Sunday, October 30, 2005

People in need of an appointment with reality, part IV

I. Lewis Libby has only been indicted; Karl Rove has not been. You shouldn't need a J.D., which John Cornyn has, to understand that a grand jury indictment is far from conviction, that the trial itself hasn't even begun.

But Harry Reid just doesn't get it.
WASHINGTON Oct 30, 2005 — Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said Sunday that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should apologize for the actions of their aides in the CIA leak case.

Reid, D-Nev., also said Bush should pledge not to pardon any aides convicted as a result of the investigation into the disclosure of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity.


"There has not been an apology to the American people for this obvious problem in the White House," Reid said. He said Bush and Cheney "should come clean with the American public."

Reid added, "This has gotten way out of hand, and the American people deserve better than this."

Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, resigned Friday after he was indicted on five charges relating to statements he made to the FBI and a grand jury investigating the Plame leak.

Reid also said that Karl Rove, the president' closest political adviser, should step down. Rove has not been charged with a crime.

The closest the indictment comes to Rove is its discussion of an unnamed senior White House official who talked to columnist Robert Novak about Plame and discussed the matter with Libby. That could describe Rove.

The prosecutor in the CIA leak case has said his investigation is "not quite done," but declined comment on Rove during a news conference on Friday.

"If you ask me any name, I'm not going to comment on anyone named, because we either charged someone or we don't talk about them," Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald said.

When the investigation began, the White House denied that Rove had been involved. Bush promised to fire anyone on his staff responsible for such a leak. He later stepped back, saying just that he would remove aides who committed crimes.

"I think Karl Rove should step down," Reid said. "Here is a man who the president said if he was involved, if anyone in the administration was involved, out they would go." ...

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said it was premature to discuss a presidential pardon because no one has been convicted in the investigation.

"People who actually were trying to use this, of course, to the president's political disadvantage, I think, are going to be disappointed by the fact that this appears to be limited to a single individual," Cornyn said.
Not that I'm a knee-jerk Republican shill, but Cornyn couldn't have said it any better. This has become so politicized that Democrats aren't interested in the truth, like one of my old co-workers who simply wanted to see Karl Rove jailed, period, just because Rove is a prominent Republican and hence must be guilty of something.

Nor were Democrats interested in the truth in 1998 or 2001. In demanding that President Bush not issue any pardons related to this NadaGate, is Reid just ignorant or is he willfully ignoring all the pardons that Clinton issued in his final hours at the White House? There are familiar names like Roger Clinton, Jr., John Deutch and Patty Hearst. But chief among the long list:
  • Henry Cisneros -- convicted of lying to FBI investigators, who were scrunitizing payments that he had made to a former mistress, Linda Medlar (aka Linda Jones). Cisneros got off easy, pleading guilty to a single misdemeanor charge that garnered only a $10,000 fine and no jail time. Medlar pled guilty to 28 charges (including lying to investigators and bank fraud) and was sentenced to three years in prison...but she eventually got a Clinton pardon too.
Imagine that: a member of Clinton's cabinet -- a major part of what Clinton said would be "the most ethical administration" -- was convicted of lying to investigators, regarding hush money paid out before he was appointed HUD Secretary, and it's all but forgotten today.
  • Susan McDougal -- Whitewater. She was covering up something so large that she preferred jail to testifying; no need to say more.

  • Marc Rich -- the billionaire who, from 1983 through his pardon in 2001, lived in Switzerland as a fugitive from U.S. law enforcement. He was accused of tax evasion, wire fraud, and even doing business with the enemy (illegally trading in Iranian oil while Americans were held hostage in our Tehran embassy). Could his pardon have had anything to do with his wife's generous contributions to Democrats, including Hillary's 2000 Senate campaign? Now Rich is being implicated in the Oil-for-Food scandal -- perhaps if indicted, he'll flee back to Switzerland in the hope Hillary can someday pardon him.

For all the rest of us know right now, Libby might be as guilty as sin. Yet what about what Democrats demanded in 1998, that a man is entitled to a fair trial? What Reid is saying is pure hypocrisy. And even if Libby is guilty of what are, at most, mild lies, President Bush pardoning him would be nothing compared to the 141 questionable "midnight pardons" that Bill Clinton issued.

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People in need of an an appointment with reality
People in need of an an appointment with reality, part II
People in need of an an appointment with reality, part III

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