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View Diary: REVOKED! Executive Order 13233 (247 comments)

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  •  Question: Retroactivity (5+ / 0-)

    OK, this is great news. I'm just trying to anticipate the likely Bush legal team's response.

    I would think it would go something like this: "At the time these records were created, the President and members of his administration were relying on a legally-issued executive order stating that these records would not be subject to discovery. Therefore, the records should not be retroactively made subject to different laws which were not in place at the time."

    etc.... Does anyone know how the law operates in such cases? For example, you can't be prosecuted for doing something which was not a crime at the time (say, taking a newly-created drug before it is criminalized). Does the same logic apply to Bush?

    "Animals are my friends. And I don't eat my friends." -- George Bernard Shaw

    by Hudson on Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 01:36:55 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luvmovies2000, NonnyO, 1BQ, cgirard

      To extend your metaphor, it's as if Bush had wanted to use LSD at a time when it was illegal.  What he did was declare it legal, then use it, then claim he hadn't committed a crime because the drug "had been declared" (note passive voice) legal.  

      He did the same thing with torture, of course, and with quite a few other of his crimes.  This subterfuge wouldn't fool a child, though it does seem genuinely to have fooled him (he always protests that what he did was legal with such conviction).  He wasn't quite King Canute commanding the tides.  But damn close.  If he'd been Canute, he would first have had Alberto Gonzales declare that as king of England he absolutely had the power to command the tides.  Then he'd have tried it.  Then he'd have found some way to weasel out of the obvious failure -- perhaps by defending the "legality" of his act, as if that had been the point.  

      The law may be an ass sometimes, but it does know enough to disregard this declare-it-legal-and-then-it-is stunt as nonsense.  The greater question is what Congress will do.  I'm not holding my breath waiting for them to find any accountability.  

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