Belated Scooter-bashing

(An administrative snafu had left us unable to post anything for a while, so we’re going to play catch-up now.)

Amid all the Democratic screaming over President Bush’s commutation of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison sentence were some notable quotes from right here in the Bay Area:

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland: “President Bush’s decision to commute the sentence of Scooter Libby for his role in covering up the deliberate exposure of the identity of an undercover CIA operative is what we have come to expect from an administration that has consistently shown more interest in protecting its own than protecting the nation.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo: “This decision sends the wrong message about the rule of law in the United States, just as the President is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. How can we hold the line against injustices in other countries when our own executive branch deliberately sets out to smear its critics, lies about it and then wriggles away without having to pay the price in prison? This is exactly what happened in the case of Valerie Plame Wilson, whose status at the CIA was leaked to media by Scooter Libby; Libby tried to cover it up, and for his loyalty to the White House he will now simply walk away. This is an outrage against the values of a free and just society.”

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo: “By commuting Scooter Libby’s sentence, President Bush is showing that he thinks there are two sets of laws in America — one for his wealthy and well-connected friends and one for everyone else. Scooter Libby was convicted of obstructing justice, perjury, and lying to investigators. His role in exposing the identity of a covert CIA agent, which did untold damage to our national security, appears now to be the ultimate act of loyalty to the Vice President. The Vice President’s Chief of Staff is now his fall guy. Scooter Libby should be held accountable, as the President stood before America and promised anyone involved would be. This partisan political decision does not serve justice or our county well.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.