Saturday, November 22, 2008

Congress Needs Public Support to Block Bush Pardons

David Swanson alerts us that Congressional Rep. Jerrold is looking for public support of his resolution "Opposing Possible Bush Pardons of His Own Subordinates for Crimes He Authorized"

From Jerrold Nadler, Chair of the Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, we have H.RES.1531, "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the President of the United States should not issue pardons to senior members of his administration during the final 90 days of his term of office," Sponsor: Rep Nadler, Jerrold (introduced 11/20/2008).

Swanson has posted an online petition promoting this resolution, through which you can write to your representative and senators at http://democrats.com/nadler-pardons

Says Swanson:

Senator Russ Feingold editorialized against these possible pardons at Salon.com yesterday; please urge him to introduce in the Senate the same resolution that Nadler has in the House.

Never before has a president pardoned himself or his subordinates for crimes he authorized. The idea that the pardon power constitutionally includes such pardons ignores a thousand year tradition in which no man can sit in judgment of himself, and the fact that James Madison and George Mason argued that the reason we needed the impeachment power was that a president might some day try to pardon someone for a crime that he himself was involved in. The problem is not preemptive pardons of people not yet tried and convicted. The problem is not blanket pardons of unnamed masses of people. Both of those types of pardons have been issued in the past and have their appropriate place. The problem is the complete elimination of any semblance of the rule of law by pardoning one's own subordinates for crimes you instructed them to commit.

Yes, of course, there's something absurd about knowing that a president authorized crimes, not impeaching him, not prosecuting him, not proposing any action with any teeth at all, but formally objecting to the idea of him issuing pardons of his own subordinates for crimes he authorized. But this is where we are. State, local, civil, foreign, and international prosecutions are likely ways of holding Bush, Cheney, and gang accountable, and pardons can't interfere with them. Pardons can't interfere with impeachment. But if we allow these pardons, we not only guarantee no federal prosecutions, and not only give Congress an excuse to drop its investigations, but we also establish the precedent that from here on out any president can violate any law and then pardon the crime. This is simply to end the idea of law. We cannot allow that.


Lyric of the Day:


(He's a joker, he's a joker, he's a joker)
Joker James, you did it again, caused somebody pain
(He's a joker, he's a joker)
You lived up to your name, Jimmy, he's Joker James.

Sally was a stamp collector, pretty little girl
One day she dated James, bringing love into her world
A tense romantic moment as they sat down on the couch
The whoopee cushion roared and I'm afraid it's over now.

(He's a joker, he's a joker, he's a joker)
Joker James, you did it again, caused somebody pain
(He's a joker, he's a joker)
You lived up to your name, didn't you, he's Joker James.

Lucy was a cool one, always got her high
Then she dated James and true love took her higher
The jester had suggested a new way to get stoned
Put itching powder down her neck and now she's all alone.

(He's a joker, he's a joker, he's a joker)
Joker James, you did it again, caused somebody pain
(He's a joker, he's a joker)
You lived up to your name, didn't you, he's Joker James.

Sense of humor cannot woo her
Her skin felt like heaven and laughter all the while
Her sense of humor throws him and deep in love he falls
But when he tries to sign the paper, the rubber pencil falls.

(He's a joker, he's a joker, he's a joker)
Joker James, you're not to blame, the joke's on you, now you're blue
(He's a joker, he's a joker)
It's such a shame, but that's the game, he's Joker James

(He's a joker, he's a joker, he's a joker)
Joker James, you did it again, caused somebody pain
(He's a joker, he's a joker)
You lived up to your name, Jimmy, he's Joker James

"Joker James", Pete Townshend, Roger Daltry, John Entwhistle, Kenney Jones

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