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Dash of Pepper

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Travesties of justice
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
I guess I come from a generation that can recall at least a semblance of civility in our politics. Today, we have progressed from the loss of civility, through the politics of personal destruction, and on into the bold misuse of the legal system to suit partisan ends.
Some critics have said that both the administration and Republicans in general were way too slow to counter attack when the Scooter Libby affair began. I can understand why. It's hard for decent people to imagine how far unprincipled people will go in pursuit of their political objectives.
Now we have the spectacle of a totally decent public servant, Lewis Libby convicted, not of the original crime, of naming a CIA employee to the press, something someone else has since confessed to, but of lying to law enforcement.
Libby and his lawyer have maintained his innocence throughout, stating that someone who spoke with many, many people each day might have faulty recollections of specific conversations. So you can be convicted of a felony simply because you came forward and spoke with law officers. Scary.
Libby will appeal the verdict, but even if he wins, where can he go to redeem his reputation. How can he mend the enormous hardship and angst this wicked cabal has caused his family. An innocent man is ruined - by our own vaunted legal system. The special prosecutor has intimated that Vice President Cheney was the real target.
Meanwhile, many hundreds of days have passed since Sandy Berger told us he would take a lie detector test. Berger, admitting to the theft of classified documents, got off with a slap on the wrist. Berger is a former national security adviser to Bill Clinton.
After first denying it, Berger admitted to removing, on multiple occasions, documents from the room where he was reading them, concealing them in his pants and socks, hiding them at a construction site outside the building, then destroying them.
Some of these papers may have been unique in that they may have contained handwritten comments that would have looked bad in light of the events of September 11th, 2001.
At least one person who has known Berger for many years, it is unlikely Berger would have attempted something like this on his own.
Where is the investigation into this? Nonexistent, apparently. Where is our Department of Justice? When Clinton came into office, he immediately fired hundreds of U.S. attorneys in the justice department. When President Bush recently fired a few, Congress called for an investigation.
Berger was fined $50,000, not an onerous sum for someone at his earning level. He was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and had his security clearance lifted for three years. Guess what. That means he could return in three years to serve in another administration!
So Lewis Libby is ruined and FOBs (Friends of Bill) escape a very serious charge and live to fight another day. It's a human tragedy and a complete travesty.
It's the perfect demonstration that the democrats know very well how to go for the jugular and administer the death punch. The Republicans are either amateurs or gutless. I hope it's the former, but I'm beginning to have my doubts.
Copyright©2007SheilahPepper
Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 16:08  

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