The Scoop Behind the Sccoter Libby Non-Pardon
Marcy Wheeler at Empty Wheel dissects the article in Time Magazine about the waning days of Bush and Cheney, as it relates to the Scooter Libby non-pardon. Cheney pleaded and cajoled for his buddy, Bush didn't want to give him any more breaks than the sentence commutation he had already ordered.
But the fight over the pardon was also a prelude to the difficult questions about justice and national security inherited by the Obama Administration: How closely should the nation examine the actions of government officials who took steps — legal or possibly illegal — to defend the nation's security during the war on terrorism? The Libby investigation, which began nearly six years ago, went to the heart of whether the Bush Administration misled the public in making its case to invade Iraq. But other Bush-era policies are still coming under legal scrutiny. [More...]
Who, for example, should be held accountable in one of the darkest corners of the war on terrorism — the interrogators who may have tortured detainees? Or the men who conceived and crafted the policies that led to those secret sessions in the first place? How far back — and how high up the chain of command — should these inquiries go?
Marcy breaks the long article down and says the shorter version is:
The short version, though, is that the White House prevented Libby from speaking to Bush directly about this case, all the while telling a narrative that the question of pardon pertained narrowly to whether Libby lied about his conversation with Russert and not the larger questions implicating both Cheney and Bush. After Libby appealed his case through Fielding indirectly to Bush, Bush consulted with his defense attorney. And the two of them--Bush and his defense attorney--apparently made the final decision not to pardon Libby just two days before Bush left office.
Marcy tells you whats left out of this over-simplified account. After being turned down for the pardon,
In response, Libby asked for his own audience with the President. Bolten refused, denying Libby the opportunity to make his case directly (presumably in private?) with Bush. But Bolten did set up a meeting with Libby and the two lawyers who had to have known how this implicated the President. Presumably in response to Fielding's report of that meeting, Bush met with his defense attorney, and asked him whether he thought he should pardon Libby. And between the two of them--Bush and his defense attorney--they decided to deny Libby's last ditch request for a pardon.
The result, according to Marcy:
Time's nicely spun story sort of distracts from the both the underlying knowledge several key players had as well as the seeming progression from the denial of Cheney's request, followed by Libby's request, followed by a hurried consultation with Bush's defense attorney. But those are, almost certainly, the most important facts in this tale.
|< N.J. Corruption Case Snags Mayors, Assemblyman and Rabbis | Was The Fischer Homes Prosecution About Publicity, Not Justice? >|