A tale of two moral compasses. The NY Times issued an editorial exhorting Bush to not "abuse" the pardon privilege:
With the Bush administration drawing to a close, it is presidential pardon season. Presidents have become increasingly shameless about issuing pardons to insulate political cronies from prosecution, even to protect themselves. We hope President Bush will not abuse the pardon power by putting his appointees, political supporters or friends above the law.
The Constitution gives the president sweeping authority to grant pardons. The founders intended for presidents to use this power as an “act of grace” or to promote the public welfare. It was never intended to be a get-out-of-jail-free card for people close to the president who stretched, bent or broke the law.
A nice, if a bit naive, sentiment. The editorial goes on to point out how past presidents have abused the privilege, so it's not without precedent to have Bush issue pardons to whom he wishes to repay for their political loyalty (Hi, Scooter!).
But it is svengaliesque William Kristol whose advice will much more likely be heeded by his PNAC buddies and disciples in the Executive Branch. He argues in his Weekly Standard that the right thing for Bush to do is to pardon any and all foot soldiers in his War on Terror™:
One last thing: Bush should consider pardoning--and should at least be vociferously praising--everyone who served in good faith in the war on terror, but whose deeds may now be susceptible to demagogic or politically inspired prosecution by some seeking to score political points. The lawyers can work out if such general or specific preemptive pardons are possible; it may be that the best Bush can or should do is to warn publicly against any such harassment or prosecution. But the idea is this: The CIA agents who waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and the NSA officials who listened in on phone calls from Pakistan, should not have to worry about legal bills or public defamation. In fact, Bush might want to give some of these public servants the Medal of Freedom at the same time he bestows the honor on Generals Petraeus and Odierno. They deserve it.
Unbelievable. This goes beyond immorality and straight into a complete lack of humanity. And let me for the record reiterate that Bill "Brave with other people's kids" Kristol has NEVER been right. Not once. Not when he cheerleaded the Iraq invasion and lied about the reasons. Not when he cheerleaded Sarah Palin and led the campaign to get her on the GOP ticket. Not once in his weekly appearances on
Pravda, er...FoxNews has he ever given even the slightest semblance of being right. And now he goes against his employers at the NY Times (Jeez, what does it take to fire a bloodthirsty, warmongering amoral Republican flack? Obviously as much as it does in the US Senate) to suggest that those who have violated every principle that was supposed to be the American dream should get the farkin' Medal of Honor?
And sadly, the Villagers will look to this and not blink an eye.