Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Pardoning Scooter Libby - A Message for America's Youth

My first reaction to the pardoning of Louis J. “Scooter” Libby was outrage. Libby, it seemed to me, fell within the same category as the recently deposed World Bank President and head of the Agency for International Development (See my blog of 4-28 “Do as I say not as I do.”) But Libby’s crime (he still stands convicted of a felony) was different. Almost certainly he perjured himself to protect his boss, Vice President Cheney and possibly the President himself. One can feel compassion for the pressures brought to bear on him and sadness at the price he had to pay. At a much lower level as a young military officer, I faced similar pressures and compromised. I did so out of concern not only for myself by for my young wife and child.

On the 4th of July weekend, we can celebrate the fact that the rule of law still survives in America, despite the efforts of some within the administration, sadly, it appears that the Attorney General is one of them, to subvert it.

In the wake of Mr. Libby’s commutation (President Bush holds out the possibility of a full pardon later) one might hope that compassion might be extended to others. Commentaries on the commutation mentioned other cases of equal merit that had not received Presidential attention. It is difficult to be optimistic, however. President Bush’s message for America’s youth is that there is one “rule of law” for the politically well connected that support his policies and a different rule of law for the rest of us.


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