Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Pardon revisited

The death of Gerald Ford, complete with all its televised trappings for the next few days is calling back an era in American history that to this day is debated with much passion.

What Ford's legacy comes down in the end is that simple exorcism of all of Nixon's sins of the Watergate era, the Pardon as it is known is still one of the most discussed events of US history.

Was he right to turn the page and allow America to get on with its day to day business? Or was a chance to follow justice through to its final conclusion missed in the rush to absolve a President of his misdeeds.

It probably depends on what side of the argument you came down on in those final days of 1974, when Nixon flew off the White House lawn for the very last time and Ford took up his short term residence in the West Wing .

Timothy Noah writes a fascinating piece on the Pardon for Slate, taking up the case for those that jurisprudence was mishandled then and that the Republic was not well served by it in the years to follow.

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