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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 3, 2007 / 17 Tamuz, 5767

Halfway toward righting a wrong

By Wesley Pruden


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One cheer, but no more than two, for George W. Bush.


He spared Scooter Libby from prison, as decency demanded, but left intact a $250,000 fine, which can only be regarded as tribute to the venality of a special prosecutor and the vanity of a federal judge (both lawyers, after all).


"I respect the jury's verdict," the president said, announcing the clemency. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend 30 months in prison."


What's excessive here is the president's caution. He said the expected things about respecting the jury's verdict and, by implication, the "need" for Mr. Libby to pay the fine and remain on probation. But if the prison sentence was excessive, so is the fine and the probation. The jury and even the court is entitled to respect, but its verdict is not. The verdict was wrong, harsh and vindictive, and in a perfect world the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago, would be cited for misfeasance of office and Judge Reggie Walton would be cited for excessive concern for the professional reputation of a prosecutor watching his ambition about to swirl down a particularly public toilet.


The commutation was all anyone should expect from a Republican president, afflicted, as Republicans invariably are, by extravagant indulgence of daintiness and delicacy. It's in the DNA. By saving Mr. Libby from prison but leaving in place the rest of a sentence reeking of rotten politics, the president enables the destruction of a reputation and the imposition of a cruel fine. If the president set out to redress a miscarriage of justice, the halfway measure of a commutation looks, as his Democratic critics are already saying, like cynical politics. The president's political advisers should have taken to heart the first rule of politicians and philandering husbands: If you're going to be hanged for stealing a goat, you might as well take a sheep.


The baying of the Democratic critics began at once. Barack Obama, decrying, as is his wont, partisanship and divisive politics, rushed out (as is another wont) to practice his talent for divisive partisanship. "This decision to commute the sentence of a man who compromised our national security cements the legacy of an administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division."


This will be the Democratic mantra. Hillary won't be far behind, and as soon as he can mooch a quarter from the shampoo girl John Edwards will call from the beauty shop, eager to add a tinny voice to the chorus.


Mr. Obama has been having a little trouble lately keeping his stories straight, and unless he is deliberately trying to mislead he got this one wrong, too. If anyone compromised "national security" by "outing" Valerie Plame as Mata Hari, it was not Scooter Libby. The special prosecutor knew all along that it was Richard L. Armitage, another government functionary, who had "outed" Valerie at the CIA, except that she was not really a covert agent, anyway, and even if she had been the law protecting covert agents did not actually apply to her. (Nobody's perfect.)


After spending millions "investigating" a Washington fantasy and searching vainly for a crime, Mr. Fitzgerald had to have something to show. Scooter Libby was standing nearby. Rarely has Washington seen a more brazen railroad job. The judge could have derailed the train; na´ve citizens no doubt imagine that such a derailment is a judge's sworn duty, but anyone who has ever spent as much as a day at a courthouse knows how lawyers take care of each other.


George W.'s commutation, and not a pardon, will be taken by the friends who have not deserted him as the work not of a stand-up guy, but a well-meaning halfway-up guy. Fred Thompson was the first to apply the needle. "I have long advocated a pardon," he said last night, "but I respect the president's decision."


Since he has nowhere to go but up, the commutation puts only the president's legacy at risk. With his 29 percent favorability rating George W. had been closing in on Harry Truman's 23 percent, a mark that has stood for more than a half-century. Eclipsing that mark is the only legacy available. Redressing a particularly odious miscarriage of justice, even reluctantly and timidly done, might lift him out of Mr. Truman's neighborhood. Too bad. He coulda been a contender.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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