At Glen Whitman's blog, esteemed NYU economist Mario Rizzo urges Nobel Laureate Gary Becker to decline the Presidential Medal of Freedom:
It is the Presidential Medal and George W. Bush is no friend of freedom. Here I can only list without proof several claims. First, it is clear, I believe, to all objective analysts that he lied us into a war. He intentionally exaggerated or cherry-picked the evidence to show that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Second, Bush has violated the UN Charter (to which the US is a signatory) by invading Iraq without any immanent or even medium-term threat to the US. Third, he has violated the Geneva Treaties and allowed, negligently or intentionally, torture of prisoners at Guantanamo. Fourth, his Administration has engaged in completely extra legal rendition of prisoners to other countries where he knew or should have known that they would be tortured. Fifth, and perhaps least important, he has allowed the explosion of government spending not seen since Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson.
The president is not in a position to convey honors to anyone, least of all to a truly great economist like Gary Becker. How can the dishonorable convey honors?