As we all prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July with its various tributes to the country's history, while flags hang in every main street, and we plan our barbecue and fireworks celebrations, President Bush has chosen to celebrate the nation's birthday by giving the middle finger to justice and the rule of law by commuting the sentence of I. Lewis Libby.
Formerly the Chief of Staff to the second most powerful man in the country, the Vice President (though we can debate that he might actually be more powerful than the President), "Scooter" Libby was sentenced to two and half years for lying to Federal investigators. That lies would emanate from this White House should be no surprise, but that they would show such disdain for the law and the American people it is meant to protect should outrage us. Never mind the circumstances of the investigation, though what were behind his lies we don't know, a man in such a high position should not be lying and obstructing justice under any circumstances.
While I am not surprised by Bush's action, disdain for the will of the people and the entire notion of justice being par for the course, I am sickened by it. Libby should have served his time, simply to show that no man is above the law. But renegade justice, justice without courts or trials or even access to lawyers, is the way this Administration prefers things. Commuting Libby's sentence proves that Bush cares more about protecting those around him than he does about the American people.
So, as you gather with friends this Independence Day, think of the great will of the nation's founders, the signers of the Declaration of Independence or even the crafters of the Constitution, and think about how far we've come. And thank President Bush for his gift to the country, for its transparency and for proving to the nation that he is just the man we think he is.