I’m posting this because of the irony: The US Senate treatied away all of the nation’s remaining sovereignty, decades ago, by making UN ‘laws’ and other ‘foreign entanglements’ supercede the US Constitution. I personally favor very minimal national governments and an even less intrusive global government (the internet paradigm); power needs to mainly rest mainly in governments that are directly accountable to you and I–local and, to a lesser extent, provincial.
The Bush Alleged Administration has been torturing and murdering Iraqi war prisoners and alleged terrorists (they say I’m one), even on US soil, and these thugs are trying to cover their lawless butts because they’re now vulnerable to their own lawless courts on account of that [Image Can Not Be Found] I think the fake president is the only one in that cabal who might not mind being someone’s girlfriend in the Gulag. I know Kissinger wouldn’t mind–note the comment about Killer Kissinger’s near arrest in Paris for war crimes [Image Can Not Be Found]
Enjoy! (thanks, Chris, for sending it):
Dodge the Gallows?
*By Dave Lindorff
Could George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and maybe Alberto
Gonzales all end up sucking poison gas?
That, apparently, is a concern now being taken seriously by Attorney
General Gonzales, who is quietly working with senior White House
officials and friendly members of Congress to do what murderous
dictators in Chile, Argentina and other bloodthirsty regimes have
done as their future in office began to look uncertain: pass laws
exempting them from prosecution for murder.
At issue is a growing legal threat of the president and other top
administration officials facing prosecution for violations of the
U.S. War Crimes statutes, which since 1996 have made violation of
Geneva Conventions adopted by the U.S. violations of American law, too.
Gonzales knows the seriousness of this threat. As he warned the
president, in a January, 25, 2002 “Memorandum to the President”
(published in full in the appendix of Barbara Olshansky’s and my new
book, The Case for Impeachment), “It is difficult to predict the
motives of prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the
future decide to pursue unwarranted charges based on Section [the US
War Crimes law].” In another part of that same memo, Gonzales notes
that the statute “prohibits the commission of a `war crime’” by any
U.S. official, with a war crime being defined as “any grave breach
of” the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War or of
the Geneva Convention’s Article 3. That article extends protection
to combatants in other than official wars or formal armies.
Gonzales, in that memo, also pointedly notes that the punishments
for such violations, under U.S. law, in the event that mistreated
captives die in custody, “include the death penalty.”
What has the White House, and Bush’s mob attorney, Gonzales, worried
is the decision last month by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hamden v.
Rumsfeld, which expressly established that the president has
“violated” the Geneva Convention’s Article 3 by arbitrarily deciding
that captives in the so-called War on Terror and in Afghanistan, and
held in Guantanamo, would not be considered POWs, and would not be
accorded protection from torture or access to the courts as required
under the Geneva Convention. This determination by a 5-3 majority of
the US Supreme Court could easily provide the basis for the very
“unwarranted” prosecution Gonzales warned about.
Of course, the president could not be indicted for this offense
while in office. The Constitution provides a protection against
that. But he could be indicted once his term ends. Meanwhile, other
administration personnel, including the vice president, have no such
protection against indictment even while in office.
The very fact that Gonzales, according to a report in today’s
Washington Post, has been “quietly approaching” Republican members
of Congress about passing legislation exempting Americans involved
in the “terrorism fight” from war crimes prosecution suggests how
worried Bush and his subordinates really are.
It’s interesting how this has become the tactic of choice for the
criminals in the White House. When Bush was caught violating the
clear provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by
authorizing spying by the National Security Agency on Americans’
communications without a warrant, the administration went to
Congress to seek legislation retroactively authorizing the crime.
Since the president was exposed as having summarily and
unconstitutionally invalidated some 800 laws passed by Congress
through the use of what he calls “signing statements,” an
astonishing breach of the separation of powers, the administration
has been seeking a new law in Congress that would in effect grant
that power to presidents, again retroactively. Now Bush is
apparently hoping to get the same compliant Republican-led House and
Senate to backdate a law exempting him and his cohorts from
punishment under the War Crimes statute–a law, ironically, passed
almost without objection by both houses of a Republican-led Congress
Of course, this attempt at a legal dodge might not work. Not only
could a future prosecutor seek to have such a law ruled illegal
itself (after all, the U.S. is a signatory of the Geneva
Conventions, making them legally binding anyhow), but because the
U.S. is a signatory of the Geneva Conventions prohibiting torture in
any form, the president and his subordinates could also be charged
as war criminals by other nations–particularly if it were
determined that the U.S. was unwilling or legally unable to prosecute.
That could make things a little claustrophobic for administration
personnel once they leave office.
No doubt Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et all would like to continue their
world travels once they leave government “service.” For one thing,
there’s lots of money to be made on the international speaking
circuit. Lots more can be made by doing international business
consulting. But if there were a threat of arrest and prosecution by
prosecutors in countries like Spain, Germany or Canada, such travels
would pose a huge risk. Similar fears have kept former National
Security Director and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger pretty much
housebound since a near detention in Paris on war crimes charges a
few years back.
Gonzales’ anxious behind-the-scenes scuttling about in the halls of
Congress in an effort to save his boss’s neck also suggests that the
White House is getting anxious about the November election. After
all, if they thought they had a secure grip on Congress through
November 2008, why the sudden rush to get a bill through undermining
the War Crimes statute now? Maybe Bush is afraid that if he waits
until November, he’ll be dealing with a Democratic House and/or
Senate, which would be unlikely to grant him such legal protection.
There is a delicious irony in watching this law-and-order,
let-'em-fry president and his tough-guy VP, attorney general and
defense secretary, resorting to the same kind of dodgy legal tactics
that they accuse convicted killers (and terrorists) of using in an
attempt to avoid the gallows.
Chances are their strategy will work, at least in the U.S. But at
least it’s entertaining to watch.