Monday, January 19, 2009

Pride, or Pardon?

So, we're down to the wire. I've been watching the White House News Site as well as the usual outlets, and haven't seen any hint of pardons yet. What's President Bush going to do? Will he:
  1. Issue pardons tomorrow morning on his way out the door? If so, will they be a select few, or a huge blanket pardon? The potential for prosecution is real, and it's their last chance to insulate themselves against the consequences of their actions.

  2. Not issue pardons at all? He and Cheney seem so convinced of the rightness and legality of their actions that it would be hypocrisy to pardon anyone. More importantly, someone who is pardoned can't invoke their right to silence in the face of self-incrimination, which means that those pardoned could well be compelled to testify against unpardoned individuals.

I think the latter course more likely, but I'm going to keep watching. What do you think?

Soundtrack: Presidential Rag by Arlo Guthrie.

4 comments:

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

Oh no, I think there will be pardons, especially now that Pelosi has talked about investigating the hiring practices at DOJ.

There is no shame. I think he is aware of the disagreement over the legality of their actions, even if he himself doesn't believe it, so look for the blanket pardons.

I would love to be wrong about this.

Terry said...

A friend suggested another scenario to me this afternoon. Bush issuing blanket pardons in morning, then retiring quickly so that Cheney could become president and pardon him.

Either way, we're going to see massive ass-covering.

Ahistoricality said...

I've heard similar speculation, Terry. They'd probably try and spin it like the Ford pardon of Nixon -- "healing" -- but at that point we'd already found out most of what we needed to know about Nixon. In this case it would be an attempt to foreclose investigation (and the fights about declassification starting in five years: that's gonna be a knock-down, drag-out, I assure you)

Ms. Cornelius, you might be right, but the way in which he handled the Libby situation -- commutation, not pardon -- suggests a certain caution about allowing former underlings free reign to speak. That's why I'm hedging.

We'll know in about fifteen hours....

Ahistoricality said...

Rumor is no more pardons or commutations. I'm not buying it, yet.