George Bush’s 69 for Scooter Libby

Tweety has started to count the days left for George Bush to pardon Scooter Libby. Bush has 69 days left to–as Tweety accurately describes it–complete the cover-up of the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity.

I’m glad Tweety’s bringing this to attention, particularly since, with Waxman’s designs on John Dingell’s Chairmanship at the Energy and Commerce Committee, Waxman may well drop his quest to get Dick Cheney’s FBI interview report from DOJ. 

But it’s worth remembering this pardon will only complete the cover-up of one of Bush’s crimes. I’m just as interested in discussing the names of those–like David Addington, or Turdblossom, or Alberto Gonzales, or Cheney himself–whose silence Bush may be contemplating buying in the next 69 days. That discussion is particularly relevant since President-elect Obama seems intent on making a deal that will give Congress some of the documents they were entitled to in their oversight role, rather than have the principle of Congressional oversight of the President affirmed. 

Libby’s just the guy who got caught. He’s by no means the only one carrying out a cover-up.

140 replies
  1. phred says:

    Just a minor quibble…

    whose silence Bush may be contemplating buying

    I was under the impression that if a person is pardoned, they can no longer claim 5th amendment rights. So in effect, by pardoning them, wouldn’t Bush lose their silence?

    • perris says:

      I also think they can never claim they did not commit a crime, accepting the pardon I do believe means you accept guilt

  2. perris says:

    another great post marcy

    I’m surprised the president hasn’t started his message of treason but he has been busy busting up the rest of our constitution;

    It was recently announced that over 90 new regulations would be finalized before November 22 — 60 days prior to the end of Bush’s term — making them difficult, though not impossible, for President Obama to reverse.

    Although many of the regulations have to do with energy and the environment, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noted on Tuesday that there’s also “one that’ll kick opponents of the Patriot Act right in the teeth.”

    The proposed regulation “would allow state and local law enforcement agencies to collect intelligence on individuals and organizations even if the information is unrelated to any criminal matter,” Maddow explained. She added, “Even if they weren’t already watching you — they soon could be.”

    very surprised he wants to put this in place on his way out the door, I would have thought he would try to reel it in.

    and no, i do not believe obama will try to get that rescinded

    • phred says:

      D’oh! What was I thinking?!? Ok, silence it is then. Who knows maybe Bush will toss in a nice little cottage in Paraguay with each pardon ; )

    • ratfood says:

      I am forecasting a January blizzard of Presidential pardons. Are there are constraints on the number a president can grant?

      • BargainCountertenor says:

        None whatever. The presidential pardon is limited only in that he cannot pardon an impeachment.

        • ThingsComeUndone says:

          This relates to possible impeachment revealing a spies name, our spies name is treason. During war time thats the Death Penalty unless of course you are a Republican.

            • Leen says:

              As John Dean has pointed out impeachment of lower level officials, Feith, Elliot Abrams, Bolton, Libby, Rove, Wolfowitz, Addington would mean that these individuals would be taken out and could never ever roll back into future administrations.

              Protect our country…protect the world..Take them out of play.

              Refocusing the Impeachment Movement on Administration Officials Below the President and Vice-President:
              Why Not Have A Realistic Debate, with Charges that Could Actually Result in Convictions?
              By JOHN W. DEAN
              Friday, Dec. 15, 2006

              When Libby is pardoned can he practice law again?
              When Libby is pardoned does that make him more vulnerable to being held accountable by Plame/Wilson?

        • ratfood says:

          There is really nothing to prevent him from going all out, it’s not as if he has a reputation or legacy to protect.

          • BargainCountertenor says:

            You know that. I know that.

            Bush, however, is the Dim Son, and he believes that he has a legacy to protect.

            • Blub says:

              he’s also a bit contrarian in many respects. He might just pardon himself say say “frack y’all. Y’all ‘re on yer own. I’m riding off into the sunset. Yeehaw!”

              • demi says:

                That would be interesting.
                Also a payback for No One wanting him to campaign for them.
                Hmmmmm. Could happen. Not likely though.

  3. Blub says:

    I’d think that his priority would be to craft a water-tight presumptive pardon for himself: “Now, therefore, I, George W. Bush, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney for all offenses against the United States which we have committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from July (January) 20, 2000, through (January) 20, 2008.”

  4. ThingsComeUndone says:

    I’m just as interested in discussing the names of those–like David Addington, or Turdblossom, or Alberto Gonzales, or Cheney himself–whose silence Bush may be contemplating buying in the next 69 days.

    Bush will wait until his last day in office before he pardons anyone. However I bet just like his dad on Iran Contra people will be taken care of.
    However who Congress perhaps has the standing to challenge this legally since Bush can’t pardon people to cover his possible crimes and since this was a White House leak and Scooter worked for Cheney I don’t see any plausible deniability.

  5. demi says:

    But, last night Rachel said 69 days.
    So, isn’t today = 68?
    I know Libby not the only one waiting.
    Is someone making a list? Checking it twice?

  6. stratocruiser says:

    There was discussion some months ago about the wording relating to impeachment. The text of the constitution says “in cases of impeachment”, does it not? Then, in Cheneys case, the impeachment has already started, thanks to Dennis Kucinich. It seems that would make him un-pardonable, since it’s not contingent on impeachment and conviction.
    Maybe Dennis can bring a blanket case aainst all members of the administration. It would bar the pardons and wouldn’t take p much House time to have a case sitting there.

    I personally want to see Cheney convicted of the espionage he cetainly did commit. The 1917 Espionage Act is fairly simple and Cheney committed all the elements.

  7. STTPinOhio says:

    Why is the Friedman Unit all over my TV?

    Yeah, I know he’s got a book out, but come on, enough already.

    Why can’t the people who got the last eight years right get any air time?

  8. bluebutterfly says:

    OT..Democratic Underground has some pictures. Helen Thomas was back at her White House desk yesterday.

  9. ThingsComeUndone says:

    EW is right who are we missing from the list of Bush administration criminals?
    Bush’s pardon list for what we think now are minor crimes will give us pointers to look at people we have not looked at before.
    People that Bush feels he has to protect because we might find something out later.
    We might have found out, we might not have but Bush’s pardon list will put the finger on a whole new list of targets to investigate and watch for.

  10. neurophius says:

    Nixon didn’t pardon any Watergate crooks before resigning, did he?

    (If true) I wonder why.

    Anything to do with the fact that the house judiciary committee had voted acts of impeachment?

  11. KevPod500 says:

    I have an objection.

    Why do you call Chris Matthews “Tweety?” It seems like he’s done a fairly aggressive job questioning Bushco’s falsehoods. Now that Obama’s elected, do we have to continue with the adolescent name calling, even on a high-functioning blog like this?

    I may be al;one, but I find that nickname for this journalist annoying and unworthy.

    • eCAHNomics says:

      Because he looks like Tweety. He’s no journalist. He develops man crushes and gal crushes. Complete serendipity.

    • ThingsComeUndone says:

      Tweety own staff gave him the name because of his dye color. We took that name after he praised Bush for looking Manly on that Mission accomplished aircraft carrier.
      That and that statement he made but how only the Left does not like Bush.
      Tweety has been a big Bush supporter until recently.
      I think he looked at his retirement portfolio.
      Bobo Brooks (David Brooks NY Times ) name derived from his book Bobos in Paradise. We make fun of him because he did piece about how Bush was not getting credit on the economy among other things.

  12. Badwater says:

    The sheer number of pardons coming at the end of the Bush Administration will be breathtaking. To avoid having the little fellow get a hell of a cramp, the Bushies have no doubt had his signature preprinred on the forms.

  13. dosido says:

    Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?

    It’s amazing to see the pics of President Codpiece on the aircraft carrier. He’s a lot younger and it just reminds me of how. very. long. we’ve. been. stuck. in. his. war.

    • SouthernDragon says:

      The stress, even for Shrub, has to be incredible. When I got back to the world the hair at my temples and more had already turned silver. I was 27.

      • dosido says:

        you probably earned your silver at an accelerated rate and gained some wisdom along the way, perhaps. I will not concede the same for shrub.

  14. rwcole says:

    Down the Tubes?
    The last counting of absentee ballots has Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) down to a 971 vote margin over Mark Begich. The vote counters got through about half the absentee and questioned ballots today; and it took Stevens’ margin from over 3k to just under 1k. More counting tomorrow.

    (Josh Marshall)

    • ThingsComeUndone says:

      Yes! I am so happy! Now if Al wins and we pick up Georgia do we need Joe Lieberman? Anyone have the count?

      • Hmmm says:

        Where the hell are all these extra Alaska ballot coming from? Seems like the number keeps increasing, in fact crazily so. Has there been there some crew sitting at long tables in a shuttered, fluorescent lit office somewhere up there, voting in 12-hour round the clock shifts since election day? Oy.

        • sunshine says:

          It was rawstory that said 35,000 votes yet to count.

          On November 4, Stevens led by about 3,000 votes against Begich, the current mayor of Anchorage. The state’s Division of Elections, reports the Anchorage Daily News, has counted about 43,000 absentee ballots on Wednesday, with 35,000 more expected in the next week. As of Wednesday evening, Begich was in the lead by three votes, with 125,019 against Stevens’ 125,016.


        • sunshine says:

          ANCHORAGE – Something stinks. Not just an ordinary low tide smell. Not like something you’d blame on the dog. It smells like an infection. For me to plug my nose, I’d have to overlook some curious facts.

          In Alaska, more people voted for George W. Bush in 2004 than for Sarah Palin on Tuesday despite an identical 61-36 margin of victory. Yes. Only four years ago 54,304 Alaskans got off their sofas and voted for Bush, but decided to sit home and not vote for Palin in 2008.

          In turn, I have to ignore the 30,520 Alaskans who felt progressive enough in 2004 to vote for John Kerry, but weren’t inspired enough to get out and vote for Barack Obama.

          I would have to glance past the 1,700% increase in the Democratic caucus in February, the 20,991 newly registered voters, and the three largest political rallies in Alaska’s history.

          I would also have to forget the people I stood in a long line with to early vote. It would be helpful not to know every other presidential election since Alaska began keeping records has had a larger turn out than the one we just had with our own Governor on the ticket. Try not to remember 12.4% more Alaskans showed up for the August primary as compared to four years ago, before the Palin nomination. Don’t think about the Lower 49’s record voter turn out this year either. Try to delete the memory file, though difficult, that 80% of us approved of Sarah Palin just two months ago.

          Four years ago, 313,592 out of 474,740 registered voters in Alaska participated in the election — a 66% turnout. Taking into account 49,000 outstanding ballots, on Tuesday 272,633 out of 495,731 registered Alaskans showed up at the polls; a turnout of 54.9%. That’s a decrease of more than 11% in voter turnout even though passions ran high for and against Obama, as well as for and against Sarah Palin! This year, early voters set a new record. As of last Thursday, with 4 days left for early voting, 15,000 Alaskans showed up-shattering the old record set in 2004 by 28%!

          Consider the most popular governor in history-and now the most polarizing-was on the Republican ticket. Consider the historic nature of this race; the first African American presidential candidate EVER! The second woman to ever make a presidential ticket; and she’s one of our own. Despite that, we’re supposed to believe that overall participation DECREASED by 11%. Not only that, but this historic election both nationally and for Alaska HAD THE LOWEST ALASKA TURNOUT FOR A PRESIDENTIAL RACE EVER!!! That makes sense. REALLY??? Something stinks.

          But wait, there’s more…

          Pre-election polls had both Mark Begich-D and Ethan Berkowitz-D solidly beating incumbents Senator Ted Stevens and Congressman Don Young by at least 6-10 points.

  15. bobschacht says:

    IIRC, Dick’s impeachment has not yet begun for real. Kucinich introduced Articles of Impeachment which were referred to Committee, but have not yet been voted out of Committee.

    Close, but not quite, IIRC. The Committee did convene but NOT to talk about impeachment. In fact, all the presenters and questioners were prohibited from mentioning the “I” word.

    It would have sufficed for the Committee to announce that it was considering articles of impeachment against Cheney (and Bush), which is the way impeachment begins. But Pelosi would not allow that.

    Bob in HI

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      Election’s almost over, though. Bet there are a whole lot of rich republicans that would love to see them impeached for wiping out their fortunes.

    • LabDancer says:

      I’m not sure you meant to imply otherwise, but – while it is true that the term “impeachment” in the pardon clause does not require the registering of a verdict of “convicted”, as in the sense of what President Bill Clinton was not, of indeed the convening of a trial in the Senate, it would seem necessary that at the VERY LEAST the House sitting in plenary session, either the House of the 110th Congress, or of the 111th Congress in the period of about a fortnight between it being sworn into office and the current president changing, to pass by a simple majority a bill to impeach the current president of …something – even a single charge in the bill would appear to suffice.

      Indeed, it had occurred to me, and not me alone by any means, that the pared-down state in which Rep Kucinich presented his motion, the one that was tabled to the House Judiciary Committee, was aimed at facilitating a ‘quickie’ bill being put before the full House ‘just in case’ [perhaps justified by as little as the possibility it might tend to chasten the executive from re-staging the Gulf of Tonkin in Hormuz and going all Beach Boys on Iran].

      In any event, I can’t see how what has in fact happened to date would qualify as “impeachment”, as such would constitute an open invitation for the next Tom Delay or Virgil Goode to pop up day after day with a bill of impeachment in hand, under threat of filibustering the House until his bill is referred on to the Judiciary Committee.

      All that acknowledged, again, it is plainly within the power of the HJC, subject to the cooperation of the Dem leaders of the House, to facilitate the bill being put to the House of this, or indeed the next, Congress, thereby turning a huge searchlight onto the entire sordid history of this administration.

      • Hmmm says:

        Huh. Lame duck session, or sneak impeachment move? We’ll see. I seem to remember that years ago Harry Shearer proposed impeachment by the newly seated 111th Congress right before the new inauguration.

      • bobschacht says:

        I think the operative event is when the House Committee gets the “super powers” of subpoena, etc. to investigate possible impeachable offenses. Without those powers, the investigation has no more teeth than any of the other hapless investigations by the Democrats during the last Congress. With those powers, the President can no longer appeal to executive privilege, etc.

        So the key is when such an investigation commences. For that to happen, IIRC, it has to be the HJC, and they have to make a formal announcement that they are launching an “impeachment” hearing. The HJC *could* have done so for its Kucinich hearing. It was explicitly forbidden to do so by traitor Pelosi. So no, the full House is not necessary, but ONLY the HJC is empowered to launch such a hearing.

        Is Mary still in the Wheel House? Am I right in this assessment?

        Bob in HI

        • LabDancer says:

          I think you’re conflating “impeachment” – the word used in the pardons clause in the Constitution to describe the exceptional status – with “impeachment investigation” – the status that has the effect of overcoming claims of pure executive privilege to justify opposing and otherwise excuse denying Congress, being engaged in the exercise of its constitutional duty to oversee the executive branch, unlimited access to documentary and testimonial evidence, other than and in addition to the provisions aimed at preventing the public dissemination of secrets the executive deems vital to the nation’s security [which engages a different process in any event].

          The difference being substantial, had the Founders had intended the term in the pardons clause to be engaged by as little as a vote in the HJC, they would not have left such a strong impression of intending otherwise.

          That writ down, it’s not as if the issue has ever come before the courts, or indeed more than a few of the many interesting and important issues this controversial power suggests. Moreover there are two critical dispositions to be considered, each of which suggests ‘twould not be skirted now:

          – that of the current SCOTUS, and
          – that of current POTUS-elect.

          To borrow from Shakespeare’s words for Macbeth, respectively:

          If it were done, when ’tis done, then ‘twer well, It were done correctly


          If it were done, when ’tis done, then ‘twer well, It were done without avoidable drama.

          • skdadl says:

            “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly.”

            That’s Lady Macbeth, though. Not sure who is playing Lady Macbeth in this production.

  16. ThingsComeUndone says:

    The Water Safe episode of MythBusters tested the capabilities of the thermal lance, and discovered opening a modern safe with a thermal lance takes far longer than depicted in popular accounts. Additionally, the intense heat generated by the thermal lance destroyed the items inside the vault. The MythBusters concluded using a thermal lance for safe-cracking is plausible, but impractical. Nevertheless, U.S. Patent 3,612,166 describes thermal lances as a significant threat to vault doors.

  17. dosido says:

    Hojo on my screen now. Hard to believe he shares a birthday with the “mystic” beatle, george harrison.

  18. demi says:

    Okay, a manual recount will take a while.
    SD, do you have a vacation time coming? Because if so, I’d like to take up a fund to send you up there to make sure the Palin-Thing doesn’t get any where near there.
    I know. She would benefit from the Felon’s loss, but, I just can’t believe what a mess these 3 states have caused.
    In the mood to take a trip?
    I know it’s not the POTUS spot that some brought up this am, but, I’d vote for you to be the Fair Guy any day.

  19. Hmmm says:

    So… can anyone here ’splain me why exactly is it that a recount takes 1-2 weeks to perform, whereas on election day the same ballots can all be counted within just a few hours? Is it that extra folks are hired just for election day, or that the count vs. recount procedures are materially different? Or something else?

    (Signed) Perplexed in Extremis

    • Sara says:

      “So… can anyone here ’splain me why exactly is it that a recount takes 1-2 weeks to perform, whereas on election day the same ballots can all be counted within just a few hours? Is it that extra folks are hired just for election day, or that the count vs. recount procedures are materially different? Or something else?

      (Signed) Perplexed in Extremis”

      Limited to the Minnesota Recount…

      We universally use paper ballots with ‘fill in the oval’ markings, counted by scanners in the Precinct on election day. Once scanned, the paper ballots are kicked into a ballot box that is sealed. All absentee ballots are counted in the precinct on election day, and Minnesota has no provisional ballots, as qualified voters can register at the polls, or correct registration issues on election day.

      All aspects of vote counting are in Minnesota Statutes. Virtually nothing is based on Sec. of State rulings, and very few things can be dealt with by the courts until the entire process is complete. In Minnesota Law a Recount is Mandatory if the margin between two candidates is less than one half of one percent (.5). In this case the margin is 206 votes out of nearly 2.9 million, or .007. The machine scanning method is highly accurate, but it does not pick up votes that are incorrectly marked. For instance a check-mark in the oval may not count. Some voters don’t follow directions, and they circle the name of the person they vote for. Our law directs us to count votes where the intent of the voter can be determined, and the law actually contains these two examples. We know from previous recounts (and we do them all the time) that out of every 1000 ballots, about 2 will not register on the scanners. Thus for this election there are probably about 6000 uncounted votes in the Senate Race.

      At any rate, we are now at the point where the County Canvas’s have been completed, and Coleman has a margin of 206 over Franken’s numbers. Remember there is a third party candidate in this who got about 15% of the votes. These numbers will be sent to the State Canvas Board next Tuesday — the date is in law — and they will observe that Coleman’s margin is well within the .5 and thus triggers the Mandated Recount, which will begin the next day.

      Minnesota has 87 counties, and all ballots are counted in the county by election officials and Judges from the Election Day staff. Two or three persons are on each counting team. They first sort the ballots in one precinct into piles — Franken, Coleman, Barkley, other and those that need interpreting based on “Intent of the Voter” — then they independently count the piles, and write their count on a tally sheet. If they agree, fine. If they don’t agree, they re-count. The representatives of the candidates can challenge interpretations of “intent of the voter” — and those ballots are sealed for each county, and sent to the State Canvas Board for counting. They are required to apply the statutes as to how to interpret “intent of the voter” — and eventually these ballots are added to the precinct results. In the end, the results of the Recount are what determines the winner — and the Board can green light the Sec. of State to issue a Certificate of Election. This can be challenged in court primarly on the grounds that the Recount did not follow State Law. As long as they carefully follow the law, that challenge would probably fail.

      Minnesota has this very detailed Election and Recount process law largely because we had a very serious election problem in 1962-63 in the Governor’s race. We didn’t have good law then — it was piecemeal, some pieces were contradictory, so we ended up in the courts trying to figure out how to count a recount, First in State Court, then the Republicans went into Federal Court, the 8th Circut ruled it belonged in State Court, the Republicans asked for Supreme Court Review, they affirmed the 8th Circut so it went back to State Court, and they ordered and supervised the recount. We didn’t get started counting till December, and the Governor’s term ended January 1, so for a couple of months we had two Governor’s, but they counted the whole thing — and in the end Rolvaag, the DFL’er won by about 123 votes. The change from the preliminary vote to the final vote was about 200 ballots. So one result of that mess was the Legislature got busy and wrote a Recount Law that put the whole process into the Statutes, and very clearly laid out the meaning of “intent of the voter.” With a few modifications over the years, particularly after we modernized the whole system of elections in the late 80’s, it has remained the same.

      I have no idea how this will all come out in the end — of course I want Franken to prevail, but I also want the whole process to go very cleanly, and ultimately show that you can indeed do it right. And it will take about a month. We probably will get daily read-outs on the count — pay no real attention to comparisons with the initial machine count, what a Recount means is we start the count over again — the old numbers are off the table. Of course precinct by precinct comparisons will be of some interest if you know the nature of these precincts — for instance mine had about a thousand first time University Student voters — others had lots of new citizens voting for the first time. Those may be where we will find undervotes that were not counted by the scanners that will be counted in the manual votecount.

      Coleman’s organization and the RNC have been busy trying to subvert the recount by scumming up the process. Today they called Mark Richie, Sec of State, a Communist — and they keep trying to get into court, which isn’t possible till the whole process is complete, and then on the narrow grounds of failure to follow State Law. But even the newspapers that endorsed Coleman have criticized these tactics — there is a great deal of pride in Minnesota in very accurate and clean elections. The Florida script will probably not work here. Not saying they won’t try.

      • Hmmm says:

        Wow! Thank you so much for that. So basically election night results are rough but fast electronic scanner tabulations, whereas a recount is precise but slow because it’s all manual labor. Got it.

        I take it you are a person with rather intimate knowledge of this area?

  20. DWBartoo says:

    For the ‘active’ adherents of Bu$h Co, so far, this has all just been great fun and a ‘game’. We may well imagine that any whom W leaves twisting unhappily in the breezes shall benefit from the Sunstein Axiom; “Thou shall not crimminalize political behavior.”

    Unfortunately, there is no axiom admonishing; “Thou shall not politicize crimminal behavior.” And, it is most doubtful that such a ‘prescription’ would ever be ‘filled’.

    The Political Class might as well do as Diocletian did.

    At this point, declaring themselves gods and goddesses, would allow our leaders to put all this ‘democracy’ nonsense into perspective, which is to say, behind them, allowing them to get on with mingling with the Ari$tocracy and ‘bettering’ themselves.

    Of course, it would be best if the Great Decider were to make the Proclamation, as he has both the gravitas and the power of speech to make it palatable, or even acceptable to the hoi poloi.

    Barring that, we shall have to make do with what we’ve got and simply muddle through. But, we must all remember that our nation is ‘exceptional’, and, unlike every other empire known to history, will, always and forever, be Number One.

    • SouthernDragon says:

      Barring that, we shall have to make do with what we’ve got and simply muddle through. But, we must all remember that our nation is ‘exceptional’, and, unlike every other empire known to history, will, always and forever, be Number One.

      Words to whisper into William “The Grin” Kristol’s precious little ear. Followed immediately by a swift kick…

    • DWBartoo says:

      Hmmm, point taken, but surely being worshipped, officially, might have some appeal for the lesser lights?

      As well, the ’subjects’ of such acknowledged deities might feel themselves ‘uplifted’ at no real ‘cost’ to the state.

      While financial matters may hold but little interest for the greatest of deities, costs are getting a wee bit out of hand of late …

      And ‘they’ have had to resort to a daylight heist of mind-boggling proportions, causing some discomfort among the lesser classes as it is perceived that ‘things’ could become a trifle uncomfortable or even constrained if ’something’ doesn’t ‘change’.

      Let us not underestimate the capacity of self-procliamed deities to shock and awe. ‘Masters of the Universe’ has a distant, far-away aspect, as if ‘they’ resided at the far reaches, whereas more localized ‘dieties’
      are perceived as close enough to smite the unloyal and smoat the unbelievers.

      Besides, if the ‘powers that be’ are perceived as being too distant, then some portions of the populace might begin to ignore dictates and engfage in malicious behaviors.

      In the end, what good is it to be a Master of the Universe if the majority of the world’s people don’t instantly recognize one as such.

      This is a difficult dilemma, but we may rest assured that it is being wrestled with.

      In the end, it may come down to ‘’semantics’, after all.

  21. Mary says:

    It’s going to be an interesting list.

    Will he go ahead and pardon the CIA agents and others involved in the deaths by “enhanced interrogation” that have been reported so far – and if so, how? How do you pardon the man who ordered a body tossed in an unmarked grave (per Mayer) without revealing his identity and what it is that he did? Or do we end up with “secret pardons”? What about the iceman from Abu Ghraib and his killers? And who do you pardon – the CIA or the Seals or everyone. What about the crews involved in the Binyam Mohammed tortures – the tortures that the UK High Court may be about to “out”? And how far down the conspiracy and obstruction line do you go for those? Do lawyers like Bellinger and Goldsmith and Yoo etc. get pardons and if so, how will the offenses read? Do you go for a broad blanket and worry about, with real and specific Executive Branch crimes including what appear to be torture homicides, the pardons get challenged (it hasn’t happened much, but it might). And if pardons are handed out like candy, then what happens to overseas investigations that have been put on hold looking to the US to address the crimes? What about cases like Arar and el-Masri, where the crimes are open and obvious, but where the courts have, to date, been sympatico with allowing the cases to stagnate bc of invocation of state secrets? Do you pardon Larry Thompson for his direct role? What about the hundreds of “released” GITMO detainees who were actually protected persons, not “enemy combatants” and all those involved in their human trafficking and human experimentation under the guise of “interrogation?

    Just thinking of the lists makes you want to buy stock in Clorox.

  22. Mary says:

    91 –

    Unfortunately, there is no axiom admonishing; “Thou shall not politicize crimminal behavior.”

    That’s a wrap.

  23. Mary says:

    98 – yeah, I kinda think there have been pocket pardons along the way which have all been kept secret. So there may not be as much scrivening needed right this moment. I know if I was torturing people to death for Bush, I’d kinda want my pardon up front.

  24. Mary says:

    A prosecutor would know when the pardoned uses the pardon and a court decides whether the pardon covers the crimes charged. Otherwise, not so much. And it’s not like a Bush DOJ (in general, but esp one with someone like Comey, who signed off on the state secrets invocation for Arar and tried to foist Haynes onto the 4th Cir) would ever go there anyway. The big ticket items are the torture homicides, since no statute is going to run on them, and since there might be real lawyers in the halls of DOJ at some point.

    I can’t believe that the High Court (which, even after the referral to Scotland has STILL come back and asked the British press to argue for release of the info from the closed hearings – isn’t getting much press, but I can be pretty certain that, for everyone involved in the tortures and their cover ups, it’s on their minds.

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      Well, that sounds like a real waste of money. Maybe the secret pardon (or even all pardons) ought to be revisited.

  25. BlueStateRedHead says:

    Complicating matters for the pResident of the White House::
    (posted this am on FDL)
    An obscure law will allow the reversal of Bush laws and regs enacted even those in place before Nov. 1 using Filibuster-proof action by Congress.…

    It could take Obama years to undo climate rules finalized more than 60 days before he takes office — the advantage the White House sought by getting them done by Nov. 1. But that strategy doesn’t account for the Congressional Review Act of 1996.

    The law contains a clause determining that any regulation finalized within 60 days of congressional adjournment — Oct. 3, in this case — is considered to have been legally finalized on Jan. 15, 2009. The new Congress then has 60 days to review it and reverse it with a joint resolution that can’t be filibustered in the Senate.

    In other words, any regulation finalized in the last half-year of the Bush administration could be wiped out with a simple party-line vote in the Democrat-controlled Congress.

    A senior aide on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), was familiar with the CRA, acknowledging that it is an option the committee is considering.

    House Global Warming Committee Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is also looking at it. “On egregious rule-makings that would have a detrimental effect on energy and environmental policy, [the CRA] speeds up the process for rescinding the bad rule,” said Markey spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder. “It’s something Markey is seriously looking into.”

      • BlueStateRedHead says:

        Wow. From the freepatriot too. Thanks. And now to work. Writing books on abstruse topics is harder than ever these days. Soldiering on.
        See y’all in the eve.

    • Hmmm says:

      EW and Hotwheelers

      That’s it, we’re starting a band. I’ll play drums, who else is in? You can sing, right Marcy?

      • MadDog says:

        As a retired garage-band guitarist, I’m afraid all I can offer now is kazoo playing.

        You wouldn’t turn down a kazoo player, now would you?

      • Loo Hoo. says:

        I could play the harmonica, long as it’s ‘Ol Suzanna. (Don’t get my girls started on how embarrassing I am!)

      • bobschacht says:

        EW and Hotwheelers

        That’s it, we’re starting a band. I’ll play drums, who else is in? You can sing, right Marcy?

        I’m in for Bass. I’ve got pictures over at Facebook for creds.

        Bob in HI

  26. radiofreewill says:

    If Bush, Cheney, et al, get a walk on Torture, then Everything – Everything – We say America stands for is Bullshit.

    Rule of Law? Bullshit.

    Equal Justice for All? Bullshit.

    Nobody Above the Law? Bullshit.

    Just throw All Those High-Principles in the Trash and re-label US with what We will have become: America – Where enough Power will Let You Get Away With Systematic Murder of Completely Helpless Captives.

    Bush destroyed Almost Everything the Founders bequeathed to US.

    And now, if Bush gets a walk on Torture, then Obama – that’s right, OBAMA! – will finish US off.

  27. sunshine says:

    Gonzo’s former aid got himself a job.

    Facebook chooses former aide to Alberto Gonzales as top lawyer
    By Carol Eisenberg
    October 1, 2008 at 1:18pm
    Some might feel a little paranoid about the latest development at Facebook.

    The popular social-networking website that boasts 100-million-plus users has just hired Ted Ullyot, a former Bush administration lawyer, as its top in-house counsel.

    Hint: Click in map to explore connectionsStory continues below interactive map…..awyer/5362

  28. sunshine says:

    From wikileaks.

    McCain Solicits Russian U.N. Ambassador
    The Russian mission issued a statement saying “we have received a letter from Senator John McCain with a request for a financial donation to his presidential election campaign. In this respect we have to reiterate that neither Russia’s permanent mission to the United Nations, nor the Russian government or its officials finance political activities in foreign countries.”

    It is illegal for an American political candidate to accept campaign contributions from a foreign government. “It was just a mistake. We don’t solicit folks who can’t give,” said McCain-Palin spokesman Brian Rogers. Asked whether there were any other ambassadors that they planned to solicit, Rogers laughed and said, “I hope not. Maybe we’ll find out tomorrow.”…..Ambassador

  29. Mary says:

    Mark Benjamin with Salon has an article up on torture investigations vs. torture prosecutions and blanket pardons and points to the issue of the “classified” aspects of some of the pardons as well and also looking towards a blanket pardon, not just in the context of blanket pardons of all acts of specific people, but blanket pardons of all acts of unspecified peopld – ya know, that begs for litigation even if it does save him the embarassment of specifying the full nature and extent of his filth. He doesn’t mention that there may already be a lot of “classified” pardons, which I kind of thing might be the case:…..ommission/

    But few think prosecutions are realistic, given the formidable legal hurdles and the huge policy problems competing for Obama’s attention. … Some observers outside the Obama camp are also questioning how much Democrats really want exposed with regard to interrogation, since top Democrats in Congress were briefed in secret on some of the harshest tactics used by the CIA and appear to have done little, or perhaps nothing, to stop them.

    Further complicating the Obama team’s planning is uncertainty about what President Bush might do. On the one hand, a blanket pardon for anyone involved in the interrogations could be viewed by the public as a tacit admission of colossal wrongdoing — after years of public denial — which would do nothing to help Bush’s tarnished legacy. Yet, if the administration fears an investigation will follow Bush out the door in January, they may not want to leave officials exposed to potentially revealing criminal proceedings. Bush might seek to frame a blanket pardon as a preemptive strike against wrongheaded, partisan retribution.
    Constitutional scholars say a pardon of this kind would be an unprecedented move — the prospective pardon of not just individuals but entire categories of people, perhaps numbering in the thousands, for carrying out the president’s orders , which the White House has argued all along were legal.

    A blanket pardon from Bush could cover, for example, anyone who participated in, had knowledge of, or received information about Bush’s interrogation program during the so-called war on terror. Not only are there potentially too many people to name without risking missing somebody, but some of the names are presumably classified.

    It’s a good article, but the whole thing doesn’t really lend itself to a mag size article.

  30. cinnamonape says:

    So is it possible that Bush’s approval rating could go negative? If he pardon’s himself, Cheney and others in his administration and destroys Presidential records they might go into wholly new unfathomed depths.

    Gerald Ford started off with a 70% approval rating when he stepped in to the Presidency…but that dropped 35% after the Pardon.

    Nixon/Ford Approval Ratings

    I suspect that any action by Bush to pardon his cronies or destroy records will be met with attacks on the only dogs associated with him…Republicans in Congress. The way to do this is to insist on “post-incumbency impeachment” – which would ban those “pardoned” and exempt from criminal prosecution- to be banned forever from holding any government position, receiving their pensions, being able to have the power to subsequently act as the “retired officer” (e.g. non-incumbent Presidents still have access to some powers and benefits that could be stripped). They or companies they work for could be forbidden to receive government contracts, grants or licenses (bye-bye to all those lucrative media jobs). They could be banned from lobbying Congress or the Executive regarding any actions that deal with benefits from the Federal government.

    They would truly become the “private individuals” that they claimed that they were…how ironic.

  31. Cole says:

    As for 40
    I find ‘tweety’ as a moniker for Mathews “insufficient”.

    Falling all over george w with glorious grins and puffs salivating over the ‘heroic’ flight suit clown as he bounced around on the deck of the USS A Lincoln and cherping on how ‘girls’ like a guy who looks like a hero puts him in a whole new and different catagory. ‘Tweety’ does not go far or deep enough.

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