Tuesday, March 13, 2007

10 Most Notorious Presidential Pardons

Time Magazine has an article in the new issue titled 10 Most Notorious Presidential Pardons. I am sure this article is inspired by the calls of many to pardon Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Here is the list:

1. Whiskey Rebels

2. Confederate Citizens

3. Jimmy Hoffa

4. Richard Nixon

5. Vietnam Draft Dodgers

6. Felt and Miller

7. George Steinbrenner

8. Caspar Weinberger

9. Patty Hearst

10. Marc Rich

I would have to classify Johnson's mass pardon of most of the American Civil War rebels as the most notorious. These rebel separatists took up arms against the United States of America and plunged the whole country into four years of hell. Their actions make what Libby did seem kind of pale in comparison. However, I recognize that President Johnson probably did the right thing to help heal the wounds of the war and bring the nation back together again.

The article notes that Washington pardoned the two men convicted of treason in the Whiskey Rebellion. They had been sentenced to death. The article does not mention what Washington said at the time. Washington pardoned them on the grounds that one was a "simpleton," and the other, "insane."

1 comment:

The Tour Marm said...

The pardon of the Confederates was to heal the nation and bring them back into the fold. It was a compassionate and practical pardon.

Robert E, Lee had lost his US citizenship and I don't think it was restored until the Ford administration (who. in turn, saved the country further anguish and money by pardoning Pres. Nixon).

Lee however, became the President of Washington College to heal the wounds of the divided nation through education. He advocated after the surrender that the confederates lay down their arms, become full, law abiding US citizens, and get on with their lives.

Can you imagine how our different our country would be today with a legacy of executions and imprisonments for the 'rebels'?

I'm most upset about the pardon for the draft dodgers.