Bush Administration: Torture Pardons "Unnecessary"

Bush Administration: Torture Pardons "Unnecessary"
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The Wall Street Journal reports that the Bush administration isn't planning to pardon officials involved in torture -- because, they believe, memos legalizing the practice makes it "unnecessary."

The White House isn't inclined to grant sweeping pardons for former administration officials involved in harsh interrogations and detentions of terror suspects, according to people familiar with the situation.

Some Republicans have been pushing for President George W. Bush to grant pre-emptive clemency to officials who fear being investigated by Democratic critics. White House officials have countered that such pardons are unnecessary, these people say. The officials point to Justice Department legal opinions that supported the administration's methods of detaining and interrogating terror suspects.

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Some former Bush administration officials have argued against a blanket pardon for post-9/11 activities, saying it would be tantamount to an admission that the Bush policies weren't legal.

Outside advocacy groups are pushing for investigations.

Liberal groups and some legal scholars say they will push for criminal investigations of former Bush officials. The officials in their sights include Central Intelligence Agency interrogators and lawyers at the Justice Department and the White House who formulated or approved tactics that critics labeled as torture.

President Bush has already pardoned 14 people, for misdeeds including drug offenses, tax evasion, wildlife violations and bank embezzlement.

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