1-19-09: The Day Bush Pardons All 'Terror Warriors' and Himself?
• Monday after next is 1-19. Eight years since the year of 9-11.
• 19 - 11 = 8 (years since the year of 9-11). Also, Bush’s last (scheduled full) day in office. M.L. King Day, too.
• “The Day George W. Bush Declares War on America.” NOT my prediction, but we unmask the prophet of political doom.
GET POLITICAL w/ VIC LIVINGSTON
Monday, Jan. 19, 2009, is slated to be the last full day in power for the Bush-Cheney presidency.
I say “slated” just to cover all the bases. Because, to invoke the old clicle, “Anything can happen.” And these past eight years have seen a panoply of disturbing -- to some, prophetic -- “anythings,” from 9/11 to the current global financial meltdown.
Now, I don’t consider myself particularly superstitious. I’ve walked under many ladders and black cats have crossed my path and I have lived to tell the tale. But I wouldn’t mind if someone described me as “prescient.” Or at least a person who considers all of the possibilities, and not just outcomes that are deemed to be the likely ones. Call it the law of unintended -- or perhaps it’s “unanticipated” -- consequences.
As one of my personal heroes, TV’s best-known “fed,” Special Agent Jethro Gibbs of the CBS show N.C.I.S. is apt to say: “I don’t believe in coincidences.”
So with that as a preamble, let me report on what I found while contemplating the fact that the Monday after next is, incontrovertibly, 1/19/09, and also the final full day of the two terms of the Bush-Cheney administration, or what some unimpressed historians may record as America’s presidential reign of terror.
First, the date itself. 1/19. Read the numbers backwards and you get 9/11. “Nineteen,” the day of this month that's the last full day of the Bush administration, minus “11,” the September day in 2001 of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, equals “8” -- the same number of years that have elapsed since 9/11.
Spooky, as they might say in Langley.
So much for the “May You Live in Interesting Times” numerology. Now let’s move on to other events that coincide with the date.
Monday, Jan. 19th, the last full day of the Bush administration, also marks the final hours during which George W. Bush can issue presidential pardons. For anyone. For any reason. If some recent “unitary executive”- type rhetoric is to be believed, he may even be able to pardon HIMSELF, perhaps without having to specify that he’s included in the pardoned “class” (for example, anyone who played a role in the war on terror).
Since that war is, by Bush self-declaration, a war without end, such a pardon presumably would cover the outgoing President for anything that happened -- or is about to be discovered as having happened -- during his term of office. Truly a self-inscribed “get POTUS out of jail” card.
WOULDN'T THAT BE A KICK IN THE HEAD?
So while the mainstream media salivates over whether George W. will have the audacity to pardon his executive branch svengali, Vice President Dick Cheney, imagine the headlines -- inauguration-stealing headlines! -- if President Bush also pardons himself, something no president of the United States has ever tried.
Such an act of executive self-clemency, should it withstand a likely test before the Supreme Court, could shield W. from prosecution for any personal breaches of the law. Justice-seekers in Congress, and among the much-sidelined judiciary, are likely to open inquiries into violations of the law during the George W. Bush presidency regardless of whether W. issues that self-pardon. So he has nothing to lose and everything to gain by attempting to pardon himself.
WHADDAYA GONNA DO ABOUT IT?
We’re betting he does it, thus throwing the first days of the Obama presidency into a constitutional tizzy that will make the year 2000 crisis look like a legalistic bump in the road.
We’re taking it as a given that Cheney gets a presidential pardon. For cryin’ out loud, the man already has publicly admitted authorizing torture -- not “what many consider” torture, but torture as defined by international law and by the verdicts of American judges who have ruled that waterboarding of American war prisoners was torture.
But that’s not all the folks who could get away with war crimes. How about a blanket pardon for ALL of the terror warriors -- from top officials to the torturers on the ground? Why not? Who’s going to stop him? The Supreme Court? If it didn’t challenge him in 2000, why would the Justices do so now?
If Bush pulls the inaugural red carpet out from under Barack Obama with headline-grabbing pardons, the nation will be thrown into even more tumult, perhaps sending an economy on life support into Code Blue. But even more could be in the offing. A bad omen-seeker would note that Monday also is Martin Luther King Day, celebrating the life of the fallen civil rights leader who said on the eve of his 1968 (another numeral 8) assassination that, to quote, “I have been to the top of the mountain. And I have SEEN the promised land. I may not get there with you...”
Certainly, nobody’s saying that anyone in the current administration would do anything that would visit physical harm upon the President-elect. But an undercurrent of racism and political extremism runs deep in American society. The mainstream media did not dwell on it, but disturbing incidents of politically-inspired racial hatred have occurred around the nation, especially in the Deep South, since Obama’s election as the nation’s first African-American president. More than a few fingers will be crossed as we enter the new week.
BLOG OF NEW WORLD ORDER DOOM?
Others are less inclined to restrain themselves from dire predictions. I found one such daring soul while doing a “Google” search of the date “1-19-09.” One of the links was to a web site called Soot and Ashes -- Reinventing America After the Housing Crash.
The blog is the work of someone who goes by the handle “Keith,” who depicts himself with a picture of that TV sock puppet who pitches insurance and other products. Featured in the blog's splash page -- a picture of the Vice President with the headline: Cheney Pardon Countdown. Below its picture are these words:
“Dick Cheney. F*ck You America. I’m Above the Law. Bush Pardon Countdown. 1-19-09. The Day George W. Bush Declares War on America.”
The word “pardon” contains a link to an MSNBC.com story headlined, Bush faces historic pardon choice.
Next to “Keith’s” picture -- the sock puppet -- are these (prophetic?) words: “We told you. You should have listened.”
THE DISSIDENT IN THE BROOKS BROTHERS SUIT
So who’s the “dissident” behind these anti-Bush ravings? Some far-out lefty blogger working out of his mother’s basement, for sure -- NOT.
I soon learned that the blog is the work of noted financial author Peter D. Schiff of Darien, CT, whose day job is president of an investment brokerage firm that specializes in foreign markets and securities.
Anxious to interview this investment broker turned Bushie bomb thrower, I quickly learned that he’s traveling and won’t return home to New England until Sunday -- the eve of what his blog site predicts will be “the day George W. Bush declares war on America."
SEE YA' IN THE CAMP
Maybe Mr. Schiff and I will have time for that long talk when we’re both consigned to the East Coast FEMA "re-education" camp in the wake of that predicted Bushie war on America -- an unlikely (but plausible, in Schiff’s opinion) possibility that I hope this political column would help to avert.
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