I hate to disagree with the astute and estimable John Tabin, but I do NOT think that “Libby was almost certainly guilty” of anything other than a possibly inexact memory. Frankly, I think it more likely that Russert gave false testimony (not intentionally) than that Libby did. Regardless, while I would have preferred a full pardon, I applaud the president for commuting the prison sentence. The commutation took guts — one virtue Mr. Bush has in abundance. I still hope for a full pardon as the president’s term as winding down — if, that is, Libby hasn’t overturned the conviction on appeal. Here’s a question: Is his legal defense fund allowed also to pay his fine? If not, I wish the president would commute that part of the sentence as well.
Anyway, here’s one close observer who two years ago thought Libby as guilty, and now thinks it very unlikely that he committed perjury at all. And I, for one, will keep urging this president to revisit the case yet again until Libby no longer must suffer legal consequences for his testimony. Meanwhile, here are two and 3/4 cheers for President Bush. He showed appropriate empathy this afternoon for a good man and a good public servant.
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