MSNBC’s Keith Obermann delivers (above) the most passionate and broadest denunciation of President G.W. Bush’s decision to commute the conviction of Vice-President Richard B. Cheney’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury. The only bits Obermann left out were the other scandals inflicted upon the nation by the Republicans, from Teapot Dome to Iran-Contra, but not much else. A transcript of Obermann’s “Comment” is also available at Crooks and Liars.
Did you see the news? President Bush let Scooter Libby, the one man who was convicted for the lies around the Iraq war, go free.
And the obstruction of justice doesn’t stop there. The Senate recently subpoenaed documents from the Vice President’s office around the illegal wiretapping program and so far he has not complied. It’s clear this administration thinks it’s above the law. That’s un-American, and I think it’s time for Congress to hold them accountable.
I just signed a petition urging Congress to force Vice President Cheney to respond to its subpoenas. If he doesn’t, Congress has to begin impeachment proceedings against him.
I signed this petition, as an irate citizen. But, as a blogger, I have to consider my response on The Reaction to the question, whether impeachment proceedings are politically practicable. But, I would argue that the Democrats should not wait for 2008 to challenge the GOP. There is a slim chance that if the Bush administration, and the GOP in Congress, is humiliated, the Democrats can put together a legislative agenda unobstructed by two branches. And then, in 2008, the American people can judge that Democratic performance. I don’t want to wait for a year-and-a-half of lame sparring for some demonstrable results.
Also, Slate is as good a place as any to look at blogosphere reactions to the Libby commutation.
But, the last word goes to the Cato Institute and the only slamdunk argument on Libby I have read on what are a lot of partisan kvetches:
The federal criminal code now provides for more than 4,000 federal crimes and many harsh mandatory minimums. A more vigorous use of the pardon power could help mitigate the inevitable injustices. Even better would be the wholesale reform of the federal laws that lead to sentencing overkill in the first place.
President Bush could start the process by closing this year with mercy for some.
And, that don’t mean Scooter or Cheney! Read the entire article, Mr. President, and do some more pardoning!