This question has nagged at me for 40 years: How does a two-bit prison escapee get from Memphis to London all by himself? And if the answer is, “he doesn’t,” then justice has been delayed and therefore denied for 40 years. If a hit team got away with murdering Martin Luther King, Jr., similar teams can get away with the same kind of crime today.
That’s why, to me, President Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon was the second worst thing he ever did (the worst would be giving Indonesian President Suharto a green light to invade East Timor). Underlings such as Chuck Colson and G. Gordon Liddy may have done some hard time, but without the big guy facing the music, the principle of imperial presidency was not extinguished. As Charlie Savage won a Pulitzer Prize for pointing out here, and expanded upon in bone-chilling detail here, the imperial dream lives on. Its embers flickered in remnants of the Nixon White House, particularly in the brain of one Dick Cheney, who eventually fanned it into full conflagration.
You “let it go” now, you may pay later. That is why, when this dictatorship of crony capitalists leaves the White House, accounts must be paid in full. It is not about vengeance; it is about setting a standard to protect our future. If not, we leave ourselves a legacy of