Friday, January 18, 2008

He's a WAR CRIMINAL dammit!

After Downing Street has a really good summation of Bush&Cheney's High Crimes and Misdemeanors in the wake of McGovern calling for his Impeachment.

Are there grounds for impeachment under existing laws and treaties? Here is what Senator McGovern says about that: “Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly 'high crimes and misdemeanors,' to use the constitutional standard.”

Senator McGovern is correct. It would take a legion of international lawyers particularly adept in the art of twisting plain English to conclude otherwise.

It would help if we take that oily crew of sycophant corrupt brown-nosed so-called lawyers at the White House out and hang 'em before we start.

Thus, under the UN Charter, the United States is legally bound to respect the rules of war and peace that all states who are signatories to the treaty accept. These rules are unambiguous on these points: 1)aggression is always wrong; 2)aggression is a crime against international peace; 3)aggression gives rise to international responsibility; 4)nothing – political, economic, military or otherwise – can be a justification for aggression; 5) territorial acquisition or special advantage resulting from aggression is always unlawful

Of course, many Americans reject the authority of the United Nations despite the fact that the United States a) signed the treaty on June 26, 1945 and later ratified it; b) it has been in force since October 24, 1945, and the United States has never abrogated the treaty or withdrawn from the organization, which is headquartered in New York City. Still, die-hards will say (wrongly) that we cannot impeach a president on the basis of a treaty.

Question: Can President Bush be impeached under existing U.S. laws?

Answer: Yes. Under the War Crimes Act of 1996, US Code, Title 18, paragraph 2441, for one:

Many others as well.

The body of laws that define a war crime are the Geneva Conventions, a broader and older area of laws referred to as the Laws and Customs of War, and, in the case of the former Yugoslavia, the statutes of the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague (ICTY). Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines war crimes as: "Wil[l]ful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including... wil[l]fully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile power, or wil[l]fully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial, ...taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly." This, international lawyers say, is the basic definition of war crimes.

In sum, Senator McGovern's call for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney is entirely consistent with the United States Constitution, and with the treaties and law currently in force. Liberal democracies are measured above all by respect for constitutional norms and the rule of law. Laws are either enforced or they are mocked. To make a mockery of the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the land is to jeopardize everything generations of Americans built – and fought and died for. There is no greater threat to our “homeland security” than a president who does not respect the Constitution he swore to uphold.

And every bit as important, maybe more so, a vice-president too.

It is so blatantly obvious that these criminals should be in jail, or under it, that I think Congress has abrogated its duties, as legislators and citizens both, by not locking them up.

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