Monday, November 24, 2008

A DWT Contest: Who Will Bush Pardon?


Republicrook Tom Kontogiannis already paid Bush $400,000 for his pardon

Most observers feel certain that pre-emptive pardons will be granted to everyone involved in the organized unconstitutional operations the Bush Regime was involved in, especially torture and the policy of non-cooperation with congressional investigations after the 2006 elections. But what about the garden variety criminals petitioning Bush as his term winds down? This morning's Washington Post points to some high-profile clemency requests. Personally, I've always felt that Bush will be eager to pardon all the Republican politicians who have the goods on him-- like Randy "Duke" Cunningham-- and that he'll make that seem more palitable by just pardoning all the crooked politicians currently incarcerated or headed for incarceration plus a couple of sleazy Louisiana nominal Democrats.
With a backlog of applications piled up at the Justice Department, high-profile criminals and their well-connected lawyers increasingly are appealing directly to President Bush for special consideration on pardons and clemency, according to people involved in the process.

Among those seeking presidential action are former junk-bond salesman Michael Milken, who hired former solicitor general Theodore B. Olson, one of the nation's most prominent GOP lawyers, to plead his case for a pardon on 1980s-era securities fraud charges. Two politicians convicted of public corruption, former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) and four-term Louisiana governor Edwin W. Edwards (D), are asking Bush to shorten their prison terms.

Ted Stevens claims he doesn't want a pardon because he thinks he can win an appeal-- and knows full well that if he loses, Obama will pardon him anyway; the most exclusive club in the world sticks together and Justice isn't something any of them every really have to face.

To me the most interesting crooked Republican looking for a pardon, which he already paid $400,000 for via Cunningham, is Thomas Kontogiannis, but I'm also eager to watch what happens with some of the other GOP criminals who were superstars of Bush's lawless reign, from Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff to Tom Noe, Irving Libby (AKA "Scooter"), Mitchell Wade, Rick Renzi, Doolittle and his moll, Dusty Foggo, Brent Wilkes, et al.

How about a DWT contest? We'll ship 50 brand new CDs (so even at just $10 each, that's $500 dollars worth) to the person who names the most people who get pardons, although if your list includes someone who doesn't get a pardon, that's deducted from your score. Submit all lists to before Bush starts issuing the pardons. Before you start working on it though, consider the resolution Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) just introduced, H.R. 1531, which urges Bush not to pardon senior administration officials for crimes the President authorized. In his resolution Nadler urges Congress to investigate the Bush Regime's most serious crimes and any pardons relating to them, and urges the post-Mukasey Attorney General to appoint an Independent Counsel to prosecute any criminal activity that's discovered.


Did Bush just wake up from his pisco sour hangover and start pardoning random criminals? The first batch of 18 looks fairly nonpolitical and kind of random, although the first guy, Leslie Owen Collier of Charlestown, Missouri appears to be an anti-environmental nut who poisoned three bald eagles, a red-tailed hawk, a great horned owl, a opossum, a raccoon and seven coyotes. Actually, the second guy, Milton Kirk Cordes, was also pardoned for an offense against animals, violating the Lacey Act: "The Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 3371-3378, protects both plants and wildlife by creating civil and criminal penalties for a wide array of violations.  Most notably, the Act prohibits trade in wildlife, fish, and plants that have been illegally taken, possessed, transported or sold. Thus, the Act underscores other federal, state, and foreign laws protecting wildlife by making it a separate offense to take, possess, transport, or sell wildlife that has been taken in violation of those laws."

Looks like there are some drug deals and bank embezzlers too, all stuff Bush can easily relate to from his own and his family experiences. Here's the whole list for you to go over while I check to see if any of them have donated to Bush's campaigns:

Leslie Owen Collier (Charleston, Mo.)
Offense: Unauthorized use of a registered pesticide, 7 U.S.C. §§ 136j(a)(2)(F) and 136l(b); violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, 16 U.S.C. § 668(a).
Sentence: Feb. 2, 1996; Eastern District of Missouri; two years’ probation and $10,000 in restitution.

Milton Kirk Cordes (Rapid City, S.D.)
Offense: Conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act; 18 U.S.C. § 371, 16 U.S.C. §§ 3372(a)(2)(A), 3373(d)(1)(B).
Sentence: Dec. 14, 1998; District of South Dakota; 18 months’ probation conditioned on loss of hunting privileges for one year, performance of 100 hours of community service and payment of a $2,000 fine.

Richard Micheal Culpepper (Mahomet, Ill.)
Offense: False statements to the United States; 18 U.S.C. § 287.
Sentence: Jan. 15, 1988; Central District of Illinois; five years' probation conditioned on payment of a $1,000 fine and $4,351.90 in restitution.

Brenda Jean Dolenz-Helmer (Fort Worth, Texas)
Offense: Misprision of a felony; 18 U.S.C. § 4.
Sentence: Dec. 31, 1998; Northern District of Texas; four years' probation, with the special condition of 600 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine.

Andrew Foster Harley (Falls Church, Va.)
Offense: Wrongful use and distribution of marijuana and cocaine; Article 112a, Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Sentence: April 17, 1985, as approved June 13, 1985; U.S. Air Force general court martial convened at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.; 90 days' confinement, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and dismissal from the Air Force.

Obie Gene Helton (Rossville, Ga.)
Offense: Unauthorized acquisition of food stamps; 7 U.S.C. § 2024(b), 18 U.S.C. § 2.
Sentence: April 1, 1983; Eastern District of Tennessee; two years’ probation, $500 fine and $875 in restitution.

Carey C. Hice Sr.- Travelers Rest, S.C.
Offense: Income tax evasion; 26 U.S.C. § 7201 and 18 U.S.C. § 2.
Sentence: March 5, 1996; District of South Carolina; three years’ probation condition on 180 days' home confinement and a $13,000 fine.

Geneva Yvonne Hogg (Chamblee, Ga.)
Offense: Bank embezzlement; 18 U.S.C. § 657.
Sentence: June 19, 1980; District of South Carolina; five years’ probation and a $500 fine.

William Hoyle McCright Jr. (Midland, Texas)
Offense: Making false entries, books, reports or statements of bank; 18 U.S.C. § 1005.
Sentence: Oct. 20, 1986, as amended September 23, 1987; Western District of Texas; two years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

Paul Julian McCurdy (Sulphur, Okla.)
Offense: Misapplication of bank funds by a bank officer; 18 U.S.C. § 656.
Sentence: Feb. 12, 1988; Eastern District of Oklahoma; five years’ probation and $5,000 in restitution.

Robert Earl Mohon Jr. (Grant, Ala.)
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana; 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 846.
Sentence: Oct. 22, 1987; Northern District of Alabama; three years in prison.

Ronald Alan Mohrhoff - (Los Angeles)
Offense: Unlawful use of a telephone in furtherance of a narcotics felony, 21 U.S.C. § 843(b); possession of cocaine, 21 U.S.C. § 844(a).
Sentence: Oct. 9, 1984; Central District of California; one year of in prison followed by five years’ probation with the special condition of 2,500 hours of community service.


John Edward Forte (North Brunswick, N.J.)
Offense: Aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(ii), 18 U.S.C. § 2.
Sentence: Nov. 20, 2001; Southern District of Texas; 168 months in prison, five years’ supervised release and a $5,000 fine.

Terms of commutation: Sentence of imprisonment to expire on Dec. 22, 2008, leaving intact and in effect the five year term of supervised release with all its conditions.

[Forte is a graduate of the elite Phillips Exeter Academy prep school who later became a producer for the The Fugees and put out a couple of his own albums. Not sure if Bush has his stuff on the White House iPod. Fellow songwriters Carly Simon and Orrin Hatch were pushing for the commutation.]

James Russell Harris (Detroit, Mich.)
Offense: Conspiracy to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine, 21 U.S.C. § 846; attempted money laundering, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956(a)(3) and 2; aiding and abetting the attempted distribution of cocaine, 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); conspiracy to affect interstate commerce by obtaining property under color of official right, 18 U.S.C. § 1951; attempt to affect interstate commerce by obtaining property under color of official right, 18 U.S.C. § 1951.
Sentence: May 10, 1993; Eastern District of Michigan; 360 months in prison, five years’ supervised release and a $50,000 fine.

Terms of clemency grant: Unpaid balance of fine remitted; sentence of imprisonment commuted to expire on Dec. 22, 2008, leaving intact and in effect the five year term of supervised release with all its conditions save the obligation to satisfy the unpaid balance of the fine.

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At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preemptive pardons are absolutely unacceptable. Any decent Supreme Court would disallow them.

God damn you, Gerald Ford!! I hope you burn in hell a thousand times!!!

At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is little that is more symbolic then George W Bush pardoning Leslie Owen Collier of Charlestown, Missouri for poisoning bald eagles

At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why? Tell me why ... you would want to pardon someone who poisons Bald Eagles?. What kind of a message are you sending to the youth of our nation? That you get to pick and choose what laws to obey? What esculative law will be broken next?

At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Betcha some of these people want to run for office and can't without this pardon.


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