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Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals

by : Ken Sanders
Saturday June 25, 2005 - 18:41
15 comments

In the wake of the Downing Street Memo and other leaked British documents created before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, many have begun to question the legality of the Bush administration’s actions. In particular, families of soldiers, a few Democratic senators, and hundreds of thousands of outraged Americans, are calling for an independent investigation of the Bush administration’s manipulation and outright fabrication of intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. The word "impeachment" is even being bandied about.

While it is certainly appropriate to demand an independent investigation of the Bush administration’s pre-invasion shenanigans, as well as to pursue bringing articles of impeachment against the President for his official misconduct, there is something larger at stake. There is the matter of the Bush administration’s post-invasion atrocities.

Pursuant to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1483, adopted on May 22, 2003, the U.S. and the United Kingdom identified themselves and were recognized as the occupying powers of Iraq. As an occupying power, the U.S. accepted duties that were coextensive with its area of occupation. That is, the greater its degree of control, the greater its degree of responsibility.

With the creation of the Coalition Provisional Authority, headed by men hand-picked by the Bush administration, the U.S. clearly and undeniably took control over every aspect of what remained of Iraq. Likewise, the CPA, by and through the U.S. military, provided the security (such that it was), created and enforced the laws (such as they were), and provided any semblance of infrastructure following the ouster of Saddam. In short, the U.S., and its coalition of the willing, assumed total control of post-Saddam Iraq.

The so-called handover of "authority" to the Iraqi transitional government did not change the status of the U.S. as an occupying force. The transitional government has no authority over the U.S. military or its civilian contractors. Indeed, without the presence of the U.S. military, there would be no transitional government. Furthermore, the transitional government operates under laws and regulations created and promulgated by the CPA. Therefore, the Iraqi transitional government is itself governed by the law of the occupying force, rendering it little more than a facade.

Having assumed control as an occupying power, the U.S. also assumed responsibility for what occurred during its occupation of Iraq. Among its responsibilities to the people of Iraq is the duty to ensure against violence to life and person, including cruel treatment and torture, as required under Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Article 3 establishes a minimum set of rights for all persons under occupation, regardless of their status as civilian, unprivileged belligerent, terrorist, or war criminal. (The United States is not only a signatory to the Fourth Convention, but also expressly recognizes the requirements of Article 3 via the War Crimes Act of 1996.) Furthermore, under Article 31 of the Fourth Convention, "No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons [those subject to occupation], in particular to obtain information from them or from third parties." Article 147 expressly eliminates the defense of military necessity.

In his report regarding the investigation of prisoner abuse by and interrogation techniques of the U.S. military at Abu Ghraib, Major General Antonio M. Taguba found "numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses," which were "systemic" and "intentionally perpetrated." Aside from the acts of "physical and moral" coercion graphically depicted in the notorious Abu Ghraib photographs, Gen. Taguba found credible evidence of "breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees," as well as "sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick."

The interrogation tactics were imported from Guantanamo Bay where they were already known to be in violation of the Geneva Conventions and international law. Such tactics included the use of dogs, stripping prisoners naked, causing physical pain, exploiting Islamic concerns for modesty, sleep deprivation, isolated confinement, and chaining detainees to the floor for extended periods of time. All of these techniques were approved by the Bush administration, developed at Guantanamo, exported to Abu Ghraib, and known to be in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Indeed, the interrogation techniques developed at Guantanamo and subsequently employed at Abu Ghraib were created pursuant to President Bush’s declaration in February 2002 that those detained at Guantanamo were outside the protections of the Geneva Conventions. At the same time that the Bush administration was openly declaring the Geneva Conventions inapplicable to its war on terror, it was requesting legal justification from the Departments of Justice and Defense for interrogation involving physical abuse. Therefore, while the Bush administration might not have expressly authorized the more barbaric abuses which occurred at Abu Ghraib, by so radically changing and rejecting the laws of war, the Bush administration most certainly knew that the systemic sadism at Abu Ghraib was likely, if not certain.

As recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in the decision In re Yamashita, "the law of war presupposes that its violation is to be avoided through the control of the operations of war by commanders who are to some extent responsible for their subordinates." It is clear from another decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Madsen v. Kinsella, that President Bush, as Commander-in-Chief of the military, is the commander of the military force by which the occupation of Iraq is held. Thus, Bush is responsible for the criminal acts of his subordinates in Iraq. Furthermore, based upon the "torture memos" commissioned by the White House, Bush certainly should have known that torture and abuse would be perpetrated at Abu Ghraib. For the White House to claim otherwise strains credulity.

As the occupying power, the U.S. is also obligated under Article 3 of the Fourth Convention to ensure that "the wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for." Thus, the intentional failure to provide adequate medical treatment, or a policy of denial and neglect involving foreseeable consequences, would be a clear violation of this duty.

Nevertheless, as repeatedly reported by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as by the BBC and the New York Times, and as recently documented by journalist Dahr Jamail in his report, "Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation," the U.S. is in gross violation of Article 3.

For instance, on November 6, 2004, as a prelude to its invasion of Fallujah, the U.S. military razed Nazal Emergency Hospital, the city’s only healthcare facility for trauma victims. U.S. forces also detained doctors and patients, and prevented any surgeons from entering the besieged city. At Fallujah General Hospital, U.S. forces closed off all access roads and surrounded the hospital with troops and vehicles, preventing patients from getting medical care. Additionally, U.S. snipers targeted civilian ambulances and medical clinics, and intentionally prevented physicians from entering hospitals to treat patients. U.S. troops also prohibited the delivery of necessary medicines or supplies into Fallujah. Similar incidences occurred during the U.S. military’s recent offensive in Al Qa’im. Not only do these actions constitute gross violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, they also constitute war crimes under Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Under the Rome Statute, it is a war crime to attack personnel or objects (i.e., ambulances and hospitals) involved in humanitarian assistance. It is also a war crime to attack "protected objects," including "hospitals or placed where the sick and wounded are collected."

As Commander-in-Chief of the military, Bush is liable for the acts of his subordinates in Fallujah and Al Qa’im. Bush meets regularly with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is fully briefed on military operations in Iraq. He authorizes military operations (or at least acquiesces to them) and knows or should know something about what they entail. As such, he cannot reasonably plead ignorance of the consequences of his orders and decisions.

Moreover, Bush and his administration knowingly and deliberately created a climate in which it is presumed that the Geneva Conventions and international law are inapplicable to the crusade against terror. Not only did Bush issue his presidential memorandum declaring the Geneva Conventions inapplicable to terrorists (or alleged terrorists, as is more often the case), but his administration has been openly hostile to international bodies and laws which could hold him and his administration accountable.

For instance, aside from its obsessive denigration of the United Nations, the Bush administration is zealously opposed to the International Criminal Court and has even gone so far as to withhold aid from nations who refuse to sign agreements immunizing suspected U.S. war criminals from ICC prosecution. In some cases, the immunity agreements are reciprocal and the U.S. has agreed not to turn over to the ICC accused war criminals from Georgia, Sierra Leon, Tajikistan, Uganda, Israel, and Nicaragua, among others. Not exactly a group that staunchly protects and respects human rights and international law.

In such a climate, is it any wonder U.S. forces in Iraq torture prisoners, shoot at ambulances, and reduce hospitals to rubble? It certainly shouldn’t be to Bush and his partners in crime.

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> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Sunday June 26 - 00:37 - Posted by 3f4fe62d37962730...

And don’t forget the atrocities in Afghanistan, particularly the trucks full of people suffocated and summarily executed.




> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Sunday June 26 - 06:01 - Posted by 8031b4e261976e56...

I would feel much safer if Saddam was president of the U.S. Forget impeachment....Bushs’ butt belongs in prison!



> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Sunday June 26 - 19:40 - Posted by bab607dc9b83c407...

We have been fooled not once, but twice by the Bush Cabal like simple, trusting, toddlers. Aren’t we smart?

The Bush Cabal has done nothing except completely trash, indebt, shame the USA. He lied us into an illegal, immoral, unneccessary, bloody war without end, has continued to lie, suppresses dissent, protest. Allows, and endorses torture of prisoners, kidnapps "suspected terrorists" and sends them off to be tortured to death, breaks every national and international law there is, thumbs his nose at the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and laughs at the Geneva Convention. Oh, let’s not for get the wonderful (UN)Patriot Act, the New Freedom Commission, etc.

Damn, what’s next? Wholesale drugging of children and/or wholesale roundup of all schoolchildren and taking them to "undisclosed locations" for their "protection"???

Or how about wholesale breaking and entering of everyone’s homes and taking them to interement camps for their "protection"?? Oh forget that how about just massive slaughter of anyone anytime, anywhere for any "offense"??

This is not the America I grew up in and became and adult in 1975.

It is now: Amerika Amerika Amerika



> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Sunday June 26 - 05:42 - Posted by 18ed066ce12d49a1...

Everything said here is true enough. Here’s the problem, though: If the town sherriff gets behind the wheel drunk, who is going to pull him over and throw him in the slammer?




> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Sunday June 26 - 05:55 - Posted by 6289c8b912f5e7ac...

Bush is a traitor, but unless we talk about the Jews, there is no hope anything will change in the future




> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Sunday June 26 - 05:56 - Posted by d1435217aa4b35ae...

We have been fooled not once but twice like simple, trusting young toddlers. The Bush Cabal has done nothing except wreck our country in every way possible. I can’t think of anything else right
now that he has not poisioned or destroyed. The Supreme Court trashed the rest of our Constitution and Bill of Rights as of June 23, 2005.

Damn, what’s next? Wholesale roundup of the children and taking them to "undisclosed locations" for their "protection"???

Whole sale breaking into everyone’s home’s and taking them to "interement camps" for their "protection"???

Or just plain out and out mass slaughter of anyone, anywhere, anytime, for any reason???

Is it really that far fetched? After what happend to Terri Schiavo, please tell me what is to stop the Bush Cabal from deciding that anyone who is "disabled" in any way is not fit to live and should be "put down"? Or deciding that Social Security, TANF, Food Stamps, pensions of any type are a "waste" that needs to be eliminated??

This is NOT the America that I grew up in and became a legal adult in 1975. It is now Amerika.

Amerika. Amerika.




> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Sunday June 26 - 06:23 - Posted by be203e4ec86f567c...

It is hard to face, even if we don’t like our leaders, that it has come to this. Drink a stiff cup of coffee Monday morning Americans-we must demand the appropriate steps begin or we no longer have a Democracy. Demand from our reps and congress to do the right thing .




> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Sunday June 26 - 06:28 - Posted by d1435217aa4b35ae...

We have been fooled not once, but twice by the Bush Cabal like simple, trusting, toddlers. Aren’t we smart?

The Bush Cabal has done nothing except completely trash, indebt, shame the USA. He lied us into an illegal, immoral, unneccessary, bloody war without end, has continued to lie, suppresses dissent, protest. Allows, and endorses torture of prisoners, kidnapps "suspected terrorists" and sends them off to be tortured to death, breaks every national and international law there is, thumbs his nose at the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and laughs at the Geneva Convention. Oh, let’s not for get the wonderful (UN)Patriot Act, the New Freedom Commission, etc.

Damn, what’s next? Wholesale drugging of children and/or wholesale roundup of all schoolchildren and taking them to "undisclosed locations" for their "protection"???

Or how about wholesale breaking and entering of everyone’s homes and taking them to interement camps for their "protection"?? Oh forget that how about just massive slaughter of anyone anytime, anywhere for any "offense"??

This is not the America I grew up in and became and adult in 1975.

It is now: Amerika Amerika Amerika




> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Sunday June 26 - 08:52 - Posted by da3e6fa064bd86b6...

All wishful thinking.

You wouldn’t even get cut a blade of Whitehouse lawn let alone do [or get anyone else on board to do] any of the things you think you wrote about.

What you seem to miss is that White America wants this war and the leadership is delivering to them what they want. No one is going to see beyond the lies as being anything but the truth.




> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Monday June 27 - 09:09 - Posted by 720238362032bdaf...

I absolutely do agree on your remark: White America does want this war. That is why it is unstoppable, at least from this side. The only thing that will stop it is the patriotism of Iraqi resistence. But, you missed another rock of the base of this terrible crime: The total submission of the US government to the Sionist State, which, in fact is the puppeteer pulling the strings of the greedy and blind and deaf White America.



> Beyond Impeachment: Bush Inc. as War Criminals (SHILLS for the MACHINE)
Sunday June 26 - 09:43 - Posted by 5d013b9dc90f3670...

SHILLS for the MACHINE

A real criminal trial of global village idiot GW Bush and his surface stage handlers would be one of a few events that would begin to restore sanity to our lethal Corporate Monopoly Crime State. A ruthless cartel that poses as democracy as sold by a mainstream media and education psy-ops complex led and bred to deceive.

Whatever administration comes next, whether it is faux conservative Bush lite or a so-called liberal one will be a dummy corporate shell for the same ventriloquist that pulls the strings now --- as it has for over a hundred years.

In other words, the existing system corrupt as it is, would never allow such a trial.

The founders foresaw who would highjack the nation and how. They even warned by what methods people would be gulled to submission. When people on the ground stop behaving like sleep-drunk sheep we will have the option for valid change.

The only real or lasting solution would be to clean house and that would mean to nix what Teddy Roosevelt called the Invisible Government – the true power over our country and of the developed world. That would mean abolishing the Federal Reserve Corporation (that is not Federal and has no reserves other than those of deception) and its cartel puppet lords that rule humans on this unfortunate planet like so many articles of commerce.

In their own words…

"THE REAL TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS, AS YOU AND I KNOW, THAT A FINANCIAL ELEMENT IN THE LARGER CENTERS HAS OWNED THE GOVERNMENT EVER SINCE THE DAYS OF ANDREW JACKSON.”
PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (in a letter to his handler Colonel Edward M. House who was a prime agent of the elite corporate money power. Colonel House also handled President Woodrow Wilson and so the creation of an unconstitutional, private bank monopoly better known as the Federal Reserve Corporation and its IRS (collection agency) in 1913. FDR speaks of financial monopolists of the global banking cartel centers of New York & London that own the U.S. Government. November 21st, l933)

“IF YOU WANT TO BE THE SLAVES OF BANKS AND PAY THE COST OF YOUR OWN SLAVERY, THEN LET THE BANKS CREATE MONEY…”
SIR JOSIAH STAMP (Governor of the Bank of England and the 2nd richest man in Britain. A man in service to the Rothschilds.1920)

“BEHIND THE OSTENSIBLE GOVERNMENT SITS ENTHRONED AN INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT OWING NO ALLEGIANCE AND ACKNOWLEDGING NO RESPONSIBLILITY TO THE PEOPLE. TO DESTROY THIS INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT, TO BEFOUL THE UNHOLY ALLIANCE BETWEEN CORRUPT BUSINESS AND CORRUPT POLITICS IS THE FIRST TASK OF THE STATESMANSHIP OF TODAY.”
PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT (denouncing a global money power cartel, President from 1901-1909, Roosevelt lived to see the creation of a privately owned and controlled Federal Reserve Corporation by the Invisible Government of international bank monopolists. Quote1906)

‘THIS [FEDERAL RESERVE] ACT ESTABLISHES THE MOST GIGANTIC TRUST [MONOPOLY] ON EARTH. WHEN THE PRESIDENT [WILSON] SIGNS THIS BILL, THE INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT OF THE MONEY POWER WILL BE LEGALIZED… THE WORST LEGISLATIVE CRIME OF THE AGES IS PERPETRATED BY THIS BANKING AND CURRENCY BILL.”
CONGRESSMAN CHARLES A. LINDBERG SR. (speaking to Congress in opposition to the global banking cartel and its privately owned Federal Reserve Corporation. December 23rd, 1913)

“BRITAIN IS THE SLAVE OF AN INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL BLOC.”
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID LLOYD GEORGE (on the banking cartel June 20, 1934)

“THOSE WHO MANIPULATE THE UNSEEN MECHANISM OF SOCIETY CONSTITUTE AN INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT WHICH IS THE TRUE RULING POWER OF OUR COUNTRY. WE ARE GOVERNED, OUR MINDS MOLDED, OUR TASTES FORMED, OUR IDEAS SUGGESTED LARGELY BY MEN WE HAVE NEVER HEARD OF.”
EDWARD L. BERNAYS (Sigmund Freud’s nephew and the father of psy-ops, mass spin control and modern propaganda. Bernay’s techniques were used to sell WWI to Americans thru the “Committee on Public Information”. Josef Goebbels as Hitler’s flack & Minister of Propaganda was an avid fan of Bernay’s work and put it to use in the Third Reich. Bernays partnered with William Paley to run CBS. Edward Bernay’s work was also the foundation for CIA mass media manipulation via “Operation Mockingbird”. Quote: Bernay’s book “Propaganda” published 1928)




> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Sunday June 26 - 10:03 - Posted by ede95b09fb34df30...

I t sounds like we sent a horde of barbarians instead of a disciplined Army. Now how do solve the problem?




> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Monday June 27 - 04:03 - Posted by 4b6c9f99ba697649...

You HAVE TO REALISE that the Bush neo-cons as front operatives for a more complex behing- the-scenes force CAUSED the 911 catastrophe as THE pretext to engage in endless wars, the dismantling of sovereign states, the creation of a World Government, and imposition of fascist oppression against us all.




> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Monday June 27 - 06:09 - Posted by 66f3c721335016d2...

USA Today parody of "Star Spangled Banner"
written by Francis Scott Key

Oh say can you see
Georgie Bush’s sad plight
He lied ’bout Iraq
Now he’s catching big flack

USA used to be
Land of brave and the free
Now it’s only the land
Of the crave and the spree

Brutal torture’s condoned
While rich thugs steal our homes
And the Patriot Act
Is a cold ugly fact

Our economy is wrecked
The disabled we gladly kill
Lady Justice is dead
We have lost our free will




> Beyond Impeachment: The Bush Administration as War Criminals
Thursday December 8 - 19:25 - Posted by 864b09a2ff36b8fd...

In Ken Sanders story, he never says when and where he was in Iraq? I wonder why? Was he ever there? When he says that soldiers family’s are now standing up and asking why? He never says how many. Is it 2 family’s, is it 3? Is it more than a 1000? Is it a majority of them?
This is what is wrong with todays media. They write their opinion without naming any sources or backed by any fact.
When people in the U.S. choose to exercise the 1st Admendment they should do so responsibliy...most of our media outlets have failed in that responsibility. Just because U.S. citizens are guranteed the right to Freedom of Speech, does not give them the right to barge into a crowded movie theatre and yell, "Fire" when their isn’t one.







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Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
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ONE SOLITARY LIFE, PART TWO
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
3 comments
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
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HOW MUCH CORRUPTION CAN DEMOCRACY ENDURE?
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
6 comments
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, PART TWO
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
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PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
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