Bush Filed a Motion Last Year to Uphold the 33-Month Sentence of Victor Rita, a 24-Year Marine Corps Vet Convicted on Same Crimes as Libby

Last month, the Supreme Court agreed with the Bush Justice Dept., ruling against Rita’s appeal for a reduced sentence based his exemplary military service.

Sen. Joe Biden:

Tony Snow said that President Bush decided to commute Scooter Libby’s two and a half year-prison sentence for perjury and obstruction of justice, because it was “excessive.”

Yet last year the Bush Administration filed a “friend-of-the-court brief” with the Supreme Court, in an attempt to uphold a lower court’s ruling that a 33-month prison sentence for Victor Rita, who was convicted of the same exact charges, perjury and obstruction of justice, was “reasonable.”

Pres. Bush cited Libby’s “years of exceptional public service” in commuting his prison sentence. But Libby is the classic Bushie chickenhawk — a neocon bureaucrat with no service record whose fingerprints are all over the worst military planning in American history.

Conversely, Victor Rita is the real deal:

Victor Rita is a very sympathetic defendant: he served 24 years in the Marine Corps, had tours of duty in Vietnam and the first Gulf war, and has received over 35 military metals and awards. Also, he is an elderly gentleman who suffers serious health problems.

The Supreme Court ruled on the case last month:

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that criminal sentences within guidelines set by a federal commission are generally entitled to be upheld on appeal, a decision that limits legal options for defendants who feel that they have been punished too harshly.

By a vote of 8 to 1, the court held that, even though it recently ruled that the sentencing ranges set by the U.S. Sentencing Commission are no longer mandatory, judges who follow them may be presumed to have acted reasonably…

The case that the court decided yesterday, Rita v. United States, No. 06-5754, was meant to help define “advisory.”

Victor Rita, convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, asked for a lighter sentence based in part on his past military service. But the judge gave him 33 months, as suggested by the guidelines. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, upheld the sentence, saying that penalties within the guidelines are “presumptively reasonable.”

It is customary in the pardoning process for the president to contact the Justice Dept. for input. But the White House is adamant that Bush did not speak to anyone at Justice about the Libby pardon. If he had run it past them, it’s possible he could have avoided what appears to be a spectacular blunder.

53 Comments

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  • sulphurdunn
    July 4, 2007 - 7:12 pm | Permalink

    He must have felt it in his gut, or maybe the Lord told him to do it, or maybe he’s just covering his ass. The last one I can understand, although anyone of them is unacceptable for a United States president.

  • ernieson
    July 4, 2007 - 7:15 pm | Permalink

    A mass outcry should happen. Either free Rita or jail Libby or impeach Bush-Cheney.

  • tom
    July 4, 2007 - 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Is anyone really all that surprised…

  • GOPHater
    July 4, 2007 - 8:04 pm | Permalink

    We should let Victor out of prison, and let him kick Libby’s ass. Then, we should put Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld IN prison for war crimes, treason, and murder.

  • July 4, 2007 - 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Not Bushes Bud? You’re mud.
    Not a neocon? You’re gone.
    Don’t give big to the RNC? You’re in the penitentary.

    The rules are clear, so what’s all the fuss about?

  • big dave from queens
    July 4, 2007 - 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Bush + Cheney deliberately authorized Rove and Libby to out covert, undercover CIA Valerie Plame. The outing of Plame was an act of treason or as Daddy Bush said, the act of “the most insidious of traitors.”

    Nothing less than a full and fair trial for all four men before 12 impartial jurors who reside in Washington, DC (where the crime took place) on the charge of treason against the United States of America is sufficient in my opinion.

    Impeachment is a good 1st step but in no way should it be the end game.

  • Ted Yost
    July 4, 2007 - 8:46 pm | Permalink

    When your public approval rating is as low as Bush’s; and when you are preaching to the choir, that portion of the populace which still thinks you are doing a good job, you don’t have to be consistent. You don’t even have to make sense.

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  • Felix
    July 4, 2007 - 11:46 pm | Permalink

    It would actually be funny that they keep stepping in their own previous ‘droppings’ if it weren’t so sad that these folks are supposed to be in charge of our very country.

  • Andreas
    July 5, 2007 - 2:39 am | Permalink

    everyone just shut the f*\k up. you all voted Bush in for a second term. Shame on you.

  • Geri Ãœller
    July 5, 2007 - 3:44 am | Permalink

    Yes Andreas. Everyone should just shut up because they all really voted for Bush. Because voter turnout was 100% and every single vote was for Bush. Right?

    As Felix said, it would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

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  • capnmike
    July 5, 2007 - 7:04 am | Permalink

    Never thought I’d see the sad day when I would think that a temporary military coup, with the JCS arresting Bush and Cheney for treason and declaring new elections, would be a good idea, but we are at that point. What is the sense in waiting and letting these dirtbags continue to destroy America for another year and a half? There’s nothing graven in stone that says thenext election MUST be in 2008. DUMP THESE BUMS NOW!!!

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  • mark
    July 5, 2007 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    First Bush was “selected” not elected….Second the first and second bush elections were by any standard “fixed”.
    Bush did not win any election…and we are now living in a fascist dictatorship.
    You have NO right to privacy(illegal wiretaps)
    You have no right to a speedy trial or to face your accusers(suspension of habeas corpus under Patriot act)
    You have no right to peacefully gather or to petition the govt(again Patriot act)
    i could go on for days with this but i think you all know where this is going.
    Do not be surprised if there is another terror attack near the election ….don’t be surprised when Bush declares a state off emergency and takes the right to hold elections from us next.
    Wake up folks the World trade Center “attack” were the Bush’s Reichstag.(After Adolf Hitler had been appointed Reichskanzler(head of German Gov’t) on 30 January 1933, the building was set on fire on 27 February 1933, under circumstances still not entirely clear (see Reichstag fire). This proved to be a valuable excuse for the Nazis to suspend most human rights provided for by the 1919 constitution in the Reichstag Fire Decree.) (taken from wikipedia).
    Anyone that cant see this happening deserves what is happening.
    And jsut so we are all clear….FEMA has set up INTERNMENT camps inside our own country for the sole reason to imprison AMERICANS if and when needed.(There over 600 prison camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive prisoners. They are all staffed and even surrounded by full-time guards, but they are all empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) should Martial Law need to be implemented in the United States.

    The Rex 84 Program was established on the reasoning that if a mass exodus of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA. Rex 84 allowed many military bases to be closed down and to be turned into prisons.

    Operation Cable Splicer and Garden Plot are the two sub programs which will be implemented once the Rex 84 program is initiated for its proper purpose. Garden Plot is the program to control the population. Cable Splicer is the program for an orderly takeover of the state and local governments by the federal government. FEMA is the executive arm of the coming police state and thus will head up all operations. The Presidential Executive Orders already listed on the Federal Register also are part of the legal framework for this operation. ) (taken from http://WWW.abovetopsecret.com.

  • Steve
    July 5, 2007 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    One Nation, under surveillance, with liberty and justice for all of Bush’s friends.

  • Jenn
    July 5, 2007 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    what happened to our great country of 231 years? the bush dictatorship.

  • July 5, 2007 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    Bush doesn’t make a motion, he issues a fiat. It is done.

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  • Evan C
    July 5, 2007 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    One rule for the elite, another harsher rule for the common folk, yet another infringement on our rights by the gov’t. Add it to the ever-growing list of violations:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by opening mail, caging demonstrators and banning books like “America Deceived” from Amazon.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns during Katrina.
    They violate the 4th Amendment by conducting warrant-less wiretaps.
    They violate the 5th and 6th Amendment by suspending habeas corpus.
    They violate the 8th Amendment by torturing.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting 2 illegal wars based on lies and on behalf of a foriegn gov’t.
    Support Dr. Ron Paul and end this madness.
    Last link (unless Google Books caves to the gov’t and drops the title):
    America Deceived (book)

  • Sharpinchitown
    July 5, 2007 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Andreas – we DID NOT vote for him in either the first or second term. BOTH elections were fraudulant with the Supreme Court choosing him the first time around and vulgar and obvious voting irregularities the second time around. All of them shoot be shot on sight, no questions answered. We already know what they’ve done and how they did it.

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  • Alfonso
    July 5, 2007 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

    usa sucks

  • Brandon Fields
    July 5, 2007 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Lies, lies and more lies. This is a perfect example of the double-standards employed by the current administration. We should all be OUTRAGED!!!

    Someone should be impeached.

  • craig
    July 5, 2007 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

    A “chickenhawk” is something entirely different from what Libby is (unless you are suggesting that he’s a child molestor as well). Also, Libby was not pardoned, at least not yet.

  • tony
    July 5, 2007 - 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Vita was buying machine gun “kits” that could be assembled into actual machine guns. After the Feds asked him about it, he sent the “kits” back and gave the Feds different “kits” that one could not assemble into full machine guns. Then he lied under oath about it. This comes after his 1986 conviction for perjury, for which he received probation.

    Not all decorated veterans and former law enforcement officers are angels. Not all Bush Administration officials are devils. You’ll usually find those in the details. And you’ll find the details in the Court’s opinion.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/06-5754.ZC1.html

  • Craig D
    July 5, 2007 - 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Tony “Devil in the Details”.
    The crime that led to the conviction is not the issue. The issue is the double standard.
    The reason for commuting Libby’s sentence was because it was “unduly harsh”. The hypocrisy that exudes from the Bush administration is overpowering in its stench of corruption. A decorated war veteran who gave 24 years of his life to this country has to pony up another three years AT BUSH’S INSISTENCE while “Scooter”, whose obstruction of justice caused incalculable damage to our country, walks a free man.
    What this means ultimately is there is no more justice in this land. It means that if you’re one of the Bush insiders, you can pretty much feel free to do whatever you like without worry that you might be punished for it.
    It stinks, Bush stinks, the whole system stinks and anybody who would defend it stinks as well.

  • July 5, 2007 - 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Is there no end to the Bush madness?

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