John Forte Thanks George W. Bush

Mar. 12, 2009
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Whether history condemns or redeems George W. Bush, this one footnote of his presidency will long spark debate: Why did Bush, a man almost ideologically opposed to pardons—so much so that he issued less than 200 of them, infuriating his base by not even granting a full one for Lewis Libby—decide to commute John Forte's prison sentence?

Activists claim that the rapper, who penned hits for the Fugees and Wyclef Jean, was the victim of unfair drug sentencing guidelines. But Forte's actual guilt wasn't in question, and Bush rarely advocated lieniance for any convicts, be they terrorists or drug dealers (sometimes he made no distinction). So why Forte? Certainly he wasn't a Fugees fan.

Regardless, Forte, improbably freed halfway through a 14-year sentence, is appreciative. "I am grateful and humbled by President Bush’s forgiveness of my stupid and reckless behavior," he writes in a new piece for The Daily Beast, for which he also debuted a new inspirational video that, uh, kind of sucks. 

Still good to have the guy back, though. 

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