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1 No Country For Old Haters  Dec 9, 2014 8:59:07am

Wouldn’t it be better to prosecute everyone who ordered or engaged in torture? We validate Anti-American sentiment when we protect the evil people among us and in our leadership.

2 Shiplord Kirel  Dec 9, 2014 9:23:28am

NO. A pardon does not establish that the pardoned acts are illegal. That would make it equivalent to law, which it is not. At best it would only convey that Obama thinks torture is illegal, which is scarcely in doubt.

3 Lumberhead  Dec 9, 2014 9:40:35am


Pardons would make clear that crimes were committed; that the individuals who authorized and committed torture were indeed criminals

Because of the above, it is politically impossible for this to happen. I don’t think there is still the political will among the Democrats in office to hold anyone accountable for torture and have the inevitable fight that will ensue. Perhaps when he first took office or if the current political atmosphere wasn’t so toxic.

4 Rightwingconspirator  Dec 9, 2014 9:56:45am

re: #2 Shiplord Kirel

That was initially my reaction. Then I read through carefully and really considered the source. I think he may be right, the obvious alternative being nothing ever happens under the law at all. .

5 garzooma  Dec 9, 2014 11:47:30am

re: #2 Shiplord Kirel

At best it would only convey that Obama thinks torture is illegal, which is scarcely in doubt.

Andrew Sullivan, for one, feels it’s at least somewhat in doubt:

1.24 pm. Even now, Obama’s cowardice is gob-smacking:

Peter Baker ✔ @peterbakernyt
Obama official: White House won’t take sides between CIA, which says interrogations worked, and Senate, which says they didn’t.

You mean: they cannot read the report? There are not two sides. The evidence that the interrogations gave us nothing that wasn’t otherwise available is … the CIA’s own assessment. That’s why this report is so conclusive. The CIA itself says the torture didn’t work! And now it claims otherwise. This is a dispute between the CIA and the CIA.

6 WhatEVs  Dec 9, 2014 1:35:01pm

The problem, per the article, is that the statute of limitations has run out so no prosecutions could take place, even if anyone had the desire to do so.

By pardoning all involved, it would indicate that what was done was wrong and illegal. And it is something over nothing at all. And it might (doubtfully) stop war hawks and those who love shit like this (Yes, it is Yoo I am looking at) from doing it again and again.

7 goddamnedfrank  Dec 9, 2014 1:57:56pm

re: #2 Shiplord Kirel

NO. A pardon does not establish that the pardoned acts are illegal.

Yeah, actually it kind of does. See Burdick v. United States.

-A pardoned man must introduce the pardon into court proceedings, otherwise the pardon must be disregarded by the court.

-To do this, the pardoned man must accept the pardon. If a pardon is rejected, it cannot be forced upon its subject.

-A pardon carries an “imputation of guilt”, and accepting a pardon is “an admission of guilt”.

Burdick specifically said the following:

That a pardon by its mere issue has automatic effect resistless by him to whom it is tendered, forcing upon him by mere executive power whatever consequences it may have or however he may regard it, which seems to be the contention of the government in the case at bar, was rejected by the court with particularity and emphasis. The decision is unmistakable. A pardon was denominated as the ‘private’ act, the ‘private deed,’ of the executive magistrate, and the denomination was advisedly selected to mark the incompleteness of the act or deed without its acceptance.

Indeed, the grace of a pardon, though good its intention, may be only in pretense or seeming; in pretense, as having purpose not moving from the individual to whom it is offered; in seeming, as involving consequences of even greater disgrace than those from which it purports to relieve. Circumstances may be made to bring innocence under the penalties of the law. If so brought, escape by [236 U.S. 79, 91] confession of guilt implied in the acceptance of a pardon may be rejected,- preferring to be the victim of the law rather than its acknowledged transgressor,-preferring death even to such certain infamy. This, at least theoretically, is a right, and a right is often best tested in its extreme. ‘It may be supposed,’ the court said in United States v. Wilson, ‘that no being condemned to death would reject a pardon; but the rule must be the same in capital cases and in misdemeanors. A pardon may be conditional; and the condition may be more objectionable than the punishment inflicted by the judgment.’

Gerald Ford famously kept a copy of the Burdick decision with him in order to prove to people that Nixon’s acceptance of the pardon Ford issued was an implicit admission of guilt.

This is also why a pardon would never work, Bush would have to accept it for it to take effect, and he would never, ever do that because of this established legal precedent.

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