Pubdate: Tue, 10 Jul 2007
Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)
Copyright: 2007 Amarillo Globe-News
Author: Greg Sagan


This is a little unusual for me, but I really must compliment
President Bush for commuting I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's sentence last

In case you've been living in a world modern media don't reach, Libby
was convicted in March of lying to federal prosecutors and obstructing
justice in the "outing" of CIA covert agent/employee Valerie Plame.

I know a lot of people are frothing at the mouth over the president's
action, and with good reason.

Republicans impeached President Clinton for a similar crime based on a
far less heinous predicate act.

George W. Bush issued about the lowest number of pardons of any Texas
governor since the Civil War, but here he is.

And so on.

But President Bush accomplished two salutary tasks with his decision
to commute Libby's prison term.

First, he made it clear that Libby was not the man in the
administration against whom legal action for revealing Plame's
association with the CIA should be directed.

You can draw your own conclusions about this, but regardless of
Plame's "covert status," it was President Bush himself who said that
he would take appropriate action against anyone in his administration
found to be a source for the original Robert Novak column that
fingered her.

My own conclusion is that Libby was the fall guy. If that is the
truth, we must ask: For whom was he taking the fall?

Certainly not Novak. Certainly not former Deputy Secretary of State
Richard Armitage. Who could it be?

Based on what the administration has revealed so far, the only people
in the White House who could command such loyalty from the vice
president's chief of staff would be either the vice president or
presidential political adviser Karl Rove.

By commuting Libby's prison sentence in this case, Bush has pointed
the finger of suspicion right at his own inner circle.

Since the president is at the center of his inner circle, well
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