Malaysian tribunal finds George Bush and Tony Blair guilty of war crimes

Embalmer 2011/11/23 22:11:41
The desire for a true rule of law exists somewhere, at least, even though they'll never rot in a prison cell.
A tribunal in Malaysia, spearheaded by that nation’s former Prime Minister, yesterday found George Bush and Tony Blair guilty
of "crimes against peace" and other war crimes for their 2003
aggressive attack on Iraq, as well as fabricating pretexts used to
justify the attack. The seven-member Kuala Lumpur War Crimes
Tribunal—which featured an American law professor as one of its chief
prosecutors—has no formal enforcement power, but was modeled after
a 1967 tribunal in Sweden and Denmark that found the U.S. guilty of a
war of aggression in Vietnam, as even more so, after the U.S.-led
Nuremberg Tribunal held after World War II. Just as the U.S. steadfastly
ignored the 1967 tribunal on Vietnam, Bush and Blair both ignored the
summons sent to them and thus were tried in absentia.

The tribunal ruled that Bush and Blair’s name should be entered in a
register of war criminals, urged that they be recognized as such under
the Rome Statute, and will also petition the International Criminal
Court to proceed with binding charges. Such efforts are likely to be
futile, but one Malaysian lawyer explained the motives of the tribunal to The Associated Press: "For these people who have been immune from prosecution, we want to put them on trial in this forum to prove that they committed war crimes.

As Greenwald comments at the link, no "serious" person in the U.S.
will take this seriously, if they even notice that it has happened,
"[b]ut the only thing this Malaysian tribunal is doing is applying the
clear principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal as enunciated by lead
prosecutor and former U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson in his
Opening and Closing Statements at Nuremberg." Specifically: "The central
crime in this pattern of crimes, the kingpin which holds them all
together, is the plot for aggressive wars. The chief reason for
international cognizance of these crimes lies in this fact." Because the
prosecuting of war crimes, "if it is to serve a useful purpose it must
condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here
now in judgment."

That sentiment is echoed in a column by attorney Eric Lewis in the New York Times this week on the specific issue of torture, the new favorite foreign policy hobby horse of Republicans:

Had President Obama shown the courage of candidate Obama, he
would have strongly supported civil litigation under the Constitution
against officials who authorized torture. The argument that it involves
the courts in foreign policy or causes officials to be wary in their
actions is nonsense. The ban on torture should be absolute; it is not a
foreign policy or defense issue and it is salutary for officials to know
that they will be held accountable for torture. President Obama should
also have ordered candidate Obama’s “thorough investigation” to go
forward, ideally through the criminal process. Perhaps the specter of
potential indictments of senior officials made a president who wanted to
be perceived as post-partisan queasy, but he should be made more queasy
by a former president claiming it was “damn right” to order waterboarding.

When torture becomes another political choice, the debate becomes an
empirical one about whether it works. [...] What the Bush administration
experience showed was not that torture never works, but that the
impulse to torture is ever present. Torture is always seen as a sad
necessity, imposed with increasing frequency and brutality as panic and
frustration increase. [...]

President Obama’s public commitment to ending torture is laudable and
important. It is ludicrous to contend, as some do, that his
administration is no different from that of his predecessor. But the
problem as we look toward the 2012 election is that there is still no
“clearly established legal right” for detainees not to be tortured. So
when a new administration comes into office, whether that’s in 2013 or
2017, and finds itself in a panic after the next underwear or shoe
bomber, it will still be able to find some eager apparatchik to write a
memo that allows torture and promises immunity.

In that, the Malaysian tribunal's has meaning, even though it will have no force. It's a reminder that no one should
be above the law. That's a reminder that will likely keep coming home
to us, since the crimes of the Bush administration will not be resolved.

Read More: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/11/23/1039419/-...

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  • ndaye 2012/01/10 14:08:24
  • ShortyDoWop 2011/11/24 05:36:26 (edited)
    :/ and yet they sit cosey at home
  • Duke----The Non Racist, Fun... 2011/11/23 22:25:11
    Duke----The Non Racist, Funny Duke !
    The world court had charged bushy, cheney, rumsfeld and blair with war crimes years ago. And the whole world still awaits for real justice to be served, but because of us the (u.s.) and England, which is still blocking the efforts to bring them to justice, we wait in vain.
  • Embalmer Duke---... 2011/11/24 00:03:52
    Some US law professor filed a complaint with the ICC.

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