Thursday, September 18, 2008

Past pardons by the bushies

Back in 1992, the first president bush pardoned six former officials in the Reagan administration. One of the pardoned was Caspar Weinberger, who was due to stand trial for lying to Congress about his knowledge of the arms sales to Iran, and other information about the US support for the Nicaraguan rebels (better known to most people as ‘murderers’). He also pardoned Robert McFarlane and Elliott Abrams. Both of them had pleaded guilty to charges of withholding information from Congress about the support for the contras in Nicaragua. The US Congress had barred direct aid to the contra rebels, but these guys went ahead with using the money from the sale of arms to Iran to finance a weapons supply network to the contras. These guys just love to kill people – or rather, they love to have OTHER PEOPLE kill people for them. I guess they get their jollies from this sick practice.

This action completed the Iran-contra cover-up. It stopped any evidence of a conspiracy from becoming public knowledge.

(And, just a few years later, we had an 80 million dollar investigation into what the Clintons might have done in real estate and their private sexual behavior. Neither of these were a crime, even though the tried to impeach Clinton for lying about the sex.)

Here’s the statement from the independent counsel, from Reuters:

Following is a statement by the independent counsel, Lawrence E. Walsh, regarding pardons granted today by President Bush.

President Bush's pardon of Caspar Weinberger and other Iran-contra defendants undermines the principle that no man is above the law. It demonstrates that powerful people with powerful allies can commit serious crimes in high office -- deliberately abusing the public trust without consequence.

Weinberger, who faced four felony charges, deserved to be tried by a jury of citizens. Although it is the President's prerogative to grant pardons, it is every American's right that the criminal justice system be administered fairly, regardless of a person's rank and connections.

The Iran-contra cover-up, which has continued for more than six years, has now been completed with the pardon of Caspar Weinberger. We will make a full report on our findings to Congress and the public describing the details and extent of this cover-up.

Weinberger's early and deliberate decision to conceal and withhold extensive contemporaneous notes of the Iran-contra matter radically altered the official investigations and possibly forestalled timely impeachment proceedings against President Reagan and other officials. Weinberger's notes contain evidence of a conspiracy among the highest-ranking Reagan Administration officials to lie to Congress and the American public. Because the notes were withheld from investigators for years, many of the leads were impossible to follow, key witnesses had purportedly forgotten what was said and done, and statutes of limitation had expired.

Weinberger's concealment of notes is part of a disturbing pattern of deception and obstruction that permeated the highest levels of the Reagan and Bush Administrations. This office was informed only within the past two weeks, on December 11, 1992, that President Bush had failed to produce to investigators his own highly relevant contemporaneous notes, despite repeated requests for such documents. The production of these notes is still ongoing and will lead to appropriate action. In light of President Bush's own misconduct, we are gravely concerned about his decision to pardon others who lied to Congress and obstructed official investigations.

The first president bush said this about the investigation he stopped: "a profoundly troubling development in the political and legal climate of our country: the criminalization of policy differences." What a load of you-know-what.

And then the Republicans turned around and tried to criminalize private sexual behavior between consenting adults. Talk about a troubling development in the legal climate of our country! Well, I admit, it does pale in light of what has happened since Clinton left office. And we are still paying the price for letting the criminals go free – Abrams, for one, was behind the neo-con decision to invade and occupy Iraq. Probably more of the criminals in this Iran-contra crime were not even identified, much less indicted, much less pardoned.

And today – we seem to have a political class in DC who believe that they are above the law, and that there is no point in impeaching a president just because he lied us into a war of aggression, installed policies of torture, rendition, kidnapping, rape, and murder – oh, and destroying the US Constitution.

And I bet that the second bush president follows the example of his father – pardons people for their involvement in crime. Except this time, he will do it before the arrest warrants are even handed down – just to be sure.

Today, we are at a place where the Republican criminals won’t even show up when they are subpoenaed by the US Congress. We are a lawless police state - or rather, headed that direction fast.

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