Bush is One Tough Hombre
By Paul Begala
07/03/07 "Huffington Post" -- -- Tough enough to execute
Karla Fay Tucker -- and then laugh about it. Tough enough to
sign a death warrant for a man whose lawyer slept through
the trial -- and then snicker when asked about it in a
debate. Even tough enough to execute a great-grandmother who
murdered her husband -- after he abused her. A friend of
mine at the time asked Bush to commute her sentence, telling
him, "Betty Lou ain't a threat to no one she ain't married
to." No dice.
Mr. Bush is tough enough to invade a country that was no
risk to America, causing tens of thousands of civilian
deaths and shedding precious American blood in the process.
Tough enough to sanction torture. Tough enough to order an
American citizen arrested and held without trial.
But if you're rich and right-wing and Republican, George is
a real softie. As George W. Bush demonstrated in giving
Scooter Libby a Get Out of Jail Free Card, he is only
compassionate to conservatives.
What does it say about America in the age of Bush when
Judith Miller spends more time in jail over the Valerie
Plame smear than Scooter Libby?
One thing it says is that Mr. Bush and his partner in crime,
Dick Cheney, believe they are above the law. The commutation
of Libby confirms the belief that Mr. Libby lied to the FBI,
perjured himself to the grand jury, and obstructed a federal
criminal investigation in order to cover up the role Bush
and Cheney played in smearing Joe Wilson and ruining the
career of his CIA operative wife.
The arrogance of the act is astounding. In commuting Libby's
sentence, Mr. Bush did not follow his own Justice
Department's guidelines, which do not recommend commutations
unless the convict has begun serving his or her sentence,
and has dropped or exhausted all appeals. Of course, Mr.
Bush is free to disregard those guidelines, as President
Clinton did when he pardoned Marc Rich. The Rich pardon was
wrong, in my opinion. But Marc Rich was a fugitive
financier; Clinton did not benefit at all from Rich's
crimes. Scooter Libby is a Bush-Cheney operative who may
well have been doing Bush and Cheney's bidding when he
obstructed the investigation into how and Valerie and Joe
Wilson were smeared. (By the way, like many Democrats I
spoke out publicly against the Rich pardon -- which Scooter
Libby helped to arrange. Let's see how many Republicans have
the character to speak out against this injustice.)
It's interesting that we still have the capacity to be
shocked by the extra-legal acts of this crowd. They came to
power by stealing an election, by staging a near-riot to
stop the counting of ballots in Miami, and by virtue of a
Supreme Court edict that has joined Dred Scott in the
judicial hall of shame. From that day to this Mr. Bush and
Mr. Cheney have held the rule of law in contempt.
And we still have 567 days to go.
on "comments" below to
read or post comments
Be succinct, constructive and
relevant to the story.
encourage engaging, diverse and
meaningful commentary. Do not
include personal information such
as names, addresses, phone
numbers and emails. Comments
falling outside our guidelines
those including personal
attacks and profanity are
See our complete
this link to notify us if you
have concerns about a comment.
Well promptly review and
remove any inappropriate
Send Page To a Friend
with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational
purposes. Information Clearing House has no
affiliation whatsoever with the originator of
this article nor is Information ClearingHouse
endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)