Sunday, December 23, 2007

"Profiles in Courage" by Mitt Romney

The Boston Globe: Fact Check: Romney's pardoning practices

Mitt Romney's new TV commercial questions the judgment of Mike Huckabee, his fellow Republican presidential contender, noting the rival issued 1,033 pardons and commutations as governor of Arkansas while Romney issued none while leading Massachusetts.

Left out of the spot is perhaps Romney's most noteworthy pardon denial: his rejection of the request of an Iraq war veteran who was trying to become a police officer after his National Guard service.

Anthony Circosta's offense? Shooting a friend in the arm with a BB gun as 13-year-old. The impact didn't break the skin.

....In 2005, while serving in Iraq, Circosta filed for a pardon, seeking to fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer. It was denied twice, despite a favorable recommendation from the state's Board of Pardons.

Circosta returned home a Bronze Star winner after leading a platoon in Iraq's deadly Sunni triangle.

Political analysts have suggested Romney crafted guidelines for issuing pardons and commutations that ensured he would never have to grant either, sparing him of any repeat of the Willie Horton case that dogged another Massachusetts governor, Democrat Michael Dukakis, during his 1988 presidential campaign. Dukakis was criticized for the weekend furlough granted to Willie Horton, a convicted murderer who went on to rape a woman and beat her boyfriend while free.

....He said the only reasons he would have issued a pardon or commutation would have been if he found evidence that proved a wrongful conviction, prosecutorial misconduct or errors in the judicial process.

Today, Romney uses the latter rationales for explaining why he would be open to considering a pardon for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former White House aide convicted of perjury in the CIA leak case.

Mitt wants to president, real bad. Avenge his father's honor and all that. So Mitt says what he has to say to become governor of Massachusetts, says what he has to say in order to run for Senate. Mitt Doesn't want to follow in the footsteps of Michael Dukakis, so he creates a brain dead procedure that will always reject any pardon petition. That way we will never question his judgment and interrupt his trek to the Death Star White House.

But now Mitt's path is blocked. Mitt angry, Mitt SMASH the Huckabee. Mitt creates ads attacking Mike Huckabee because Huck made a decision to pardon someone who committed another crime. Too bad Huck wasn't clever like Mitt.

But now it comes out that Mitt's "procedure" has spat out the result that Scooter Libby should be pardoned. Mitt is pleasantly surprised and all. But here we are wondering about his judgment again. D'oh!

Mitt thinks Scooter Libby, who has never admitted wrongdoing for his recent crime, is more worthy of a pardon than Anthony Circosta, who admitted wrongdoing for a crime committed as a child and has since distinguished himself in service to his country. Of course, Scooter probably knows folks who can do nice things for Mitt, and poor Anthony, well he doesn't. Maybe Anthony should have thought a little harder about how to serve his country

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