As a gesture of clemency for the holidays, the president has announced a list of 19 pardons, though those expecting to see the name of Cheney’s chief of staff Scooter Libby, who lied to an investigation into the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s name, or Conrad Black, the newspaper magnate and fraudster who asked for a pardon, or junk bond dealer and fraudster Michael Milken are in for a disappointment. Among the small fry Bush has cleared include a smuggler of illegal immigrants, a clutch of drug dealers, and some mail fraudsters and embezzlers. But he granted, too, a posthumous pardon to Charles Winter, a Jewish hero, who sent military aircraft to the nascent state of Israel contrary to the 1939 Neutrality Act and served 18 months in prison for his pains. The president has until January 20, his last day in office, to pardon Libby and the others.
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