January 22nd, 2009
05:50 PM ET
7 months ago

Cheney to magazine: Bush should have pardoned Libby

Former Vice President Cheney told a conservative magazine that his aide Scooter Libby, pictured on the right, should have received a pardon from former President George W. Bush.
Former Vice President Cheney told a conservative magazine that his aide Scooter Libby, pictured on the right, should have received a pardon from former President George W. Bush.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - George Bush should have pardoned I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Dick Cheney said after stepping down as vice president this week.

"He was the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice, and I strongly believe that he deserved a presidential pardon. Obviously, I disagree with President Bush's decision," Cheney told Stephen F. Hayes of the Weekly Standard, a leading conservative Washington magazine.

Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff, was convicted of obstructing a federal investigation into the revelation that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA agent.

He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000. Bush commuted the sentence, which he called "excessive," so that Libby served no jail time.

But he did not pardon Libby, much to the aggravation of many influential conservatives.

Hayes said that Cheney had publicly disagreed with Bush only four times in the eight years of the Bush administration.

They were only out of office for a day before the fifth disagreement surfaced.

Bush granted 189 pardons and 11 commutations during his eight years in office, far fewer than Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan in their two-term administrations.

No one was ever charged with leaking Plame Wilson's identity. She and her husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson III, said the revelation was a retaliation for Wilson claiming a key justification for the invasion of Iraq was false.

It ultimately came out that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had told journalist Robert Novak about Plame Wilson working for the CIA. Top Bush advisor Karl Rove confirmed it.

soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. Shamick Gaworski

    With a little luck Mr. Cheney will be able to 'be upset' with Libby inside the same jail! I wonder if Mr. Cheney believes "[the jail] ... will welcome [us] him with flowers as liberator"?

    American people are still waiting for the flowers Mr. Cheney believes we would get in Iraq!

    January 22, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. Ken F. , Spofford, NH

    Loyal to the end. That's good ole boy Dick. It should have been HIM, but he let Scooter swinging in the breeze.

    Feeling guily, Dick?

    Dubya kept Scooter out of jail. What more do you want?

    I only hope, that over time, all the Bush administration's dirty deeds come to light. And those responsible are brought to justice.

    January 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Glendafrench

    I really don't want to have to see the names "Cheney" or "Bush" in the headlines unless it's because they are showing up to go on trial. I really don't care what Cheney wishes, feels or says from now on. Please leave these people off the front page. That goes for Palin as well. Eight years was enough.

    January 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. capnmike

    After committing incredible crimes against humanity, fouling our Constitution, waging an illegal and unjust war, profiteering and influence-peddling, none of these bums are going to really get punished. Pardon? He didn't even serve jail time. These creeps should be wearing orange jumpsuits and leg-irons...all of them Chenney and Bush included.

    January 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Scott

    I will agree with Cheney, and would even say Obama should pardon Libby, if, and only if, both Cheney and Bush are charged with war crimes and treason.

    January 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. C Spurgeon

    Not unless he..Cheney ..wanted to take his place. This is one decision of Bushs i agreed with. He didn't keep his word however to punish the "leaker" or he would have fired cheney.

    January 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. Charles Stoll

    He should have been pardoned, he didn't do it. It was Cheney who should have been charged, convicted and hanged for treason.

    January 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. RickLattimer

    Too bad, Dick.

    January 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Dolores

    Of course Dick is upset! And don't we all just HATE IT when Dick is upset? First his back and now this. How much can one cranky old Republican be expected to endure? Scooter was carrying out Dick's payback plan, got caught, took the bullet and now Dick wants his conviction overturned so Scooter can once again be 'legitimate' and work toward all of the very VERY lofty Republican goals. They disgust me and I am so glad they are gone from DC and I don't have to look at or listen to them again, at least for a while.

    January 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. RAF

    Like they all don't deserve to be locked up for one reason or another!!!Gimme a break!!! Most of Bush's cstaff , including himself, need to do some time!!!DUHHH!!!

    January 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. HERBIE

    WHAT ELSE WOULD CHENEY SAY? ONE WHO IS ABOVE THE LAW WOULD FEEL THAT ANYONE WHO WORKS FOR HIM AND DOES SOMETHING WRONG IS ABOVE THE LAW. LET HISTORY TELL THE REAL TRUTH AND IT WILL BE A COMPLETELY CHANGED ENVIROMENT UNDER THE NEW ADMINISTRATION.

    January 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Dissent Is Cool

    Cheney should just shut his mouth, get on a horse, and ride into the mountains and leave everyone alone. I don't want to see or hear him ever again, for as long as I live. He should not be complaining about a lack of pardon for Libby– he should be grateful that they're allowed to see the light of day, instead of rotting in a prison where they all belong.

    January 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Proud American

    Cheney should be locked up for treason.

    January 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. REG in AZ

    What should have happened, what would have been truly justice, is that Libby opened up and told everything, all of the truth. The miscarriage, if you want to call it that, was in Libby protecting those that were behind everything and then got away with it because Libby protected them and took the fall himself. But I'm sure Cheney didn't want that.

    January 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. chris

    "He was the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice"
    REALLY? The real miscarriage of justice is the fact that you and Bush were never impeached for being criminals and the whole world had to suffer for it. Go back to your cave, hang upside down for a while and shut the hell up!

    January 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Jim Dandy

    Who cares what Cheney has to say anymore. Libby was a crook and should have served jail time – he should consider himself lucky he got off that easy.

    January 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. Moderate

    Sooter Libby is a criminal and should not have been pardoned. Indeed, Mr. Cheeny, the greatest miscarriage of justice is the fact that you and your president were not impeached, tried for treason and put behind bars. The latter two actions are still a possibility, you know.

    January 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. C Spurgeon

    So let the loyal employee keep it on his record and Cheney on his concience like he really has one!

    January 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Tom

    Commuted sentance is better than what he deserved, Treason carries the death penalty.

    January 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. proudliberal-independent

    wow. prolly the only time bush told cheney to stick it.

    January 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. RetiredVet

    Wrong was Cheney never being brought to justice for his role...what a joke that he can comment on Libby's situation as a miscarriage of justice with a straight face...

    January 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. Steven Stewart

    Cheney should just thank his lucky stars that the investigation didn't focus on his own culpability.

    Run Dick, Run. Run Away before they catch up with you!

    January 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Dave

    TREASON! Bush KNEW this was a TREASONOUS affair. They exposed an active CIA agent. The simple fact is that not only should Mr Libby been prosecuted, but Cheney as well, with TREASON the charge. You just know this situation was pored over by the Bush staff. But they knew the whole thing stunk to high heaven. This is the only Bush decision noteworthy. We may never know the full extent of what happened.

    January 22, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. Americans against Conservatives

    Good.. glad Cheney is disspointed... now if we could just get him to dissapear from the face of the earth the world would be a much better place

    January 22, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. joe the democrat

    Will someone please push Cheney's wheelchair to the retirement home. Hasn't he cause enought problems with his connection and graf to Haliburton

    January 22, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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