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AP Does It Again June 5, 2007

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

Reporter Matt Apuzzo cuts and pastes on an old article, instead of writing the new article with fresh facts.

Stupidity ensues.

Here’s the article, with old stuff left over from the old article highlighted. No wonder we get confused!

Libby Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison
WASHINGTON (June 5) — Former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Tuesday for lying and obstructing the CIA leak investigation.
Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney , stood calmly before a packed courtroom as a federal judge said the evidence overwhelmingly proved his guilt.

“People who occupy these types of positions, where they have the welfare and security of nation in their hands, have a special obligation to not do anything that might create a problem,” U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said.

Libby is the highest-ranking official convicted of a crime since the Iran Contra affair.

At the start of the proceedings, [this stuff is from the trial phase, weeks ago; not now] Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald indicated he wanted to put Libby in prison for up to three years because the investigation he was convicted of obstructing — the leak of a CIA operative’s identity — was so important.

“We need to make the statement that the truth matters ever so much,” Fitzgerald said.

Libby’s attorneys were seeking no jail time. They argue it’s unfair to increase the sentence simply because of the nature of the investigation, particularly since Fitzgerald never proved the leak was a crime.

“No one was ever charged. Nobody ever pleaded guilty,” attorney William Jeffress said. “The government did not establish the existence of an offense.”

District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who has a reputation as a tough judge, didn’t accept that. By that reasoning, Walton said, witnesses benefit if they aggressively obstruct investigations so prosecutors can’t make their case.

“I just can’t buy in on that being good social policy,” said Walton, who has a reputation as a tough sentencing judge. “It’s one thing if you obstruct a petty larceny. It’s another thing if you obstruct a murder investigation.”  [This kind of discussion doesn’t go on during sentencing, Matt!]

Walton’s preliminary ruling doesn’t necessarily foretell Libby’s sentence. But it does make it harder for Libby’s attorneys to argue for no jail time because it raises the seriousness of his offense. [This, and all of the rest, also is from the trial, not the sentencing.]

Theodore Wells, another of Libby’s defense attorneys, urged Walton to consider Libby’s career of government service. Before joining the White House staff, Libby served in the State Department and Pentagon and is known as an expert on weapons of mass destruction and biological threats.

“There are a lot of lawyers, people who go to law school, who come from privileged backgrounds, who do squat for their country, who do nothing for others,” Wells said.

In support of Libby’s bid for probation, many prominent people wrote letters to Walton. Among the letter writers were: former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld ; Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.

“My hope and prayer is that his outstanding record, his many contributions to our country and his value as a citizen, will be considered carefully,” Rumsfeld wrote.

Libby was to have the opportunity to speak publicly about the charges later in the day. He has not discussed the case since his 2005 indictment. Throughout his monthlong trial, and following his conviction in March, he always let his lawyers do the talking.

Defense attorneys have not said whether Libby actually will speak. It’s a delicate decision, one made more difficult because Libby has maintained his innocence and is appealing his conviction.

“The only thing any sentencing judge wants to hear is remorse, and if they don’t think it comes from the heart or they think they’re only sorry for getting caught, for losing their job, or for going to jail, it doesn’t count,” said Hugh Keefe, a Connecticut defense attorney who teaches trial advocacy at Yale University.

Libby was convicted of lying to investigators about what he told reporters regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose identity was leaked to reporters in 2003 after her husband began criticizing the Bush administration’s war policies.

He can’t offer too much of an apology, however, without jeopardizing his appeal. A general apology, one in which Libby expresses regret for the drawn-out litigation and the pain he’s caused his family, leaves him exposed to another Fitzgerald attack for not showing genuine remorse.

If Walton sends Libby to prison, [Hey, Matt: He Just DID!] he must decide whether to put that sentence on hold while the appeal plays out. If he grants such a delay, it would give Bush more time to consider a pardon for Libby.

The president has said he’s going to stay out of it until the legal case is over, a decision that’s harder if his former aide is headed to prison.



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