Pardon Scorecard: Dictatorship or Democracy?

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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This page was created on 11/13/08 to track the opinions of bloggers, journalists, elected officials, and policymakers on whether George Bush should issue blanket pre-emptive pardons for administration officials who committed crimes on his behalf, including Dick Cheney and himself.

Back then, the idea of self-pardons was widely viewed as unthinkable. But due to our blogging efforts here, the idea was debated seriously. In the end, Bush decided not to pardon anyone in his administration. No one has asked him why, but it's possible he realized the public backlash would be furious.

After Bush's departure, we began tracking opinions about prosecuting Bush Administration officials who committed crimes like torture and warrantless wiretapping. There is no doubt these crimes were committed; nor is there any doubt that these crimes were authorized by the very highest officials: George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condi Rice, and Alberto Gonzales.

The only question is whether these top officials should be prosecuted for authorizing these crimes.

There are three alternatives to prosecution:

  1. Conservatives believe these officials should be given medals because these crimes saved American lives, even though all evidence is to the contrary: torture by the U.S. became the strongest recruiting force for Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq who murdered thousands of U.S. soldiers.
  2. The Washington Elite want these crimes to be swept under the rug because they fully supported these crimes and because they don't want their personal friends in jail.
  3. Democratic "leaders" want a "Truth Commission" to issue a "bipartisan" report, an idea Republicans killed the moment it was proposed, thus making "bipartisanship" impossible.

Under our Constitution, laws are enforced by nonpartisan prosecutors who swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and the Rule of Law. The public has no vote; prosecutors do not take polls.

The table below separates those who believe prosecutors should enforce the Rule of Law from those who believe Presidents and other powerful politicians should be exempt from the Rule of Law. The Founding Fathers would never have tolerated an exemption for Presidents; they would have recognized it as an open invitation to tyranny, if not tyranny itself. So do we.

Rule of Law - Read Key Arguments Tyranny

Progressives (especially recommended)
Alex Gibney @ Amnesty (1/22/09)
Ali Frick @ ThinkProgress (12/1/08,1/11/09,1/29/09,2/12/09)
Allen Keller @ NYU (12/27/08)
Amanda Terkel @ ThinkProgress (1/14/09,1/23/09)
Amy Goodman @ DNow (1/27/09,1/28/09,1/28/09)
Andy Worthington (12/24/08,12/25/08,1/13/09,1/20/09, 1/20/09,1/23/09)
Anthony D'Amato (12/3/08)
Ari Melber @ TheNation (11/25/08,12/29/08,1/8/09,1/12/09)
Arianna Huffington (1/13/09)
Attaturk @ FireDogLake (1/14/09)
BarbinMD (1/8/09)
Big Tent Dem @ TalkLeft (1/13/09)
Billmon (1/12/09)
Blue Texan @ FireDog (1/22/09)
bmaz @ emptywheel (1/15/09,1/16/09,1/19/09,2/9/09, 2/16/09,2/17/09)
Bob Fertik @ Democrats.com (12/31/08,1/4/09,1/10/09, 1/10/09,1/11/09)
Bob Herbert @ NYTimes (12/29/08)
Brad Friedman (12/19/08,2/25/09)
Brent Budowsky (12/23/08,1/10/09,2/27/09)
Brian Foley @ BU (2/13/09)
Bruce Ackerman @ Slate (1/13/09)
buhdydharma @ Docudharma (11/8/08)
Carolyn Patty Blum @ ICTJ (12/08)
Cenk Uygur @ YoungTurks (12/12/08,12/16/08,1/26/09)
Cernig @ CrooksandLiars (1/9/09,1/13/09,1/14/09,1/26/09, 2/9/09,2/9/09,2/12/09)
Chris Bowers (1/10/09,1/15/09,1/19/09,1/21/09)
Chris Durang @ HuffPo (12/17/08)
Chris Matthews @ MSNBC (11/12/08)
Chris Schroeder @ Duke (3/4/09)
Christine Pelosi (11/26/08)
Christy Hardin Smith (1/7/09,1/13/09,1/13/09,1/17/09,2/5/09, 2/12/09)
Dahlia Lithwick @ Slate (11/26/08,12/9/08,12/22/08,1/11/09, 1/14/09,2/10/09,2/25/09)
Dan Froomkin @ WaPo (2/27/09,3/3/09)
Daniel De Groot @ OpenLeft (1/11/09,1/12/09,1/17/09, 1/24/09)
Daphne Eviatar @ WashInd (12/5/08,12/8/08,12/12/08, 12/15/08,12/24/08,1/8/09,1/9/09,1/9/09,1/11/09,1/13/09, 1/14/09,1/16/09,1/18/09,1/25/09,1/26/09,1/26/09,1/27/09, 1/27/09,1/28/09,1/28/09,1/28/09,1/30/09,2/4/09,2/5/09, 2/6/09,2/9/09,2/9/09,2/9/09,2/10/09,2/10/09,2/11/09, 2/11/09,2/12/09,2/16/09,2/18/09,2/19/09,2/20/09,2/20/09, 2/22/09,2/24/09,2/26/09,2/26/09,2/27/09,2/27/09,3/2/09, 3/2/09,3/2/09)
David Danzig @ HRF (2/17/09)
David Dayen @ dday (12/26/08,1/10/09,3/2/09)
David Latt @ HuffPo (11/21/08,12/17/08,12/19/08,1/30/09)
David Lindorff @ Democrats.com (12/18/08)
David Neiwert @ C&L (12/31/08,1/8/09,1/11/09,1/15/09, 1/28/09,1/29/09)
David Swanson @ Democrats.com (10/23/08, 11/26/08, 12/10/08,12/11/08,12/27/08,1/2/09,1/9/09,1/12/09,1/13/09, 2/10/09,2/18/09)
dday @ digby (11/13/08,1/3/09,1/14/09,1/14/09,1/21/09)
Dean Baker @ CEPR (11/26/08,12/18/08)
Dennis Loo @ WCW (11/30/08)
Diane McWhorter @ USAToday (2/11/09)
Digby @ digby (11/12/08,11/26/08,11/27/08, 12/2/08,12/14/08,12/16/08,12/20/08,12/31/08,1/1/09, 1/10/09,1/11/09,1/15/09,1/19/09,1/19/09,1/25/09,1/25/09, 2/9/09,2/10/09,2/15/09,2/17/09)
earlofhuntingdon @ FDL (2/4/09)
Edger @ Docudharma (1/13/09,1/19/09)
Elizabeth Holtzman (1/15/09)
Elliott @ FDL (12/1/08)
Eureka Springs @ FDL (1/11/09)
Faiz Shakir @ ThinkProgress (11/29/08)
Fat Charlie the Archangel @ TRex (7/20/08)
Frank Rich @ NY Times (1/11/09)
Gary Farber @ amygdalagf (1/9/09,1/11/09)
Glenn Greenwald @ Salon (11/13/08,11/26/08,12/8/08, 12/10/08,12/12/08,12/13/08,12/15/08,12/17/08, 12/17/08,12/18/08,12/20/08,12/24/08,12/31/08,1/8/09, 1/11/09,1/13/09,1/15/09,1/15/09,1/18/09,1/20/09,1/20/09, 1/21/09,1/22/09,1/27/09,1/28/09,2/10/09,2/11/09,2/12/09, 2/16/09,2/17/09,2/18/09,2/19/09,2/24/09,2/25/09,2/25/09, 3/3/09)
Glynn Wilson @ Locust Fork (1/22/09,2/6/09,2/22/09,3/2/09)
Greg Dworkin @ Kos (12/18/08)
Greg Sargent @ WP (1/22/09,1/22/09,2/17/09,2/18/09)
Heather @ CrooksandLiars (1/26/09,2/1/09)
Howie Klein @ DWT (1/2/09,1/11/09,1/16/09,1/19/09, 1/20/09,1/20/09,2/9/09)
Ian Welsh @ FireDogLake (11/13/08,1/22/09)
Jack Balkin @ Yale (12/1/08,1/11/09,3/3/09,3/4/09)
James Zogby @ AAI (12/18/08)
Jane Hamsher @ FireDogLake (12/31/08,1/12/09,1/12/09, 1/12/09,1/13/09,1/13/09,1/16/09,2/16/09)
Jane Mayer @ NewYorker (1/25/09,2/17/09)
Jason Leopold @ PubRecord (12/6/08,12/11/08, 12/11/08,12/12/08,12/15/08,12/22/08,12/22/08,12/24/08, 1/2/09,1/7/09,1/9/09,1/9/09,1/12/09,1/12/09,1/13/09, 1/13/09,1/13/09, 1/14/09,1/14/09,1/14/09,1/17/09,1/18/09, 1/21/09,1/23/09,1/26/09,1/26/09,1/29/09,1/29/09,2/2/09, 2/4/09,2/4/09,2/9/09,2/9/09,2/11/09,2/13/09,2/15/09, 2/16/09,2/18/09,2/19/09,2/20/09,2/22/09,2/23/09,2/25/09, 3/2/09)
Jeffrey Kaye (1/7/09,1/24/09,2/4/09,2/11/09,2/15/09, 2/17/09,2/21/09,2/24/09,2/25/09)
Jeffrey Stewart (11/26/08)
Jenny Martinez @ Stanford (3/2/09)
Jeralyn Merritt @ TalkLeft (1/14/09)
Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith @ TheNation (12/17/08)
John Amato @ CrooksandLiars (1/14/09,1/25/09)
John Cusack (1/11/09)
John Nichols @ TheNation (2/9/09)
Jon Perr (1/8/09,3/2/09)
Jon Ponder (12/16/08)
Jonathan Freedland @ Guardian.uk (12/25/08)
Jordan Paust (12/3/08,1/23/09,2/11/09)
Kagro X (12/22/08,1/18/09)
Kate Martin @ TPM (11/28/08)
Keith Olbermann (12/16/08)
KenInNY @ DWT (2/17/09)
Kevin Drum @ MoJo (3/2/09)
Kevin Jon Heller (1/19/09)
Kristen Breitweiser (1/13/09)
Lawrence Lessig @ Stanford (11/26/08)
Lawrence Velvel (10/7/08)
Lee Camp @ HuffPo (12/29/08)
Len Hart @ OpEd (12/25/08)
Laura Flanders @ GRITtv (1/28/09)
Liliana Segura @ AlterNet (11/28/08,1/24/09)
LithiumCola @ DailyKos (1/10/09)
looseheadprop @ FireDogLake (11/11/08,11/24/08,12/17/08, 12/21/08, 1/11/09,1/15/09,2/9/09,2/27/09,3/2/09)
Marcy Wheeler @ FireDogLake (12/13/08,12/14/08, 12/17/08,12/23/08,12/30/08,1/7/09,1/8/09,1/13/09,1/13/09, 1/14/09,1/18/09,1/21/09,1/25/09,1/26/09,1/28/09,1/29/09, 1/30/09,1/30/09,2/4/09,2/4/09,2/9/09,2/11/09,2/14/09, 2/17/09,2/22/09,2/24/09,2/26/09,2/26/09,2/26/09,2/27/09)
Margaret Satterthwaite @ NYU (3/2/09)
Marjorie Cohn @ NLG (12/18/08,2/13/09,2/20/09,2/23/09)
Mark Kleiman @ SameFacts (1/12/09)
Martin Longman @ Booman (11/10/08)
Mary Ellen O’Connell @ Notre Dame (12/6/08,12/11/08)
Matthew Yglesias (11/23/08,1/11/09,1/11/09)
mcjoan @ DailyKos (12/20/08,1/11/09,1/13/09,1/14/09, 1/21/09,1/22/09,3/2/09,3/3/09)
Melvin Goodman @ PubRecord (1/8/09)
Meteor Blades @ DailyKos (11/4/08, 11/9/08, 11/26/08, 12/24/08,12/31/08,1/13/09,1/31/09,2/24/09,2/25/09)
Michael Cohen @ New America Found (11/26/08)
Michael Haas (12/08,1/11/09)
Michael Ratner @ CCR (11/20/08,11/20/08,11/25/08, 12/3/08,1/11/09,1/23/09,3/2/09)
Mitchell Bard @ HuffPo (12/17/08)
Naomi Wolf (3/3/09)
Nat Hentoff @ Village Voice (12/2/08)
Nicole Belle @ C&L (11/30/08,1/11/09,1/11/09,1/22/09)
nonny mouse @ C&L (2/14/09)
One Pissed Off Liberal @ Kos (11/30/08)
Orin Kerr @ Volokh (3/2/09)
P.M. Carpenter @ Buzzflash (12/30/08)
P.S. Ruckman @ PardonPower (1/2/09)
Pat Schroeder @ AAP (12/18/08)
Patriot Daily @ Kos (12/29/08,1/11/09,1/22/09,1/27/09, 1/29/09,2/2/09,2/11/09)
Paul Abrams @ HuffPo (12/14/08,1/23/09)
Paul Krugman @ NYTimes (1/16/09)
Paul Rosenberg @ OpenLeft (12/20/08)
Pete Cendella @ Huffpo (1/21/09)
Peter Dyer @ HuffPo (12/31/08,2/10/09)
Peter Shane @ OSU (2/13/09)
Philippe Sands @ London (12/4/08,1/7/09,1/14/09)
Rachel Maddow @ MSNBC (11/13/08,12/16/08,12/17/08, 1/21/09,1/22/09)
Ralph Lopez @ Kos (3/3/09)
Ray McGovern @ Consortium (12/11/08,1/8/09,1/15/09)
Rick Beyer (11/26/08,12/18/08)
Robert Parry (12/22/08,12/26/08,1/10/09,2/3/09)
Rosa Brooks @ LA Times (11/27/08)
Sam Stein @ HuffPo (2/9/09)
Scarecrow @ FDL (12/17/08)
Scott Horton @ Harpers (11/13/08, 11/22/08,11/26/08, 12/4/08,12/4/08,12/13/08,12/16/08,12/17/08,12/18/08, 12/19/08,12/26/08,12/29/08,1/2/09,1/2/09,1/2/09,1/12/09, 1/12/09,1/13/09,1/14/09,1/17/09,1/19/09,1/20/09,1/21/09, 1/22/09,2/2/09,2/4/09,2/4/09,2/10/09,2/11/09,2/11/09, 2/12/09,2/15/09,2/17/09,2/17/09,2/19/09,3/2/09,3/3/09)
Spencer Ackerman @ WashInd (1/2/09,1/12/09,1/12/09,1/12/09, 1/14/09,1/15/09,1/15/09, 1/22/09,1/22/09,1/22/09,1/22/09,1/26/09)
Stephen Kaus @ HuffPo (1/3/09)
Stephen Walt @ Harvard (11/26/08)
Steve Hendricks (1/14/09)
Susie Madrak @ CrooksandLiars (1/30/09)
Suzanne Ito (1/15/09)
tremayne @ OpenLeft (12/18/08,1/27/09)
Vyan @ DailyKos (1/26/09)
Walter Dellinger @ Duke (3/4/09)
Will Bunch @ PhillyNews (11/17/08,2/18/09)
William Fisher @ PubRecord (1/12/09,1/14/09,1/17/09, 1/31/09,2/4/09,2/9/09,2/13/09,2/14/09,2/19/09,2/24/09, 2/24/09)

Progressive Groups (see ProsecuteBushCheney)
ACLU (12/4/08,1/13/09,2/4/09,2/25/09)
Amnesty International USA (11/5/08,12/16/08)
High Road for Human Rights (12/4/08)
Human Rights First (2/26/09)
International Center for Transitional Justice (11/08)
National Religious Campaign Against Torture (11/12/08)
NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (2/19/09)
World Organization for Human Rights USA (12/2/08)

Conservatives
Jack Cafferty (12/1/08)
David Cole @ Georgetown (12/17/08, 3/2/09)
John Dean (12/18/08,1/10/09,1/24/09,3/2/09)
Mickey Edwards (11/26/08)
Bruce Fein @ Reagan DoJ (1/20/09)
Conor Friedersdorf @ Culture11 (11/13/08)
Joseph Galloway @ McClatchy (11/19/08)
David Iglesias @ DoJ (12/9/08)
Daniel Larison @ AmConMag (11/13/08)
Orin Kerr @ GWU (3/4/09)
Richard Sanders @ WA Sup Ct (2/2/09)
Andrew Sullivan @ Atlantic (11/29/08,11/30/08,1/25/09)
Jonathan Turley @ GWU (11/13/08, 11/13/08,11/18/08, 1/16/09,1/28/09,2/18/09)

Newspaper Editorials & Senior Writers
Los Angeles Times (12/3/08,12/20/08,12/24/08,2/14/09)
New York Times (11/29/08,12/18/08)
Washington Post (11/30/08)
Raymond Bonner @ NYT (ongoing)
Paul Campos @ RMN (1/21/09)
Gilbert Cranberg @ DMR (10/29/08)
Charles Kaiser @ CJR(1/12/09)
Timothy Rutten @ LAT (3/4/09)
Rick Sanchez @ CNN (1/26/09)
Ann Woolner @ Bloomberg (12/5/08)

Military (& Families) and Interrogators
Matthew Alexander
Amy Branham, Gold Star Mother (1/13/09)
James Cullen, Brig. Gen. (Ret.) (1/27/09)
Paul Eaton, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) (1/08)
Stuart Herrington, Col. (Ret.) (1/22/09)
Jonathan Hutson, Rear Adm. (Ret.) (08)
Paul Kern, Gen. (Ret.)
David R. Irvine, Brig. Gen. (Ret.) (Human Rights First) (1/22/09)
Chuck Krulack, Marine Gen. (Ret.) (1/08)
Frank Naif, CIA (ret.) (1/25/09)
Joe Navarro, FBI special agent (Ret.) (1/22/09)
Torin Nelson, U.S. Army interrogator (Ret.) (1/22/09)
Anthony Taguba, Maj. Gen. (Ret.)
Lawrence Wilkerson, Col. (Ret.)

Congressional Democrats (link)

Republicans
Rep. Walter Jones (2/13/09)

Voters/Polls
Rasmussen (12/4/08)

Active Supporters
Fred Barnes @ Murdoch (1/11/09)
Bradley Blakeman @ GOP (12/18/08)
Steven Calabresi @ Federalist Society (11/26/08,12/18/08)
Tucker Carlson (12/1/08)
Lee Casey @ GHWB (2/17/09)
Linda Chavez @ Bush (12/21/07)
Alan Dershowitz @ Wall St Journal (9/12/08,1/16/09)
Erick Erickson @ Redstate (1/11/09)
Charles Fried @ Reagan (1/11/09)
Frank Gaffney (1/23/09)
John Gibson @ Fox (11/21/07)
Jack Goldsmith @ Bush DoJ (11/25/08)
Daniel Henninger @ WSJ (1/15/09)
Bill Kristol (11/29/08)
Andrew McCarthy @ National Review (12/29/08,1/6/09)
Peggy Noonan (4/19/09)
Bill O'Reilly (1/14/09,1/28/09, 1/29/09,2/12/09)
David Rivkin @ GHWB (2/17/09)
Steve Steckler (11/26/08,12/18/08)
Stuart Taylor Jr. @ everywhere(7/12/08,11/20/08,12/5/08,12/9/08, 1/11/09)
Marc Thiessen @ Bush (1/22/09, 2/12/09)
Evan Thomas @ Newsweek (1/14/09)
George Will (4/19/09)
Wall Street Journal (1/6/09)
Washington Post (1/7/09,1/10/09)

Enablers and Passive Supporters
Kenneth Anderson @ AU (3/2/09)
John Barry @ Newsweek (1/19/09)
John Bresnahan @ Politico (1/29/09)
Mickey Carroll @ Quinnipiac (12/18/08)
Richard Cohen @ WaPo (1/27/09)
Tom Curry @ MSNBC (12/2/08)
Kevin Drum (11/23/08)
Howard Fineman @ Newsweek (1/24/09)
David Glazier @ Loyola (12/20/08)
Doris Kearns Goodwin (1/13/09)
Christopher Hitchens (1/17/09)
Charles Holman @ Washington Monthly (11/08)
Aziz Huq @ NYU Brennan (12/23/08)
JAG John Hutson (Ret.) (12/20/08)
Michael Isikoff (11/22/08,1/28/09)
Nick Katzenbach @ TPM (1/29/09)
Gen. John H. Johns (Ret.) (12/20/08)
Anne Kornblut @ WaPo (1/24/09)
Sen Patrick Leahy (12/20/08)
Anonymous Liberal (1/23/09)
Jason Linkins @ HuffPo (11/25/08)
Robert Litt (11/12/08)
Ruth Marcus @ WashPost (12/20/08,1/19/09)
Sen John McCain (1/26/09)
Nora O'Donnell @ MSNBC (1/24/09)
Eric Posner @ Chicago (12/1/08, 1/17/09)
Lois Romano @ WaPo (1/22/09)
Kermit Roosevelt (11/13/08)
JAG Scott Silliman (Ret.) (12/20/08)
Suzanne Spaulding (11/26/08)
Geoffrey Stone (12/3/08)
Marisa Taylor @ McClatchy (12/20/08)
Robert Turner @ CNSL (12/20/08)
Col. Larry Wilkerson (Ret.) (12/20/08)
Bob Woodward @ WaPo (1/24/09)

Congress
Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) (2/6/09, 2/20/09)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) (2/6/09)

Comments

Bush Pardons

  • Sheldon H. Laskin's picture
    Sheldon H. Laskin
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This is a righteous, but doomed effort. All it takes is about 30 seconds for Bush to pardon himself and there is no practical way to stop it. He can't be impeached once he is out of office and the pardon power is unlimited, other than the fact that the Constitution bars a president from "deimpeaching" himself. But there's nothing to stop him from pardoning himself for the underlying crimes up to his leaving office, voluntarily or otherwise. And there is simply no time left to impeach him and remove him from office. Face it -- he ran out the clock.

Bright side -- once they're all pardoned, they can't invoke the Fifth Amendment in response to any official inquiries into the myriad crimes of this, the most lawless Administration in American history.

actually Bush can be impeached

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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after he leaves office. See the reference to William Belknap here:
http://www.democrats.com/pardon-faq

You may be right

  • Sheldon H. Laskin's picture
    Sheldon H. Laskin
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I looked at the Belknap cite, and it refreshed my memory about the precedent. It's possible, but I remain dubious. Another plausible reading of the clause is that a current officeholder who has been impeached and removed from office is barred from subsequently holding office. In normal times, that would be the more reasonable interpretation; otherwise Jimmy Carter could be impeached now so that he couldn't run for a second presidential term. That doesn't seem to be a reasonable reading of the clause. And given the composition of the current Supreme Court, I wouldn't want to test the post-inaugural impeachment theory.

I was glad for the comment

  • MusicMan_2007's picture
    MusicMan_2007
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I was glad for the comment that these miscreants would not be able to invoke the Fifth Amendment if pardoned. At the same time, the poster is incorrect in saying a person cannot be impeached after leaving office. I found this out when researching a paper I wrote entitled, "Is There A Case for Impeaching Ronald Reagan?" in 1985. If I get the time, I will try to find a reference in this regard.

you're correct - Bush can be impeached

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
    Want to meet our members? Click 'Join' above!

after he leaves office. See the reference to William Belknap here:
http://www.democrats.com/pardon-faq

Pardon

  • doggirl's picture
    doggirl
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Wait a minute, Sheldon Laskin....

But if they have been pardoned can't they lie under oath and not be convicted of perjury? If they have been pardoned from any crimes, for example, involving torture, then won't they be exempt from any future lies when they testify about torture crimes?

A pardon would only cover

  • dinamic's picture
    dinamic
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A pardon would only cover the specific "crimes" outlined in the pardon. It would not cover any future crimes, such as lying to the courts or to congress after the pardon. It would also not cover any past crime that was not specified in the pardon. If for example the person in question was later proved to have robbed a bank or committed a murder during the time covered by the pardon but not covered in the pardon they could be tried for those crimes.

The power to pardon applies only to offenses against the laws of the jurisdiction of which the pardoning official is the chief executive. Thus the president may only pardon for violations of federal law, and governors may only pardon for violations of the laws of their states.

Unless the pardon expressly states that it is issued because of a determination that the recipient was innocent, a pardon does not imply innocence. It is merely a forgiveness of the offense. It is generally assumed that acceptance of a pardon is an implicit acknowledgment of guilt, for one cannot be pardoned unless one has committed an offense.
SNIP
The most widely publicized pardons have involved political figures. President Gerald R. Ford's September 1974 pardon of former president Richard M. Nixon for all offenses that he had committed or in which he had taken part relieved Nixon from facing criminal prosecution for his role in the Watergate scandal. President Ford justified the pardon as a way to restore domestic tranquility to a nation that had spent two years in political turmoil. In 1977 President Jimmy Carter granted an amnesty to all persons who had unlawfully evaded the military draft during the Vietnam War. Carter too justified his amnesty as a way to end a divisive period in U.S. history. In December 1992 President George Bush pardoned six officials of the Ronald Reagan administration who were implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal. Bush granted the pardons shortly before leaving office. He based the pardons on his belief that the officials had been prosecuted over policy differences rather than for criminal acts.
http://www.answers.com/topic/pardon#Law_Encyclopedia

No one has ever to my knowledge been pardoned for a crime that he/she hasn't yet committed.

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross." ~ Sinclair Lewis

Speaker of the House

  • pepawjoe0943's picture
    pepawjoe0943
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It appears we may have seen the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, suscessfully shut out the requests of "We the People" in favor of her apparent favoriate President, George W Bush. She has displayed her TRUE colors from day one as Speaker of the House. Just another example of her loyality. [Hint] It's not "We the people".

i don't think Pelosi

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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has any affection for George Bush. She carefully controls her feelings, but she thinks he's a horrible president and also an idiot.

The main reason she didn't want to impeach him was because she believed it would hurt Democrats in the 2006 and 2008 elections, because it would stir up the Republican "base." Most Democrats in Washington DC agreed.

We disagreed strongly, but we couldn't convince them.

Impeachment is water under the bridge!

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    Old Geecer
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At this time it would be a waste of Taxpayers money to even think of impeachment of Bush he can deal with being the worst President that we have ever had. History will not forget about him!

Opposing Bush Pardons

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I am very grateful for the campaign to oppose Bush pardons! Will there not have to be a companion campaign to have a different Speaker of the House selected, as well, being that Ms. Pelosi has so far refused to back impeachment and had for so long declared impeachment "off the table"? I do know that the Judiciary Committee was beginning to move on impeachment before the Presidential election season went into high gear. And Nancy Pelosi seemed to be softening her opposition to impeachment somewhat. Does anyone have any insights in this regard?

Pelosi opposed impeachment

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    Bob Fertik
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in 2006 because she feared it would interfere with a Democratic takeover of Congress.

she opposed impeachment in 2007-2008 because she feared it would interfere with a Democratic takeover of the White House.

both of those elections are past so Pelosi has nothing more to fear.

Impeachment or the truth

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It's nice that Pelosi didn't want to interfer with with the elections so she did nothing. I wonder how many more Americans and Iraqis died because of this decision. Even now people say that it would be a witch hunt to pursue what the truth of the situations in question were or are.
We support the troops but if they died for the wrong reason so what. This country is a mess and we speak out of both sides of our mouth. What ever happened to finding out the truth so it never happens again?

I agree

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    MusicMan_2007
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I certainly agree that Nancy Pelosi has nothing more to fear regarding impeachment. The same would be true of any of us. So where is the problem? Persons may want to consult the recent works of Naomi Wolf, The End of America and Give Me Liberty for a fabulous description of the fascist shift which has occurred in America and why nothing seems to work within the political system. Her most recent book, Give Me Liberty gives both hope and concrete suggestions. This is the book she recommends now. And definitely, so do I.

War crimes

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    Roberteve1
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We need to take ACTION now on the Bush and Cheney administration for leading America to war for no acceptable reason. Please help our Country... Lord knows we need it!!