Archive for July 2nd, 2007

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As Long As Bush Is Commuting “Excessive” Sentences…(Update: Nevermind)

July 2, 2007

Bush got busy today playing politics with the justice system and decided to commute Scooter Libby’s prison sentence:

I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.

No doubt there will be plenty of debate over this over the next week.  I’m probably the 12,645th blogger to comment on it in the last hour alone, actually.  I realize that this was a politically motivated action, and I’m really not going to place as much blame on Bush as others would for this.  I mean, the guy has very little to lose at this point.  He kinda split the difference here, and maybe it’s better that way.  Let’s face it, he could have given Libby a full pardon without taking much more of a dent politically.

I’m commenting here because of Bush’s referral of Libby’s prison sentence as “excessive”.  That’s probably his opinion, and I’m not sure if that’s the opinion of the nation as a whole, but he’s the President.  But this word “excessive” reminded me of another convicted felon that has been featured here in the Chamber before: Genarlow Wilson

Here we have a kid that is 2 years into a 10-year sentence for receiving (consensual) oral sex from a 15-year-old when he was just 17.  You’d think this thing happens every day in America, but because of a legal loophole in the state where the act occurred, Mr. Wilson got the shaft.  Much has been made about Mr. Wilson’s case in the media, and it’s almost a universal opinion that the prison sentence in his case was most certainly excessive.

So…what say you Dubya?  Wanna bust Genarlow out while you’re at it?

Update:  Nevermind.  “Bush has denied more than 4,000 commutation requests, and hundreds of requests for pardons and commutations are still pending”  I’m guessing that Wilson’s was one of those requests. (hat tip: Think Progress)

Update:  OK I feel kinda stupid, as I probably should have brushed up on facts regarding clemency before posting this thread.  Thanks to fellow LGFer Darren.  From wiki:

The pardon power of the President extends only to offenses cognizable under U.S. Federal law. However, the governors of most states have the power to grant pardons or reprieves for offenses under state criminal law. In other states, that power is committed to an appointed agency or board, or to a board and the governor in some hybrid arrangement.

Since this is a stupid law in the state of Georgia, Bush has no power to grant this poor kid a commutation of his sentence. 

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For The Record, Bush Said He Regretted “Bring ‘Em On”

July 2, 2007

I noticed that there were a few blogs talking about the fourth anniversary of Bush’s famous “Bring ’em on” line, and I thought I’d just post a little reminder for my fellow bloggers.  Bush did say this last year:

“Saying `bring it on,’ kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people,” the president said in answer to a question about mistakes he made in Iraq. “I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner — you know, `wanted dead or alive,’ that kind of talk.”

Now, as readers who are familiar with my posts know, I’m about as far from a Bush apologist as one can get.  In fact, before I started this blog, I did all my blogging on FearBush.com (sorry I haven’t updated in a while, but I think most of America ‘gets it’ by now).  When I saw this story, I did in fact give him credit on that site for saying this.  I remember this because it’s probably the only time I’d ever seen Bush express regret….for anything.

So, I’m posting this now in light of the posts out there who are beating him up over this without giving full disclosure.  I have stated on here before that I wish bloggers would be more intellectually honest, and that goes for both right and left as far as I’m concerned.  I know he can’t undo the damage that reckless remark has probably done, but I think that perhaps there are other things that my fellow administration critics can focus on at this point.

So, just for the record, here is the original “Bring ’em on” comment:

And here is Bush saying that he regretted that comment:

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Name That Terrorist Organization!

July 2, 2007

As a follow up to my previous post, and as an attempt to prove a point, I’m going to post a recent op-ed posted online.  I’m going to redact the identifying portions of the text while leaving a few clues in there.  See if you can guess which band of terrorists this author is referring to…

Once again, as has been happening for several decades, XXXXXXX makes world headlines because of the horrific killings perpetrated by the terrorist XXXX guerrillas. On June 28th, XXXX posted a communiqué dated June 23rd on the Internet announcing the assassination –using other words– of eleven congressmen from the Department of XXXXX XX XXXXX who had been kidnapped since April 2002. XXXX has tried to confuse the world saying that they died in a “cross-fire” between the regular XXXXXXXX army and the terrorist guerrillas. This version has been denied categorically by President XXXXX XXXX and, considering the record and the past behavior of these terrorists, the presidential version has credibility.

It should be remembered that many years ago, in the very heart of XXXXX; the terrorists stormed the palace of the Supreme Court and assassinated more than eleven magistrates. In other words, what has happened now has a terrible precedent. Moreover, there are many examples of monstrosities, such as that of a woman who was fitted with a dynamite necklace which was detonated with the logical deadly outcome. Before the arrival of XXXXX XXXXXX to power, there were outlaw guerrillas operating in XXXXXXXX. However, since 1959, the activities, organization, arms and training, escalated with the help of the XXXXXX-XXXXXXXX dictatorship in XXXXXX.

It is depressing, shameful for civilized mankind, the way in which the XXXXXXXXX terrorists hold their hostages in the mountains. It has been reported that the kidnapped congressmen were kept in improvised barbed-wire cages, chained to each other in groups of three, in the jungles of the Department of XXXXXX in the south of the country. Today, the authorities, and the civilized people of XXXXXXXX and the world wait for the bodies of the victims to be handed over, but nothing has been heard about this.  

Nowadays, the XXXXXXXXX terrorist guerrillas are self-sufficient because they are engaged in the deadly business of drugs. Drug trafficking amply covers the expenses and the operations of these terrorists.

I’ll update later on with the answer and the link to this op-ed.  In the meantime, go ahead and take a stab at it if you want.  (I don’t have much of a prize to offer here, but I will give recognition and post a link to your blog on here if you can get this one).

Update:  Well, that didn’t take long.  Congrats to David Russell, as the correct answer was the FARC ‘rebels’ in Colombia.  Here is the original op-ed.