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You Cannot Pardon a Crime You Authorized


Statement from the Steering Committee for the Prosecution for War Crimes of President Bush and His Subordinates

Never before has a president pardoned himself or his subordinates for crimes he authorized. The closest thing to this in U.S. history thus far has been Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence. Bush is widely expected to follow that commutation with a pardon. Not only did Libby work for the White House, but he was convicted of obstruction of justice in an investigation that was headed to the president. Evidence introduced in the trial, including a hand-written note by the vice president, implicated Bush, and former press secretary Scott McClellan has since testified that Bush authorized the exposure of an undercover agent, that being the crime that was under investigation.

There are widespread concerns that Bush might pardon other subordinates for various other crimes that he authorized, potentially including torture, warrantless spying, a variety of war crimes, taking the nation to war on fraudulent evidence, and the abuses of the politicized Justice Department. Voices in the media advising Bush to issue such pardons include: Stuart Taylor Jr. (Newsweek 7/12/08) and Alan Dershowitz (Wall St Journal 9/12/08), while many additional voices have urged Obama to commit to not prosecuting.

The idea that the pardon power constitutionally includes such pardons ignores a thousand year tradition in which no man can sit in judgment of himself, and the fact that James Madison and George Mason argued that the reason we needed the impeachment power was that a president might some day try to pardon someone for a crime that he himself was involved in. The problem is not preemptive pardons of people not yet tried and convicted. The problem is not blanket pardons of unnamed masses of people. Both of those types of pardons have been issued in the past and have their appropriate place. The problem is the complete elimination of any semblance of the rule of law if Bush pardons his subordinates for crimes he instructed or authorized them to commit.

If Bush attempts this, here are possible responses:

1. Immediate impeachment of Bush and Cheney and various pardonees, even if they are out of office. (Here are arguments for the permissibility of such impeachments: http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/37834 )

2. Overturning of the pardons by the new president or by Congress, as Bush's lawyers told him he could do to Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich, which was a far more minor abuse of the pardon power.

3. Legislation banning self-pardons and pardons of crimes authorized by the president.

4. A Constitutional Amendment banning self-pardons and pardons of crimes authorized by the president.

5. Refusal by the courts to honor the supposed pardons.

6. Prosecution of Bush, Cheney, and their subordinates for their crimes.

With thanks to all who have aided over the past millennia in the establishment of the rule of law.

***

Lawrence Velvel, Dean of Massachusetts Law School, chairs the Steering Committee whose members include Ben Davis, Marjorie Cohn, Chris Pyle, Elaine Scarry, Peter Weiss, David Swanson, Kristina Borjesson, Colleen Costello, Valeria Gheorghiu, and Andy Worthington.

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Even though Bush has been acting the part of already out of office, it still bothers me that there has been no break-through regarding the illegality of the administration as a whole. You guys are on the right track, though, I would contend, there is no need whatsoever to re-legislate the foundation of Law itself:

You can confess, but you cannot prosecute yourself. You can accuse, but you must prove before a Jury of Peers. You can Appoint Justices, but you cannot appoint the Laws, and you may consider yourself Dictator, but you cannot be President of the United States and neither can you Pardon Yourself.

There is no foundation whatsoever for the self-jurisdiction that might require additional legislation of the fundamentals of Law. We regard Law as the guiding and agreed consensus of humane civilization, and neither Bush nor any of his lot will ever legalize their way around it. We're looking for just one opening to begin prosecution, and this pardon business may be the cake. Did any of you notice the absence of pardons being a strategic mechanism of evasion?

ixoxi

...was lying to a grand jury. The evidence against him was going to be Tim Russert's grand jury testimony. See, if one was true, the other was a a lie. and therefore perjury. Fitzgerald, with similar justification, could have indicted Russert and cited Libby's testimony as his evidence. In fact, "outing Plame wasn't a crime. that's why nobody was indicted. everybody except Libby just told the truth about it.
But, more importantly, Libby did not out Plame. That was not the crime for which he was indicted, or pardoned. A hand-written note implicating Bush in the outing, assuming it exists, would be historically interesting, but not criiminal evidence. Read Bob Novak's book. He's the guy who outed Plame. He explains exactly how it happened. The Bush administration did not set the outing in motion, and even if it had, that would not have been criminal behavior. Which shows that the premise of this "summission" is baseless. But keep trying.
Sorry to interrupt your left-wing fantasies with the facts.

´╗┐The pertinent text of the 1947 National Security Act reads as follows: SEC. 601. (50 U.S.C.
421) (a) Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that
identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to
any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information
disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures
to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under
title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. (b) Whoever, as a
result of having authorized access to classified information, learns the identity of a covert agent
and intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not
authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies
such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert
agent's intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18, United States
Code, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. (c) Whoever, in the course of a pattern of
activities intended to identify and expose covert agents and with reason to believe that such
activities would impair or impede the foreign intelligence activities of the United States,
discloses any information that identifies an individual as a covert agent to any individual not
authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies
such individual and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such
individual's classified intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18,
United States Code, or imprisoned not more than three years or both.

The Official Secrecy Act of 1982 makes it a federal felony to disclose the identity of an undercover CIA agent. The poster claiming Bush is not a felon needs to stop popping oxycontin (and for God's sake, loose some weight - how can an obese man claim to hold conservative social values?)

Your post is all name-calling balderdash. Libby, Bush, Cheney and all of the others committed felonies in outing Plame, a number of people abroad were executed as a result, and Israel stole control of nuclear weapons security of stockpiles in former soviet nations as a result, thereby putting you directly in danger of an Israeli false flag nuke going off in USA, you fantasizing right-wing idiot. Sorry to interrupt your daily fantasies of right-wing power with the facts.

Yup giddee up....

Nothing like riding a wounded horse in battle. The wounded horse is American citizens, and in all reality, the horse is blind as well.

I'm all for justice on the alleged crimes that are committed on a daily basis in government, but I am also realistic that it will never happen.

We have here a situation where all Americans will assume the guilt of those that committed the war crimes if the guilty parties are not convicted.
The world will not pardon the American people for aiding and abetting the criminals by allowing them to get off the hook.

And these issues will come into play when the world begins to
choose a new global currency ,and all other international affairs.Indeed we will see a tremendous shift away from the US
should the Americans not act responsibly.

The Neocons are war criminals and will be hunted down worldwide if they leave America
it will get louder and will not go away.

This is true, but again, wishful thinking. The theives are in charge of the Fed, and the Fed runs the US from the shadows, having already nearly bankrupted the nation as a precursive step towards World War. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld merely fulfilled their "paid obligations" which were explicitly designed to undermine the Constitution and increase the Military budget 6-fold.

A 'pardon' is like substituting the constitution for a list of those credos underwritten by Al Capone and Jessie James. -tsg

While Bush could pardon crimes in the U. S., he is unable to pardon the crimes committed internationally. What the U. S. might not be willing to enforce, the World could enforce on the U. S. with an oil embargo until these criminals have been handed over. There have been rumors of international inditments to be unsealed when these thugs are out of office. It could get very interesting for a change.

If anyone were stupid enough to go after any member of the Bush and/or Clinton crime families, they and everyone they know and love would quickly be at the bottom of some river or probably worse. These families make the Italian mafia look like a bunch of pussies. It will take a full scale revolution to stop them, and that means exterminating them without trial or any form of mercy.

Wake up and smell the poses.

absolutely right

you should at least define it:

http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/c1/34

Bill Ross
(Electronics Design Engineer)

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