INCOHERENCE….Tony Snow told reporters this morning that the president, in consultation with top White House aides, mulled over what to do about Scooter Libby for “weeks and weeks.” With all those smart people pondering the matter for so long, you’d think they wouldn’t sound so spectacularly dumb in explaining what happened yesterday.
The president, for example, deigned to answer a couple of questions this morning. After Bush said he has ruled “nothing in or nothing out” regarding a future pardon, a reporter asked whether the president is worried that his decision “sends a signal that you won’t go to jail if you lie to the FBI.” Bush responded:
“I took this decision very seriously on Mr. Libby. I considered his background, his service to the country, as well as the jury verdict. I felt like the jury verdict ought to stand, and I felt like some of the punishments that the judge determined were adequate should stand. But I felt like the 30-month sentencing was severe; made a judgment, a considered judgment that I believe is the right decision to make in this case, and I stand by it.”
It wasn’t a trick question: should Americans lie to the FBI during a criminal investigation? Apparently, Bush doesn’t have an opinion on the matter.
Shortly thereafter, a reporter asked Tony Snow during a press briefing, “If there are more than 3,000 current petitions for commutation — not pardons, but commutation — in the federal system, under President Bush, will all 3,000 of those be held to the same standard that the president applied to Scooter Libby?”
Snow replied, “I don’t know.”
In other words, the White House press secretary isn’t sure whether there’s one standard of criminal justice for the president’s friends, and another for everyone else. Maybe he can find out and get back to us? I’m sure there are thousands of American convicts and their families who would love to know why the White House no longer believes we’re all equal under the law.
Snow added that this case, in which Libby didn’t even request commutation, was handled “in a routine manner.”
The president “routinely” spends weeks and weeks mulling over these questions? No wonder the president can’t govern; the bleeding heart spends all of his time poring over commutation applications.