Will Dick Cheney keep his records as a judge ordered him to do? Christ, of course he won’t keep the records. Granted, some Bush pardons could go either way. No doubt several hundred mid level bureaucrats overseeing torture will have a crappy Christmas while they wait to see how far down Bush loyalty extends (historically it does not extend very far). But Cheney? The only trade-off with pardoning deadeye Dick is that he can’t plead the Fifth. That sounds great in theory, but once Cheney burns the records he can conveniently forget whatever the hell he wants. I wouldn’t put it past these guys for Bush to pardon everyone and resign at the last minute so that Cheney can pardon him.
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[…] pardon prediction Filed under: Bush, Politics — lukemarshall @ 11:32 pm Tim F. thinks the Bush/Cheney team is going to pull (another) fast […]
A-hole That Posts off Topic
I know this is off topic but I need a recommendation for a good biography of Thomas Jefferson I hope to give as a Christmas gift. Any ideas would be appreciated.
I think Bush can legally pardon himself–no need to resign in Cheney’s favor.
Not sure though.
I think that’s right.
Wouldn’t that be just…too blatant? Even by the definitions of this administration?
Though seeing the wingnuts spin THAT would be vastly amusing.
Well, I guess if your gonna be a crook, might as well be the best one you can be. I’m way past being outraged by this shit. It’s kind of like being held hostage for 8 years and hoping your captors just disappear into the night, never to be seen again. I would like to see them face some kind of justice for what they’ve done to our country, but where does it start and end, when every ounce of energy is needed to repair the mess they’ve made. Part of me hopes that Bush pardons the whole stinking bunch and destroys what fragments remain of the Law and Order Party. The other part wants a reckoning. Torn.
Too blatant? Don’t make me laugh.
Anyway, they’ll just spin it as necessary to prevent the evil Democrats from "criminalizing policy differences."
After reading Cheney’s, "it would have been immoral not to torture" madness in the Wash Times yesterday I thought no greater outrage was possible.
I was wrong. The man is a batshit-crazy, paranoid megalomaniac. Don’t like that court order saying don’t destroy any docs? Ignore it, because "you have the power."
I think Cheney is mentally ill: not enough to claim lack of competence at a criminal trial, but crazy nonetheless.
I tend to agree with Tim F. that he just might destroy his docs. After all, there hasn’t been a legal constraint to date that he’s respected.
@Nancy Irving: There is some disagreement about that among legal scholars. Jonathan Turley was on Rachel Maddow’s show recently and talked about this, and he basically said that nobody has a real definitive answer on this question.
John, do you remember Goodnight Moon? If so, where’s your amazon book button, because I have a sequel that will rock your world.
*bah, Tim, whatever. John used to have a amazon button.
I find it almost impossible to believe that Cheney hasn’t already destroyed a large proportion of the incriminating documents by this late date. What would have kept him? He probably set up a purge schedule long ago.
I don’t think even the C-Plus Augustus is dumb enough to trust Cheney to return the favor. Besides, if Darth Cheney ever gets Tha Power of th’ Preznidentsy, even at 11:55am on January 20th as Justice Roberts takes the Obama family bible into his latex-gloved hands, he’ll immediately attempt to declare martial law and suspend the inauguration until further notice. And then the Secret Service agents will have to run a giant demagnetizer over Darth’s pacemaker, and watching his carcase moan & twitch & deflate into a puddle of stinking ooze would complete wreck the visuals for the upcoming celebration.
I’m sure all the *really* incriminating top-level documents have long since been destroyed — remember that "mysterious fire of unknown origin" at the VP offices around this time last year? But I’m also sure Cheney doesn’t much care what kind of evidence against him will eventually be collated from his minions’ Blackberry backups, because he’s not going to live long enough to be brought to justice in person, and he’s confident that "history" will exonerate him for every rotten, murderous thing he’s done since he was a third-level CREEPster back in Richard Nixon’s administration.
There are real serious questions regarding self-pardons. I don’t know how nasty such a move would get being sorted out.
And yet there is apparently still a penalty for killing this scumbag.
Quite a few people here already mentioned JAWS and other screen-reader software, but most blind PC-users use a device that shows them what’s on screen in Braille as well. I think many even prefer it, but a combination of both is often required to read everything.
@A-hole: As a native Pennsylvanian and lover of beer and libraries, I tend to prefer Ben "Fart Proudly" Franklin, but I just read American Sphinx by Joseph J. Ellis a few weeks ago. It was an interesting look at the guy’s character. I came away sort of surprised by how paranoid he was about his political enemies, and how he worked to undermine Washington during GW’s second term while all the time claiming to respect and adore GW.
Ellis also makes the argument that without James Madison, who often had to say, "I think those opinions are best kept to yourself," (or tell others "What Mr. Jefferson REALLY meant was…"), Jefferson might not be considered a Founding Father of the first rank nowadays– he may not even have become President. The latter point is convincing but I think we’d still revere him for the Declaration.
And while it’s not strictly Jefferson, I really enjoyed The Adams-Jefferson Letters. You get to see two of the Revolution’s main players arguing over what the Revolution really meant, along with some clever and witty asides from Mrs. A.
As incompetent as this administration has been, combined with the strange fact that Republicans seem to be technically challenged people, leaves me with the small hope that even if they try to destroy everything there may be something left behind. There is also the possibility that some people kept ‘notes’ of things that went on, maybe in the hopes of either using the stuff to ‘advance’ their careers or, failing that, save their asses.
While I fully expect every single crook from the Bush era to get away scott free, I still harbor a little hope that someone will push for investigations. This administration, out of all of the administrations we have had, has come the closest to destroying not only our country but parts of the world, all in the name of enriching their pals and corporate robber barons. The middle class is almost a thing of the past, acrimony is at ear-splitting levels, people have been spending more than they are earning and the government is right there with them.
We are in a f’ing mess, Obama has what I would consider to be an almost insurmountable task ahead and the topic du Jour in the ‘media’ is about anything but the mess we are in. With the proficiency of the Democratic circular firing squad known as our politicians, plus some party members who have the same strange affliction, Obama better have some serious juju going for him because he is going to need every bit of it he can muster.
We all had quite the laugh watching the wheels come off of the Republican party, that the socons, ficons and neocons were at each others throats. One important point to note is that this happened over a long period of time. The Republicans were riding a wave for some time, and while they had their dissenters they were mostly able to stay together and use the advantage of numbers to push their goals. When they fell apart and started bickering between themselves, the writing was on the wall.
With the Democrats ‘taking charge’ (I’ll believe it when I see it) next year, we are already going at each others throats over petty (hold on, I explain!), divisive issues. Not that your personal issues are not important but when compared to the big picture of the train wreck we are currently piling up, the personal issues need to be kept in perspective. Your personal issues are not going to mean shit unless people are willing to listen to you. If they have more pressing concerns than your issue then they are not going to listen to you. If you get pissed and scream at them for ignoring you, they are going to start to resent you and your interruptions over your personal issues while their life is in crisis.
Solve the big shit while quietly working on the small shit, and if you can do it with a smile on your face then that will be remembered when it comes time for you to cash your chips in and demand action on your personal issues. I would hate to see an opportunity like the one Obama has be spoiled by infighting and turf wars over what issue is front and center and what is not. If something that the general public wants fails and it is perceived to have been a result of agitation from some ‘group’ of people, rightly or wrongfully, they will get the blame for it and that just complicates things more.
Obama listens, that much is clear. He plans, and his campaign showed that. He knows who supports him and who doesn’t, he knows who buttered his bread. At least give him time to grasp the reins of the office for a minute before declaring him a failure. If is turns out to be a ‘typical’ politician, I will be right there with you raising hell about it. Obama seems to be a methodical person, deliberative, thinking things out before acting. He is not a rash person, and that is going to try the patience of some people. After the tag team idiots Bush and Cheney, I will gladly take Obama’s approach. We need someone who wants to drive, not go for a joy ride.
But at least give the guy a chance to lead before declaring the end of the world. Look at the topic of this thread (I know, I veered…). It is about someone who is leaving office and we can’t even trust the guy to leave any records behind, and the same for his boss(?), no trust at all. Now look at Obama and Biden, then McCain and Palin. Out of all of these people, who is our best chance to change direction?
Shooting our guys is pretty short-sighted, especially when they have not even taken office. Right now we should be raising hell with our own state pols in DC. They need to hear that we are sick of this shit, and I have a feeling that Obama intends on using his list of voters/donors to push for what he wants. I expect some of our pols to get pissed if Obama corners them, and I expect that he will. A year ago I didn’t think Obama had a chance to win, and all he has done since then is instill more and more confidence in me that he can get stuff done.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but to build it they first had to start construction. Next month, construction starts.
We need to amend the Constitution to deny a President the power to pardon himself, the Vice-President, and any political appointee in his Administration.
Not likely to happen anytime soon, but it still needs to be done. It’s needed to be done since Bush Sr. pardoned Cap Weinberger, Elliott Abrams, Bud McFarlane, and some minor Iran-Contra players on Christmas Eve 1992.
In the meantime, I expect it’s up to us – to we, the people – to make sure that none of these guys – Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Gonzo, and all the rest – can do so much as go to the drugstore for a newspaper without getting cursed at, spat upon, having shoes or overripe vegetables flung at them.
True justice is unlikely to catch up with them, so it’s the best we can do.
Papa Bush pardoned himself on Iran Contra soon after he took office. It was a blanket pardon for ‘any crimes that may have been committed’ but he had taken part in some shenanigans so that included himself.
Fuck Jack Kingston who does not represent all southerners and it’s people exactly like him that make me understand why no one would want to appoint a southerner in the first place (but it’s not over people, now is it?). I can’t even watch the vid, he makes me vomit.
It may be, in this instance, the more pardons the better. None of these guys are going to jail so the best we can hope for is some investigation and public exposure of their crimes. If they accept a pardon then they are admitting guilt. If they accept a pardon then they cannot invoke the Fifth Amendment in refusing to testify.
OT: a question for the BJ legal minds.
Has Blago technically committed a crime? Is it illegal to discuss bribery, or does the act of bribery have to actually occur?
I think that he is being charged with conspiracy, which means that he was plotting and working with others to solicit bribes. Once he makes the offer, whether or not the bribe came through, he could be considered guilty.
Heh. That was exactly my take at Newshoggers last night Tim. I think he’s already shredded everything that could incriminate him and this was the signal that he intends to start a legal challenge that will run so long that our great grandchildren might be the ones that see the end of it, when they’re old.
Anything that is damning is resting in the bottom of the sea along with the email servers from the Attorney purge days that "lost" all those millions of emails.
Like one imperial faction is going to prosecute another imperial faction! Too many Democrats are complicit in the crimes of the Bush regime.
"…Not that your personal issues are not important but when compared to the big picture of the train wreck we are currently piling up, the personal issues need to be kept in perspective…."
gee, wonder who that was aimed at? Maybe to you need to talk to the 18000 Gay and Lesbian couples whose marriages Ken Starr and the right-wing are now seeking to invalidate
But if nobody actually willing to talk seriously about coming up with the bribe, then there really is not conspiracy, is there? Talking about trading favors is one thing, a flat out quid pro quo is another… you don’t need a finished deal to have a conspiracy, but shooting the shit about how each party can help one another in a political alliance formed around a senate appointment would be hard to prosecute. Maybe there is a relevant statute covering public officials soliciting bribes from other public officials. Such a law could really criminalize politics as we know it.
In the Seigleman case it required a corrupt prosecutor, a probably corrupt judge, and a mentally defective jury in order to prosecute something like this. And the alleged briber was a businessman, not a politician.
My bet is that Fitz will either prosecute a conspiracy between the Blagojeviches (who were scheming together to hide a bribe by routing benefits through the wife), or nothing at all. Unless someone was really, really careless on the phone.
Then again, I do divorces and collections and real estate. This is not my area of specialty… just a bullshitting exercise like what somehow got me through the bar exam.
@Gay Veteran: This sort of principle applies when the factions are legally and culturally enmeshed with one another. The White House withdrew so completely from bipartisan consultation that the Democrats have a lot of cover. I don’t see anyone in the Congressional leadership willing to go for the kill.
Maybe Rahm can coordinate this. He is the only one I can think of with the killer instinct.
A blanket perdon would not get them off the hook. It would remove their ability to claim the 5th, then while testifying under subpeona and oath, they would have to tell the truth. If they do not, they can be charged with perjury, and nobody can issue a pardon for crimes that have not yet been committed.
The Federal gov’t is so large, there are so many people in it, that there is no way they would all collectively fall on their swords so that Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Yoo, Addington, etc, etc, can walk away free and clear, while all these mid-level and bit players risk prison. As such, B,C,R,Y,A,G, etc will have to tell the truth, or risk spending their remaining days at Club Fed.
Also, even if Cheney were to shred every document in his office, the only thing for sure to be gone are the internal memos (and more than a few will escape that fate, as the various players engage in the age old game of "CYA"). Any thing else, once it left his office, who knows where it ended up, and as such, dedicated investigators will find plenty.
Will Bush issue a blanket pardon? I will be surprised if he doesn’t. It is the obvious gambit. Will Obama call for a commission to investigate these issues? I will be even more surprised if he doens’t. Will the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, come out? I doubt it, it is too deep and broad. But more than enough of the truth will come out that they could well face charges before the Hague, and their travel plains will then be seriously limited.
Add to this the fact(?)(I read this somewhere, but can not be absolutely certain) that a Presidential pardon only applies to criminal charges… Not civil. With Commissions report to start from, I see a bevy of lawyers lining up clients to sue these bstrds for everything they have, and their dreams too.
It might not be justice, but it’s a start.
What will be fun is that the WH routed a lot of critical government communications through the RNC. So the party leadership and organization will be a party to all the suits, can be subjected to discovery, and so on.
When it is all over it will be easier to wind down the party organization and start over from scratch.
Duke of Earl
There hasn’t been a legal constraint that has been enforced, precisely Greenwald’s point.
It’s usually the responsibility of the DOJ to enforce the constraints. Clearly, the Bush DOJ wasn’t going to do it. The Republican Congress was disinclined to investigate anything the Bush administration did. The Democratic Congress just seems generally disinclined. Politicians are uniformly averse to prosecute one of their own unless there’s already blood in the water and then members of both parties tend to join the feeding frenzy.
My fondest Walter-Mitty-style fantasy involves the new President Obama, having lay in wait for months, smiling through insults and reassuring all with his sane, centrist appointments, ordering on the afternoon of January 20th the simultaneous arrest of a select group of several dozen Bush criminals, the seizure of all their Blackberries and securing of all documents, followed by a calm announcement that their passports have been revoked and that they’re all on house arrest pending indictments.
Won’t happen, I know, but it makes for pleasant day-dreaming.
@mak: That is a fantasy, because the President does not have the power to do this. The AG, through at US Attorney’s office, does. Which is why every single potential AG will by systematically opposed in order to delay reckoning.
There was not any principled objection to Zoe Baird, was there? The point was to delay for the sake of delay, to confound the DOJ so its tools can not be effectively turned against the crooks who had so recently departed the White House.
It worked pretty well, because we ended up with an utter mediocrity who got tangled up in scandals and disasters, and who never exercised significant control over the FBI.
I don’t mean to be too cynical, but anyone who thinks Cheney Bush or the others will spend so much as one minute in jail is living in a fantasy world.
They got away with it. I would be shocked if they are even so much as questioned for an hour in front of Congress. I suspect they will just tell Congress and anyone else to piss off, and no one will have the will to do anything to stop them.
Xenos: "@Gay Veteran: This sort of principle applies when the factions are legally and culturally enmeshed with one another. The White House withdrew so completely from bipartisan consultation that the Democrats have a lot of cover…."
Who funded the war of aggression? Who passed telecomm immunity? Who refused to use their power of inherent contempt to force people like Karl Rove to testify? etc., etc. So the imperial factions ARE legally and culturally enmeshed with one another.
@Gay Veteran: I can argue against that easily:
Who lied to Congress about the grounds for war?
Who actually violated the law for which the immunity was granted, in the face of all manner of dishonest fear-mongering?
Whose DOJ illegally refused to serve subpeonas for contempt?
Now you and I and everybody else knows that many of the Democrats were complicit. But the way the administration went about things was so secretive, so blatantly unethical and illegal, even those complicit Democrats have plenty of wiggle room to go after them.
If they want to. Right now, I doubt it. With some public agitation, maybe. If a serious leadership challenge was being launched with this as a critical issue, certainly.
Widespread cynicism, however, would be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The Moar You Know
@Gay Veteran: OMG THEY ARE TEH SAME PARTY AND ALL TEH SAME IF WE DONT VOTE FOR RALPH NADAR WE WILL ALL BE SENT TO TEH DETH CAMPS
I was going to write a long and respectful point-by-point rebuttal to your postings, then I realized that you’re nothing more than a concern troll who’s attempting to start Dem internecine warfare. So fuck you and your "concerns".
Last I heard, the Plames had an outstanding civil suit against Scooter Libby for the loss of potential earnings when he outed her career in the CIA. So, yeah, I’m sure there are lawyers already roughing out briefs to present to the C-Plus Augustus and Darth Cheney. Neither of whom will ever see the inside of a courtroom, I suspect, but at least they’ll be regularly inconvenienced.
I am pretty sure that the Obama administration will lack the stones to do anything, but if I were any of these fucks I would hesitate before leaving the country for a European vacation.
Hope Springs Eternal.
The Moar You Know: "I was going to write a long and respectful point-by-point rebuttal to your postings, then I realized that you’re nothing more than a concern troll who’s attempting to start Dem internecine warfare. So fuck you and your "concerns"."
WTF? I voted for Clinton in 1992 and 1996, for Gore in 2000, for Kerry in 2004, and Obama in 2008. So you can shove your "concern troll" strawman up your ass
and again Xenos: Who refused to use their power of inherent contempt to force people like Karl Rove to testify? DOJ has nothing to do with inherent contempt. That is a power that Congress has to force people to testify.
Ahh, but the strawberries that’s… that’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with… geometric logic… that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox DID exist…
Duke of Earl
If (and it’s a big if) and when this administration is actually investigated there is a phrase that you will hear almost continually.
"I do not recall".
guess Reverend Dennis finds it easier to refer to old movies than to actually present a counter-argument
Earl, truth, but there are plenty of people underneath who will recall.
John, your cynicism precedes you… and me, as I tend to agree. But lawyers ain’t cheap… and if they have to spend the rest of their lives staying out of prison, that is (almost) good enuf for me.