Statutes Of Limitations Soon Expiring For The Bush Administration’s Crimes

As the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War passes, its architects are close to being in the clear for good, Elizabeth Holtzman writes via the Nation:

A critical deadline is fast approaching without attracting much notice. Statutes of limitations applicable to possible crimes committed by former President George W. Bush and his top aides, with respect to wiretapping of Americans without court approval and to fraud in launching and continuing the Iraq War, may expire in early 2014, less than a year from now. Since no prosecutions can be brought after the statutes run out, unless investigations are started soon, any crimes that did occur will go unprosecuted and unpunished, deeply entrenching the principle of impunity for top officials.

President Bush has publicly admitted to authorizing wiretaps of Americans on more than thirty separate occasions without a court order, an apparent violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Assuming that the warrantless wiretapping ended when Bush left office on January 20, 2009, the statute would run out on January 20, 2014.

President Bush and his team may have also violated the Conspiracy to Defraud the United States statute, which was used to prosecute top officials in the Watergate and Iran/Contra scandals. Together with others in his administration, he made many misstatements to Congress about the Iraq War.

The attorney general does not need Congressional approval to appoint a special prosecutor. Nor can political opponents prevent it. President Obama, however, has said that he wants to look forward and not back, and, given the enormous hostility of the congressional Republicans to his existing agenda, it is understandable his attorney general might want to avoid the partisan animosity appointing a special prosecutor would generate.

, , , , ,

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

    Also, Obama doesn’t want to set a precedent in pursuing a past president for crimes that he, himself, is committing right now.

    • bobbiethejean

      I might disagree with you on a great many other things but here, we are in total agreement. At best, Obama is making himself complicit.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

        Don’t worry. You’ll come around. :P

    • InfvoCuernos

      Its so amazing to me that a party can sling vast tons of shit about the actions of the other party during a campaign and then the second they are elected they just green light all the same criminal shit they railed against to get elected in the first place. Even more amazing is how there can still be anyone that thinks that there are two opposing parties in this country. They are the same people, their checks are signed by the same corporations, they cover each others’ asses and follow through with the same plans against the best interests of the American people.

      • LucidDreamR

        Monkeys slinging shit at each other makes for a very effective distraction it would seem. Heck most of the other monkeys when seeing this have an irresistible urge to squat, cup their hands and start slinging themselves. At this point I’m convinced it’s more about the love for the art of fecal foisting than a matter of which side is chosen; after a few minutes of flying shat they all look the same anyway.

        …this analogy works far too well, one could go on for quite some time!

      • Andrew

        Some people want guns and some people want health care. Set them against each other and you’ll rule forever.

    • Sir Legendhead

      All Presidents are criminals. An honest man wouldn’t be able to do the job. What we need are more quality criminals like Bill Clinton, who can help the rest of the country turn a profit, as opposed to short-sighted cavemen like Bush and the gang who would’ve buried us all given another four years.

  • wcarver

    One would think that one of the cabal of crooks would show a tiny bit of remorse. But nooooo! They have no remorse for the death of over 4500 Americans and 35,000 injured plus 200,000+ Iraqis dead all at the trivial cost of 1.5 to 2 trillion dollars. Cheney even said, as he floated down a river fly fishing, that he would do the same again – no regrets. They are a mold and rat infestation in the house of government.

    • jnana

      they may feel remorse in teir heart of hearts, but its often easier to deny one’s wrongdoing than go against the grain and confront the darkness within. it takes a lot of courage and vigor to do just that. you have to think of the subculture the politicians belong to. to join that subculture and then rail against its practices (sincerely) would be very bold, perhaps tantamount to career suicide. the bosses probably filter anyone who has sincere motives, as well.

  • InfvoCuernos

    Meanwhile, the state of Arizona has been chasing my ass for 9+ years for failure to appear in court for a traffic ticket-WTF?!?!? Bunch of crooked bastards. How can there be a statute of limitations on high crimes committed while in Office?

  • bobbiethejean

    There shouldn’t be a statute of limitations on war crimes.

    • Reasor

      Under of a number of international treaties, there isn’t. Unfortunately, this is why the United States Congress has a long history of refusing to ratify such treaties, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. We’re no more likely to hand an ex-President over to the ICC than we are to prosecute for serious crimes through the national justice system.

      • bobbiethejean

        This really, really should not be the case. I don’t understand how these bastards can get away with killing thousands of innocent people, war-profiteering, and lying on a massive scale while us little peons down here can barely get away with a parking ticket.

        • Andrew

          That’s because “law” is a method by which the strong control the weak.

          • bobbiethejean

            Laws keep us safe and regulate people who are too stupid or evil to regulate themselves. The problem isn’t in the laws but in the people who make them and enforce them. Frankly, I’m glad there’s a law that corporations aren’t allowed to dump toxic sludge into our rivers and I’m glad there’s a law that requires my food and drugs be safe. Unfortunately, a lot of these very same laws aren’t being enforced or they’re being repealed as we speak. THAT is the real problem. Well, that and the fact that the laws often reflect the needs, wishes, and desires of the ruling classes rather than us down here.

        • jnana

          i think this has been going on since the beginning of “civilization”.

    • Eric_D_Read

      The very concept of a “war crime” is ludicrous to begin with, since the only people who will ever be charged with them are those on the losing side of the war.

      • bobbiethejean

        Then it’s not the idea of a war crime that’s ludicrous, you doof, it’s the ENFORCEMENT that’s the problem. :P

        • Eric_D_Read

          So tell us, genius, who’s going to enforce international laws on the most powerful people on Earth?

          • bobbiethejean

            Us. The only reason they get away with this crap is because not enough people care to actually do something about it. Many people are too fucking stupid to even think there’s anything wrong with the war crimes the Bush Administration committed.

            The problem isn’t with the concept of government itself but in our failure as a species to achieve what we are truly capable of (at least that’s what I think). What we really need is a system of checks and balances that could, by its nature, weed out the corruptive forces of politics, religion, ignorance, and blind fear. How to go about that? Fuck-all if I know.

  • BuzzCoastin

    no American criminal government official
    (there are thousands)
    has ever been charged with war crimes or crimes of treason
    that’s reserved for the vanquished victims of their war crimes

    American Criminal Justice is aptly named
    it’s run by criminals who serve-up their style of NewSpeak justice

  • $4251815

    Obama might just give them cabinet positions… That socialist…

  • DrDavidKelly

    Im kinda surprised that no one has driven out to the Bush ranch and inflicted a little home style justice?

    • ⚔Christophuh⚔

      go ahead. let us know how that works out for ya.

21