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Pardons and Accountability
Parry, editor of ConsortiumNews.com, a reader-supported investigative webpage, has written a number of pieces about accountability for White House officials. He wrote: "During George W. Bush's presidency alone, language has been routinely twisted to justify everything from aggressive war to torture. Those two international crimes were turned into 'preventive war' and 'alternative interrogation techniques.'"
He has also written: "On Christmas Eve 1992 ... then-President George H.W. Bush pardoned former State Department official Elliott Abrams and five other Iran-Contra defendants, effectively killing the criminal prosecutions that had resulted from the scandal. The congressional Democrats ... shrank from a confrontation. ... In picking key White House advisers, Bush and Cheney turned to veterans of the long march back from the Nixon debacle. Abrams, Addington and Wolfowitz were among the senior aides helping to shape foreign policy and legal strategies."
Parry's books include Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat. Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek.
Cohn is the president of the National Lawyers Guild, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law. She recently wrote the piece "Cheney Throws Down Gauntlet, Defies Prosecution for War Crimes," which states: "Dick Cheney has publicly confessed to ordering war crimes. Asked about waterboarding in an ABC News interview, Cheney replied, 'I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared.' He also said he still believes waterboarding was an appropriate method to use on terrorism suspects. CIA Director Michael Hayden confirmed that the agency waterboarded three Al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003. ...
"Lt. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, said, 'There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.'"
Author of the book Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy, Fein recently wrote the piece "Bush the Pardoner's Tale" published in the Washington Times. He wrote: "The Founding Fathers expected that pardon abuses would be deterred by presidential impeachments. During the Constitutional Convention, George Mason worried that a president might use the pardon power to evade rather than achieve justice by 'pardon[ing] crimes which were advised by himself,' or before formal accusation 'to stop inquiry and prevent detection.' But James Madison, father of the Constitution, answered that the constitutional deterrent or remedy would be impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate: 'If the president be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds [to] believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty.'"