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Plame Case

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Bush Commutes Libby's Sentence, New Yorkers Shrug

The Times is indignant, Gawker is indignant — hell, we're even feeling a little indignant — that President Bush commuted convicted perjurer Scooter Libby's 30-month prison sentence yesterday afternoon. "I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said yesterday. He continued: "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive," which is basically the opposite of respecting the verdict. (He also said back in 2003, when the Plame leak first came to light, that "if there is a leak out of my administration … and if the person has violated the law, the person will be taken care of." Just not too harshly.) But we wondered: Are average New Yorkers indignant, too? A quick 20-person poll later — our interns asked twenty passersby in front of the office on Madison Avenue — it seems they're not, or at least not as much as we'd hoped. Damn. Questions and tallies after the jump.

Witness for the Prosecution, for Now

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The logistics of Plamegate have been making our heads hurt for three years now, so why should today be any different? Behold: Judith Miller, the ex-Times writer famously jailed for three months for refusing to name her Plame source, on the stand testifying for the same prosecutor who jailed her. The source was Scooter Libby, currently on trial for disclosing Valerie Plame's identity, and Miller's testifying against him because Libby "released" her from their confidentiality agreement, thus allowing her to become the prosecution's star witness. Sound like legal suicide? Well, yes. Unless Libby's side also wants Miller to say who else she had talked to — and, in fact, the biggest courtroom dustup yesterday was over the prosecution's right to ask that exact question. Even more bizarre: Meantime, the same prosecutor from whom Miller is now testifying, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, also happens to be investigating her in an unrelated case, that one about Islamic charities. Oh, for the days of wine and blow jobs. Reporter Who Was Jailed Testifies in Libby Case [NYT]