Warehouse F

Sovereign Powers

The Unseen Enemy
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Bush May Pardon His Crime But He Cannot Wash The Stain

By James Donahue

 Writer Stephen M. Brown asks the question this week in Alternet that a lot of folks have been wondering these days . . . can President George W. Bush pardon himself for crimes committed while in office?

Since President-Elect Barack Obama appears to be avoiding the issue due to his efforts to draft a unified effort to fix the massive economic crisis created by the Bush Administration, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi refuses to allow impeachment efforts to be raised, we hear that some states attorney-general may pursue criminal charges. The complaints might include a broad range of criminal misdeeds ranging from mass murder to the organized theft of the U.S. Treasury by special interest groups.

But Brown writes: “there will be no prosecution or trial of George Bush – or Dick Cheney, or Donald Rumsfeld, or Condoleezza Rice, or any of the others who deliberately deceived America into a war that should never have been waged – if Bush decides to pardon not only his accomplices in crime but also himself.”

The U.S. Constitution grants the president the power to “grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” This is a commonly accepted form of sovereign power shared by kings, monarchs and heads of state in nearly every country of the world so it is not unique to the United States president.

But in this case, since Pelosi blocked efforts to impeach Bush, many people are thinking that somehow Bush and all of his friends will somehow be facing some form of punishment for their crimes after he leaves office. Brown asks, “Can Bush do it? Can he pardon himself before leaving office?”

He wrote that he researched this question and discussed the issue with legal counsel. But other than the Nixon pardon by President Ford, after Ford succeeded Nixon into office, the issue of a presidential pardon has never been raised. Thus there has been no precedent. The best Brown could find were three law review articles that analyze the self-pardon power and present arguments both for and against its legality.

Brown said Bush could make his escape by simply pardoning Cheney then resign from office a few days before his term expires. Cheney then would become the legal president with the power to pardon Bush. Thus both men, and all the others who participated, can legally use the pardon process to avoid prosecution.

Would the entire country freak out over such brazen self-dealing?” Brown asks. He said this would probably happen all right, but the Washington gang, which already has millions of people all over the world thinking badly of them, would certainly prefer a pardon to facing trials for high treason and murder.

If Bush pardons himself, or gets Cheney to pardon him, he will let the Democrats off the hook, freeing them from the growing importuning of millions of Americans whose rage at Bush and Cheney will only grow greater as more and more insiders come forward to reveal the truth,” Brown concludes.

We believe the outrage has already reached beyond U.S. borders and that these villains deserve to be seized by United Nations forces and brought to the International Court to stand trial for war crimes. A presidential pardon may not, and should not protect them from this. Yet the International Court may not have the jurisdiction to get involved.

Since the court was established in 2002, while Bush was in office, 108 nations have signed documents for participation. The United States is among the unsigned nations. This indicates that the United States has written off any legal obligations arising from this court.

Thus we have before us the specter of a pack of bandits blatantly conducting high crimes after seizing the most powerful office in the world, and getting away with everything they did without any chance of arrest and punishment. No court and no authority in the world has jurisdiction over this president and his actions.

When all is said and done, Nancy Pelosi needs to explain why she blocked the impeachment of this president.