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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Preparing a Pardon

Ok, you can file this one under, "You seem smart. What is it about this that you don't get?"

In the LA Times on Friday, reprinted in the MST today, a supposed U.S. pardon attorney and obvious political tin ear named Margaret Colgate Love published this article which attempts to make the point that a pardon to Scooter Libby would not be such a big deal, and that, correctly used, the president could manage to extend some olive branches to the public along with Scooter's "get out of jail free" card. Reading the article, it sounds perfectly reasonable.

Well, I guess Margaret must've just fallen off the turnip truck, because she obviously has no inkling what this case means or represents beyond the bland recital of facts in her article. This is not Bill Clinton pardoning Mark Rich, or even Gerald Ford pardoning Richard Nixon. No, think more along the lines of George H.W. Bush pardoning Casper Weinberger and five other Iran-Contra figures. Except the Libby case is even worse, because, as egregious and political as those pardons were, there was nothing to indicate that Bush I himself broke any laws or ordered anyone to break any laws during Iran-Contra. The Valerie Plame case, in which the name of a covert operative was illegally leaked as part of a political hatchet job, leads directly back to Cheney, Rove, and ultimately the president himself. In other words, Bush II is guilty of complicity in the same crime that ultimately led to the conviction if Scooter Libby and at any other time in our history would have led to the resignations/prosecutions/convictions of the veep and the presidential "advisor."

In other words, George Bush pardoning Scooter Libby would be somewhat akin, as noted by Randi Rhoades a few weeks earlier, to Tony Soprano pardoning Paulie Walnuts, although a more apt comparison would be Richard Nixon pardoning Haldeman, Erhlichman, Mitchell, and Dean. (new version: Gonzales, Condi Rice, Cheney, and Rove?) It would be immoral and obstructionist, and illegal when the president's role in this finally comes out.

But it won't, because to shut him up, King George will pardon him...and then, in true Soprano style, maybe whack him.

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