Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bush Attempting Ex Post Facto Shenanigans

From Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy:

Bush is in a heap of trouble. Whatever torture compromise may work its way through an intimidated Congress, it cannot help Bush. The US Constitution requires nothing less than a Constitutional Amendment to relieve US obligations under the Geneva convention; and, at least one Constitutional provision means that nothing legal can get Bush off the hook for the crimes that he has already committed.

Let's take the second one first. Bush seeks an ex post facto law that will make legal -- after the fact -- his violations of the Geneva Convention having to do with torture.

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

--US Constitution, Article I

That means that Bush cannot commit crimes, possibly including having ordered summary executions and brutal tortures, only to have them made legal later on. The Constitution flatly states that it doesn't work that way! I've been screaming about this for a long time now. Maybe the time has come to be vindicated:
George Washington University Professor and Countdown resident Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley joined Keith tonight to discuss the legal implications of President Bush's proposed changes to Article III of the Geneva Conventions. Keith raises an obvious yet seldom mentioned point: Is the Bush administration trying to retroactively legalize crimes it very well may have already committed? Wouldn't be the first time.

--John Amato, Crooks and Liars

Bush is beyond help from a mere act of Congress at this point. It'll take either the second coming or a constitutional amendment to change any US treaty obligation; the chances of that happening are very, very slim.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

--US Constitution, Article VI, Annotations

Therefore, the Geneva Convention is the supreme law of the land and Bush is subject to it even if Congress should pass a measure that attempts to pardon him or, in any other way, absolve him of the capital crimes that he has already committed. Even US Codes, Title 18, ยง 2441. War crimes bind the US to the those international treaties which address the issue of war crimes, crimes against the peace and crimes against humanity. The case can be made that Bush has deliberately violated all of them. There is probable cause to bring severe criminal charges against Bush now. If the US government had not been hijacked by a handful of crooked corporations, Bush would already have been impeached, tried, and removed from office to stand trial in ordinary criminal courts. Only partisan politics has kept him in office.

I would add that Sen. Arlen Spector's bill to legalize the extra-legal warrantless NSA surveillance suffers from the same ex post facto problems since it contains language absolving the eavesdroppers and those who ordered same from legal jeopardy for having violated FISA.


Blogger Meatball One said...

I bought a scratch and win/lose lottery ticket and a colleague said he wanted in, but he only wanted to pay his share of the ticket price after finding out if the ticket was a winner. Wasn't that rather ex post facto of him?

9/20/2006 7:59 AM  
Blogger Landcomm1 said...

Informative and helpful. Thanks!

9/20/2006 9:33 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...


It was a brilliant play on his part. Was he happy with his share?

9/20/2006 9:36 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...


You're welcome.

9/20/2006 9:38 AM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

All I could say to him was, '...are u f*ckin' kiddin' me?'

9/20/2006 5:22 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


I somehow knew that would have been the result.

9/20/2006 5:24 PM  

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