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Is George W. Bush a War Criminal?
by Gil Villagrán, MSW (gvillagran [at] casa.sjsu.edu)
Tuesday Mar 24th, 2009 6:48 PM
Is Bush a war criminal?
Congressional leaders are unwilling to fully investigate vast allegations that the Bush presidency conspired to enter our nation into at least one war (in Iraq) based upon false, misleading, purposely misinterpreted, as well as some manufactured intelligence. The American people can no longer wait for our constitutional "checks and balances" to set things right in our nation.
Since Congress has failed to prosecute him, we must decide for ourselves
By Gil Villagrán, MSW

Congressional leaders are unwilling to fully investigate vast allegations that the Bush presidency conspired to enter our nation into at least one war (in Iraq) based upon false, misleading, purposely misinterpreted, as well as some manufactured intelligence. The American people can no longer wait for our constitutional "checks and balances" to set things right in our nation.

The idea of a war crime, derived from a 1907 diplomatic conference, produced "The Law of the Hague" prohibiting attacks on undefended towns, use of arms designed to cause unnecessary suffering, prescribed protections of civilians and the treatment of prisoners. The 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal of Nazi war criminals established that "to initiate a war of aggression is the supreme international crime, a crime against humanity." Crimes against noncombatants, against peace, are war crimes, codified in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the U.N. Charter, which our nation proudly led into existence in San Francisco soon after WWII.

Our Nation's Squandered Historic Leadership for Human Rights:

As a signatory to the U.N. and Geneva Conventions, Congress embedded war crimes into U.S. law, making breaches a federal crime. In 1950 the Conventions were incorporated into the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The U.S. Anti-Torture Act and the War Crimes Act of 1996 bar torture and conspiracy to commit torture. U.S. presidents have supported, if not led, war-crimes tribunals in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, East Timor and Cambodia. Before we attacked Iraq in 2003 President Bush declared: "if Iraqis take innocent life, destroy infrastructure, they will be held accountable as war criminals...war crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished!"

After five years of war, as many as 600,000 Iraqis, most innocent noncombatants have died, two million are refugees surviving on meager jobs or handouts in other countries, and the nation's infrastructure is devastated. Imagine your life without sewage treatment, unreliable electricity, polluted drinking water, bombed schools and hospitals, and death squad militias. That is the Iraq created by a war of choice because in the words of Pentagon officials, "Afghanistan does not have enough infrastructure targets to destroy."

ABC news reports that senior administration officials--including Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, George Tenet and Don Rumsfeld discussed torture techniques in White House meetings, for suspects in Guantanamo and other "secret" prisons. President Bush confirmed he approved interrogation tactics that include water boarding (near and sometimes fatal drowning, a favorite of the Inquisition). 
 Our Constitution prescribes that when elected officials, even and especially a president, commits high crimes-as conspiring to deceive the Congress into a war, to torture, illegally eavesdrop on citizens, subvert the Constitution with signing statements which claim that executive privilege enables the president to defy the very laws he has signed-are clearly high crimes for which he must be, in Bush's own words: "held accountable...prosecuted...punished!"

Impeachment is the first step toward accountability. However, this Congress has been complicit in the president's war crimes by failing to investigate, to hold hearings, to even officially question Bush under oath. In this complicity, most of the 535 legislators are derelict in their sworn duty to the American people.
Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) has courageously brought forth articles of impeachment against the vice-president last fall, and on June 10, against President Bush. The 35 articles were read into the Congressional record, taking four hours, to an almost empty chamber. Where they go from there is likely to follow their early articles, into the suspended animation of the House Judiciary Committee to be tabled (or not).

House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) is adamant that "impeachment is off the table," will not happen on her watch. Our own San Jose Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Ca.) sitting on the Judiciary Committee and having served as staff to the Nixon impeachment after Watergate, states, "I am not sure that these acts reach the level of high crimes...though they are clearly unfortunate, dumb political decisions." 

Memo to Pelosi, Lofgren and Congress: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing (Edmund Burke)."

Is Bush a war criminal? Since Congress has failed to prosecute him, we must decide for ourselves. ∆
by reality check
Tuesday Mar 24th, 2009 9:02 PM
YES of course Bush and Cheney are War Criminals and the members of Congress and current president who should be calling for a Special Prosecutor are accessories to the crime, and as such should also be prosecuted. Nancy Pelosi is a disgrace; Obama is a hostage of the Military Industrial Complex.
by DLi
Wednesday Mar 25th, 2009 4:23 AM
There are plenty of evidence that the Cheney-Bush NeoCON Cabal fabricated lies to drag the nation to illegally invade Iraq for her Oil, and even more explicit written memos that tie those Bushwhacked CONs to U.S. torture policies at Gitmo & elsewhere. The problem is the lack of political will. The Dems are just as complicit on Iraq & torture, so they won't get into a real investigation. It will take an immensely huge citizens' movement to try those mad C.O.W.s(Coalition of Oilers & Warmongers)

Any readers' ideas on how to proceed?