Ex Post Facto War Crimes Act
© by Stephen Neitzke, 2006
See especially --
Wikipedia -- "An ex post facto law (from the Latin, 'from something done afterward') or retroactive law, is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law. In reference to criminal law, it may criminalize actions that were legal when committed .... Conversely, an ex post facto law may decriminalize certain acts or alleviate possible punishments ... retroactively."
- "The New Gonzales Standard For Torture", by Col. Dan Smith, Counterpunch, 04 August 2006.
- "Retroactive War Crime Protection Proposed", by Pete Yost, Forbes, 09 August 2006.
- "Criminal, Immunize Thyself", by John Sifton, Slate, 11 August 2006.
Update: Sunday, 13 August 2006 --
(Modified, Sunday, 13 August 2006, at 2:40pm CDT.)
Bush can't escape the parallels with Hitler Germany because Bush is a fascist. But this fascist parallel is a corker.
The Nazi torture and murder of Jews and minorities during WW2 was done by ordinary people indoctrinated by the Nazi regime. That indoctrination, as with Bush's torture orders to his military and intel minions, told the ordinary people going into Nazi formations that the Jews and other "criminal" minorities had NO RIGHTS. That every torture and murder was lawful because the Fuhrer had ordered it.
Hitler and his policy chiefs tried to make RIGHTS politically relative to the regime's orders. Sounded good to millions of Germans at the time. Just as Bush's orders must have sounded good to millions of Americans.
And then the shooting war ended. And the Nuremberg Trials began.
Surprise. Rights that the Nazis had declared irrelevant and unlawful were still in place, and, in fact, had never ceased to exist. Those rights were there at every torture, at every murder, no matter the teachings of the Nazi regime.
Bush and his goosesteppers will learn this one the hard way. Rights are not what politicians say they are. Rights are not politically relativistic.
Rights are humanly absolute. Once a right is established, it lives forever. As long as the right is remembered or rediscovered by any one human being, it is still alive and can be made whole again. No retroactivity. It never ceased to exist. It lives on a higher plane than any political decree that denies it.
The rights established by the Geneva Conventions have never ceased to exist. Bush's orders to his nazis did not kill those rights.
The War Crimes Act of 1996 clarified the rights in US statute law that had already been granted by the Geneva Conventions in US constitutional law. (Confirmed treaties are a part of the Constitution's "fundamental law of the land".) The War Crimes Act locked US statute law into sync with US Constitutional law.
Bush and his regime have violated Constitution and statute from the first of their systematic tortures and murders of detainees. The ordinary people following Bush's orders created murderous guilt for Bush and his regime.
And then SCOTUS ruled in Hamden v. Rumsfeld, making it crystal clear that Bush and his goosesteppers had in legal fact violated Constitution and statute.
Now the Bush Rush is on. The crisis management team is all over the map, trying to convince everyone that an ex post facto re-write of the War Crimes Act will get the little ordinary people off the legal hook for torture.
But that is not what is going on here. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc., etc., are not one bit concerned about getting soldiers and CIA operators off the torture hook. They are concerned about getting themselves off the felony murder hook.
From Bush down, a long way down, they are on the hook for conspiracy leading to the documented felony murders of many detainees. Those felony murders are defined by 18 USC 2441, the War Crimes Act of 1996. And there is no statute of limitations for felony murder. Punishments, per 18 USC 2441, include life imprisonment or death.
As with Hitler, Bush made his fatal mistake when he tried to make rights politically relative to his orders.
Rights are humanly absolute.
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