19 December 2008

Cheney bucking for pardon? Nah.

Michael Latt in HuffPo is claiming that Cheney is trying to force Bush's hand in his admission in an interview with Jonathan Karl of ABC that he approved waterboarding:

There are those who see the vice president's admission as part of a strategy to force the president to pardon him and all those named in the Senate Report: Rumsfeld, Meyers, and Rice. If Bush doesn't pardon them, they will certainly be pursued by those in the new administration who will not let-bygones-be-bygone.

Since Bush has been famously reticent to grant pardons both as governor and president, then Cheney's ABC interview with Jonathan Karl is a way of provoking Bush to act while he still can. If Cheney is pardoned then he'll have it both ways: maintaining that what was done was legal and being protected from prosecution.

I don't buy it. Cheney's a true-believer, who cannot conceive that he needs to be pardoned for anything. Also, a pardon is excuse from a particular crime, and its acceptance is legally considered an admission of guilt. Somehow I just can't see either Bush or Cheney going this route.

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