David Limbaugh

I understand the angst of certain rule of law proponents upset by President Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's conviction. But most of the people outraged by it have no credibility, since they were utterly indifferent to the Clintons' habitual mockery of the rule of law and prolific and shady abuse of the pardon power during their co-presidency.

As the president clearly has the constitutional authority to pardon or commute sentences for almost any reason, the issue isn't one of authority, but propriety.

As a rule of law conservative I don't take lightly such executive interventions in the judicial process, believing our judicial system depends on the integrity of our jury system and the impartial administration of justice.

I understand that it might appear like cronyism for the president, after the justice system has taken its course to convict and sentence a member of his administration, to reduce the sentence, especially given the president's affirmations of confidence in the special prosecutor handling the case.

That said, I still believe Scooter Libby is a worthy candidate for clemency and even pardon. This case has never been about Libby. He has merely been the scapegoat for the Bush-hating left, which has been lusting to criminalize the administration over the president's fraudulently alleged misrepresentations about Iraqi WMD.

Thus, when the news broke that someone had leaked the identity of Joe Wilson's allegedly, but doubtfully covert CIA spouse, Valerie Plame, liberals immediately adopted the irreversible assumption that the "leak" was orchestrated by the administration and implemented by one or more of its key players.

But we know beyond any doubt that Richard Armitage, not Libby, was the leaker. Since Libby had committed no "underlying" crime, he had no motive to commit perjury. He had nothing to cover up.

Nevertheless, Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald was able to secure a perjury conviction against Libby based on inconsistent statements he made involving conversations he'd had. Others also caught in inconsistent statements were not only not charged with perjury, but lavished with praise by the mainstream media.

Libby represents the liberals' pound of flesh for Bush's mythical WMD lies. Driven by the very sordid type of revenge motive they falsely projected onto the administration, they scapegoated Libby. To this day, these liberals don't care about perjury -- they nearly glorified it during the Clinton years. This is still about the leak. Yet there was no administration leak.

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert on law and politics. He recently authored the New York Times best-selling book: "Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel."

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