WSJ to Bush: Pardon Libby

The paper's editorial board says the president can improve his legacy by "by undoing a measure of the injustice inflicted on" Scooter Libby.

By Alex Koppelman
December 23, 2008 10:10PM (UTC)
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Poor President Bush. He just can't please some people, no matter what he does. Like the Wall Street Journal's editorial board, for example. Sure, he commuted the prison sentence given to Scooter Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, ensuring that Libby didn't have to serve a day in jail after being convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice. But the good folks who write the WSJ's editorials weren't placated.

"Rarely can Presidents improve their legacy in an Administration's twilight days. But President Bush now has that opportunity, by undoing a measure of the injustice inflicted on I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby," Wednesday's editorial says. "Mr. Bush commuted Mr. Libby's sentence in 2007, an action that kept him out of jail. But that doesn't expunge his conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice. As a felon, Mr. Libby is barred by law from voting or practicing law, his occupation for most of his working life. The half-measure reflected poorly on the President, whose commutation statement treated Mr. Libby at a chilly arm's length."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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