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Cheney Watch

Following up on Thomas M. DeFrank's story in the New York Daily News yesterday, Jim Rutenberg and Jo Becker write in the New York Times: "Dick Cheney spent his final days as vice president making a furious last-ditch effort to secure a pardon for his onetime chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby Jr., leaving him at odds with former President George W. Bush on a matter of personal loyalty as the two moved on to private life, according to several former officials.

"The officials said Tuesday that Mr. Cheney's lobbying campaign on behalf of Mr. Libby was far more intense than previously known, with the vice president bringing it up in countless one-on-one conversations with the president. They said Mr. Bush was unyielding to the end, already frustrated by a deluge of last-minute pardon requests from other quarters....

"Several associates of Mr. Cheney said that a pardon for Mr. Libby became a nearly solitary goal for the vice president in his final days in office, his mission bolstered at home by his wife, Lynne, and daughter Elizabeth, both of whom had grown close to Mr. Libby over the years....

"Mr. Bush's refusal to give way has created a deep divide between the Bush and Cheney camps."

Maureen Dowd writes in her New York Times opinion column: "After so many years of getting W. to do so much of what he wanted, by giving the insecure president the illusion of deference and a lack of personal ambition, it must have been infuriating to Cheney to have W. turn a deaf ear....

"By not pardoning Cheney's alter ego, who plied his dark arts trying to discredit Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson and then lied to protect his boss, W. was clearly saying he thought that Libby, and by extension Cheney, did something wrong.

"But it's not clear whether W. is simply pouting because Cheney's machinations blackened his legacy, or if, at long last, he fathoms the morality of it, that Cheney did hideous things to the Constitution."

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 18, 2009; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  Looking Backward  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Quick Takes
Next: Obama Hasn't Entirely Abandoned the Bush Playbook

Comments

"But it's not clear whether W. is simply pouting because Cheney's machinations blackened his legacy, or if, at long last, he fathoms the morality of it, that Cheney did hideous things to the Constitution."

Jeez, proof that MoDo really *wasn't* paying one bit of attention during the whole 8 year fiasco. I think Bush is deeper than most of us give him credit for, but we also know that he prides himself in sticking to his decisions. He's not second-guessing the morality of this or anything else. He's mad that Cheney twisted his arm so hard.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | February 18, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

A general question about presidential pardons: Is it possible that pardons were granted that were not (yet) made public? Could pardons be presented at a future date if needed, perhaps after a Truth Commission of some sort revealed wrong-doing that prompted legal charges? I have never seen this area of the topic examined and would like to know.

Posted by: allenofwoodhaven | February 18, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

We opinion of W. just crept up a few points because of this.

Posted by: herzliebster | February 18, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Just as I thought, Bush didn't pardon Scooter because he thought it would make him look bad.

It's always about him.

Scooter perjured himself to protect Cheney and Bush let him hang out to dry.

Posted by: ottoparts | February 18, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

To Allen of Wood Haven: Pardons, when made official, become matters of public record, so no, there are no hidden pardons. Those pardons Bush made while President were duly announced. Since he's no longer President, he can't pardon anybody else.

Posted by: whizbang9a | February 18, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

If GW actually did dig his heels in over a Libby pardon, I would call it more of a personal snit rather than any sort of principled stand.

Posted by: PatD1 | February 18, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Bush's refusal to pardon Libby was driven more by egocentric concerns than a matter of great principle. Although he left the door open to a pardon when he announced the commutation of Libby's sentence, he made a point of saying that he "respected" the jury's verdict. This was a calculated decision to keep Libby out of jail without further infuriating the public and Congress (not that Congress would have been that infuriated). I think Bush knew that a last minute pardon would be perceived as the result of a final manipulation by Cheney, and for once he got stubborn about it. He didn't want to make himself look bad, and I'll wager that he enjoyed sticking it to Cheney.

Posted by: litigatormom | February 18, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

It still seems entirely possible that the private meeting between George Bush and Barack Obama enabled mutual back scratching: Bush would pardon none of those who did his bidding and Obama would not push for investigations of the Bush administration.

Posted by: tperry1 | February 18, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

If Libby had been pardoned there would have been no penalty that would have allowed him to use his fifth amendment privilege, thus he would have been forced to testify as to who exactly commanded him in the treasonous activities he undertook.

Posted by: sparkplug1 | February 18, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Poor Dick Cheney the lowest form of human life on the planet, for once didn't get his way. Five Time Deferment Dick Cheney is nothing but a worthless Pig who has done nothing but line his own pockets at the expense of the American Taxpayer.

To bad Dick Cheney couldn't be charged as the International War Criminal that he is for orchestrating a War with Iraq on known lies that Spineless Pig cooked up. The best thing for Dick Cheney is to buy him a one way flight to Baghdad, Iraq and turn him over to the Iraqi people in downtown Baghdad. We would soon find out how much of as man this lowlife is as he would probably die of a heart attack from fright of what the Iraqi people would do to him.

Posted by: barrymorriso | February 18, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse


Poor Dick Cheney the lowest form of human life on the planet, for once didn't get his way. Five Time Deferment Dick Cheney is nothing but a worthless Pig who has done nothing but line his own pockets at the expense of the American Taxpayer.

To bad Dick Cheney couldn't be charged as the International War Criminal that he is for orchestrating a War with Iraq on known lies that Spineless Pig cooked up. The best thing for Dick Cheney is to buy him a one way flight to Baghdad, Iraq and turn him over to the Iraqi people in downtown Baghdad. We would soon find out how much of as man this lowlife is as he would probably die of a heart attack from fright of what the Iraqi people would do to him.

Posted by: barrymorriso | February 18, 2009 4:45 PM
_________________________________________
In order to have so many heart issues, this poor excuse for a sentient being would have to possess a heart.

Funny how many (almost all) of these neo-con tough guys have never come close to joining the armed forces.

Posted by: crix | February 18, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cheney to advance his cause--a pardon for Scooter Libby--might do well to listen to the counsel he gave to the Kimmel family.

In 1989, then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney counseled that to advance their cause--posthumous advancement of Rear Admiral Kimmel on the retired list to admiral--the Kimmel family should obtain endorsements from:
1) the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association;
2) Admiral Arleigh Burke;
3) other "voices of that time;" and
4) the United States Senate. He said that until such endorsements were obtained "advice to the President [to advance Kimmel] would not be prudent."

Accordingly, since then we have obtained all of Mr. Cheney's suggested written endorsements and much more (see my website: www.pearlharbor911attacks.com for details).

Presented with the preceding endorsements by my father and uncle in 1991, Mr. Cheney replied "that the promotion process is not the way to address the issue of your father’s place in history.” He made no suggestion as to what the way was.

Tom Kimmel,
eldest grandson of Admiral Kimmel

Posted by: TKIMMEL1 | February 19, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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