Remember this article from May, 2004?

In the memo, the White House lawyer focused on a little known 1996 law passed by Congress, known as the War Crimes Act, that banned any Americans from committing war crimes—defined in part as “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions. Noting that the law applies to “U.S. officials” and that punishments for violators “include the death penalty,” Gonzales told Bush…

…One key advantage of declaring that Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters did not have Geneva Convention protections is that it “substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act,” Gonzales wrote.

“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.

“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 magazine.

In the annals of American history I’m not sure we’ve ever before seen a memo telling the President how to avoid the death penalty.

What’s more important, abortion rights, or standing up to this outrage?

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