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Wednesday, Dec 27, 2006, 1:23 am

Gerald Ford: His Greatest Accomplishment Was Validating Pardons for Criminal GOP Administrations

By Brian Zick
Jonathan Singer at MyDD has assembled links to several Ford obits.

Ford's pardon of Nixon set the stage for Bush Daddy's subsequent Iran/contra pardons to Caspar Weinberger, Elliott Abrams, Robert McFarlane, Duane Clarridge, Alan Fiers, and Clair George. And thereby the effective pardon to himself. And as well for the current chorus of calls for Bush the Idiot Son to pardon Scooter Libby. The same crowd of GOP voices that champion pardons by Republican Presidents also screeched in fits of paranoid hysteria, consumed by their fantasy prospect that Bill Clinton might possibly pardon any one of a litany of falsely accused perpetrators of non-existent crimes.

The bottom line is that Republican Presidents now enjoy a virtually unconstrained license to grant pardons to people indicted or convicted of criminal acts undertaken to specifically serve a given Republican President's political interests. Ford set the bar for Republican Presidents, who now routinely enjoy a de facto invitation to abuse their authority and place themselves above the law on a whim, whenever they please. All they need do is wait until Christmas Eve before their last month in office, to dispense their pardons to the perps, confident the press won't pay much attention at all. (Democratic Presidents, of course, don't benefit from this standard; they get impeached - not for any criminal impropriety, though, but for lying while not under oath about sex.)

Augusto Pinochet was also arguably the beneficiary of Ford's pardon to Nixon: the reason Ford gave for his grant of the Nixon pardon - to allegedly "heal the wounds of the nation's political divide" - was exactly the same reason given for Pinochet's escape from accountability for so many years.

Funny how rewarding criminal offense perpetrated at the highest offices of the land by persons holding offices of public trust is translated by the DC Bubble People into "healing the nation's wounds." While simultaneously they advance the claim that the death penalty (to lesser citizen mortals) is a deterrent to crime.
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