"Elliott Abrams: Bush made ‘a serious mistake’ in failing to pardon Libby."
Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Ruthie Liebowitz reports on an interview she did with her brother-in-law, Elliott Abrams — Bush’s former Deputy National Security Adviser. Abrams, a leading neoconservative, pled guilty for illegally withholding information from Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair, but was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. In the interview, Abrams said President George W. Bush made a serious mistake in failing to pardon Scooter Libby:
As for Scooter, I really don’t know. I think it was a serious mistake on the president’s part not to have pardoned him.
Abrams is the second figure from Bush’s inner circle to criticize him over Libby. Vice President Cheney disclosed last month that he “strong believe[d]” Libby deserved a pardon, and “obviously disagree[d]” with Bush’s decision. (HT: Steve Clemons)
Some other highlights from the interview:
– On Middle East peace process: “I was the resident skeptic.”
— On whether Bush would bomb Iran: “It’s hard to remember what I believed about that in, say, at some date in 2002 or 2003. But I did not really believe it in the second term.”
— On Iraq withdrawal: “The war in Iraq is being won, and we will be able to leave – though I would have us leave a lot more slowly than the new administration would.”