I just can't seem to get off this topic. The question is, what could possibly possess Bush to refuse to pardon Libby? The more I think about it, the more I come up with bad or even unethical motives by Bush. I will not indulge them here, at least not now, because it is speculation of this sort that leads the nut-roots on the left to make all sorts of baseless allegations. But do let it be said that many reports now are that a number of influential people did try to convince Bush to make the pardon -- and I feel sure that Cheney found a way to let his own feelings be known -- but that Bush was just unmoveable.
One wonders if he would have been similarly unmoveable if the person who had been wrongly convicted was one of Bush's own inner circle like Rove or Miers or Gonzales or Bartlett. One tends to think the answer is "no" -- that Bush would instead have told all the nattering nabobs to go bleep themselves while he issued the pardons.
From first to last, like father like son, the Bushes show too MUCH loyalty to their personal inner circle and to their top sycophants, and too LITTLE loyalty to those who serve them ably but at one remove from the inner circle. Thus did John Ashcroft get sent out to catch spears with almost no White House backing, while Alberto Gonzo was allowed to stay far too long. Thus was Scott McClellan of the Texas gang allowed to bumble his way through even though he was manifestly unsuited for the job of press secretary. Thus was Harriet Miers chosen for the high court on a purely "trust me" basis while others far more qualified were overlooked. And so on.
It is worth noting that Fitzgerald also had Karl Rove in his sights before a last-minute discovery by Rove's team proved Rove's innocence. Even then, Fitz was quite obviously reluctant to let Rove off the hook. Bush now reportedly thinks the execrable Fitz did a good job with the whole case. Did it become good in Bush's mind only once Rove was cleared?
The sad thing is, not even historians will be able to pardon Bush for the absolute mess he made of his presidency on so many fronts -- the last of which, the front of justice and decency with regards to clemency, is truly unforgiveable.
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