In a press statement, dated Nov 1, 2008 but distributed today, US President George W Bush has issued a full pardon to I Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Libby was found guilty, in early March 2007, of perjury (two counts), making false statements and obstruction of justice after he lied about his role in the revealing of an undercover CIA agent, Valerie Plame.
Today's statement was emailed to newspapers, TV news networks and news agencies as a Microsoft Word document. It is now believed that this was, in fact, merely an unapproved early version — edited by White House staffers having been originally drafted by the President himself. It was due to be released at the end of Mr Bush's presidency.
When questioned by the Weekly World Inquisitor as to why the statement was being prepared now, the chief of press relations at the White House said, "Who did you say you were?" Later, we spoke to an intern who explained that approvals for presidential statements can be a lengthy process and that, "we wanted to make sure we didn't forget."
The statement says, in part, (and with 'track changes' enabled):
good ol' ScooterMr Libby was acting in the best interests of us good guysthe United States when he nailed that bastard's wifemade statements that were, as he understood it at the time, gonna get 'em goodtruthful.
In this time of peace, now that Iraq has been
bombed into the stone agebrought to peaceful democracy and at last the oil is flowingpeople are free, it seems cotton pickin' stoopidunreasonable to punish a man who was only dumber'n a hatful of assholesserving his country.
The White House press office has asked that the statements be returned and, in the words of one staffer, "it'd be better just to forget the whole thing, if you know what's good for you."
Mr Libby was unavailable for comment.