Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The 4th of July

Martha's Vineyard, 2004
Photo by Elderta

On this day of America's Independence, I wish everyone a happy holiday.

Even more so, I wish everyone a knock upside their head to get ya'll out of this damned complacency as your country is being stripped from you by a runaway administration.

Mostly, though, I wish you a good 4th of July. With no rain and plenty of BBQ.

Now, go read about the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Rita v. United States. The case sounds eerily familiar to a certain case that was granted a commutation earlier this week. The lowdown: Victor Rita was convicted of perjury, making false statements to federal agents and obstruction of justice (like Libby) and was sentenced to 33 months in Federal jail (Libby was sented to 30 months). Rita thought the sentence excessive (even though the sentence adhered to DOJ guidelines, like Libby's case did as well) and sued. The case made it to the Supreme Court a few weeks ago and the Court ruled that the sentence was not excessive. There are several similarities between this case and defendant and Libby. The catch: Rita, unlike Libby, is no FOB (Friend of Bush).*

From the Times:

Mr. Rita has performed extensive government service, just as Mr. Libby has. Mr. Rita served in the armed forces for more than 25 years, receiving 35 commendations, awards and medals. Like Mr. Libby, Mr. Rita had no criminal history for purposes of the federal sentencing guidelines.

The judges who sentenced the two men increased their sentences by taking account of the crimes about which they lied. Mr. Rita’s perjury concerned what the court called “a possible violation of a machine-gun registration law,” while Mr. Libby’s of a possible violation of a federal law making it a crime to disclose the identities of undercover intelligence agents in some circumstances.

When Mr. Rita argued that his 33-month sentence had failed adequately to consider his history and circumstances, the Justice Department strenuously disagreed.

Remember also, that Bush seems to have made his "excessive" declaration without consulting the Department of Justice. Maybe then someone would have told him that he was directly going against the third branch of government in his "excessive" commutation. Hmm... who am I kidding? Bush listens to no one but the little God voice in his head.

Now, get up off your butt and do something. Tomorrow, of course. Enjoy your Independence today, while you still can!

*addendum: and he wasn't accused of outing a spy, either!

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