January 19, 2009

Bush pardon watch.

It's now or never.

10 possibilities, with pros and cons and the odds estimated by Politico:

36 comments:

Hoosier Daddy said...

The only two who deserve it are Ramon and Compean.

SteveR said...

I'm with you HD.

SMGalbraith said...

The only two who deserve it are Ramon and Compean.

Sorry, those are the last two that deserve it.

Commutation? Maybe. Full pardon? No way.

They tried to cover up their actions and then lied about what they did to their superiors and authorities.

TheCrankyProfessor said...

But if he's not going to surrender power why should he bother to pardon anyone!

Martial Law!

Cheney rules!

SteveR said...

SMG: The article says "commutation" which is what I agree with.

Simon said...

Look at what the leadership says; look at what the nutsroots say. It seems to me that honor demands Bush issue a blanket pardon for everyone who worked in his administration.

SMGalbraith said...

Well, Bush commuted Ramon's and Compean's sentence. (link)

More to follow? My guess, no.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sorry, those are the last two that deserve it.

Opinion noted. I tend to be more forgiving of border guards who shoot drugdealers than say and American who commits espionage against his own country.

john said...

I don't want him to do anything else, except leave.

I think that if he pardoned no one, especially in not "blanket pardoning" his administration, it would be seen as a both a dare and a sign of strength in his conviction that his actions over the previous 8 years were correct and legal. If he pardons, he would be seen as having doubts.

(Except Libby, he should be pardoned if only to highlight the unfairness of the prosecution.)

Besides, can't he rely on the 2006 war crimes act the WH crammed through the legislature moments before his party lost congressional power?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I doubt Pelosi and Reid want an investigation into the 'war crimes' supposedly committed by the Bush administration.

An actual investigation may shed light on the fact that Nancy and Co, we're well aware of what was going on and were happy to go along with it as long as it was politically expedient to do so.

Freder Frederson said...

It seems to me that honor demands Bush issue a blanket pardon for everyone who worked in his administration.

Simon cracks me up. He is ready to impeach Obama on his first day in office because Hillary voted for a raise for the Secretary of State a couple years ago. Yet he thinks "honor" demands that any crimes committed during the Bush years, including crimes against humanity, be forgotten.

Hoosier Daddy said...

crimes committed during the Bush years, including crimes against humanity

I'll tell ya, the way my day had started out, I really could have used this earlier. I really needed the laugh.

The Drill SGT said...

All the pardons that Bush is going to do have been done.

This is just projection on the part of the left.

Beth said...

If he pardons people in his administration, does that mean they committed crimes? Well. Honor and all that. Sure.

Some people locally -- oddly enough, former Republican Gov. Dave Treen leads the group -- have been lobbying Bush to commute the sentence for Edwin Edwards. Astounding. In the 1980s, Edwin beat Treen and became governor for the third of his four terms. In the debates, he described Treen as "so slow it takes him an hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes." Bush I has also supported commutation - what's up with that??

Putting Edwin in jail marked the start of a slow, but steady, trend towards improved politics in Louisiana. Since 1991, at least, we haven't been asked to choose between The Crook and The Nazi (Edwards versus Duke). I'm less and less impressed with Jindal, but I'm not too worried that his hand is in the till. Nor was that the case with Blanco, or before her, Mike Foster. That's been good for us.

So, W: leave Edwin where he is. He earned that whole sentence, many times over.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Doesn't one of the arguments in favor of a ban on torture (broadly defined) assume that if we ever need the information really badly, interrogators will go ahead and torture the guy in spite of the law? If we want to have that crutch to lean on going forward, perhaps we'd better have a few pardons now. Apart from that, I don't much care for pardons.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Libby deserves a pardon.

He basically had his life destroyed for gossiping. And then forgetting what, precisely he was chattering about.

SMGalbraith said...

Prediction: Bush will not issue a blanket pardon in his last hours in office but Obama will.

Not early (first 6 months) in his Administration. But after he orders Holder/DOJ to investigate the matter.

traditionalguy said...

If You do the crime , you do the time, said a hard nosed TV character. But this ain't TV. I suggest Bush pardon the NYT for repeated acts of Treason in time of war. That might make a good headline everywhere except the NYT where it would be buried on Pg 17.

sg said...

NYT article re Ramos and Compean commutations cites anonymous senior administration officials saying there will be no more pardons/commutations.

"With a day left in his presidency, Mr. Bush exercised his constitutional power to grant clemency — for the last time, according to senior administration officials — in a case that touched off fierce debate in the Southwest."

Last sentence in article:

"There had been speculation that President Bush would grant clemency to some high-profile defendants, but the senior administration officials said the two ex-agents would be the last to benefit."

blake said...

Pardon Lee Harvey Oswald.

That'll confuse people.

Ralph said...

Since Bush is the anti-Clinton, there will be no last minute pardons.

reader_iam said...

so slow it takes him an hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes

LOL. Great quip!

/OT

ZZMike said...

Ramos and Compean only had their sentence commuted.

Their conviction still stands.

As far as I'm concerened, this is still a black mark on Bush's record.

SMGalbraith has no conception of Justice. The whole weight of the Law was turned against the agents, who in fact WERE doing their jobs. The illegal immigrant was brought back, at our expense, treated in a hospital at our expense, given immunity for his testimony, allowed to return to him homeland - and then came back, doing the same drug-smuggling as before, and he's been arrested agian in 2004, 2005, and 2007.

Beside that, they were charged improperly with a section of the law that prohibits use of a gun in carrying out a crime. They were duly sworn peace officers, and carried a gun as the normal course of duty.

The only thing that obscene sentence did was send a message to the whole Border Patrol: Do you job, go to jail.

This remains the worst miscarriage of justice in the last decade.

AJ Lynch said...

Simon:

I hear you re Bush admin vulnerabilities. But GW would never stoop to that kind of defensive legal stunt.

He will put his trust into the American people standing up and shouting enough.

SMGalbraith said...

SMGalbraith has no conception of Justice

The two agents tried to cover up their acts (e.g., hide the bullet shells) and lied to their superiors when questioned about their actions.

Did they deserve 10 years? No. Did they deserve no penalty and all this adulation?

Absolutely not.

Letting obstruction of justice and lying to investigators go is not my idea of Justice.

reader_iam said...

Letting obstruction of justice and lying to investigators go is not my idea of Justice.

Interested how the crickets started up after this one ... .

The Intellectual Redneck said...

If you shot a drug smuggler in the butt, where I live, you wouldn't get a prison sentence. One of your relatives would take you to a Cracker Barrel for a celebratory meal.
The Intellectual Redneck

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

"SMGalbraith has no conception of Justice. The whole weight of the Law was turned against the agents, who in fact WERE doing their jobs."

Bullshit. Speaking as a committed right-winger and a prosecutor, no sane and informed person can say with a straight face that those two agents only did what they were supposed to be doing.

"Beside that, they were charged improperly with a section of the law that prohibits use of a gun in carrying out a crime. They were duly sworn peace officers, and carried a gun as the normal course of duty."

The 924(c) charge was entirely proper; no court would say otherwise. Which is why it's risky to commit a federal crime when you're an armed law enforcement officer. And it's not as though their possession of the guns was incidental to the crime; they shot the guy in the back.

"The only thing that obscene sentence did was send a message to the whole Border Patrol: Do you job, go to jail."

You have a strange conception of the obligations placed on law enforcement officers by their careers. If you were so concerned about them doing their jobs, why aren't you outraged that they swept up the brass, failed to file the required report, and did everything they could to cover up their crime?

"This remains the worst miscarriage of justice in the last decade."

Not only is this not the worst miscarriage of justice in the last decade, it simply was not a miscarriage of justice. They broke some serious laws and got federal time. If you think the sentences were obscene, write your congressman to complain. If lawmen are free to pick and choose which laws they follow, the whole concept of law loses coherence and we plunge into a Hobbsian world.

I am disappointed that President Bush commuted the sentences, but very glad that he did not pardon these two thugs.

Simon said...

As regards the border guards - people I know and respect are passionate on both sides of this dispute. I think assuming good faith is a smart thing, and with all due respect, SMGalbraith, saying "no sane and informed person can say with a straight face that those two agents only did what they were supposed to be doing" isn't helpful.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

That wasn't SMGalbraith, it was me. And I stand by the statement. No law enforcement officer's job description includes actively covering up a shooting. Obstructing justice does not count as "just doing one's job" as a Border Patrol agent. No reasonable person can think that it does.

SteveR said...

Well I'm glad that some feel 12 years was a good sentence but two years plus was enough. Its over. Tne "victim" will get plenrty of chances to get another person in trouble by dragging his fat criminal ass across our border.

Fred4Pres said...

Hitchens on why Bush really was the best choice over Gore and Kerry!

Now we know why Andrew Sullivan did not give Hitch any tongue!

James said...

Simon -

I think the guy's quote is spot-on. Even if one believes they were justified in shooting the guy (and I think most people's belief in that is simply based on the fact that the guy they shot is a scumbag drug smuggler), I don't know how anyone could possibly argue that the rest of what they did "was only doing what they were supposed to be doing." Picking up the shell casings, trying to cover up the shooting, lying, etc. is not what a law enforcement officer "is supposed to be doing"

Do I think the original sentence was overkill? Probably. Do I think they served enough time for their crimes? Possibly. But to argue like zzmike did is patently ridiculous: that they were sent to jail "for doing their job," and that it was the "greatest miscarriage of justice of the past decade." These statements are unequivocally false, and Prosecutorial Indiscretion was correct to call him out on it.

Revenant said...

If he pardons people in his administration, does that mean they committed crimes?

If he doesn't pardon them, does that mean they never committed a crime? :)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Do I think the original sentence was overkill?

Maybe just a bit. I only wish our law enforcment was given the authority to be just as vigilant and swift with justice in securing our borders.

BreakRoom said...

Here are two final pardons by Bush. One we saw coming, the other not so much:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgoFJIpx4ik

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXIINvdQUng