The Ghost’s of Pardons Past

On July, 11th 2007 John Conyers chaired Hearings (oops wrong link) to determine the purpose of what amounts to an already infamous commutation. Conyers also posed the question, why not a pardon? Why just a commute? Furthermore, he asked if the president's decision to commute as opposed to pardon

"…Inhibit congresses' ability to obtain the truth?"

Conyers also makes some enlightening comments regarding that portion of my readership that compares Bush's commutation of Libby, with Clinton's commutation of Rich, and other democratic commutations. Notice the differences.

  • There haven't been any pardons/commutations to a person who was the chief of staff to the vice president of the US.
  • Commutations usually follow after a person has served some time.
    • Libby served none.
  • Clinton waived his executive privilege and explained his decision to commute.
    • Conyers asked Bush to waive executive privilege while congress investigates the firing of the US attorneys.
    • GW politely rejected the offer.

Now we will consider the reason republicans and democrats alike do not agree with the commutation. This reason includes the impact of a commutation over a pardon and the administration's neglect to cooperate with congress; ergo, the president waiving his privilege.

If Libby were pardoned….

  • Libby will lose his ability to plea the fifth
  • A pardon would enable congress to question Scooter
    • This could further implicate others in the white house.
  • (in fairness, the American Thinker suggests that Clinton obstructed justice in his pardoning of Susan McDougal. They further assert that this pardon played a part in ending the investigation of the Whitewater scandal. I don't know about that, but it's worth an honorable mention.
  • Bush pardoned the chief of staff before Libby served any time.
    • A rare occurrence at best.

One must agree in part with the Scooter's support team of thugs, journalists, CEOs, and presidents. Article 2, section 2 of the US Constitution says,

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

On the other hand, United States citizens believe in impeachment. 46% say impeach Chaney and 58% say impeach Bush.

What Blogger Ed doesn't seem to realize is that the Libby case is not about a commutation. It is not about comparing Bush's pardons to Clinton's. It is not even about democrats versus republicans though I know how much journalists love that argument.

It is, however, about apparent obstruction of justice emanating from the highest levels of government in the US. It is about,

"…influencing the decision to go to war."

-Rep. William Delahunt

Journalists better start asking legitimate questions. Politicians better start producing legitimate answers. America better begin to focus on meaningful tribulations as opposed to childishly jawsing about nonsensical issues.

There are legitimate arguments to be debated, genuine options to be evaluated and justifiable decisions to be consummated. Let us be sober and vigilant lest we miss the civil forest for the political trees.

If it truly were a war on terror they'd arrest the KKK.


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