A reader writes:
I just watched your interview with Charlie Rose again, and your comments about Obama's response to potential war crimes committed by the Bush Administration - that Obama simply didn't want to divide the country by pursuing an investigation into the controversial issue - engendered this thought: Should Obama pardon Bush for war crimes?
Although pilloried at the time for pardoning Nixon, President Ford has come to earn the respect of ordinary citizens and historians in recent years for that action, and his reason was that the nation needed to be healed after our "long national nightmare." Of course, that situation was considerably different than the issue of potential Bush Administration war crimes - Nixon resigned in disgrace, a tacit admission of wrong-doing, while Bush and his minions suffered no such humiliation and still cling to the notion that they did nothing wrong. I imagine that Bush supporters would raise hell that Obama was pardoning Bush for crimes he didn't commit. And would that action give ammunition to oversees courts to try Bush for war crimes, citing Obama's pardon as an admission that crimes were committed, and in whose jurisdiction an Obama-issued pardon would have no bearing?
But a blanket pardon of Bush - and perhaps Cheney and Rumsfeld and any others that may have perpetrated war crimes - would allow a full and potentially cathartic investigation of the perhaps-illegal actions that the Bush Administration took in our name. Under the circumstances, would such a pardon be a moral action?
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