Tuesday, August 08, 2006

World Wide War Criminals

Bush War Crimes


Diverse forces are assembling to bring Bush administration officials to account for war crimes. Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Mother for Peace, insists:

"We cannot have these people pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail."

Paul Craig Roberts, Hoover Institution senior fellow and assistant secretary of the treasury under Ronald Reagan, charges Bush with "lies and an illegal war of aggression, with outing CIA agents, with war crimes against Iraqi civilians, with the horrors of the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo torture centers" and calls for the president's impeachment.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton and former president of the American Society of International Law, declares: "These policies make a mockery of our claim to stand for the rule of law. [Americans] should be marching on Washington to reject inhumane techniques carried out in our name."

War Crimes: It's Not Just Torture

As Allied armies advanced into Germany, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared captured Nazi leaders outlaws subject to summary execution. But U.S. President Harry Truman, a former small-town judge, insisted instead on formal trials with "notification to the accused of the charge, the right to be heard, and to call witnesses in his defense." The result was the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal and the start of a revolution that, in U.S. Justice Robert Jackson's words, replaced a "system of international lawlessness" with one that made "statesmen responsible to law." It is this revolution that may be catching up with the administration of George W. Bush. ...

Several overlapping strands have coalesced into a body of law regarding war crimes. One is the prohibition on aggressive war. As the Nuremberg Tribunal put it, "To initiate a war of aggression" is " the supreme international crime." A second strand is humanitarian law, which protects both combatants and civilians from unnecessary harm during war. The devastation associated with World War II led to the recognition of "crimes against humanity," which involve acts of violence against a persecuted group. War crimes were codified in the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and have been further developed in subsequent protocols and agreements. ...
(Propaganda poster from WWII...it omits the FACT that the Bushes, GM, Ford and numerous other American industrialists traded with Hitler, arming him to such an extent that he would not have been able to start WWII without them)

Law must-and the international law of war crimes now does-provide a single standard of judgment that can be applied without discrimination to different cases. If an act is a war crime, then it is a war crime whether it is perpetrated by Saddam Hussein or by George Bush.

American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond

The charge that the U.S. attack on Iraq was a war crime was raised even before the war began. More than 1,000 law professors and U.S. legal institutions organized in opposition to the U.S. war crime of launching an "aggressive war in violation of the UN Charter" against Iraq. Violation of international law was also a central theme in worldwide demonstrations against the war. The attack on the illegality of the war has been revived by the leak of the Downing Street memo; 130 members of Congress joined Rep. John Conyers in demanding that the Bush administration come clean about the invasion-supported by a half million citizen signatures gathered in barely a week.

"Scootergate" is fundamentally about the cover-up of White House lies justifying the war.

Illegal detention and torture are also war crimes. Starting with the exposure of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, cascading revelations have established that these cases exemplify a pattern of abuse authorized at the highest levels of government. ...

The remainder of the text may be found at: http://www.counterpunch.org/brecher12062005.html


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