George W. Bush, Dick Cheney Convicted Of War Crimes
Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:38 AM
Yes, this is a BFD.
This past Friday, a five panel tribunal delivered a unanimous guilty verdict after a week long trial that, unsurprisingly, was not covered by American media. The witnesses included several ex-Guantanamo detainees that gave testimony on the conditions and human rights violations that were systematically carried out under orders of the Bush administration.
Former President Bush, Former Vice-President Dick Cheney, Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo that crafted the legal ‘justification’ for torture that basically said, ‘we can if we want to even if it’s illegal’ were the defendants. None were present, of course, but international war crime trials do not require the presence of the accused. The trial was run according to the standards set by the Nuremberg Trials to convict war criminals after World War II.
Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar, who headed the prosecution said, “The tribunal was very careful to adhere scrupulously to the regulations drawn up by the Nuremberg courts and the International Criminal Courts”.
The United States is subject to international law which makes this trial significant beyond the borders of Malaysia. Foreign Policy Journal reports:
President Lamin told a packed courtroom: “As a tribunal of conscience, the tribunal is fully aware that its verdict is merely declaratory in nature. The tribunal has no power of enforcement, no power to impose any custodial sentence on any one or more of the 8 convicted persons. What we can do, under Article 31 of Chapter VI of Part 2 of the Charter is to recommend to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission to submit this finding of conviction by the tribunal, together with a record of these proceedings, to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.
“The Tribunal also recommends to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission that the names of all the 8 convicted persons be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and be publicized accordingly.
“The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions if any of these Accused persons may enter their jurisdictions.”
The hope is that other countries will hold trials of their own and the guilty verdicts will mount up. This is not that outlandish an idea as Bush and Cheney have not only brazenly admitted they authorized torture in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention, but bragged about it. Nothing more helpful than having a criminal do all the heavy lifting for the prosecution. If enough of these verdicts are passed on to the international courts, they will have no choice but to hold a trial of their own. While Bush won’t be arrested on American soil, he’ll have a very difficult time leaving the country. Already he’s canceled a trip to Switzerland, due to possible charges of war crimes.
The best possible outcome is that the world court delivers a guilty verdict that sends a clear message to President Obama and his successors that the United States is not above the law, American Exceptional-ism be damned. It’s a lesson we’ve forgotten and need to relearn.
Posted 15 May 2012 - 02:07 AM
I'd like to see a non-Islamic-majority country - preferably a NATO or other major country - step up and convict them. I think they fully deserve to be convicted, but this Malaysian conviction does nothing other than to sabotage themselves on any State Department favors or foreign aid. Not a whole lot more.
Posted 15 May 2012 - 04:16 AM
Unfortunately, all civilizations on Earth have not agreed to this, yet. But, there are these rules and such... sort of a stepping stone in that direction.
I have hope that we'll get there eventually, but maybe not in my lifetime.
Thousands of years of clubbing our enemy over the head is a hard habit to shake off.
Posted 15 May 2012 - 04:30 AM
Interesting read which discusses fire and kill rates in combat at varying ranges and how often non-fire and shooting over the enemies head occurs in combat.
Theory that other than those predisposed such as psychopaths and such that killing of another human pretty much needs to be trained with varying methods and is generally avoided especially in face to face combat.
Posted 15 May 2012 - 06:49 PM
Moazzam Begg, now working as a director for the London-based human rights group Cageprisoners said he was delighted with the verdict, but added: “When people talk about Nuremberg you have to remember those tried were all prosecuted after the war.
“Right now Guantanamo is still open, people are still being held there and are still being tortured there.”
In response to questions about the difference between the Bush and Obama Administrations, he added: “If President Bush was the President of extra-judicial torture then US President Barak Obama is the President of extra judicial killing through drone strikes. Our work has only just begun.”