before they (none / 0) (#39)
    by Anne on Thu May 29, 2008 at 03:37:10 PM EST
    have the book deal, I'll start giving them credit for "honesty," but until then, I will just have to consider them as self-interested as the people they were working for.

    Am still trying to figure out how money ends up substituting for a conscience, but since so many seem to have no trouble with it, I guess it's just me being obtuse.  Again.

    I find it remarkable (none / 0) (#41)
    by Slado on Thu May 29, 2008 at 04:29:53 PM EST
    that the same press that called him a liar to his face now takes everything he says in this book as gospel.

    He gives no facts from what I read just anti-Bush talking points and uses his credentials to cover the fact that these statements are nothing more then opinion.

    This book is fodder for the anti Bush crowd and disgruntled whining for the pro Bush crowd.

    The most telling is his direct quote while WHPS about Richard Clarke's book...

    Well, why, all of a sudden, if he (Richard Clarke) had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner? This is one-and-a-half years after he left the administration. And now, all of a sudden, he's raising these grave concerns that he claims he had. And I think you have to look at some of the facts. One, he is bringing this up in the heat of a presidential campaign. He has written a book and he certainly wants to go out there and promote that book.

    Someone should ask him his own question.

    I think these books say more about our political climate then about this president.   We will see more of this stuff no matter who is president in '08.   Wait for the Hillary campaign books.  They should hit the shelves just in time for Christmas.