Pardon Scorecard: Dictatorship or Democracy?
- Bob FertikWant to meet our members? Click 'Join' above!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
Progressive Groups (see ProsecuteBushCheney)
Newspaper Editorials & Senior Writers
Military (& Families) and Interrogators
Congressional Democrats (link)
Enablers and Passive Supporters