President Bush's rationale for commuting Scooter Libby's sentence was the kind of complaint routinely overruled by Bush's own conservative Justice Department, the Times observes. The contradiction between Bush's stern stance and his action on Libby is so stark that Joe Biden accused him of "flip-flopping" yesterday.
Bush characterized Libby's 30-month sentence for perjury and obstruction of justice as "excessive." But federal prosecutors recently won a Supreme Court battle to affirm a 33-month sentence for similar charges against a decorated veteran. And AG Gonzales said last month that the Justice Department would push for legislation making federal sentences tougher and less flexible.