January 11, 2007
I am delighted to write and share with you some very exciting news about the future leadership of the National Constitution Center. It is with great pride that I announce that former President George H.W. Bush has been elected Chairman of the Center?s Board of Trustees for the year 2007. This is the only Chairmanship he holds currently, so we are especially touched that he has agreed to serve in this capacity.
President Bush occupies a special and beloved place in American life that reflects many of this institution?s core values, especially the ethic of citizenship and service. He has had a long history with the Center and has been a supporter of our mission from the very early days, and it is a privilege to welcome him as Chairman of the Center. […]
Joseph M. Torsella
President & CEO
FROM WIKIPEDIA Bush’s last controversial act in office was his pardon, on December 24, 1992, of six former government employees implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal – most prominently former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Weinberger had been scheduled to stand trial on January 5, 1993, for allegedly lying to Congress regarding his knowledge of arms sales to Iran and concealing 1700 pages of his personal diary detailing discussions with other officials about the arms sales.
As Weinberger’s private notes contained references to Bush’s endorsement of the secret shipments to Iran, some believe that Bush’s pardon was an effort to prevent an order for Bush to appear before a grand jury or possibly to avoid an indictment. Weinberger’s indictment stated that Weinberger’s notes contradicted Bush’s assertions that he had only peripheral knowledge of the arms for hostages deal. Lawrence Walsh, the Independent Counsel assigned to the case, charged that “the Iran-contra cover-up, which has continued for more than six years, has now been completed.” Walsh likened the pardons to President Richard Nixon‘s Saturday Night Massacre. Bush responded that the Walsh probe constituted an attempt to criminalize a policy dispute between the legislative and executive branches. In addition to Weinberger, Bush pardoned Duane R. Clarridge, Clair E. George, Robert C. McFarlane, Elliott Abrams, and Alan G. Fiers Jr., all of whom had been indicted and/or convicted of charges by the Independent Counsel. He is also known to have given executive clemency to Aslam P. Adam, a convicted heroin dealer. Additionally, Bush pardoned Orlando Bosch, a known anti-Castroterrorist who was linked to the bombing of Mackey Airlines in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and had been previously convicted of firing a bazooka at a Polish freighter in Miami harbor.