Of course Bush will pardon Libby

As reported in Newsday, the Bush Administration has already started shopping the notion of Bush pardoning Lewis “Scooter” Libby.  The advantages to Bush are obvious:

Bush has powerful incentives to pardon Libby, however. They range from rewarding past loyalty to ending the awkward revelations emerging from pretrial motions, a flow that could worsen in his trial next year.

Although the Newsday article frames the discussion as though a Libby pardon is still just one possibility under consideration, one gets the distinct impression this is a done deal — with the only issue remaining one of timing.  Will Bush act preemptively, by granting an early pardon before Libby even goes to trial, or, instead, follow his father’s example by waiting until the very last day of his administration to grant whatever pardons are needed to keep the family’s dirty laundry well hidden?

Newsday, quoting an attorney with presumed inside information, suggests that the timing of the pardon may depend on the outcome of this year’s congressional elections:

If Republicans retain control of Congress, Bush could act swiftly. But if Democrats win control of the House or Senate, Bush might wait, and use Libby’s trial as an excuse not to cooperate with any congressional investigations into the leak.

I doubt this.  In fact, I think it’s a virtual cinch that Bush will pardon Libby well before the start of any trial, regardless of what happens in the midterm elections.  This best reflects his long standing pattern; when faced with any sort of scandal, Bush always stonewalls every step of the way.

– Are there politically embarrassing aspects to Cheney’s Big Oil hugging energy task force?  No problem, just steadfastly refuse to release any pertinent information; go all the way to the Supreme Court if you have to.

– Are there papers from the Reagan Administration due to be made public that could cast a bad light on dear old Dad (and members of junior’s administration)?  Hey, don’t sweat the small stuff; just ignore the law.

– Are Lawsuits being filed that might prove that Bush, or at least the people around Bush, have authorized the torture of prisoners?  It’s good to be the king: Just get those silly lawsuits thrown out of court based upon the need to preserve the secrecy of national security information.

– You say Bush & Co. told a pot full of lies that landed this country in a God forsaken war?  So what’s the big problemo?  You still have Pat Roberts’s phone number, right?

– Karl Rove helped to out a CIA agent for political reasons?  Oh well, you know what to do.  Stonewall, stonewall and then stonewall some more.  Don’t give an inch — not even one lousy millimeter.

So why would Bush want to change a winning routine now? 
My guess is that Bush will pardon Libby soon after the midterm elections.  And if a Democratic Congress then decides to hold hearings, the administration will simply refuse to cooperate, citing national security and executive privilege.

If Congress issues subpoenas, Bush will refuse to honor them.  Instead, he’ll go on a media blitz, with plenty of help from his dependable toadies in the pundit elite, accusing the Democrats of playing politics with national security.  At least a few moderate Democrats will then dutifully pee in their pants and refuse to vote in favor of a contempt of Congress resolution.  So-called moderate Republicans will go on camera to demand that the administration be forthright: “No cover-ups will be tolerated,” they’ll scream.  But when the crucial votes come, somehow they’ll find a way to do the “right thing” for good old President George W.

And so it will continue until a new season of American Idol comes along and knocks the whole controversy off of page 11 for good. 

4 Responses to “Of course Bush will pardon Libby”

  1. Chuck Says:


    Just how far do presidential pardons go? Could Libby be indicted on separate but related charges under a democratic congress &/or president in 2008 or 2012? Could Rove? Could the whole thing be re-opened? Could all the things Steve mentioned above be brought up again? I don’t know.

  2. Chuck Says:

    Along those same lines, What if? If the 2000 &/or 2004 elections were found to be fraudulant, illeagal, would that make everything he signed null & void? If the 2000 election was illeagal, wouldn’t that, perforce, make the 2004 election void? How can someone be re-elected who was not elected in the first place?

  3. Again Says:


    would that make everything he signed null & void?

    as far as i know judges and lawmakers, they can’t allow that - because of this principle “legal certainty” or something like that. At least the ones that act according to law will be protected even in case of simply wrong laws

    most of the Nazi-judges weren’t impeached because of that - so why should american officers/judges not be allowed to protect themselves under “legal certainty”?

  4. alwayshope Says:

    Anyone see Frontline last night? It was called “The Dark Side”, so , of course it was about Dick Cheney. It just laid all the lies and manipulations out there.
    The question might be, will Cheney pardon Libby? Oh sure, bush will have to sign it but in the end, he’ll do what the cabal says to do.

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