Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Deal Or No Deal: The Republican Pardon Game

Will Bush "resign" one minute before midnight of his last day in office and let Cheney be President (God help us all) so Cheney can pardon Bush? How many of the people that Bush pardons will be white middle-aged wealthy men? Care for a little wager? My bet is they'll throw in one non-white young poor woman who's doing 20 to life on a Lousiana chain gang because she was convicted of driving while black, and try to divert the public long enough for the Republicans to flee the country before the rage boils over.

Will Bush pardon Cheney? How about Libby? Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Brownie? Is this like a savings account? Can Bush issue a future pardon -- one that takes place only if someone is charged with something? Like a Get Out Of Jail Free Card that they can pocket and use if necessary.

Does a U.S. presidential pardon carry any weight in an international war crimes tribunal? What about all the people who directed torture, or participated in it? What about Halliburton: will they receive a blanket pardon for financial and other mis-dealings? How about Blackwater? That is a U.S. company started by a guy named Eric Prince from Virginia who is, of course it goes without saying, one of the born-again purported Christian crucifix-waving crazy neocons who were so popular with the Bush administration, and who made hundreds of millions of dollars robbing the taxpayers blind through the privatization of this war on Iraq. Blackwater technically provides private "security." So instead of using the military for protection, the Republicans hired Blackwater for millions of dollars. And Blackwater in turn gave enormous amounts of money right back to the Republicans. See how that works? Blackwater has been implicated in murder in Iraq. Bush and the neocons insisted that any American is free to murder anyone in Iraq for no reason at all. Complete immunity. See why the Iraqis don't like us? And what if Iraq brings charges? Can Bush pardon every Blackwater person for a murder in Iraq?

What about international war crimes tribunals? Like Neuremburg? Does a Presidential pardon carry any weight there? What if all the Republicans say they were only following orders? Will that work? What if they say they had no idea what was going on?

Will Bush pardon every criminal on Wall Street? Every thief, every con artist who has looted our treasury? Does he have enough paper to do that? Did they order cases, extra reams to print out all the pardons for the Wall Street Boys? Have the Wall Street Boys agreed to kick back a percentage of their "Bailout" money to the Republicans? If so, would a pardon take care of that too?

What happens if Bush pardons every Republican who served in Congress in the last 8 years? What can we conclude if that happens? Will he pardon any Democrats? That would be fun.

How much does a pardon cost? Does the person who wants to be pardoned have to pay money to someone -- to the RNC, or maybe to an "agent," in order to buy the pardon? Is the Pope Catholic? In fact, good analogy because in the good old days the sinner Catholics could buy a special dispensation: give the church enough money and buy a pardon for all your sins. And elite white men in this country have always bought their way out of trouble. They even used to buy poor young men to take their place in the military to avoid going to war. That was before the National Guard champagne unit was set up so people like Bush could hide their way out of war. And before they set up the deferment con so people like Five-Deferment Dick (Cheney) could avoid serving by going back, again and again, and postponing service until the war is over.

So, will The Price Be Right? Who will buy their way out of Jeopardy? Who can name that tune, and who will be singing the prison blues? What about Ted Haggard? Does he qualify? Or was he ever charged with anything other than having sex [ with men] while Republican? I would bet my depleted IRAs that Abramoff will walk free. Isn't Tom Delay being "investigated?" Or have charges already been filed? Let's see, Republican, white elite male, from Texas, what do we think is the likelihood Tom will be pardoned? What about the bathroom stall guy? Or is there some secret rule that says gay Republicans cannot be pardoned -- pardoned for being gay. Not that he's gay.

How about the Aipac spies? Some federal government employee was caught handing classified information to Aipac. You know, like spies and stuff. But instead of anyone going to prison, the federal government keeps delaying the trial. Mukasey certainly has done nothing to move it along. And now there was some stupid ruling at the trial court level, so the federal government decided to appeal that too, and delay the trial even more. Raise your hand if you think the fix is in, and all these people will be pardoned. No trial, no public disclosure of classified information being stolen from the federal government and given to Israel's lobbying crew in the U.S. -- Aipac, the same people who give so much money to politicians in bribes. It's nice how that works out. As long as you pay money to bribe the politician, you can get away with anything.

If the people involved in the Aipac spy scandal get pardoned (or maybe have a plea deal combined with a pardon), I'm going to print out the news story and send it to every person sitting in prison because they had a trace of some drug in their pockets. To show them that they sit in prison because of a corrupt and injust system, as if they probably don't know that already.

Not that it matters. Congress has done nothing to stop these people from destroying the country. It's so unlikely anyone would do anything once Bush leaves. But still. I guess this is what they mean by "it pays to have friends in high places." You can get away with anything -- even murder -- if you know the right people.

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