War Crimes

By Jennifer Lawson Zepeda

I kept saying it!  That the torture the U.S. sanctioned against people held in Guantanamo Bay would come back to haunt us.  And it finally has!

Thank GOD, there are still ethical people left in this world!

“In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were yesterday (Fri) found guilty of war crimes.”

“The trial held in Kuala Lumpur heard harrowing witness accounts from victims of torture who suffered at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“They included testimony from British man Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee and Iraqi woman Jameelah Abbas Hameedi who was tortured in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.”

“At the end of the week-long hearing, the five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered guilty verdicts against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors who were all convicted as war criminals for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.”

(Source: Bush Convicted of War Crimes)

It had to happen!  Torture is something that the U.S. has customarily taken a strong stance against; so to use it as an effective method of eliciting information?  Deplorable!

But the huge question is, What happens now?

“Full transcripts of the charges, witness statements and other relevant material will now be sent to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.”

“The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission is also asking that the names of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Yoo, Bybee, Addington and Haynes be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals for public record.”

(Source: Bush Convicted of War Crimes)

Obama Where are You

That’s a start; but what about the International Criminal Tribunal demanding warrants for their arrest?  Shouldn’t that follow?

So, my next question is this…

Why isn’t President Obama putting on his big boy pants and demanding their arrest?  After all, the U.S. has been BIG on hunting down other war criminals and ensuring they were prosecuted; so, why not now?

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A UN-backed tribunal Thursday convicted former Liberian president Charles Taylor of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity – the first time a head of state has been convicted by an international court since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) worked closely with successive prosecutors at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in making today’s breakthrough possible. Leahy, as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on the State Department and Foreign Operations, wrote U.S. laws to withhold aid to any government that harbored Taylor, to increase the reward for Taylor’s capture, and to provide crucial funding for the court, even when it was not requested by an earlier administration. Leahy has long led as well in seeking justice for war criminals and in securing resources to help their victims. The court found that Taylor also personally profited from his crimes, receiving “blood diamonds” during the conflicts involving Liberia and Sierra Leone. Leahy heralded the roles of former Rep. Tony Hall (D-Ohio), joined by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and others, who led efforts in Congress to stigmatize the role of that illicit diamond trade, which paved the way for the Kimberley Process, a joint effort by governments, industry and civil society to stem the role of diamonds in conflict zones.

(Source:  Leahy: Taylor Conviction Shows That The World Can Hunt Down War Criminals And Bring Them To Justice)

Where is Sen. Patrick Leahy on this?  Where’s the UN-backed forces, working to arrest G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld et al?

Why aren’t people like the self admitted torturer, ‘Hard Measures‘ author and former CIA official, Jose Rodriguez also declared as war criminals?  We’ve allowed him to profit off of his campaign of torture by publishing a book?

In the Bernie Farber’s blog, War Criminals — At Any Age — Should Be Punished, he admits that the common assumption is that war criminals evade prosecution because of many excuses.  One that remains is that many believe that given the age of the perpetrators and that the murderous brutalities occurred more than 65 years ago, we best just move on.

So, will we adopt this attitude towards our own war criminals of Bush et al?

If so, shame on us for being also the worlds biggest hypocrites!

 

7 Comments on “War Crimes”

  1. Jennifer, I fear the sad fact is we have no moral ground to stand on in calling for any punishment. And how on earth will we impliment it anyway?

  2. I can tell you right now that nothing will come of this “conviction” – there’s no way in hell it can be enforced. I suspect that this “ruling” was just a propaganda stunt pulled by some political party in SE Asia to gain wider recognition…

  3. If you look at the histories of convictions like this, it is improbable that anything will be done soon. It would take a President that isn’t trying to placate the bipartisan politics of both parties and the corporate elite to apply extradition to these folks.

  4. Jen, there are no “bi-partisan” politics at play here – the two parties are actually just different wings of the *same* party (i.e. the party of the MIC and corporate classes) operating under the pretense of a two-party system for public relations purposes: not only will nothing happen soon, nothing will happen as a result of these events – period.

  5. This has been more than a campaign by some small Asian countries. I’ve heard of the efforts to try Bush for war crimes, and some of the proponents came from some pretty impressive countries. Western Europe, and in particular, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark have been quite vocal in their opinions concerning Bush Crimes.

    I don’t see any quick gathering of forces to indict Bush and sweep him into the arms of justice, but i think i see a slowly changing global opinion on what can be done and the degree of power illustrated in numbers to do it. A few precedents come to mind… Russia throws its swindling billionaire in jail, Iceland retaliates against its Icesave bankruptcy by throwing their culprits in jail, Goldman Sacs shakes down a few leading executives and threatens them with jail.. Well, that’s a limp wrist gesture, but you get the picture.

    Obama has no balls. He’s flopped around his entire term,promising an end to atrocities like Guantanamo Bay, while holding a clown’s court for treason, proposing green energy while supporting gas frakking and off-shore drilling, and now, in one last desperate fling to win back the liberals, he says he supports the gay community. That should not be a welcoming statement for the gays since it comes from the man with forked tongue.

    Most likely, America has no balls, either. The vast majority still prefers to take a shot at becoming an American Idol than try to figure out what the hell is wrong with this country and divert the cash for make-up and crew into an effort to make improvements. The spotlight is the American dream, nothing more.

  6. You seem to be mistaken Karlsie – this isn’t a matter of “balls” and never was: it’s a of interests – and the political class has no interest in holding their own kind accountable for abuse of power because they don’t want to be held accountable themselves.

    The notion of the “rule of law” is a joke because some one will always be above the “law” (i.e. the people who make, enforce and interpret them)…

  7. “Rule of law” truly is a joke – we have the rights we are willing to fight for; people are held accountable only if we demand it.

    “Power accedes nothing without a demand”, said Frederick Douglass. He was right in the 1860’s, and he’s right today.

    Having followed the Kuala Lumpur trial rather closely, I think it’s safe to say that this wasn’t just a play by a political party; it’s a genuine attempt to invoke international law to rein-in the American Empire.

    It won’t happen – because those in power aren’t going to listen to this ‘demand’ until/unless it’s enforced with public hangings and plenty of blood.

    I keep saying this – and it’s also true: You are either a rebel, or a slave.

    Choose well….

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