Some More Reaction

Brian Zick

Think Progress quotes from several newspaper editorials across the country which voiced disapproval of Bush's crony commutation. The New York Times: Mr. Bush did not sound like a leader making tough decisions about justice. He sounded like a man worried about what a former loyalist might say when actually staring into a prison cell. The Washington Post: reducing the sentence to no prison time at all, as Mr. Bush did — to probation and a large fine — is not defensible. Chicago Tribune: Bush sent a terrible message to citizens and to government officials who are expected to serve the public with integrity. Dallas Morning News: Apparently there’s an exception when the criminal is a member of President Bush’s inner circle. San Francisco Chronicle: President Bush sent the message that perjury and obstruction of justice in the service of the president of the United States are not serious crimes.E&P has more Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "President Bush's commutation of a pal's prison sentence counts as a most shocking act of disrespect for the U.S. justice system. It's the latest sign of the huge repairs to American concepts of the rule of law that await the next president." The Denver Post: "such big-footing of other branches of government is not unprecedented with this administration. The president's abuse of signing statements show his disrespect for Congress' power to make law. His insistence that terror detainees at Guantanamo Bay be denied Habeas Corpus rights mocks legal tradition. It's a shame that his actions in the Libby affair will add to that list. Libby should be held accountable for his crimes." The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: mostly this commutation fails on the most basic premise. There was no miscarriage of justice in Libby's conviction or his sentence. The trial amply demonstrated that he stonewalled. The Arizona Republic: "We thought Scooter Libby was going through the criminal justice system. Just like anyone else. Then, President Bush whipped out a get-out-of-jail-free card. This is the wrong game to play on a very public stage." San Jose Mercury News: Other presidents have doled out pardons and the like, usually on the way out of office. It's never pretty. But few have placed themselves above the law as Bush, Cheney and friends repeatedly have done by trampling civil liberties and denying due process. The Sacramento Bee: President Bush, a recent story in the Washington Post tells us, is obsessed with the question of how history will view him. He has done himself no favors on that count by commuting the prison term of I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby.

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