Monday 18th of November 2019

independence day .....

 

independence day .....

Bush Rationale on Libby Stirs Legal Debate

By ADAM LIPTAK

Published: July 4, 2007

In commuting I. Lewis Libby Jr.'s 30-month prison sentence on Monday, President Bush drew on the same array of arguments about the federal sentencing system often made by defense lawyers - and routinely and strenuously opposed by his own Justice Department.

Critics of the system have a long list of complaints. Sentences, they say, are too harsh. Judges are allowed to take account of facts not proven to the jury. The defendant's positive contributions are ignored, as is the collateral damage that imprisonment causes the families involved.

On Monday, Mr. Bush made use of every element of that critique in a detailed statement setting out his reasons for commuting Mr. Libby's sentence - handing an unexpected gift to defense lawyers around the country, who scrambled to make use of the president's arguments in their own cases.

Given the administration's tough stand on sentencing, the president's arguments left experts in sentencing law scratching their heads.

"The Bush administration, in some sense following the leads of three previous administrations, has repeatedly supported a federal sentencing system that is distinctly disrespectful of the very arguments that Bush has put forward in cutting Libby a break," said Douglas A. Berman, a law professor at Ohio State University who writes the blog Sentencing Law and Policy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/04/washington/04commute.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

A good lying American...

'Imploding' presidency in no mood for celebration on Independence Day By Rupert Cornwell in Washington Published: 04 July 2007

For Americans, the 4th of July is a time for celebration. For George Bush however, today's Independence Day holiday is another date in the calendar of an imploding presidency without parallel in recent history.

The latest, albeit probably relatively minor, blow to Mr Bush's standing was his move on Monday to commute the 30-month jail sentence imposed on Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice-President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, for perjury in the CIA leak case.

The decision has been greeted with predictable outrage by Democrats, who accuse Mr Bush of cronyism and contempt for the law. But although polls have shown that some 70 per cent of Americans opposed any idea of a pardon for Libby, so weak has Mr Bush become that the decision could actually strengthen him - by shoring up support among the conservative faithful, Mr Bush's core constituency, who believe the real outrage was Libby's conviction in the first place.

"I am very happy for Scooter Libby. This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life," said Fred Thompson, unabashed conservative and soon-to-be-declared Republican presidential candidate, who helped organise a Libby defence fund.

At his daily briefing yesterday, the White House spokesman Tony Snow not only defended the decision to commute the prison term, but even held the door open to a full pardon.

protected species .....

’Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been a long-serving intelligence agent for Israel's Mossad, according to a veteran CIA "official cover" officer who spoke to WMR on deep background. The CIA's Clandestine Service has, over the years, gathered a tremendous amount of intelligence on Libby's activities on behalf of Mossad.

Libby served as the lawyer for Switzerland-based American fugitive financier Marc Rich, aka Mark David Reich, who is also known to be an Israeli intelligence asset and someone Israel relies upon for missions that demand "plausible deniability" on the part of the Mossad. Rich heads up a worldwide empire of dummy corporations, foundations, and numbered bank accounts that have been involved in sanctions busting and weapons smuggling. The nations involved include Israel, United States, United Kingdom, Iran, Panama, Colombia, Russia, Iraq (under Saddam Hussein), Cuba, Spain, Nigeria, Singapore, Bolivia, Jamaica, Bermuda, France, Italy, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Ireland, Zambia, Sweden, Monaco, and apartheid South Africa.

In 1983, the then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York urged jail time for Rich and his partner Pincus Green for racketeering. The name of that U.S. Attorney is Rudolph Giuliani. Giuliani, who is now running for president, praised Bush's decision to commute Libby's jail sentence. After Clinton's pardon of Rich, Giuliani said he was "shocked." Paul Klebnikov, the Moscow editor for Forbes' Russian edition, wrote about the connections of Rich to Russian gangsters like Boris Berezovsky, a business partner of Neil Bush, in his book "Godfather of the Kremlin." Klebnikov was shot to death gangland-style on a Moscow street on July 9, 2004.

Libby not only provided the Mossad with a top agent inside the White House but also an important conduit for the Russian-Israeli Mafia.

Libby arranged for Rich's eleventh hour pardon by outgoing President Bill Clinton in January 2001. The pardon of Rich was urged in a phone call to Clinton by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, as well as Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert.

Yesterday, Libby received a commutation of his 30-month prison sentence from President George W. Bush. Libby was convicted on four counts of perjury, lying to a federal law enforcement officer, and obstruction of justice in the investigation by U.S. Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald of the White House's leak to the media of the identity CIA non-official cover officer Valerie Plame Wilson.

Libby was denied bail by U.S. Judge Reggie Walton and was ordered to prison while appealing his sentence. Libby was assigned Bureau of Prisons inmate number 28301-016.

Libby worked for Paul Wolfowitz in the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 1982 to 1985. Libby again worked for Wolfowitz in the Pentagon as the Principal Undersecretary for Strategy and Resources. Libby later became the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and served as a chief aide to Defense Secretary Dick Cheney.

It was while Libby was working for Wolfowitz at State, the FBI arrested Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who had delivered enough highly-classified U.S. documents they could have entirely filled a garage. It was well known that Pollard had a "control officer" within the Reagan administration. The control officer was code-named "Mega."

Current British Lord Chancellor and former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that during Middle East peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, "It's a toss-up whether [Libby] is working for the Israelis or the Americans on any given day." Clinton's Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Government Affairs Committee in 2001 that he discovered much more about Rich after Clinton's pardon and said, "Knowing everything that I know now, I would not have recommended to the president that he grant the pardon."

It has also been reported that, in addition to pressure from leading neocons in the United States to keep Libby out of jail, Bush was urged by leading Israeli government officials to prevent Libby from going to prison.

Fitzgerald issued the following statement regarding Bush's commutation of Libby's prison sentence:

"We fully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment on the exercise of that prerogative.

We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as 'excessive.' The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

Although the President’s decision eliminates Mr. Libby’s sentence of imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies, and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process.’

Wayne Madsen Report

Jul 3, 2007

Scratch my back I'll....

Scooter Libby and Luis Posada

 

How to Walk in Bushtime

By SAUL LANDAU

How does the commutation of the prison sentence of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, coincide with the release by a federal judge of Luis Posada Carriles, former top terrorist of the Western Hemisphere?

Answer: Both the commuted and the released could have spilled the beans on powerful officials for criminal conspiracies. 
...

Before Libby became Cheney's Boy Friday, he had already crisscrossed the world of pardons and influence peddling. Ironically, Republicans pointed to Clinton's pardon of Switzerland-based American fugitive financier Marc Rich when Democrats complained about Bush's "lenience" on Libby. Did they forget that Libby was Rich's attorney, the key man responsible for arranging Clinton's January 2001 pardon?

Leading then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Israeli political heavies Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert phoned Clinton to ask his indulgence. Former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit "praised Rich for helping in 'the rescue and evacuation of Jews from enemy countries' and searching for missing Israeli soldiers. Israeli officials also praised Rich for putting up $400,000 in 1984 that was used by Egypt as compensation after the murders of Israeli tourists by an Egyptian policeman in the Sinai desert." (Michael Dobbs, Washington Post Feb 24, 2001)

In 1983, the aggressive Rudy Giuliani, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, pushed for Rich to serve prison time for racketeering. In 2001, New York Mayor Giuliani, not yet a presidential contender, was "shocked that the President of the United States would pardon" Rich. But in June 2007, presidential aspirant Giuliani commended Bush's commutation. "I think the sentence was way out of line." Ah principle!

Bush leaked Plame

Bush 'involved' in CIA leak case

A former White House press secretary has said the US president was involved in misinforming the public over the leaking of a CIA agent's identity.

In an excerpt from his book, Scott McClellan says George W Bush helped mislead the public over the role in the affair of two White House aides.

The CIA agent, Valerie Plame, says her identity was leaked because her diplomat husband opposed the Iraq war.

The White House said Mr Bush would not ask anyone to pass false information.

Lawsuit

Mr McClellan's book is not scheduled for publication until April and the excerpt released was brief.

It refers to a White House press conference he attended in 2003.

At the conference, Mr McClellan told journalists that the two aides Karl Rove and Lewis "Scooter" Libby were "not involved" in leaking Ms Plame's identity.

The excerpt reads: "There was one problem. It was not true.

"I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice-president, the president's chief of staff, and the president himself."

He defended the indefensible...

Press Secretary Relished Job

By Peter Baker
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, July 13, 2008; A01

Tony Snow, the former television and radio talk show host who became President Bush's chief spokesman and redefined the role of White House press secretary with his lively banter with reporters, died yesterday at Georgetown University Hospital after losing a high-profile battle with cancer. He was 53.

Snow had colon cancer diagnosed and treated in 2005, a year before joining the White House staff. He found out it had returned after an operation in March 2007 to remove what doctors thought was a benign growth in his lower abdomen. The cancer had spread to his liver, forcing him off the podium for treatment. Snow vowed to fight the disease and return to the briefing room but announced six months later that he was leaving his $168,000-a-year job because he needed to recoup the income he lost when he left his job as a radio and television host. He later joined CNN as a commentator.

In a statement issued by the White House, President Bush said, "Tony was one of our Nation's finest writers and commentators. . . . It was a joy to watch Tony at the podium each day. He brought wit, grace, and a great love of country to his work."

In his brief tenure as the president's public advocate, Snow became perhaps the best-known face of the Bush administration after the president, vice president and secretary of state. Parlaying skills honed during years at Fox News, he offered a daily televised defense of the embattled president that was robust and at times even combative while repairing strained relations with a press corps frustrated by years of rote talking points.

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May Tony Snow rest in peace... May President Bush go out in disgrace...

kosher pizza and jewish prayers...

Abramoff, From Prison to a Pizzeria Job

By MARK LEIBOVICH

BALTIMORE — Like any new employee, Jack Abramoff is trying to keep a low profile — or as low a profile as a cause célèbre disgraced lobbyist and convicted felon can keep when news cameramen keep staking out his new workplace.

Mr. Abramoff started his new gig this week at Tov Pizza — “the best kosher pizza in town,” according to a catchy jingle that plays while callers are on hold.

He has so far stayed largely cloistered in a back office. He will work about 40 hours a week, said the owner, Ron Rosenbluth. He comes in around 10:30 a.m., leaves around 5:30 p.m., and wears a yarmulke to work, as many of the male customers and employees here do. He earns between $7.50 and $10 an hour (“or a little less than what he used to make”). He has been responsible, punctual, courteous. “He is not the monster he has been portrayed as,” Mr. Rosenbluth said.

Mr. Abramoff did not appear at the front of the restaurant during a two-hour stretch late Wednesday afternoon as families walked in and out, having ordered slices, veggie burgers and baked ziti. There was, however, a chance sighting in a back office (he wore a red polo shirt and appeared to be reading something).

He declined a request for an interview through Mr. Rosenbluth, and departed through a side entrance, skirting photographers waiting for him in a parking lot.

It is too soon to tell if Mr. Abramoff is cut out for a career in the pizza business, Mr. Rosenbluth said Wednesday. “He’s only been here three days,” said Mr. Rosenbluth, who has been here 26 years.

But of course, Mr. Abramoff stands out among the 18 people who work here. He is that Jack Abramoff, the former lobbying macher who pleaded guilty in 2006 to felony counts involving fraud, corruption and conspiracy, and served three and a half years at a minimum security prison camp in Cumberland, Md. He is now living at a nearby halfway house, which arranged for Mr. Abramoff’s employment here.

“People ask me, ‘Why would you ever hire Jack Abramoff?’ ” said Mr. Rosenbluth, who said he has not bothered to learn much about Mr. Abramoff’s past. “I say, ‘Why wouldn’t I hire Jack Abramoff?’ He’s paying his debt to society, right?”

While in prison, Mr. Abramoff reportedly gave regular Torah lectures, according to a report this week in The Baltimore Jewish Times, quoting a former inmate. Mr. Abramoff focused on Jewish law and also led an introduction to prayer course, the publication said.