Dick Cheney Angry Over Bush's Refusal to Pardon Libby

The New York Daily News reports that aides to Dick Cheney are saying he's really angry that Bush wouldn't give Scooter Libby a full pardon and kept the pressure on Bush until the last minute.

After repeatedly telling Cheney his mind was made up, Bush became so exasperated with Cheney's persistence he told aides he didn't want to discuss the matter any further. The unsuccessful full-court press left Cheney bitter. "He's furious with Bush," a Cheney source told The News. "He's really angry about it and decided he's going to say what he believes."


Cheney's view:

"He was the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice, and I strongly believe that he deserved a presidential pardon," Cheney said. "Obviously, I disagree with President Bush's decision."

Apparently, Bush stopped relying on Cheney towards the end of his term.

[A]n official who has worked closely with both men mused that the relationship "isn't what it was" when Bush tapped Cheney as his running mate in 2000.

"It's been a long, long time since I've heard the President say, 'Run that by the vice president's office.' You used to hear that all the time."

Bush should have stopped asking for Cheney's advice in 2001. We're all safer with Dick Cheney out of the White House. As for Libby, he should be thanking his lucky stars he isn't in the midst of a stay at a federal prison.

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  • Display: Sort:
    What's he going to do? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by lambert on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:25:02 AM EST
    Shoot somebody in the face?

    Don't tempt fate ... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by cymro on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:23:59 AM EST
    Awwww. (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 01:41:14 AM EST
    The aspens must be quaking in horror.

    Whatever p***es Cheney off is fine by me.  First time I've ever said this, but good for Bush.  He's entirely nuts, of course, but good for him anyway.

    They're both nuts, but Cheney (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by DeborahNC on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:08:17 AM EST
    seems more malevolent. He just looks sinister to me, like one of those characters that the neighborhood kids always run from in movies.

    Just goes to show (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 08:42:29 AM EST
    no one is entirely beyond reason. I'll give Bush that one attaboy too.

    I just cant... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Thanin on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 06:05:23 AM EST
    bring myself to give bush any credit, ever.

    Serious miscarriage of justice (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by DanAllNews on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 06:04:07 AM EST
    Yes, but it'll take prison time, not a pardon, to remedy that.

    I was surprise too of the no pardon (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Saul on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 07:52:29 AM EST
    Before Bush left I kept saying he would pardon Libby, and do preemptive pardons on Cheney, Rove, Gonzalez, Meyers and others just so these guys would not have to be negotiating legal deals just in case they were going to be investigated by the next administration and were ready to do a tell all sequence of what really occurred during the Bush administration under oath.

    As you can see there are those democrats in the Senate that want to investigate Bush, but Obama does not want to go there he says he is more interested in looking forward.  However the real reason is he does not want to totally alienate the republicans since he needs any and all Republicans defectors he can get to get his bills passed.

    I think that it has more to do with (none / 0) (#27)
    by weltec2 on Wed Feb 18, 2009 at 02:00:40 AM EST
    the fact that Nancy Pelosi and many in the Democratic leadership were complicitous in Bush/Cheney war crimes. I think they agreed to railroad HRC out and hand it to him on a platter if he would agree not to allow any careful examination of these crimes.

    I rather like the idea of Cheney's (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 08:04:29 AM EST
    blood pressure soaring over Bush's refusal to accede to Cheney's demands; anyone want to bet he told Libby the pardon was in the bag?

    For me, anyway, having the WH door hit both Bush and Cheney on the butt on the way out isn't enough.  Both of these men, whether alone or together, wreaked untold damage upon the country, and should be held to account for it in some significant way.  I always thought impeachment would be the best way to do that, as well as to draw a bright line that future presidents would be warned not to cross.

    As to why Bush did not pardon Libby, I can only speculate that it was less political or legal than it was personal: Bush found a way to stick it to Cheney in a way that is so galling to Cheney he can barely contain himself.  

    I don't like Bush, but good for him anyway.

    I Don't Trust It (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by squeaky on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 08:11:57 AM EST
    One of the reasons Bush did not pardon Libby is that he can take the 5th if ever forced to testify. I would not be surprised if this story is nothing but theatrics. And lets not forget Rove is about to testify, so the timing of this story is suspect.

    It is smoke and mirrors for the imbecilic press, (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by HenryFTP on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 10:02:07 AM EST
    who probably still don't understand that Libby remains at substantial legal jeopardy so long as his sentence was only commuted, and thus he has compelling self-interest to continue to protect Cheney and Bush, neither one of whom could immunize Libby from violating the Espionage Act. If Libby had been pardoned, he could have been re-indicted for perjury and/or obstruction of justice if he continued to lie and stonewall about the plot to blow Valerie Plame's cover and the Brewster Jennings counter-proliferation operation, giving him a compelling self-interest to tell the truth about Dick Cheney and George Bush. The timing of Bush's original commutation of Libby's sentence is consistent with his desire to ensure Libby's continued silence. Cheney's bluster is a sop to Libby, who is probably already enjoying generous wingnut welfare for having maintained "l'onore della famiglia" as they say in Godfather Part II.

    I shoot friends in the face (none / 0) (#5)
    by wickedlittledoll on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 02:42:03 AM EST
    Second (none / 0) (#7)
    by lentinel on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 05:56:59 AM EST
    This is the second article I've seen within the last few days that leave the impression that Bush was OK - by comparison to the evil Cheney.

    One of Obama's people said that Bush "couldn't have been more gracious" during the transition. Unlike Dr. Doom.

    To me, they are twin heads on the same cobra - no offense to meant to snakes everywhere.

    I have watched Reagan become sanitized. Great President. All airports and bridges and schools named for him. They keep trying with that dirt-bag Nixon. Johnson also - he was really super except for that pesky war in Vietnam ("Veetnam") that wasn't really his fault y'know.

    Now it appears to me that we can have Cheney as the fall guy as long as we allow some rehabilitation of Bush.

    I, in contrast, want Bush to be prosecuted.

    when two co-conspirators have a falling out (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 06:55:03 AM EST
    one usually talks too much for both. This could be very interesting.

    Yes yes yes! (none / 0) (#22)
    by lambert on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 09:17:33 AM EST

    Poor Johnson (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by ricosuave on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 07:54:35 AM EST
    It is a shame for a president to be engaged, involved, competent, and complex.  We might have to judge Lyndon as a real person who did great things and awful things instead of portaying him as a shallow, one-dimensional collection of slogans and simplistic beliefs.

    Bush, really is that simplistic, even though he tried to pretend he was complex (remember the great stem cell compromise!).  Johnson, for all his faults, will still be the subject of study for decades.  Bush will probably be summed up in high-school history books with the "Mission Accomplished" photo.

    But don't hold your breath for prosecution.  Democrats don't want to do it, and republicans don't prosecute people in Bush's tax bracket.


    Making the simple complex (none / 0) (#20)
    by lentinel on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 08:58:19 AM EST
    For me, Johnson is as simple as Bush.
    He deliberately lied us into a disastrous war.
    He fabricated as phony a scenario as Bush's WMD and mushroom cloud.
    He vilified his critics as unpatriotic.
    There is little that Bush did to promote and perpetuate the war that did not come out of the Johnson playbook.

    The congress passed some progressive legislation during his tenure. But this does not and cannot make up for the lives and limbs lost by tens of thousands of young Americans and God knows how many Vietnamese civilians. People are still feeling the effects of that poisonous agent orange that our military was made to spray on that little country.

    Anybody can be made to appear complex.
    Nixon is pictured as complex. A deep thinker.
    If you watch the History Channel it is sobering to watch people who knew or worked with Hitler talking about his moods - sometimes with the beginnings of a tear in their eyes.

    I don't think we have time for this B.S.

    I know Bush won't be prosecuted.
    But I would at least like the facts to be out there for all to see.
    What did he know and when did he know it - and how did that differ from what he was telling us.

    There is the old adage that people who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it. Our history is being deliberately held from us - and we have been repeating it with numb abandon.


    In a divorce ... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 07:30:17 AM EST
    it's always the children who suffer most.


    Why didn't Bush pardon Libby? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jacob Freeze on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 07:36:09 AM EST
    I thought it was at least an even-money bet that Bush would pardon Libby.

    Why didn't it happen?


    Does anyone have a theory?

    Bush probably thinks (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by ricosuave on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 08:06:23 AM EST
    that the sin of leaking to the press was great enough to warrant the punishment.

    As for the missing slew of pardons: you don't pardon people if you don't think they committed a crime.  The Bushies M.O. was not to flagrantly flout the law, but to try and skate a fine line and look legal (or legal-ish) enough to avoid any outright criminal charges.  You don't torture people directly, but you pass them off to other countries or do it in a place where you say the laws don't apply.  You don't violate the Geneva Conventions--you reclassify your prisoners of war as "detainees" and treat them however you wish.  You retroactively get wiretap laws changed to put a fig leaf on top of the activities you were doing that were over the edge (it helps when the guy who ends up being the new president supports the change in the law).  And when you get drunk and shoot a guy in the face, you get the local cops to come late enough that there is reasonable doubt that you were drinking beforehand.


    My theory (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by lentinel on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 09:01:52 AM EST
    is that a pardon from Bush would have put Bush front and center in this scandal. It would look, correctly, like he want pardoning Libby to protect his own behind.

    It would have made it harder for those who want to "look forward" or "turn the page" - and easier for those among us who want to hold Bush accountable for his criminal activity.


    Speculation (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by joanneleon on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 09:34:59 AM EST
    Someone told Bush that if he did not issue any pardons for people in his administration, he himself would be left alone and not prosecuted.

    Except that Bush and Cheney (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 10:28:09 AM EST
    never believed they did anything wrong. They thought Executive Privilege covered every single move they made.

    You are absolutely correct: (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by KoolJeffrey on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 10:53:39 AM EST
    If Scooter is innocent, why would he need a pardon? Dude has already avoided years in jail. A pardon would be a tacit admission that he was guilty of something.

    Rove understands this. Cheney is off his rocker and requires a tune up for his animatronic brain.


    Wasn't the Plame leak always (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 08:47:53 AM EST
    primarily a Cheney operation? Libbey of course took his direction from Cheney, and so did Rove when it suited him. I never got the impression Bush was that involved, except of course in not firing the bunch of them after it happened.

    Poppa Bush, (none / 0) (#28)
    by NYShooter on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 06:14:53 PM EST
    was an old CIA hand, and maybe, like the marines,  "Semper Fi," the sense of betrayal to an old CIA hand was just too much.

    I can imagine Daddy saying, "son, I never asked you to do anything as President, but I'm asking you to do this.........."