Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Monday, January 19, 2009

I for one am excited to read the list of pardons Bush is, I am sure, signing right now. Will Cheney be on it? Rummy? Condi? Roger Clemens? Scooter? The AP reports that he has commuted the sentences of two border control agents who shot a Mexican drug dealer, and that there are no more acts of executive clemency in the pipe, but I can't believe he'd disappoint us like that. I also can't decide if I'd be happy or sad about a Scooter pardon. Libby is the particular pet of the Wall Street Journal, which has, through it all, found nice things to say about Bush. Denying a pardon to "the most notable casualty of the domestic war that ran alongside the global war on terror" would be hard for them to take I think. (And isn't it hilarious that these guys feel like this? Alberto Gonzalez, who hasn't managed to land a paying gig yet, said something along the same lines recently. If these guys are casualties, what is the word they use to describe people who have actually been shot and killed?) On the other hand, if he was to be pardoned then he could get his license to practice law back, and that'd be a pity. Daniel Henninger again: "When the vice president's chief of staff was convicted, financially ruined and professionally destroyed on the basis of a conversation, my first thought was, this is going to make it hard to attract the best people to serve in Washington." Funny how that doesn't seem to have been a problem for Obama so far.
UPDATE: One hour into the Obama Administration and it appears that Bush has decided that people can just take their lumps-- no last minute pardons. I must admit, I'm a bit disappointed. Probably not as disappointed as Conrad Black, but still....
FURTHER UPDATE: Cheney's pissed off that Bush didn't pardon Scooter, [O]ne of the most capable and honorable men I've ever known." I'd like to see the list of honorable men Cheney's known, wouldn't you? From what we know of Scooter we can safely assume that obstruction of justice is a quality that many of them share, so I'm guessing that John Mitchell would be on it, along with quite a few other Nixon-era thugs, but who else? Roy Cohn? Ken Lay? Who are the honorable men in history that Cheney looks up to? The Weekly Standard says that Cheney publicly broke with Bush only four times up to now: "Of the four times that Cheney had publicly disagreed with Bush--on a gay marriage ban; on firing Donald Rumsfeld; on Washington, D.C.'s gun ban; and on North Korea--two of them involved personal loyalty Cheney felt to someone other than the president. On one occasion it was his daughter, Mary Cheney, and on the other it was his longtime mentor, Donald Rumsfeld. Libby makes it three."

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