Balkinization  

Friday, April 14, 2006

Will Bush Pardon Rumsfeld?

JB

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.


Comments:

And 2.0 even let Elliott Abrams back in the White House, where he's now deputy national security adviser. I did a piece back in mid-February on some of these retreads: Neoconservatives.
 

This is a good point and should be shouted across the Internets.

http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=NEWS01

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.

More: http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200...

Some good action ideas to take back our country from:
http://billyjack.com/
 

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.
 

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