President Bush’s decision
Salon’s Glenn Greenwald
That Lewis Libby has been protected by George Bush from the consequences of his crimes only highlights how corrupt and broken our political system is. It reveals nothing new. This is the natural, inevitable outgrowth of our rancid political culture, shaped and slavishly defended by our Beltway ruling class and our serious, sober opinion-making elite.\
The disasters and rampant lawlessness and fundamental erosion of our country’s political values and institutions are exactly what Fred Hiatt and David Broder and Time Magazine and Tim Russert and Tom Friedman and the New Republic geniuses have spent the last six years protecting, enabling and defending.
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann
A president who lied us into a war and, in so doing, needlessly killed 3,584 of our family and friends and neighbors; a president whose administration initially tried to destroy the first man to nail that lie; a president whose henchmen then ruined the career of the intelligence asset that was his wife when intelligence assets were never more essential to the viability of the republic; a president like that has tonight freed from the prospect of prison the only man ever to come to trial for one of the component felonies in what may be the greatest crime of this young century.
Wall Street Journal
President Bush’s commutation late yesterday afternoon of the prison sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby will at least spare his former aide from 2 1/2 years in prison. But by failing to issue a full pardon, Mr. Bush is evading responsibility for the role his Administration played in letting the Plame affair build into fiasco and, ultimately, this personal tragedy. ….\
Joe Wilson’s original, false accusation about pre-war intelligence metastasized into the issue of who “outed” his wife, Valerie Plame, as an intelligence officer. As the event unfolded, it fell to Mr. Libby to defend the Administration against Mr. Wilson’s original charge, with little public assistance or support from the likes of Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell or Stephen Hadley.
James Joyner of Outside the Beltway
I guess this is his way of splitting the difference between people who want Libby pardoned and people who think he should serve out the sentence prescribed by the judicial process. …\
Stories like this are so transparently partisan that it\0x2019s almost not worth covering the reaction.
— Robert Stacy McCain, assistant national editor, The Washington Times\