an unanticipated consequence of
Jack M. Balkin
Jack Balkin: jackbalkin at yahoo.com
Bruce Ackerman bruce.ackerman at yale.edu
Ian Ayres ian.ayres at yale.edu
Mary Dudziak mary.l.dudziak at emory.edu
Joey Fishkin joey.fishkin at gmail.com
Heather Gerken heather.gerken at yale.edu
Mark Graber mgraber at law.umaryland.edu
Stephen Griffin sgriffin at tulane.edu
Bernard Harcourt harcourt at uchicago.edu
Scott Horton shorto at law.columbia.edu
Andrew Koppelman akoppelman at law.northwestern.edu
Marty Lederman marty.lederman at comcast.net
Sanford Levinson slevinson at law.utexas.edu
David Luban david.luban at gmail.com
Gerard Magliocca gmaglioc at iupui.edu
Jason Mazzone mazzonej at illinois.edu
Linda McClain lmcclain at bu.edu
John Mikhail mikhail at law.georgetown.edu
Frank Pasquale pasquale.frank at gmail.com
Nate Persily npersily at gmail.com
Michael Stokes Paulsen michaelstokespaulsen at gmail.com
Deborah Pearlstein dpearlst at princeton.edu
Rick Pildes rick.pildes at nyu.edu
Alice Ristroph alice.ristroph at shu.edu
Brian Tamanaha btamanaha at wulaw.wustl.edu
Mark Tushnet mtushnet at law.harvard.edu
Adam Winkler winkler at ucla.edu
President Bush quickly rose to Donald Rumsfeld's defense after yet another retired general called for his resignation. Frankly, the really interesting question is not whether Rumsfeld will eventually resign but whether President Bush, as one of his last acts in office, will pardon him for any crimes he has or may have committed while serving as Secretary of Defense.
Recent revelations seem to suggest that Rumsfeld was heavily involved in supervising the interrogation of al-Qaeda detainees, and he may have approved of or permitted interrogation techniques that are illegal under U.S. law as well as international law.
Caspar Weinberger, who served as Defense Secretary for President Reagan, was facing trial on felony charges that he conspired to violate federal law as part of the Iran-Contra scandal. President Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, pardoned Weinberger and several other Iran-Contra figures as one of his last official acts in office. The President's father, of course, was Vice-President in the Reagan Administration. By pardoning Weinberger and the other Iran-Contra conspirators, he avoided a public trial and ensured that criminal prosecutions and investigations into the Iran-Contra affair would proceed no further.
This President Bush is famous for refusing to do what his father did. However, in this case, I think he might be tempted to make an exception.
Murtha to Receive Profile in Courage Award The Associated Press
Rep. John Murtha, a Vietnam veteran who has denounced the war in Iraq, was named a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Thursday.
Alberto Mora, a former Navy general counsel who warned Pentagon officials that U.S. policies dealing with terror detainees could invite abuse, also will receive the award from the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library Foundation.
Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, was recognized "for the difficult and courageous decision of conscience he made in November 2005, when he reversed his support for the Iraq war and called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the conflict," the foundation said in a statement.
Mora was honored for "waging a 2 1/2-year behind-the-scenes battle with Pentagon brass and civilian leaders over U.S. military policy regarding the treatment of detainees held by the United States as part of the war on terror," the foundation said.
Of course, Bill Clinton pardoned his political cronies as he left office. Do you honestly think that those of us who don't live in your lib/lab faculty lounge echo chamber are too stupid to remember that? Remember, now that we have our J.D. degrees, we don't have to suck up by pretending to share your inane political views.
Sean - Are you arguing: 1) It would be fine for Bush to pardon Rumsfeld (irrelevant of Clinton's behavior); 2) It would be fine for Bush to pardon Rumsfeld because both sides do it, and the example of Clinton shows this; 3) It was bad for Clinton to pardon "cronies" so it would also be bad for Bush pardon Rumsfeld; 4) Prof. Balkin should've mentioned Clinton's pardon in this post 5) Tu quoque
Can a President pardon someone who is not charged with a crime?
And if this one did issue some sort of blanket immunity for Rumsfeld, his crimes would become the kind of case for which the International Criminal Court was created: war crimes and crimes against humanity which cannot or will not be prosecuted in the accused's own country.