Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Scooter Libby and Executive Pardons etc...

President Bush commuted the sentence of Scooter Libby today. He did not pardon Scooter Libby; however, he did make it so that Scooter Libby will not serve time in jail.

This will enrage some and satisfy others; unfortunately, many of those enraged or those satisfied will do so based on Party affiliation rather then a consistent viewpoint on the issue.

The power of the President to issue Pardons is clear in The Constitution.

In my opinion the power has been abused in recent years by many Presidents.

Jimmy Carter badly abused it when he "forgave" a whole crop of Viet-Nam draft dodgers. That is one of the reasons I feel that Jimmy Carter was the worst Presdient in recent history; however, I have to admit that our current President is the second worst and seems to be trying to surpass Jimmy Carter's terrible Presidency.

I think President Bush Sr. abused it when he pardoned six of those involved in Iran Contra BEFORE the trial.

The list goes on. Presidents have a history of using this power to protect and help those in their Party and those who support them. I think it is wrong.

What I really hate about pardons is the last minute pardons that Presidents grant on their last day in office; for example, Bill Clinton pardoned a bunch of people right before he left office.

I think that many of our recent Presidents have abused the Presidential Pardon. I do not care of it is Democrats or Republicans who do it, it is wrong if done for political reasons.

The only thing I like about the commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence is that it was done in the open and not done on President Bush's last day in office...

One of the things I hate about Presidential Pardons is that many of the same people who defended Bill Clinton when he pardoned a host of criminals in the "dark of night" right before he left office will be the same people who condemn President Bush for commuting Scooter Libby's sentence.

I think people should view this issue from a non-partisan perspective.

Mike Sylvester

7 comments:

jon said...

President Bush didn’t pardon Libby; he only commuted his prison sentence. This accentuates the major problem with the Bush administration. It's half assed and is unwilling to fight for what it believes is right. As a country we are heading down a very dangerous road of using criminal courts as a political tool. Libby is one example, the Duke rape case is an example. When we start using the courts as a political weapon our country has jumped the shark.

Doug said...

I don't think this is a "pox on all their houses" situation. I can certainly agree that many of the Democratic pardons were wrong. But, the Scooter Libby pardon (or commutation if you want to split hairs) and the Bush I pardon of Iran Contra figures are different in kind than the draft dodgers and Marc Rich type pardons.

These go to the heart of Presidential accountability. In both cases, the Presidents were covering their asses for misuse of executive power. (Or they appear to have been -- because of the pardons, knowing for sure is problematic.)

Doing a favor for a well-connected buddy is one thing; using your power to save yourself from the consequences of your own actions is quite another.

Both kinds of pardons are wrong. But there is a significant degree of difference between the levels of wrongness. It's like the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.

Robert Enders said...

Giving the president the power to pardon gives too much power to one person. I'm suprised Bush had the gall to get Libby out of prison. Still, I think that in certain cases a pardon is appropriate. I think Congress should have pardoned the draft evaders. Nixon and LBJ got to walk, so its only fair that everyone else walked too.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Doug:

I think President Carter pardoning a whole bunch of people who "dodged" the draft is one of the most criminal actions in recent history...

Mike Sylvester

Robert Enders said...

Mike,
Are you aware that you are part of a party that founded largely in opposition to the Vietnam conflict?

It was the draft itself that was criminal. Conscription violates the 13th Amendment.

John Good said...

I think President Carter pardoning a whole bunch of people who "dodged" the draft is one of the most criminal actions in recent history...

Mike - I must respectfully suggest that you have ignored the transgressions of this current administration over the last several years.

And, if you want to discuss "draft dodgers", I have a few questions for Mr.Bush and Mr.Cheney. . .

Tim Zank said...

"And, if you want to discuss "draft dodgers", I have a few questions for Mr.Bush and Mr.Cheney". .

AND Mr. Clinton?


Don't you just hate it when you step on your foot, John?