Bush Commutes Libby Jail Term - Page 6

Bush Commutes Libby Jail Term
July 10th, 2007  
Bush Commutes Libby Jail Term
Originally Posted by Missileer
How about Marc Rich? Was he a criminal?
No. Marc Rich was accused of tax evasion, but he was never actually tried. Innocent until proven guilty.

Trying to compare Clinton to Libby is really comparing apples to oranges.

1. Libby was CONVICTED, Clinton was ACQUITTED.
2. Libby committed perjury covering-up a breach of National Security, Clinton committed perjury covering up an extramarital affair.
3. Clinton was punished (he was disbarred), Libby got off scott-free. This is hilarious turn of events if you consider #1. Crime pays.
4. Clinton prosecution came as a result of a political witchhunt launched by far right members of the GOP. Libby got in hot water because the CIA didn't like the White House was using its operatives in petty political payback.
July 10th, 2007  
Whether someone makes it to trial doesn't mean he didn't commit a crime.
Yessir, this guy was a real sweetheart compared to Libby who simply took the fall for his superiors.

The story of Clinton's
Marc Rich pardon
Co-conspirators serve time while multimillionaire enjoys clemency

Posted: February 5, 2001
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Timothy P. Carney
© 2001 Human Events
He wasn't born Rich. No, he was born Marc David Reich in Belgium in 1934 to a working-class Jewish father. Fearing the Nazis, his family fled to America in 1942, changed their name to Rich and tried to start life all over again.
Forty-one years later, Marc Rich was fleeing again, but this time the feared authority was not Adolph Hitler, but the assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Morris (Sandy) Weinberg. Rich's crimes included tax evasion, fraud and "trading with the enemy" -- Iran, during the hostage crisis.
Rich, by now a multimillionaire, was in Switzerland on the day his indictment came down and decided to stay. Once again, Rich started his life afresh, leaving his old wife Denise for a young blond model, changing the name of one of his Swiss firms and starting a new business.
On Jan. 20, President Clinton gave Rich a chance for a third "do-over." Clinton wiped all the criminal charges off of Rich's record with a presidential pardon on his last day in power. The Rich pardon has received special attention because Denise Rich raised and donated more than $1 million to the Democratic Party in recent years and also provided the Clintons directly with a $10,000 contribution to their legal defense fund and $7,300 worth of furniture.

Even left-wing newspapers and columnists have rebuked Clinton for pardoning Rich. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., declared himself "troubled." Bush White House lawyers looked into overturning the pardon, and House Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind., has launched an investigation.
The strange case started with the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973, which established a system of price controls on crude oil produced in or imported to the United States. In 1980 and '81, the Energy Department classified oil that came from wells that produce 10 barrels a day or less as "stripper" oil and exempted it from the price caps.
According to his 1983 indictment, Rich saw this regulation as a potential gold mine, setting up a scam to have his company's oil relabeled "stripper" oil by a reseller, and thus seemingly exempted from the price controls.
To hide this activity and the illegal profits it produced, says Sandy Weinberg, the lead prosecutor in the case, Rich allegedly had a reseller claim Rich's profits were really its own and then hand over the money through sham transactions to companies Rich controlled in Panama.
This led the government to charge Rich and his partner Pincus Green with fraud and the evasion of $42 million in taxes.
On top of that, Weinberg alleges, Rich bought crude oil from the Ayatollah Khomeini's Iran while Iran was holding U.S. citizens hostage. This was in direct violation of a U.S. trade embargo -- and, in effect, helped to arm the Iranians by giving them needed cash.
Bring all of these activities together into a concerted effort to make illegal profits, and you've got what the prosecutor called racketeering -- violating federal criminal statutes designed for busting the Mafia.
Rich's attorneys -- at the time of the investigation as well as in the consideration of the pardon -- uttered cries of "over-prosecution." They hoped an agreement could be reached. Rich's and Green's attorney, Edward Bennett Williams, met with Weinberg a few times in 1983 to offer a deal: The companies would pay $100 million if all charges were dropped.
This was on top of the $50,000 per day that Marc Rich was paying in contempt-of-court fines for not turning over certain documents. Every Friday, Rich paid $200,000, and every Monday, $150,000. The payments eventually equaled $21 million.
Rich started paying the fines only after the feds, following an anonymous tip, "reeled in a plane on the runway at JFK" (Weinberg's words) and found it was carrying a paralegal from a New York law firm who had checked on board with two steamer trunks full of subpoenaed documents.
The plane was on its way to Europe.
Weinberg recounts a June 1983 meeting with Williams, in which Williams put his feet up on the prosecutor's desk and made the pitch. In Weinberg's view, and in the view of his boss, then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani, Rich and Green deserved nothing short of jail time. If wealthy criminals could buy their way out of their misdeeds, the prosecutors felt, then they were effectively above the law.
Rich and Green, according to a few sources, were in Europe at the time of the negotiation. When Weinberg told Bennett, "No deal," the two businessmen decided not to come back. Three months later, a federal grand jury handed down an indictment for fraud, tax evasion and trading with the enemy.
The resellers who were the main co-conspirators in the "stripper oil" fraud were convicted and served 12 months in jail. Rich's companies pleaded guilty to 78 counts and paid over $150 million, while Rich and Green remained fugitives. Attempts at extradition failed.
That did not mean that they could not profit off the U.S. government. As then-Rep. Bob Wise, D-W.Va, unearthed in hearings in the early 1990s, while Rich was a fugitive the U.S. mint was contracting to buy metal from one of his companies.
Between fiscal years 1989 and 1992, the mint issued at least 21 separate contracts for nickel, zinc and copper to the company. Also, in 1988, the Defense Logistics Agency lifted its bar on contracting with the same company.
Wise characterized the scandal of dealing with the fugitive Rich this way: "I wonder how the average American taxpayer feels when they go to the shopping center and they reach into their pockets to pull out some change, some coins to pay the sales tax, which they are obligated to pay. And as they pull out that change and put those coins on the desk, they find that the person who provided the metal to the mint and is benefiting is accused of evading the very taxes that the citizen is paying. I don't think that sits very well with the American taxpayer."
But President Clinton completely ignored standard procedures in finally pardoning Rich. His action bypassed the Justice Department and blindsided Mary Jo White, the U.S. attorney who serves in the district formerly presided over by Giuliani.
Various lawyers had tried to get White to accept a plea-bargain from Rich for years. One of these lawyers, according to the New Yorker, was Lewis Libby, now chief of staff to Vice President Cheney. (Cheney's office did not return calls on the matter.)
But when Jack Quinn, Clinton's former White House counsel, took Rich as a client, things changed. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the Anti-Defamation League and, of course, mega-fundraiser Denise Rich all submitted letters directly to Clinton, through Quinn, requesting a pardon. Burton and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., now intend to investigate how the pardon came about. Did Clinton do it out of the kindness of his heart, or was there another consideration?

A few more of the innocent people pardoned by President Clinton.

MORISON, Samuel Loring
Willful transmission of defense information, unauthorized possession and retention of defense information, theft of government property.
Conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, conspiracy to export arms and ammunition to a foreign country and related charges.
YASAK, Joseph A.
Knowingly making under oath a false declaration regarding a material fact before a grand jury.
Susan H. McDougal
Mail fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1341; aiding and abetting in misapplication of Small Business Investment Corporation funds, 18 U.S.C. §§ 657 and 2; aiding and abetting in making false entries, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1006 and 2; aiding and abetting in making false statements, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1014 and 2

July 10th, 2007  
More pardongate.

FALN Pardons of 1999
Twelve jailed members of a Puerto-Rican "nationalist group" accepted the Clinton’s offer of conditional clemency. Eleven became eligible for release within days. The remaining individual had his 55-year sentence drastically reduced.

Each is a member of the F.A.L.N. (the Spanish initials for the "Armed Forces of National Liberation"). FALN carried out 150 bombings in the United States from 1974 to 1983. The bombs were placed - among other places - in police headquarters and luncheons, and six people were killed. More than eighty others were wounded. Bank robbery was another popular "protest activity" of FALN.

But Clinton’s act of forgiveness seemed unusual for other reasons. The Supreme Court has determined that the clemency power includes the power to pardon offenders or commute sentences (with, or without condition), grant general amnesties, remit fines and forfeitures, and delay sentences.

The President’s conditional commutation of FALN members was, however, opposed by Justice Department officials, the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, several U.S. Attorneys, and the National Association of Police Organizations. The House of Representatives condemned Clinton’s decision by a vote of 311 to 41. The U.S. Senate jumped on the pile with a resolution that called the decision "deplorable." Ninety-five Senators (of 100) supported the resolution.
Bush Commutes Libby Jail Term
July 10th, 2007  

Clinton didn't give a damn about Marc Rich, he didn't even know him and your're right he deserved to have gone to jail. I don't deny that either. I am not defending Rich, he was a crook and a fugitive. At No time did Clinton deny or condone what Rich had done. The reason Marc Rich was pardoned as is partly stated at the last paragraph of your own article:

He was pardoned was because it came as a personal request from Isreali prime minister Ehud Barak as well as certain other Jewish-American groups. You might remember that Clinton was negotiating for a Middle East Peace between Barak and Yassar Arafat. The pardon of Marc Rich (who is Jewish, and a major political contributor to the Isreali Labor Party) was seen as a small price to pay in order to get Israel to play ball. Rich didnt deserve to get pardoned, he was only pardoned for the greater good. I would have done the same deal.

The pardon of the Peurto Rican terrorists was simply a bad decision in my opinion. So far their is no consequence of that decision, but history will decide. I think Clinton was a good president, I don't agree with everything he did.

But there is a certain stench of corruption and hypocracy when you are pardoning a member of your own staff who was committing crimes of your own behalf. As bad as Nixon was he never pardoned his own break-in people, and Reagan never pardoned the Iran-Contra convictions either even though it was obvious he was involved as well.

Libby was not some distant campaign contributor or shadowy business partner. He was a member of the Bush inner circle. He was part of the Iraqi foreign policy mess that got this whole 'leak' business started in the beginning. It its especially outrageous when the president recongizes the error, publicly vowed to punish those responsible, and then does precisely the opposite.

Lets say your kids get caught breaking your neighbors window. You promise your neighbor you'll punish them and pay for damages. You tell your kids their 'punished' but don't actually do so (and privately reward them) while telling your neighboor that his broken property that your kid broke is his problem. Are you really being a responsible parent? Is it any wonder why the rest of the neighborhood hates your guts?
July 10th, 2007  
Originally Posted by mmarsh
But there is a certain stench of corruption and hypocracy when you are pardoning a member of your own staff who was committing crimes of your own behalf.
How about pardoning his Brother? Any stench there or do you reserve that description for Republicans?

Clinton pardons McDougal, brother

By The Associated Press

Others receiving pardons included Patty Hearst Shaw, former Arizona Gov. Fife Symington and Clinton's own brother, Roger, who was convicted on drug charges in 1984.

Or maybe a business partner? Was she committing crimes on his behalf?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Susan McDougal is looking forward to a new life now that she has a pardon from President Clinton excusing her for her Whitewater-related crimes.
"I get a fresh start, and it's a great feeling," Clinton's former Whitewater business partner said after he freed her from the burden of four fraud convictions.
July 11th, 2007  
Again, Not at all the same.

James McDougal was a crook and a conman. He went to Jail and wasn't pardoned. Susan McDougal conviction was a result of her refusing to coorporate with the Far Right "Get Clinton" Ken Starr persecution. That is in fact the only reason she went to jail. Ken Starr wasn't interested in her, he wanted to use her (because of her friendship with Hilary) to get to Bill Clinton in a very obvious political witch-hunt. She refused too play ball.

Roger Clinton I'd say you've got more of a point. Roger Clinton is a petty criminal, even his own family knows that. But, his crime was a petty dope possession, he was small potatoes. IHis pardon was a political back scratch, but Political back scratching isn't hardly anything new. If you prosecute Clinton on that you'll have to prosecute most, if not all US presidents.

But here the real difference. Neither his Roger Clinton nor Susan McDougal actually worked for the White House, nor were Federal Government Employees. BOTH of these crimes occurred way BEFORE Clinton was actually president, Nor were these crimes a breach of National Security.

The difference was Libby was a paid government official who, under orders of his boss (a sitting US vice-president) was involved in a crime that breached our Nations security and then he got caught and convicted for trying to cover that crime up. By Bush commuting his sentence Bush was sending the signal that he was above the law, and that law breaking is perfectly acceptable as long as its his service. I am sure most of the worlds dictators would agree with that belief. Vladimir Putin comes to mind of having a similar mentality...
July 11th, 2007  
Originally Posted by mmarsh
The difference was Libby was a paid government official who, under orders of his boss (a sitting US vice-president) was involved in a crime that breached our Nations security and then he got caught and convicted for trying to cover that crime up. By Bush commuting his sentence Bush was sending the signal that he was above the law, and that law breaking is perfectly acceptable as long as its his service. I am sure most of the worlds dictators would agree with that belief. Vladimir Putin comes to mind of having a similar mentality...
Once again, you're willing to downplay one moral decision and scream to the world about what a horrible mistake the other moral decision was. You made a statement for everyone to read that has zero facts to back it up. How come only you know that Vice President Cheney ordered Libby to lie?
As for being a threat to the security of our country, that is false. Valerie Plame was a desk jockey and had not been a field operative for many years.

Could you tell me exactly what Libby was finally convicted of? Was it for "outing" a covert agent? If not, how could he possibly have threatened the country's security?
July 11th, 2007  
I am not the only one to think Cheney was involved, Patrick Fitzgerald thought Cheney was involved.

The Fitzgerald report states "There is a cloud that hangs over the vice-president".


Translation: He's guilty, we just don't have enough evidence to prove it (yet). I bet the WH document shredding department was working overtime the past few months.

Libby was Cheney's Chief of Staff, thats the #2 guy, and given his very close relationship to Cheney, and Cheney's secretive nature, I would say Libby knew more about the ins-and-outs of Washington DC than certain members of the Bush cabinet. Its clear why he was given a lesser sentence, Libby told his bosses that if he got sent to jail he would start "remembering" certain details to Fitzgerald about the leak and probably on a lot more on other subjects.

Libby was convicted of covering up the leak and lying to investigators. But here's the thing, one cannot be convicted of perjury if he/she doesn't know the truth. Its common sense. If Libby didn't know what was really going on, he wouldn't have tried to stall investigators.

The reason he perjured himself was because he WAS involved. He didn't blow the CIA agents cover himself thats true, but he aided those who did. That makes him an accessory to the crime.
July 11th, 2007  
Very seldom do I use biographies as a source of information but let me clue you in on a book written by the guy who was in the know from the get-go. Robert Novak. I've read it and he lays out the whole process that caused this to hit the press. Here are a few exerpts but I suggest you read the whole book. You may poo-poo the man but I think he wrote the truth. The liberal press just picked up the truth and turned it into crap.

Robert Novak Dishes on Valerie Plame and Hubby

July 03, 2007 08:53 AM ET | Bedard, Paul | Permanent Link

It's not often that a political book hyped as a "tell-all" actually delivers the dirt, but that's certainly not the story in Robert Novak's fast-paced bio The Prince of Darkness, 50 Years Reporting in Washington .

Let's get right to the point: Did the administration leak former CIA officer Valerie Plame's name to him to punish her hubby, Joe Wilson, who had blasted the president's claim that Iraq was shopping for uranium in Niger? Nope. He says that it was just an afterthought from his source, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. In fact, it wasn't even a leak. Armitage was just asking a question about Wilson, whom Novak met two days before, July 6, 2003, in the Meet the Press green room. According to an advance copy of Prince provided to Whispers, Novak entered the normally quiet green room only to see Joe Wilson (whom he didn't know) boasting about his fact-finding mission to Niger, where he found no evidence that Saddam Hussein was hunting for uranium like the president claimed about in his State of the Union address.

"He kept saying, 'We did this' and 'We did that.' The 'we,' I soon surmised, consisted of the National Security Council staff in the departed Clinton administration. He was making clear that 'we' handled affairs better than 'they'--the Bush NSC--did now. In view of what followed, I hope I can be excused for the vulgarism that crossed my mind: 'What an *******!' "

Two days later, and after getting up to speed on Wilson's claims, Novak was wrapping up a previously scheduled interview with Armitage when he asked why the CIA would send Wilson, a diplomat with no nuclear proliferation experience, to Niger. " 'Well,' Armitage said, 'you know his wife works at the CIA, and she suggested that he be sent to Niger.' 'His wife works for the CIA?' I [Novak] asked.

'Yeah, in counterproliferation,' " said Armitage. After mentioning her first name, "Valerie," Novak says that Armitage even joked, "that's real Evans and Novak, isn't it," a reference to the type of insider gossip Novak and his deceased former colleague Rowland Evans used to traffic in.

Writes Novak: "I interpreted that as meaning Armitage expected to see the item published in my column." He added: "I am sure it was not a planned leak but came out as an offhand observation."

The rest is history. Novak was investigated in the CIA spy case, slammed by fellow journalists for "outing" an agent, the subject of what he calls false stories, kicked off his regular CNN gig, and barred from Meet the Press for two years-and out $160,000 in legal fees. Still, he writes, "Judging it on the merits, I would still write the story."
Other tidbits:

--He feels betrayed by David Corn of the Nation, whom he liked sparring with on CNN's old Crossfire program. He said Corn laid the basis for what would become the attacks on Novak: that he let the Bush administration use him to take a shot at a critic.

--He raps Newsday's Timothy M. Phelps for writing that Novak said his sources came to him with the Plame tip. "My Newsday quote was reprinted endlessly for years to come, as was Phelps's introductory statement to what I said: 'Novak, in an interview, said his sources had come to him with the information.' I said no such thing."

--Novak assailed some of the Washington Post's coverage of the Justice Department's probe into the CIA leak case, specifically the claim that the administration was shopping the Plame story around town and that she was "fair game" because of Wilson's attacks on the president.

Writes Novak: "It was one thing to be attacked frontally by Joe Wilson and sniped at in the Nation and Newsday. It was much more serious to be misrepresented in the Washington Post, the paper to which I owed so much. Those misrepresentations became the perceived truth about me."

--Novak really hated a story written by the Baltimore Sun suggesting that he loved the attention of the case and investigation. And don't get him started about the bloggers: "I was daily accused of treason and denounced in the most obscene terms, with personal threats against me and my family--even my grandchildren."

--The betrayal he felt from fellow reporters, he said, was summed up in a New York Times column by Geneva Overholser, a former Washington Post ombudsman, which alleged "ethical lapses" by Novak for attacking whistleblower Wilson and his wife. He recalled meeting her for the first time at a party following the annual Gridiron Club dinner when she confronted him face to face: "I don't see how you can stand to see yourself in the mirror in the morning. You're a disgrace to journalism."

--Novak felt more betrayal from conservative pal Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard. He recalls watching Kristol on C-SPAN as the magazine editor distanced himself from Novak, whose conduct in the CIA leak case he called "reprehensible."

Still, at age 75, Novak sounds satisfied and happy with his extraordinary career, which started with the Joliet Herald-News in 1948, where he made $42.50 a week. He made as much as $1.2 million in 2004, writing his column and appearing on CNN before the floor fell out. "I made a lot less than that in 2006. My profile for Fox News was much smaller than it had been at CNN, but I was treated with respect and permitted to deliver commentaries by myself without debating left-wing counterparts. The CIA case did not keep me off the air there as it had at CNN. I also became a TV commentator for Bloomberg News, working with old CNN colleagues Margaret Carlson and Al Hunt. My workload was diminished to a level appropriate for a 75-year-old. I had more time for my column, which several readers actually told me had improved after I left CNN."

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