Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bush's Bizarre Pardon List | Five Gitmo Prisoners Ordered Released | Can Bush Pardon Himself?

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November 26th, 2008
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Bush's Bizarre Pardon List  

Bush's Bizarre Pardon List
By Jenny Booth, The Times of London UK
A hip-hop artist and a former Detroit police sergeant are among 16 people to be pardoned or to have their prison sentences commuted by President Bush. Read more »

 

Call me humorless, but I always found the presidential turkey pardoning ceremony to be a rather crass ritual for a society that still routinely executes human beings. Especially when presided over by George W. Bush -- a man who oversaw more than 150 executions as governor of Texas.

Nevertheless, today, in a Rose Garden ceremony, Bush pardoned his last Thanksgiving turkey, a bird named Pumpkin, to great fanfare and nostalgia. Along with a "backup bird" named Pecan, "Pumpkin will be the honorary grand marshal of Disneyland's Thanksgiving Day Parade," the president declared. "Together, these birds will gobble the rest of their days in the happiest place on Earth."

"I just hope they stay humble there," he added.

It was, perhaps, a suitably absurd snapshot of Bush's lame duck status in these final days of the most criminal administration in White House history. It also comes mere days after the release of a rather surprising list of presidential pardons -- of humans -- that includes a Grammy-award-winning hip-hop artist and a Detroit police sergeant. (Read the rest of the names here.)

The topic of presidential pardons is a hot one these days, and with good reason; from his warmongering cronies to the twisted legal minds behind the torture memos, the Bush White House was rife with criminals. Some of them have paid a price. The vast majority have not.

This week, Senator Russ Feingold (D-IL) warns the president, if he values his legacy, to beware the power of the pardon, while Stephen M. Brown asks the very relevant question: "Can George W. Bush pardon himself?" Keep visiting AlterNet's Rights & Liberties section for more on pardons, prosecutions, and beyond.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Liliana Segura

Editor, Rights & Liberties Special Coverage

 

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