Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Julian Zelizer, a professor of history at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, was interviewed by National Public Radiothis afternoon . The broadcast began with speculation that President Bush might grant pardons to Jack Abramoff (whom we have never even thought to put on our Pardon Watch List) and Scooter Libby - neither of whom have applied for clemency. When asked to identify "notable" past pardons, Zeilizer came up with three examples, all from the last 30 years (Nixon, Weinberger and Marc Rich). He also suggested that "some people" do not want pardons because "accepting" one amounts to an "admission of guilt." When asked about the thousands of applications pending in the Office of the Pardon Attorney, Prof. Zelizer said their neglect might represent a "fitting end" to an administration which did not seem to coordinate well with its own Department of Justice.