Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Libby Ain't Outta Da Woods Yet!

What happens to Libby now that he don’t have to do no hard time? The soldiers fighting in Baghdad and Anbar province are probably staying up nights worrying about that one. But it’s a tough question, according to the following article:

Jul 3, 5:23 PM EDT

Legal Confusion Follows Libby Decision

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush forced the CIA leak case into uncharted legal territory when he commuted the prison sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a federal judge said Tuesday.

Bush eliminated Libby's 2 1/2-year prison term and left in place his two years of supervised release. But supervised release - a form of probation - is only available to people who have served prison time. Without prison, it's unclear what happens next.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton posed the question to Libby's attorneys and to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald: Does this mean Libby won't actually be required to serve supervised release? Should he just have to report to probation officials as if he spent time in prison?

I tried to find out. The first thing that should happen is that Libby should get familiar with the system, so he can’t get into trouble again. There’s an FAQ for probationers I found on line that could answer a lot of Libby’s questions:

* What should I not bring to my appointment with my Probation Officer?

You will pass through a metal detector and be searched, so you should not bring the following:

* Weapons or anything that can be used as a weapon. (We don’t want you goin’ batshit on the Probation Officer with a Blackberry or something.)
* Recording devices. (The last thing you want is a record of what you actually said, Scooter, that’ll land you back in the clink in no time.)
* Camera cell phones. (No pictures! We might have to bat you around with a phone book or something, if you try to get tough.)

Can I carry a firearm?

* No probationer may possess any firearms if on probation for a felony…

(And dat means you, Scooter. This obviously goes double for Libby, since he was Cheney’s right-hand man when he got into all that “law trouble.” No more huntin’ trips with Dick, Scooter. Yer just askin’ fer it, if ya do that.)

What do I do if I am arrested?

* If you are arrested, charged with any offense, or have any police contact, contact your Probation Officer, no later than 48 hours of it happening. You may do this in person or by telephone.

(Either that or call the President and tell him you might talk. He’ll spring ya again. That Domestic Policy Adviser of Bush’s who was ripping off Target stores didn’t have to do no time.)

“Tips for Success”

* Review and understand all of your conditions of probation.

(That’s gonna be tough, in Libby’s case. It turns out that even the judge and the prosecutor don’t understand the terms of Libby’s probation. There ain’t no precedent. This is apparently the first time in U.S. history a convicted felon was put on probation without doing any time at all. But the usual advice from a probation officer will almost certainly apply: “Keep your nose clean, Scooter. People, places and things—stay away from the old crowd, the old hang-outs, the sensitive files—we got our eye on you, Scooter, we’re right behind ya every step of the way…”)

* Think before you act. Slow yourself down and think a few steps ahead.

(Yeah. Don’t be so impulsive about repeatedly leakin’ the identity of covert operatives. Think, before you do that, next time.)

* Surround yourself with law abiding people who really want to see you do well, such as friends, family, co-workers, and formal support groups.

(That’s another tough one for Libby. Most of his “friends and co-workers” are already in some kind of jam with the law, including the Attorney General of the United States. If I were you, Scooter, I’d head straight for the “support group” option. If there ain’t one in your neighborhood, you could start one: “The Bush Officials Who Skate Because They’re Above The Law Support Group.” You could sit around the living room and drink bad coffee and talk about your feelings and tell each other how bad you feel ‘cause you never had to pay your debt to society. There may not be too many members now, but it’s sure to fill up before Bush leaves office. Say—there might be some kind of tax break you could get, too—or maybe you could form it as one of them off-shore companies and attract investors….yeeeahhh…)

* Take ownership of your probation by becoming an active participant.

(Yeah! Don’t just lay there on the couch all day and make us buzz that little bracelet around your ankle to get you to come in for your appointment. Be pro-active! Meet with at-risk kids from schools of government, do a “Scared Straight” program for ‘em. Tell ‘em not to tell outright lies to law enforcement officials, tell ‘em the correct answer is always “I ain’t got no recollection.”)

* The responsibility for making changes in your life is yours.

(Ain’t that the truth. Bush is only gonna be there two more years to keep you and your pals outta stir. After that, it’s all up to you, punks. Get a job, a real job. Become a media evangelist, like Chuck Colson. That’s where the real money is, anyway.)


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