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There's no need to wait till Monday to find out about Bush's pardon list. That is, if Bush relies on the Military Commissions Act to protect himself and his torturing ghouls.  That's because the Act contains two provisions for protecting them.

It's over my head, but maybe somebody here can tell us all if two provisions in the Military Commissions Act will be the magicwand that will be utilized to 'pardon' Bush, Cheney, Rice, Yoo, Feinstein, et al, insulating them from public scrutiny and shame.

GOING OVER TO wikipedia...
http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Protections from criminal and civil prosecutions for previous instances of alleged torture

Two provisions of the MCA have been criticized for allegedly making it harder to prosecute and convict officers and employees of the US government for misconduct in office.

First, the MCA changed the definition of war crimes for which US government defendants can be prosecuted. Under the War Crimes Act of 1996, any violation of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions was considered a war crime and could be criminally prosecuted. Section 6 of the Military Commissions Act amended the War Crimes Act so that only actions specifically defined as "grave breaches" of Common Article 3 could be the basis for a prosecution, and it made that definition retroactive to November 26, 1997. The specific actions defined in section 6 of the Military Commissions Act include torture, cruel or inhumane treatment, murder, mutilation or maiming, intentionally causing serious bodily harm, rape, sexual assault or abuse, and the taking of hostages. According to Mariner of Human Rights Watch, the effect is "that perpetrators of several categories of what were war crimes at the time they were committed, can no longer be punished under U.S. law."[32] The Center for Constitutional Rights adds:

The MCA’s restricted definitions arguably would exempt certain U.S. officials who have implemented or had command responsibility for coercive interrogation techniques from war crimes prosecutions.
. . . .
This amendment is designed to protect U.S. government perpetrators of abuses during the "war on terror" from prosecution.[33]

In 2005, a provision of the Detainee Treatment Act (section 1004(a)) had created a new defense as well as a provision to providing counsel for agents involved in the detention and interrogation of individuals "believed to be engaged in or associated with international terrorist activity". The 2006 MCA amended section 1004(a) of the Detainee Treatment Act to guarantee free counsel in the event of civil or criminal prosecution and applied the above mentioned legal defense to prosecutions for conduct that occurred during the period September 11, 2001 to December 30, 2005. Although the provision recognizes the possibility of civil and or criminal proceedings, the Center for Constitutional Rights has criticised this claiming that "The MCA retroactively immunizes some U.S. officials who have engaged in illegal actions which have been authorized by the Executive." [34]

Is this why nobody wants to prosecute?  

Legal and legislative expertise wanted.  Please, help figure this out.

Originally posted to nora on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 10:27 PM PST.

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