Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bush is a war criminal: Washington Post has a story

It's not just Sullivan and me spreading the meme. The Washington Post has this story about how the Bush administration is trying to get congress to pass a law to retroactively shield itself from violations it might have made.
An obscure law approved by a Republican-controlled Congress a decade ago has made the Bush administration nervous that officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters might be accused of committing war crimes, and prosecuted at some point in U.S. courts.

Senior officials have responded by drafting legislation that would grant U.S. personnel involved in the terrorism fight new protections against prosecution for past violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if U.S.-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment.

I don't know a lot about the legal ins and outs of this, but it seems to me that if someone violated the Geneva conventions (and the Supreme Court recently ruled that they apply), they are guilty of war crimes whether or not they violated any particular US law. But the fact that there is US law criminalizing violations of the Geneva conventions should make prosecution in US courts easier.

I think torturers should be punished. And prosecuting Bush might have the additional benefit of allowing someone else to take over, or rather take up the job of actually running this country.


Anonymous Sarah said...

This type of thing just makes me more sad. I don't get why, but Congress just isn't going to do anything about it. Clearly it's easier to impeach a president because he fools around with an intern than if he starts ridiculous wars, invades the privacy of ordinary citizens, and ignores the Geneva Conventions.

10:13 PM, July 29, 2006  

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