Calling Clemency By Its Name - Rolling Stone
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Calling Clemency By Its Name

Language is important in moments like this.

The White House has done a great job of framing this as a commutation of Libby's sentence. To commute is a cold, technocratic, emotionless verb.

But look at the actual order Bush signed and it calls the presidential quasi-pardon by its real name: Clemency.

Clemency is an emotive word. It appeals to our sense of mercy. Clemency is something we should give to the Georgia teenager whose girlfriend gave him head at a party and now is in prison for aggravated child molestation. It's reserved for those instances where following the letter of the law creates a greater injustice than the crime.

Scooter covered up illicit actions at the highest levels of our government. Libby lied. Intentionally. To the F-B-fucking-I.

If you or I did that we'd be flirting with Gitmo.

The clemency a rogue sheriff tried to give Paris Hilton provoked nationwide outrage. Clemency for a Bush crony should rile us no less.


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