02 September 2008

The Wars Are Over

A U.S. District Court opinion arising out of fraud prosecutions in connection with Boston's "Big Dig" interprets a little known provision of U.S. law that extends the statute of limitations for prosecuting federal criminal frauds against the United States when the nation is "at war."

The court finds that indeed we were "at war" under the meaning of the statute in both Afghanistan and Iraq, but that both of those wars have since ended for the purposes of applying criminal statute of limitations provisions. It finds that the Afgan war ended when a treaty was entered into with a successor government, and that the Iraq War ended when the President made his "mission accomplished" pronouncement.

The analysis is quite eurdite, although the conclusion has a too clever by half character to it, and is probably likely to be appealed.

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