I have to admit- only the Bush administration can raise incompetence to an art form:
President Bush changed his mind on Christmas Eve, pulling back a pardon he had extended a day earlier to a Brooklyn developer at the center of a Long Island real estate fraud case and adding a bizarre twist to the episode.
The developer, Isaac R. Toussie, who was listed Tuesday as one of the beneficiaries of the president’s constitutional power to wipe away a criminal record, is not being pardoned “based on information that has subsequently come to light,” the White House said late Wednesday afternoon.
During the middle of an economic disaster brought on in many ways due to fraud and greed involving real estate and home loans, it takes talent to make me sympathetic towards someone who engaged in the fraud, but Bush is just the kind of lout to pull it off. There is just something wrong about pardoning someone and then unpardoning them.
I really don’t think there was ever any excuse to pardon this guy, and he certainly does not deserve one, but to tell them they are pardoned and then yank it out from under them just seems to be wrong. Reminds me of the Sarah Jane Olson nonsense earlier this year. They made the mistake, not her. She should have just remained free.
Oh, well. Leave it to Bush to ruin both the holiday spirit and the notion of the unquestioned pardon power. What a damned moron. There really isn’t anything this man can not screw up, and it really clarifies how he almost choked to death on a pretzel.
I’m by no means any kind of an attorney, but I have a strong feeling that the man will have his pardon, once the Constitutional lawyers get involved. (He doesn’t deserve it, but I disagree with the whole process anyway.)
It’s just another case of not looking at what he’s doing & no Tony Blair there to help him avoid more trouble.
This retracted pardon is a metaphor for Bush’s whole Presidency. Incompetence, indecision, cruelty and questionable legality. What an idiot George Bush is.
Doesn’t anyone else suspect that this reversal was entirely about Eric Holder? Bush pardoned this guy, then got a slew of phone calls from Republicans telling him that this guy, a rich fraudster who donated money to Republicans, was the exact antidote to Marc Rich? And that if Bush pardoned him, they couldn’t perform their hatchet job without looking like utter hypocrites? And that scuttling (or attempting to scuttle) Eric Holder is essential to staving of any prosecutions by giving them the "this is just payback" defense? Is there any other explanation besides the ridiculous contention that Bush got wind of Toussie’s history and decided to do something ethical?
You forgot to tag this clown shoes.
Oh, dear. The dreaded moderation filter has something against footwear, apparently.
Hey, John, you need to tag this post with clown paraphernalia.
Think of it as Bush’s last great Christmas gift to bloggers.
The Grand Panjandrum
This joker’s attorney is known for skirting legal and administrative processes set in place:
Oy. We have the wrong folks incarcerated at Gitmo.
The Grand Panjandrum
This guy’s case will more than likely end up in the Supreme Court. It is unclear from the reading I’ve done on this topic that a Presidential pardon, once granted, can be withdrawn. Looks like they may have really fucked up. (Imagine that!)
What I want to know is if the RNC is going to refund the 28 grand that the guy’s family donated earlier this year to
buy the pardonhelp the Republican party.
This administration has said the most ridiculous things they could think of to cover up or excuse some action.
The pretzel is a metaphor for this literally and figuratively drunken Presidency.
Well, I was going to say something really insightful and slightly smart-assed. But, Unabogie just caused me to actually rethink this thing.
Still, this is yet another classic case of a clusterbush.
Holy Shit, Batsanta! Fookin’ A, had this happened to Marc Rich, Bill the C would’ve been lauded for his honesty and personal courage!
Come 20 Jan 09, the BDS will end (one hopes…) and everything just looks forward.
sadly, he screwed that up too.
Withdrawal of a pardon? Please. Reminds me of a piece of Vietnam era graffiti: Withdrawal is something Nixon’s father should have done 53 years ago. Sure applies to Poppy Bush, too, doesn’t it?
oh, just a reminder, Bush also screwed up riding a Segway, fell off the damn thing and it was specifically designed so that one cannot fall off of it.
The Bush administration is waving the white flag of surrender at this pardon!
I do. The plan to go after Holder bothers me, a lot. The more I read on the Bush Administration the more I’m convinced that the rot centered in the Justice Department.
Ashcroft rolled over, until he wouldn’t anymore, and then they brought in Gonzales, because Gonzales is a clown.
Yeah. His nearly-ninety-year-old father has more coordination than he does.
This appears to be another in a long line of cautionary posts that violates the dictum laid down by the Great One, ThymeZone, to wit, never post anything while drunk.
I’m still trying to figure out the people who still approve of him. What’s approval rating these days?
Always, always note that Scooter Libby was Marc Rich’s lawyer.
To be fair to Dubya, his Segway mishap did not result from a lack of coordination; it occurred because he, in violation of instructions, turned off the Segway (and its gyroscopes) before dismounting. In other words, he ignored expert advice and embarked on the ride without an exit strategy. At least in that instance the penalty was borne by Bush himself (although it would certainly be in character if Dubya took it out on someone else).
I think he forgot to turn the Segway on before attempting that ride. Same difference.
I think Nixon is older than 53.
Re-read the post. Nixon was 53 during the Vietnam era. But he turned 53 in 1966, so I meant to write 57. My bad.
Wait, maybe there is a silver lining here. If Bush chooses to pardon Dick Cheney then maybe this means PEOTOUS Obama can unpardon him….
Well a guy can dream can’t he?
Dear little Duyba is consistent if nothing else. All the way to the end. Worst Presnit ever!
I completely agree. In fact, I think there is no other plausible explanation, at least not that we can really know about. There is no possible way George W. Bush suddenly found ethics in his last month on the job after the last eight tragic years. None. There is another reason, and the Holder reason is the one that seems most obvious to me.
I hope the administration and Dem leadership is planning as we speak and not taking these Republicans lightly on this. It seems to be what their entire focus is on.
I must say though, it makes me love this Holder pick more and more. The more these guys show signs of really really not wanting this guy as our AG, the more I like the pick. At this point, I’ll be devastated if he’s derailed in anyway. At the very least, they’re going to try to kill his credibility and make him seem hyper-partisan. It’s imperative that Wingnuttia and Repubs in general are not allowed to frame the Holder issue.
This blogger’s take makes a lot of sense to me
>>>The point, of course: to draw as much media attention as possible to a pardon that didn’t go through the normal Justice Department review process. What better story hook than a sensational reversal of a controversial pardon? As the media lapped it all up, they could be counted on to diligently draw attention to that other notorious pardon that circumvented the Justice Department review process, Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich.
Focusing public attention on the Marc Rich pardon would go a long way to helping Congressional Republicans derail Eric Holder’s nomination.
And the media, of course, have fallen for the whole shebang. Here are some of the obligatory references to the Marc Rich pardon that have been trotted out:
Wait, when did Blair stop him from doing anything stupid in the past?
I can’t imagine making the Bush administration look stupid is required for a Republican push against Holder. They require no facts whatsoever for a slime campaign.
Not only that, but Bush’s father pardoned someone who blew up a airliner with people on it. I’m sure there are some odious pardons that Bush is going to grant.
But this scenario presumes that Dubya could pull off some sort of well executed plan, when his tenure is marked by his utter inability to think anything through beyond his "gut". Occam’s Razor says it is much more plausible that Bush is so checked out, people around him rammed through a bad pardon. Then other people around him complained loudly enough that he reversed it. It hits all the notes: confusion, lack of coherent governance, corruption, and gamesmanship.
Vintage George Bush.
Yeah, it’s sometimes tough to distinguish. History will show three things from the Bush admin: Insidiousness, corruption and incompetence. Usually, it’ll probably be a mix of the three. Probably so in this case as well. I could buy that it was more Bush incompetence, or it was a Rove master plan.
Regardless though, the Holder fight is at the center of it. Even if it was an oversight, the reason they even give a crap enough to go through the overturning part is because of Holder. They may not have wanted to play it out this way, instead preferring to not allow any Rich-like pardons in the first place, but after it happened, they realized it would totally weaken their entire argument, so they tried to salvage what they could.
It all still points to them gearing up to really fight over Holder, and to me, the more they show signs of this, the more important I think it is to get ready to fight back. Seems to me like the crooks are starting to sweat, and are readying to lock-and-load on Holder.
@The Grand Panjandrum:
Conditions at Gitmo are far too humane to provide appropriate punishment for this lot. The Federal Supermax in Colorado, or the Level 6 at Marion, Illinois – that’s the ticket. Yeah, put Cheney in a cell with an Aryan Brotherhood guy who’s doing life for distributing meth. Works for me.
The Holder thing presents all sorts of opportunities for rhetorical jiu-jitsu if the Dems are smart enough to take advantage of them.
As noted above, every time the Marc Rich pardon is mentioned, it must be clearly stated that the mastermind behind the Rich pardon was Scooter Libby.
In addition, it is worth wondering out loud, early and often, why the Republicans fear Holder to the extent that they apparently do. After all, [wait for it] "if they didn’t do anything wrong, they have nothing to fear."
You’re right, you have heard that line before. From the potential defendants, in the context of the debate over illegal surveillance.
In my opinion, Marc Rich is central to conservative Bill Clinton lore.
Bill Clinton sold a pardon for 250,000. George W Bush commuted Scooter Libby’s sentence because Libby sacrificed himself at the alter of national security.
It was a central theme of the Clinton witch-hunts, that Clinton was a small time crook, while conservatives stood on principle, and Big Ideas.
I used to read Peggy Noonan during that period and just ache for her to cut to the chase , which was: "Bill Clinton is white trash, and that’s why he can’t be President of the United States".
That he was elected, twice, didn’t matter a whit.
They got the magic, don’t they? No detail too small to be left unfuckedup.
Like Saddam’s send off. They had 2+ years to plan for his certain execution by hanging. Was to mark a somber and irrevocable transition from asshole despot rule to democracy brought to Iraq by the glorious Bushie nation builders.
But what took place looked like an improvised lynching by masked Shia terrorists on a Sunni religious holiday. Only thing that might have upped the competence level just a touch more would have been scheduling the
lynchingexecution to take place on Xmas.
Say what you will, they’ve always brought their A game. It’s been a heckuva administration.
Wait, if Withdrawing Pardons becomes a part of ceritified law….does that mean anyone Bush tries to pardon can then be undone by Obama?
Oh please..give us this one last Christmas gift!
In general I agree with John about not unpardoning people who’ve been pardoned. Seems rather cruel. On the other hand, if a mass murderer was accidentally pardoned then that’d be a bad thing. So I guess the lesson to be learned is that is if a pardon is to be done, make sure you’ve done your research!
According to the Harper’s Index, Bush spends 33% of his time either on vacation or travelling to vacation spots. He simply does not put in enough time on the job to get stuff like this right. He never put in enough time on the job to protect us from Al Qaeda on 9/11 or the Wall St. fraudsters who wrecked the economy.
Josh Marshall has an article about the legal justification for the pardon revocation. Basically, the pardon doesn’t take effect until it is delivered to the subject. Since the DOJ had not finished the process, they think they can take it back. Not everyone agrees.
So let it be known that if the Rethugs make a stink over the Marc Rich pardon, the committee will haul ol’ Scooter back into the light for a few hours of sweatin and shuckin’ and jivin’, just to remind everyone.
The AG doesn’t have the power to pardon someone. If the President issues a pardon, that person *is* pardoned, even if the AG does nothing at all.
I don’t see how the AG screwing up gives Bush any room.
1) My con law on pardons is a bit rusty but I do remember a Civil War-era case that stated something along the lines that pardons are like contracts: you ain’t pardoned if the pardon never gets to you. Only until the pardon is accepted by the pardonee, if you will, does it go into effect.
So, if the dude only heard of it but never received it, tough luck. Overtones of Marbury v. Madison as well.
2) Rove is eating the idiot who issued this for lunch. Why? Because it detracts from The Next Rovian Project, namely Derailing Eric Holder.
Eric Holder was left holding the bag on the Rich pardon and the Republicans fully intend to make him suffer for it, allowing them to give Obama his first real fight.
Looks a bit hypocritical to fight over Holder’s old actions if King George suddenly is caught red-handed doing just the same thing!
Oh, those Republicans!
I disagree…it’s the best retribution ever.
Awww… the son Darth never had!
with all the publicity about the Rich pardon, one has to wonder about why we never heard much about the bush senior pardon of a known terrorist who was in the pay of the CIA when they committed terrorist acts.
If the repugs keep harping about Rich I would hope that at least one democrat has the balls to bring it up
On George Bush’s pardon of anti-Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch
26 October 1999
Following the publication of an article by Gerardo Nebbia and Martin McLaughlin, "Puerto Rican nationalists to be released after two decades in prison" [9 September 1999], the World Socialist Web Site received a letter from a reader (LM) explaining that former President George Bush had pardoned anti-Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch, which we published on October 2. Following an inquiry by another reader, LM has provided us with more information on this topic. We reprint his two letters below.
To the editor:
We must not forget the pardon by President Bush of a terrorist, Orlando Bosch, who conspired in the bombing of a Cubana airliner in 1976, killing all passengers and crew.
Bosch, who had been serving a prison sentence for a bazooka attack on a Polish freighter in Miami harbor, was freed as the result of a campaign launched by Jeb Bush and his right-wing Cuban supporters in Florida. This event did not make the news, nor did it arouse the moral outrage of Congress and the right-wing organizations who today denounce the release of the Puerto Rican political prisoners.
The terrorist activities of Orlando Bosch are fully documented in the book Deadly Secrets by Warren Hinkle and William Turner, who in turn drew their information from a Senate investigation led by Senator Kerry into the activities of the CIA.
Bosch was a cohort of Posada Carriles, a Cuban pediatrician who became a world renowned terrorist for the CIA. Carriles has taken claim for the recent wave of hotel bombings in Havana, Cuba. Both men were trained together at Fort Benning, Georgia. Bosch was the founder of the "Command of the United Revolutionary Organizations" formed to cooperate with the DINA Chilean secret police and other Latin American repressive organisms in the murder of leftists throughout the region, including the assassination of the Chilean ambassador, Letelier, in Washington, DC.
The US government has repeatedly declined to extradite Bosch to Cuba to stand trial for the bombing of the Cubana airliner in 1976. In my opinion, there can only be two clear reasons for the denial. One, Bosch would prove very embarrassing for the US at a trial in Cuba. Two, his extradition would destroy the close political relationship between the exile Cubans who demanded his release and the Republican Party.
According to the New York Time of August 17, 1989, Cuban right-wing congressperson Ros-Lehtinen met with former President Bush to negotiate Bosch’s release. The meeting was arranged by her campaign manager, Jeb Bush, who had earlier met with Cuban hunger strikers also demanding the release. Bosch was pardoned on July 18, 1990 and the New York Times was the lonely voice denouncing Bush’s pardon on an editorial published July 20, 1990.
"HAVANA (RHC)—A special commemoration ceremony will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, to remember those killed in the sabotage bombing of a Cubana airliner in 1976. Wednesday, October 6, marks the twenty-third anniversary of the mid-air explosion over Barbados that killed all passengers on board. Fifty-seven Cubans—including the island’s entire fencing team, returning from competitions—and sixteen foreigners were killed in the sabotage attack.
"Evidence showed that the bomb was placed by Cuban-American mercenaries, in the pay of the US Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA. The two terrorists who admitted that they placed the bomb on the Cubana flight—Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch—are currently free and walking the streets."
"October 7, 1999
"Athletes Remember Victims of Sabotaged Cubana Airliner
"HAVANA, (RHC)—Cuban athletes held a commemoration ceremony on Wednesday for members of the island’s junior fencing team, killed in the sabotage of a Cubana airliner 23 years ago. The plane exploded in mid-air after taking off from Barbados on October 6, 1976, killing all 73 people aboard.
"The sabotage attack 23 years ago took the lives of 57 Cubans, including the island’s entire junior fencing team, which was returning from the 1976 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela.
"Sixteen foreigners on board the Cubana flight were also killed. Evidence showed that two bombs were placed on the Cubana aircraft by Cuban-American terrorists in the pay of the US Central Intelligence Agency."
I hope the administration and Dem leadership is planning as we speak and not taking these Republicans lightly on this.
And the media, of course, have fallen for the whole shebang.
In the honor of a New Year, can we finally stop pretending that the Dem leadership is "fighting" the Republicans and that our media wants to report news but somehow "falls" for the right-wing storyline every. single. time.
Loyal opposition and honest journalism are liberal qualities, and this country is no longer that. While I have come to accept that my nation turned its back on its own legacy and abandoned its place in history, I am not holding up so well under the constant incomprehension of my peers to the obvious truth of our times.
I mean, it’s one thing to be stuck in the rowboat going backward over the falls. It’s much worse when my fellow passengers keep insisting we’re in Alice’s Teacup Ride at Disneyland.
I believe that to prosecute Darth Cheney, the deer in the headlights decider, or any of their minions, you will need three things:
1) An apolitical AUSA with an impeccable personal life,
2) a grand jury of citizens who care about the law,
3) a case airtight enough to convince a jury of 12 Republicans.
If the Republicans plan to go after Eric Holder, they will do it for sport, or because they see Mr. Holder as the most vulnerable of President-Elect Obama’s prospective cabinet. I don’t think they view it as part of the "game plan" to defeat a Cheney/Bush/associates indictment. I doubt they have a game plan for that. I doubt it has really occurred to the hard-core faithful that anyone would actually indict the great protector.
JR @ 48:
HEAR! HEAR! Very well said.
Bitter Gun Owner
I bet you all praised Clinton for releasing ‘456 innocent revolutionaries from the grips of the evil prison industrial complex’ that was no big deal but this is BUSH, the spitting image of satan in the liberal mind. He did something so it mush be wrong! By the way very classy trying to use choking on food as a symptom of stupidity, I’m sure not one intelligent being has ever choked to death.
@Bitter Gun Owner:
Judging from the nom de plum you have 2nd A issues, which I also have. Oddly, though, it seems that is the only one that bothers you. I’d think you’d also be in a bit of an uproar about the 4th, but apparently it only counts if it isn’t applied to anyone that might possibly just maybe, in some reach of the imagination not be associated in any fashion with foreigners who by nature of being foreign are bad…
You really do suck badly at this. Give up on the politics and go for tiddleywinks, really now.
You ever fire those guns? Me, I shoot Nat. Match High Power w/M1, SASS w/.45 Colt, NRA HP Hunting, Palma, I hunt Mulies, R Mtn Elk, bear, cat, coyote, and I handload 7 cartidges. I am also Vice-chair DPO Gun Owners Caucus, so I spend time doing rather than whining at "liberals." Pissant.
Talking Points Memo has been reporting on this, there is, apparently, a more recent case than the one you mentioned which seems to say that the act of transmittal of the pardon documents to the pardonee is a formality and the pardon is official as soon as the president signs off on it.