Bush pardons will be classified

Here's an idea that came to me this morning. President George W. Bush will pardon various members of the executive branch for war crimes, including murder and torture. To avoid the bad PR of doing this, Bush will make the pardons classified. If anyone is brought before a grand jury the individual will present his/her pardon secretly to the prosecutor.

This will protect the members of the the executive branch who did bad stuff. And it will protect the Bush, Cheney and officers of the Bush administration from some bad publicity.

If the Bush administration can convince people that that existence of these pardons is classified and a national security matter it could even block Congressional investigations.

Normally pardons would facilitate Congressional inquiries b/c someone who has been pardoned has little or no reason to limit her/his testimony by invoking the Fifth Amendment.

But what about, "Mister/Madame Chairman, under advise of counsel I respectfully refuse to answer that question because to provide an answer would reveal national security information legitimately classified by national command authority"?

I'm skeptical Congress really wants to dig into these issues anyway, but classified pardons could be a whole new way to expand government power.

Tags: Bush, classified, National Security, pardons, torture (all tags)

Comments

10 Comments

Is that even precidented?

I'm a little skeptical that a pardon like that could remain effective if classified.  Couldn't Obama simply declassify them if he wanted?

by Dracomicron 2008-11-24 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Is that even precidented?

I don't know if there's a precedent. I do know the Bush administration has shown a willingness to set new precedent to expand the power of the executive branch.

What would Obama gain by declassifying classified pardons?

And would the Bush administration even tell the Obama administration about the existence of classified pardons?

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-24 07:51AM | 0 recs
Huh?

What would Obama gain by declassifying classified pardons?

A reputation as a straight shooter and an enemy of the last 8 years of malfeasance?

And would the Bush administration even tell the Obama administration about the existence of classified pardons?

I don't even know how to respond to that.  Don't you have the highest security classification when you become president?  Wouldn't he need that clearance so his people could carry out the orders you outline?

I'm sure Bush will try something funny with his pardons, but I'm just not following your logic.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-24 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?

"Don't you have the highest security classification when you become president?"

I sure hope they didn't tell Bush about Roswell and Area 51.  :-)

by ProgressiveDL 2008-11-24 08:41AM | 0 recs
They told him

He didn't do anything with them because they told him that sodium-based life forms aren't edible and would thus not be delicious.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-24 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: They told him

Well, Bush does like pretzels.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-11-24 10:02AM | 0 recs
Even after one tried to kill him?

You'd think he'd want to invade Pretzellia to avenge the slight.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-24 10:28AM | 0 recs
He thought they said "illegal aliens"

and sent ICE to deport them

by mydailydrunk 2008-11-25 02:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Is that even precidented?

exactly. and i certainly hope that Obama will scour all those heaps of classified stuff from Cheney (um Bush?) and declassify plenty to facilitate investigations by congress and/or citizens (like Plame).

Hell, this could be a bonding exercise with Hillary! I'm sure she knows just where to look for the good stuff having been in the WH before ;--)

by swissffun 2008-11-24 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Is that even precidented?

Long time lurker, first time commenter, but I just had to make a comment here;

Now I have this mental image of Hillary and Barack in their pjs on a couch in the White House going through Bush and Cheney records and laughing/mocking many of them.

by SniperCT 2008-11-24 02:35PM | 0 recs

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