Friday, April 11, 2008

War Criminals Among Us

Remembering the Nuremberg trials that occurred at the end of World War II, I find it illustrative to look at the main charges.

1.Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of crime against peace
2.Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
3.War crimes
4.Crimes against humanity

On one and two, looking at the efforts of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas Feith to not only look for the justification to go to war with Iraq, but to sell evidence they knew to be highly suspect to the general public and the legislative branch, suggests conspiracy, planning, initiating and ultimately waging an unprovoked war of aggression. George W. Bush’s complicity in this crime is quite well documented as well. When George Tenet presented the evidence linking Iraq with Al Qaeda and with weapons of mass destruction, his response was “is this all there is?” Tenet then put the noose around his own neck when he said, “slam dunk.”
On the first two counts under Nuremberg, I would have to say that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and possibly Condi Rice and Colin Powell would be subject to indictment with a high probability of successful prosecution under Nuremberg.

As for the latter two counts, the rejection of the Geneva Accords (treaties signed by the United States), would constitute a crime against humanity, as would the use of torture, extraordinary rendition and detainment without recourse. In my opinion many in the Bush Administration are indictable under the third and fourth counts at Nuremberg. Accessories to these counts would be the legal advisors who provided the legal justification for violation of the Geneva Accords as well as torture. As a result, John Yoo and David Addington would also be indicted under under Nuremberg three and four.

Because the United States has the most powerful military in the world, these charges will never be made. But in a theoretical world where we are the loser of the war, under the rules of Nuremberg, would Bush and much of his administration be convicted as war criminals? Would an independent Robert Jackson willingly prosecute Bush and his cronies? That is an interesting question. In my opinion, he would.

The administration of George W. Bush has so soiled what our country should be about, that previous generations of Americans would be ashamed if they lived to see it. Those who have enabled and supported this behavior are also culpable. To the flag waving enablers of war criminals, I say repent. Admit what you did, confess your sin, and promise that you will never support the lawless war-mongering neocon world view again. We have descended to a level of barbarism that leaves our rhetoric regarding human rights and liberty impotent in the world. American exceptionalism and hypocrisy has seriously undermined not only who we are, but who others see us as.

Is the Bush Administration as bad as Nazi Germany? Certainly not. But the fact that plausible comparisons can be made between Bush Administration actions and the Nuremberg charges, should atleast give us pause.

1 comment:

rmwarnick said...

Interestingly enough, Doug Feith (aka "the stupidest f*cking guy on the planet") now says his Pentagon activities were "lawful and authorized." Sounds like a Nuremberg Defense to me.