Cheney hints at pardon for President Bush

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With the Bush administration in its final days questions are being asked whether the president will be investigated over a number of concerns.

Thoseconcerns include the legitimacy, legality, and constitutionality of the 2003 invasion of Iraq; the controversial eavesdropping by the NSA of U.S. citizens; the authorization of the use of torture; and the treatment and processing of detainees at prisons in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.

While there are impeachment proceedings underway in the House of Representatives, they have been sidelined by the global financial crisis, and will be overtaken by the end of the Bush presidency on January 20.

There are many however who believe the president and members of his administration should be pursued. Officials in the Department of Defense have reportedly been pressing the Obaaa transition team to take action to demonstrate that justice will be served, and to restore America’s image in the world.

There are others that say it is time to move on, and the healing of the nation from the tumultuous times of the Bush years will be advanced by not opening up old issues.

Barack Obama has given some hope to those that are interested in the former. he has said he will promptly review actions by the Bush administration “If crimes have been committed, they should be investigated,” he has said.

However he has also said, “I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of the Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we’ve got too many problems we’ve got to solve.”

Dick Cheney seemingly is one of those that wants to move on as he unexpectedly raised, and drew parallels with, President Ford’s pardon of former President Nixon this week, hinting that similar treatment should be afforded President Bush.

On Monday the vice president was asked about some of the issues that have given rise to some of the major concerns, on Sean Hannity’s Radio program.

“Well, let me ask you this, as you look back on the presidency,” said Hannity, “I think the President, through the prism of history, is going to be viewed as a very principled, successful President. And that would include you being Vice President, because I don’t think, I think most people’s memories are short. I think most people have forgotten the mood of the country after 9/11. I think there were many, many decisions that were made, tougher interrogations, Gitmo, the Patriot Act, that have all contributed to making this country safer. We seem to forget all those tough battles, and that was the biggest focus obviously of the administration.”

“Do you believe, as I do, that history will be kind to you guys?” asked Hannity.

“Right,” said Cheney. “No, I do. I think – I had the experience with Jerry Ford. I came in, went to work here the day he got sworn in as President, worked with him throughout his time there. I’ll always remember, of course, what happened when he made the decision to pardon Richard Nixon. And he dropped 30 points in the polls in a week.”

“And at the time a lot of people were outraged about that decision,” said Cheney. “But, in fact, thirty years later we look back on it, and nearly everybody has come around to the point of view that it was exactly the right thing to do. It was a courageous thing to do, because he knew it might well cost him the next election in ’76, but he went ahead and did it anyway because he thought it was right for the country.”

“And I think there are parallels there in terms of George Bush,” said the vice president.

“I think that when people have an opportunity to look back and sort of ignore the emotions of the moment, which tend to dominate now, especially in the mainstream media, and look with some time and be able to pause and reflect on it, that the decisions he has made and the things he has done in terms of liberating fity million people and protecting the country and taking down a big part of the al-Qaeda organization, etc., etc., etc., I think he will be well regarded,” said Cheney.