Illegality of Pardoning War Crimes

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

Student Researcher: Benjamin Kaufman

Faculty Evaluator: Eric Williams, Ph.D.


The Constitution requires President Obama to faithfully execute the laws. That means prosecuting lawbreakers. When the United States ratified the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, thereby making them part of U.S. law, we agreed to prosecute those who violate their prohibitions. The bipartisan December 11 report of the Senate Armed Services Committee concluded that “senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees.” While lawyers for the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Council wrote memos that purported to immunize government officials from war crimes liability, Committee chairman Senator Carl Levin clarified that you cannot legalize what’s illegal by having a lawyer write an opinion. Yet two Obama advisors told the Associated Press that “there’s little-if any chance that Obama’s Justice Department will go after anyone involved in authorizing or carrying out interrogations that provoked worldwide outrage.” If Obama and the DoJ stand in the way of prosecutions they are violating oaths to the constitution and are accomplices to said crimes.

“Cheney Throws Down Gauntlet, Defies Prosecution for War Crimes” Marjorie Cohn,, December 19, 2008

“Holder assures GOP on prosecution” Ben Conery and Eli Lake, The Washington Times, January 28, 2009,

“The Missing Memos” Dan Nguyen and Christopher Weaver, ProPublica, January 28, 2009,

“ACLU Tests Obama With Request for Secret Bush-Era Memos, Marisa Taylor,,