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LETTER: Bush disregards justice system

To the Telegram: Accountability, according to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, is an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions. This, one could argue, would be a characteristic a citizen would expect...

To the Telegram:

Accountability, according to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, is an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions. This, one could argue, would be a characteristic a citizen would expect to be instilled in their representatives in our government. It is an honorable trait that shows true character, and shows one knowingly makes decisions, and acknowledges their due consequences. This trait, however, has been absent for some time in the current administration.

There seems to be nothing at all that governs the executive branch. Intelligence, one could argue, would be a guideline, but that obviously hasn't been in the cards for some time now.

Laws and regulations would also be a good means for a structure, but those too have seemed to find their place alongside intelligence in the trash can.

No better example is President Bush's commutation of vice presidential aide Scooter Libby's prison sentence. This blatant, careless regard of our justice system clearly shows the arrogance and unjust means by which the administration governs.

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It seems as if our President, his staff, and their aides do not have to abide by the same laws that govern each and every one of us everyday. Equal justice under the law must not pertain to those in his our President's inner circle. A man who was convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to investigators merely gets a slap on the wrist. Our president deemed the punishment "excessive," so he took away his 30-month prison sentence and forced the wealthy aide to just pay his fine and be on parole. Unbelievable. What now will deter unlawful acts by high-ranking government officials? It now could be a free-for-all. Can it get any more corrupt? Obviously, he's the scapegoat, but he was convicted, and like any other citizen in this country should pay his price for his actions.

Our President was elected by the people in his party that continually preach "values" and "morals." These, too, however, have seemed to be tossed at the wayside, and could now be replaced with lies and fear tactics. One can not see the values or morality at play when a man is let off the hook that has deliberately broken the law. They have gone, and been caught, going to unreal lengths to try to punish anyone that holds differing views, with many of these differing views being the truth. The ramifications of leaking the identification of a CIA operative, for example, are more than likely disastrous for many people in the United States, and around the world. And this was the result of what happens when a man, her husband, stands up for the truth.

It is a sad day. What message does this send to the people of our nation and to the people of the world? Actions usually have consequences, but not today. A man was convicted of serious crimes and commutated by our president. This is just another disgraceful act by the leader of our country -- another act that shows the unwillingness to accept responsibility or to hold anyone accountable for their actions.

-- Nels R. Thoreson,

Lake Nebagamon

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