By David Swanson
Imagine that you took your family to the White House for a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, and you were all standing in the front row as the president made some brief remarks, you and your spouse and your two children, a little girl and a little boy. And imagine that after talking for a few minutes the president turned to his chief of staff, handed him a knife, and said "Would you mind grabbing that little girl out of the front row and bringing her up here and slitting her throat?" And imagine that the chief of staff did just that, as you and others screamed and fought with various aides and secret service officers. And then someone shouted "Arrest him!" while pointing at the chief of staff. But the president held up a piece of paper and declared: "I'm pardoning him right now!" And all the shouting suddenly stopped. People murmured to each other: "Oh, well, if he's pardoned he's pardoned." And the president stood and smiled, paused for a while, and then turned to the chief of staff and said "It covers torturing the little boy too."