Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Supreme Court Says Bush Administration Has Committed War Crimes

David Cole:
The Hamdan decision, while not explicitly addressed to the question of interrogation, should resolve this debate. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which the Court has now authoritatively declared applies to the conflict with al-Qaeda, requires that all detainees be "treated humanely," and protects them against "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." Moreover, the federal War Crimes Act makes it a felony, punishable in some instances by death, to violate Common Article 3 in any way. Thus, CIA and military interrogators are now on notice that any inhumane treatment of a detainee subjects them to prosecution as a war criminal. While they might be confident that the Bush administration would not prosecute them, they cannot be sure that a future administration would overlook such war crimes. And it is quite possible that government officials might actually decide not to commit war crimes — now that they know they are war crimes — even if prosecution is unlikely. (snip) In fact, the Court's decision further suggests that President Bush has already committed a war crime, simply by establishing the military tribunals and subjecting detainees to them. As noted above, the Court found that the tribunals violate Common Article 3, and under the War Crimes Act, any violation of Common Article 3 is a war crime. Military defense lawyers responded to the Hamdan decision by requesting a stay of all tribunal proceedings, on the ground that their own continuing participation in those proceedings might constitute a war crime. But according to the logic of the Supreme Court, the President has already committed a war crime. He won't be prosecuted, of course, and probably should not be, since his interpretation of the Conventions was at least arguable. But now that his interpretation has been conclusively rejected, if he or Congress seeks to go forward with tribunals or interrogation rules that fail Article 3's test, they, too, would be war criminals.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cheney Is a War Criminal

Documents and memos that have already made their way into the public domain make it clear that the Office of the Vice President bears responsibility for creating an environment conducive to the acts of torture and murder committed by U.S. forces in the war on terror.

Military Justice Idea Rejected for Alleged Terror Defendants

By Peter Spiegel, Times Staff Writer
3:42 PM PDT, July 12, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Bush administration lawyers today rejected congressional suggestions to try alleged Al Qaeda and Taliban war criminals in the U.S. military justice system, saying military courts provide protections for defendants that are unwarranted in the war on terrorism.

Read It and Weep

Abuse report from Guantanamo.

An excerpt:
The plight of the people who have had limbs amputated is among the saddest of the conditions of this ugly camp. I have twice been housed next to prisoners with prosthetic limbs. It was one of the most depressing experiences I have endured. The prisoners were effectively blackmailed by their interrogators who said that they had to cooperate in order to get their prosthetic devices back. They are denied the toilet chairs, the sticks they need to walk and even the cream they
need to ensure that the wound will not become infected and inflamed. The pain is apparently particularly great when they are denied the necessary prosthetic socks, so that the wounds are exposed to the extreme cold of the cells.

Most of the people in Guantanamo were innocent bystanders.

And we fucked them up good.

Doesn't it make you feel proud to be an American?