The commutation of the 2 1/2 year sentence of convicted felon and former chief of staff of Vice president Cheney, E. Scooter Libby, is drawing a lot of criticism in the national press and across the nation.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald disputed the president's assertion that the prison term was excessive. Libby was sentenced under the same laws as other criminals, Fitzgerald said.
"In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals," Fitzgerald said.
"Congress ought to conduct an investigation of whether or not the president himself is a participant in the obstruction of justice," Ambassador Wilson told The Santa Fe New Mexican in a telephone interview following the president's announcement.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the president's decision to commute Libby's sentence eliminated "the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq war."
"The Constitution gives President Bush the power to commute sentences, but history will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own vice president's chief of staff who was convicted of such a serious violation of law," Reid he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA), said the decision "condones criminal conduct."
"Even Paris Hilton had to go to jail," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. "No one in this administration should be above the law."
Democratic hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton also weighed in on the decision.
Obama said it was "exactly the kind of politics we must change. It cements the legacy of an administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law," while Clinton labeled it a "clear signal that in this administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice."
Said former North Carolina senator John Edwards: "In George Bush's America, it is apparently OK to misuse intelligence for political gain, mislead prosecutors and lie to the FBI."
Sorces: National Public Radio, USA Today and the Associated Press.
JG: One more time George W. Bush has shown to the American people that he will do whatever is necessary to protect his cronies.
The GOP culture of corruption continues to spread like a malignant tumor. The American voters will conduct necessary surgery in November 2008.