I called it less than a month ago when I wrote that Scooter Libby would spend less time in jail than Paris Hilton.
And, at the time I wrote that, Hilton was using her medical 'get out of jail free' card and was at home after just a few days in the LA County Jail. At the time, it looked like she would only spend a couple of days total
Today, that prediction came to fruition when George Bush commuted Libby's sentence, ensuring that Libby will never spend a day in jail for his crimes. Earlier in the day, an appeals court refused to stay his sentence pending appeal, so the pressure was on Bush to do something to keep VP Cheney's former chief of staff out of prison.
And probably to keep other, higher ranking, denizens of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. out of prison, too.
[Yeah, so predicting that Bush would intercede was like predicting a sunny day in Arizona. It was still a prediction. :)) ]
Apparently Bush thought that 30 months was too severe a sentence for obstructing justice in an investigation into leaks of classified information.
From the International Herald Tribune -
President George W. Bush spared former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from a 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak investigation, delivering a political thunderbolt in the highly charged criminal case. Bush said the sentence was too harsh.
Boo hoo. They should have thought of that before they started betraying covert CIA agents as partisan political retribution.
Bush's statement on the commutation is here.
Other reactions to the move, from AP via Guardian Unlimited (UK), here.
Many will say that the commutation was deserved and in no way is special treatment for a favored aide, but know this: in all of Bush's previous commutations, the defendant actually served some time first.