Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008

Vietnam Draft Dodgers, 1977

His Oval Office chair was barely warm when President Jimmy Carter fulfilled a controversial campaign promise on his first day in the White House by issuing a pardon to those who avoided serving in the Vietnam war by fleeing the U.S. or not registering. President Gerald Ford had earlier introduced a conditional amnesty, but Carter, hoping to heal the war's wounds, made no conditions. He did, however, exclude many groups of individuals from the pardon: deserters were not eligible, nor were soldiers who had received less-than-honorable discharges. Also not included were the civilians who had protested the war.