Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Here's hoping -- war crimnals punished 

Looks like the White House debated on and decided to use torture, but only on alQuada. And it is also apparent that the cheif white house lawyer was worried about the US being charged with war crimes.

Here's the crux via MSNBC:

"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 2441 [the War Crimes Act]," Gonzales wrote.

The best way to guard against such "unwarranted charges," the White House lawyer concluded, would be for President Bush to stick to his decision—then being strongly challenged by Secretary of State Powell— to exempt the treatment of captured Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters from Geneva convention provisions.

"Your determination would create a reasonable basis in law that (the War Crimes Act) does not apply which would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution," Gonzales wrote.

The memo-and strong dissents by Secretary of State Colin Powell and his chief legal advisor, William Howard Taft IV-are among hundreds of pages of internal administration documents on the Geneva Convention and related issues that have been obtained by NEWSWEEK and are reported for the first time in this week's issue.

And you can find the memo here. What's got into Newsweek? Big green arrow up, ya know.

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