President Bush commuted the sentence of Scooter Libby, a man convicted of lying to federal investigators and obstructing justice. Bush erased the 30 month jail term, calling it too severe. So, Scooter will do less time than Paris Hilton.
Bush claims the remaining sentence (a felony conviction, probation and $250,000 fine) is harsh enough. But, what he doesn't mention is Scooter's buds (read Dick Cheney) are likely to pick up the fine, while the President can erase the felony conviction at any time, most likely after the 2008 election.
Whitehouse waterboy Tony Snow said the president didn't grant a full pardon out of respect to the jury system. Give us a break! Follow up question for waterboy. Since a pardon can't be ruled out and the president "respects" the jury's decision, what justification would Bush use to grant a full pardon now or ever?
The President's commutation statement doesn't mention the deterrent value of this action. Perhaps that's because it doesn't contain any. A convicted felon was given a get out of jail free card, one doesn't have to wonder what message this sends to the rest of the administration's political hacks and the inevitable lawlessness the remaining 19 months of the Bush Presidency holds.