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War Criminal At Large
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Bush Blatantly Challenges World Criminal Court

 

By James Donahue

 

Because former President George W. Bush and his cronies murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in unjust wars he ordered in Afghanistan and Iraq, and because they openly tortured captives in their so-called war on terror, Mr. Bush has been considered a war criminal by many world nations. Yet he blatantly dared to travel last week into Africa where Amnesty International was calling for his arrest.

 

Mr. Bush toured Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia to promote a campaign against cervical and breast cancer. It was one of the first times Bush dared to step out of the protective boundaries of the United States since he left office in 2009.

 

Amnesty International is not missing the opportunity to remind the world of the crimes committed by Mr. Bush by calling on the nations hosting his visit to formally arrest and charge him while he is vulnerable.

 

Amnesty’s senior legal adviser Matt Pollard said he believes all three African nations had an obligation to arrest Mr. Bush under international law. He said the law “requires that there be no safe haven for those responsible for torture. Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia must seize this opportunity to fulfill their obligations and end the impunity George W. Bush has so far enjoyed,” Pollard said.

 

Brad Blakeman, a former Bush advisor, called Amnesty’s action harassment and a threat against the former president. “They’ve been trying to get any country where President Bush and Vice President Cheney visit to harass them wherever they go,” Blakeman said. “It could be taken as a call for violence against the president.”

 

Amnesty, the world’s largest human rights organization, made a similar appeal to Canada in October when Bush attended an economic summit in British Columbia.

 

The organization claims that Bush authorized the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and “waterboarding” on detainees held in secret by the Central Intelligence Agency from 2002 to 2009. These techniques have been declared torture which is strictly prohibited both by U. S. and international law.

 

During the eight years that Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney occupied the high offices of the United States government, they established an administration that set an unprecedented record of destroying many of the moral covenants used to set an example to the rest of the world. They declared unprovoked war, practiced torture, used bombs laced with radioactive material that killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, contracted with corrupt private corporate agencies and poured billions of American tax dollars into their pockets for alleged “services” that ranged from feeding soldiers to rebuilding bombed infrastructure. They declared a “War on Terrorism” that was used to create laws like the Patriot Act that violate the Bill of Rights.

 

After all of this, Mr. Blakeman defends Mr. Bush when he dares to step out of the bounds of the United States where he appears to be protected against prosecution.

 

Indeed, the Obama Administration has chosen to ignore those past criminal acts and even agreed to renew and revise the Patriot Act which gives the government the freedom to spy on American citizens without a court order.

 

Both Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are ignoring the War Crimes Act of 1996, which passed both houses by a unanimous vote. The act makes it a federal crime to commit a “grave breach” of the Geneva Convention. This includes the deliberate killing, torture or inhuman treatment of detainees during a time of war.

 

Several nations of the world, most recently Switzerland and Spain, have formally filed criminal charges against Bush, Cheney and members of the Bush staff for acts committed in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The United Nations, however, has not picked up on the movement. Consequently the accusations by foreign nations carry no weight in national or American courts.

Mr. Bush canceled a planned trip to Switzerland in February because of threats by human rights lawyers there that if he showed up he would be charged with crimes of torture.

In Malaysia only last month a War Crimes Tribunal declared Mr. Bush and former UK President Tony Blair guilty of war crimes at the end of a four-day hearing. The five panel tribunal unanimously agreed that Bush and Blair committed genocide and crimes against peace and humanity when they invaded Iraq in 2003. They found that the invasion, based on forged documents, was a flagrant act of aggression and mass murder of the Iraqi people.

It is clear that Mr. Bush is not a welcome guest in many nations of the world because of what was done during his years of power. Yet he is daring to travel to other world nations, knowing that there may be a price on his head.

So why hasn’t the International Criminal Court gotten involved? This court, established in July 1998 and opened July 1, 2002, has been ratified by 60 nations. A total of 120 states were involved in its creation. For obvious reasons the Bush Administration chose not to participate so the United States is not among them. Consequently the court has no jurisdiction over United States leaders who commit international criminal acts.

Because U. S. authorities are refusing to budge and the international court appears to lack jurisdiction in the matter, there is a haunting question of the possible international ramifications linked with a decision by any world nation to actually arrest Mr. Bush and charge him.