U.S. to Bush: Get yourself a good lawyer; you're gonna need one! ~~
Brilliant commentary on the last days of the Bush Administration!! Bookmark the site, or read him on www.opednews.com.
link to existentialistcowboy.blogspot.com
There may be probable cause to try George W. Bush for capital crimes. Bush is losing it. He's combative, belligerent, rambling, disconnected and overtly defensive. He's desperately trying to come up with various defenses on various fronts —all ex post facto. One is tempted to tell him: give up, George! Surrender to the authorities! You get one phone call; use it to get in touch in Jim Baker. Get your lies straight!
The issue is torture —a heinous act that Bush insists on calling "...an alternative set of procedures". Interviewed by Matt Lauer, Bush tried to justify torture as necessary even as he denied that the US was torturing. Bush tried to avoid the question: if torture is "legal", then why did the US try to keep it secret throughout Eastern Europe? Bush may choose to refer to torture by some Orwellian term. The rest of us know the truth of it! In the name of decency and humanity, we will call the US program of atrocity what it is: war crimes!
Bush openly claims the right to torture —at his personal discretion. The dictatorial powers that he claims —work against him. They make him personally culpable for all crimes that follow from his lead, his example, his direction.
All the various lies are now laid bare —that abuses were perpetrated by low-level grunts; that the US was/is above the Geneva Convention, that the Geneva Convention did not apply, that the Nuremberg Principles could not restrain the mighty US, that soldiers were ignorant or poorly trained when prisoners were beaten, abused, tortured, water boarded, or humiliated. All were lies!
Despite the fact that the truth is now known, Bush gets in Matt Lauer's face and declares that he is protecting the people of the United States, that the US —under his incompetent misrule —is going to torture people when he —the decider —sees fit, and that whenever he is questioned, his word is final. Even if that were true, Bush makes enemies abroad faster than he can murder them in our name. Bush's irrational statements convict him. At the very least, they are —in themselves —probable cause to bring him to trial for capital crimes, crimes against the peace, war crimes.
A war is lost when atrocities begin. There are good reasons to believe that US atrocities began with the US invasion of Afghanistan. Bush was referring to Afghanistan when he said of victims of US aggression:
Many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way —they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies.
—George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 2003
If by "different fate", Bush means summary executions of Afghan citizens, he is in violation of US Codes; Title 18, § 2441. War crimes
(a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.
—Cornell Law School, US Code Collection, US Codes; Title 18, § 2441. War crimes
It is no wonder that Bush is agitated and defensive under Lauer's cross examination. Capital crimes are a serious matter. That there is probable cause that capital crimes have been committed —even more so.
I suggest a complete reading of the Geneva Conventions relative to the treatment of prisoners of war. But here is a small portion which flies in the face of the numerous lies that are told about Geneva by Bush partisans:
To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) Taking of hostages;
(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.
Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.
Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.
—Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (see orig. for link)
As four US Supreme Court justices agreed in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld recently, Article 75 is "indisputably part of the customary international law.""[see:Marjorie Cohn Israel Creates Humanitarian Crisis].(see orig. for link)
A war is lost when those perpetrating a war of aggression question the patriotism of legitimate critics. Recently Donald Rumsfeld called the Democratic opposition "Nazi appeasers". In the meantime, Bush denies having committed the very crimes he now wants to make legal. Why would he want to do that, if he were not guilty?
His efforts are futile. Such a law —an ex post facto law —is specifically and unambiguously prohibited in Article 1 of the US Constitution:
No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
—Article 1, US Constitution
The existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre took a strong stand against torture. In his Critique of Dialectical Reason, Sartre said of torture that it was intended "...to reduce men to vermin". Like the US in Iraq, the French used torture to suppress the Algerian resistance. Like the Bush administration, the French denied the practice even as they declared its effectiveness against the Algerian Liberation Front. Sartre, however, was true to his avowed "existentialism", urging others others to ask of themselves as he asked of himself: what would I do if I were tortured!
If we Americans are to hold on to what's left of our humanity, we simply must learn to think objectively about Bush and about the role our nation now plays throughout the world. Are we, in fact, a force for good —or evil? We must be honest if Bush is not! There is, indeed, a choice to make but not the one falsely framed by Bush. We must demand that the atrocities end now! We must rise up and demand that the United States withdraw immediately from Iraq and Afghanistan! We must demand full and transparent investigations into every outrage perpetrated by Bush in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere! We must ask of ourselves as Sartre asked of himself: What would we do if we were tortured by the armed forces of a belligerant aggressor nation?
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