Monday, December 22, 2008

Bush Gets Ready To Pardon Chenney et al

Will Bush Pardon Cheney on Christmas Eve?

On Christmas Eve 1992, defeated President George H.W. Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger, Elliott Abrams, Duane Clarridge, Alan Fiers, Clair George, and Robert McFarlane for their Iran-Contra crimes. Not one served a single day in jail; Weinberger was about to go on trial and would have tied Bush himself to the scandal.

Will George W. Bush follow his father's precedent and pardon Dick Cheney and his other criminal co-conspirators this Wednesday on Christmas Eve?

Last week, Cheney was all over TV setting the stage for pardons. He admitted he personally approved torture, but insisted it destroyed Al Qaeda and saved American lives.

According to a powerful article by David Rose in Vanity Fair, the Bush-Cheney torture regime accomplished exactly the opposite. The torture photos from Abu Ghraib helped Al Qaeda's recruitment soar. U.S. officers in Iraq say torture-inspired attacks on U.S. soldiers were the #1 and #2 cause of soldiers' deaths. CIA analysts say the "intelligence" produced by torture was worthless.

On November 20, Rep. Jerrold Nadler introduced H.Res. 1531 to urge Bush not to pardon his criminal co-conspirators. Nadler's bill has 9 co-sponsors but we need every Representative (and Senator) to speak out against corrupt self-pardons.

If you haven't signed our petition to Congress, please join over 48,000 who have:

Discuss this here:

Urge Eric Holder to Appoint a Special Prosecutor for Bush War Crimes

Last week three important Democrats - Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Sen. Carl Levin, and VP-elect Joe Biden - independently urged the Attorney General to investigate Dick Cheney's torture confession. A growing chorus of newspapers (NY Times) and legal scholars (John Dean, Glenn Greenwald) agrees.

Prosecution of those responsible for torture is not optional - it is required by our obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

So we've joined forces with buhdydharma and the Docudharma community to petition Obama's AG nominee, Eric Holder, to appoint a Special Prosecutor.

Holder replied after receiving a few hundred emails: "Enough folks. I hear you." That's a start, but we've asked for a formal statement. And we're collecting additional signatures to deliver when Holder goes before the Senate for confirmation hearings in January.

Please sign and spread the word!


yellowdoggranny said...

I'm siging it..can bush pardon himself?..he may have to..

Utah Savage said...

That's an interesting question. Wish I knew the answer, but I have a feeling he's going to try it.

susan said...

The presidential power to pardon is granted under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution.

"The President ... shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment."

No standards, and only one limitation - no pardons for the impeached.

I'll sign it too but there are no limits on who a President can pardon without a Constitutional Amendment and although I don't see that happening soon, how about if Congress sent Bush a note like this:

'If you issue pardons that do not fit a reasonable definition of pardons, that in fact abuse the pardon power as you have abused so many other powers, we will support your immediate impeachment before or after you leave office.'

I'd like that.

Stella by Starlight said...

Is it legal for Bush to pardon himself? After Downining Street has information to impeach Cheney.

Dennis Kuchinich (I heart him!) introduced 35 articles of impeachment against George Bush. He did the same for Cheney.

I'm betting Utah's right: he's already put the legislation in place to ensure he isn't charged for war crimes. Congress passed the law. The sad fact is that most Representatives don't have time to read all the legislation that pass their desk.

Places to visit:

*After Downing Street

*Comment from same site by John Dean

*Alternet: According to attorneys whom I asked, there is no definitive legal answer. There is no case law on the subject and not even much legal analysis of the possibility... He can simply pardon Cheney (and everyone else) and immediately resign. Cheney then becomes president and pardons him. There's a chilling thought, but it may be too late for that maneuver.

*Common Dreams: President Bush, to avoid a similar public outcry, is quietly trying to pardon himself of any crimes connected with the torture and mistreatment of U.S. detainees.

The "pardon" is buried in Bush's proposed legislation to create a new kind of military tribunal for cases involving top al-Qaida operatives. The "pardon" provision has nothing to do with the tribunals. Instead, it guts the War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal law that makes it a crime, in some cases punishable by death, to mistreat detainees in violation of the Geneva Convention.

* notes: Presidential pardon power is nearly unlimited under the Constitution. We support efforts in Congress to outlaw pre-emptive or self-pardons, but even if a bill passes Congress before Bush leaves office, Bush will certainly veto it.

Apparently Congress passed a bill which automatically excuses President Bush from future War Crime charges. [Digg Comment]

It appears Bush can still be impeached after he leaves office and brought to trial for crimes other than war crimes.

Yellowdog Granny, it's a difficult topic, and I don't even know if I've got all my facts straight. These links are in no way in depth. I'd have to be a lawyer to figure it all out. Susan is absolutely right quoting Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. The president has the ability to pardon anyone.

Too bad more lawmakers didn't support Kucinich and Wexler.

Anonymous said...

Cheney basically dared the monkey to not pardon him when he admitted to approving the torture of detainees.

This is a done deal. It will not be undone. About the best we could hope for is that Cheney would somehow find himself in The Hague.

Utah Savage said...

I think I've signed fifteen petitions today. But since Oran Hatch and a couple of other Bush puppets and Mormon guys mostly interested in obstruction are my elected representatives,
I'm pretty much pissing in the wind.

I have supported Kuchinich's efforts (I heart him too)from the beginning. But still, my emails get sent to Hatch and the other right- wingnuts.

Susan, I love the way you and Stella lay it out. I should publish both your comments together.