For those poor Federal prisoners, former Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, and for their families, the Bush wait-out must seem endless.
Bush has just pardoned 19 others for crimes which in all cases were more serious than shooting an illegal immigrant drug smuggler in the buttock, which what got Ramos and Compean convicted.
As my readers may recall, I have written three pieces for VDARE.COM on this scandal. But it still has not gotten fixed with obviously necessary pardons by Bush. As Emile Zola famously said, "J'Accuse!"
Playing by Bush's rules is like trying to catch a Nolan Ryan fastball barehanded in a dense fog without a bullet proof vest, face mask or protective helmet.
The AP tells us that so far
"Bush has granted 190 pardons and nine commutations during his two terms. That's fewer than half as many as Presidents Clinton or Ronald Reagan issued during their eight years in office. Well-known names were rare on Bush's holiday pardon list. .....Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, former U.S. Border Patrol agents who were convicted of shooting a drug smuggler in 2005 and trying to cover it up".[Bush pardons man for breaking law to help Israel, By Deb Riechmann, December 24, 2008]
And of course, again says AP:
"In his most high-profile official act of forgiveness, Bush saved Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, from serving prison time in the case of the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. Libby was convicted of perjury and obstructing justice. Bush could still grant him a full pardon, although Libby has not applied for one."
Ho, Ho, Ho.
Betcha 20 to 1 that Bush does not do the right thing by Ramos and Compean.
(And remember I say this as a Democrat—who must be almost the only Democrat calling for this action. The silence from prominent Democrats when this travesty of justice unfolded was virtually complete.)
I'm pessimistic for two likely reasons.
The message for them was clear: "Do as I dictate or you are out." "My way or the highway". Some got the highway, with the "resignations" in the US Justice Department under his second Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales.
"Gonzales was the first Hispanic to serve as United States Attorney General. While Bush was Governor of Texas, Gonzales had served as his general counsel, and subsequently he served as Secretary of State of Texas and then on the Texas Supreme Court. From 2001 to 2005, Gonzales served in the Bush Administration as White House General Council. Amid several controversies and allegations of perjury before Congress, on August 27, 2007 Gonzales announced his resignation as Attorney General, effective September 17, 2007".
He was the guy who, when he was sworn in as AG on February 3, 2005, said to Justice Department employees that they have
"a special obligation to protect America against future acts of terrorism. We will continue to make that our top priority while remaining consistent with our values and legal obligations. That will be the lodestar that guides us in our efforts at the Department".
So in this high profile case rests reason #2 why Bush won't pardon these exemplary agents:
So if Bush pardons these honorable public servants, as he has been frequently urged to do by senior members of his own party, he in effect admits that his critics in a very high profile case were right.
And we know from his own statements that Mr. Bush is never wrong. Right?
Oh. Just on the right. Would that in this case he could do something right.
But I am regretfully not hopeful.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.