ITWASSOOTED: What has the White House, and Bush's mob attorney, Gonzales, worried

Saturday, July 29, 2006

What has the White House, and Bush's mob attorney, Gonzales, worried

At issue is a growing legal threat of the president and other top administration officials facing prosecution for violations of the U.S. War Crimes statutes, which since 1996 have made violation of Geneva Conventions adopted by the U.S. violations of American law, too.

Gonzales knows the seriousness of this threat. As he warned the president, in a January, 25, 2002 "Memorandum to the President" (published in full in the appendix of Barbara Olshansky’s and my new book, The Case for Impeachment), "It is difficult to predict the motives of prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges based on Section [the US War Crimes law]." In another part of that same memo, Gonzales notes that the statute "prohibits the commission of a `war crime'" by any U.S. official, with a war crime being defined as "any grave breach of" the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War or of the Geneva Convention's Article 3. That article extends protection to combatants in other than official wars or formal armies. Gonzales, in that memo, also pointedly notes that the punishments for such violations, under U.S. law, in the event that mistreated captives die in custody, "include the death penalty."
It's interesting how this has become the tactic of choice for the criminals in the White House. When Bush was caught violating the clear provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by authorizing spying by the National Security Agency on Americans' communications without a warrant, the administration went to Congress to seek legislation retroactively authorizing the crime.
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