Friday, June 30, 2006

Bush the War Criminal

It looks like the lefty blogosphere is going to have a great time with this one. The LA Times (most recently guilty of treason) ran an article today by Rosa Brooks claiming that, under the arguments presented by the Supreme Court in Hamdan, George Bush is a "war criminal." I know - it's tough to follow, but let's get going.

THE SUPREME Court on Thursday dealt the Bush administration a stinging rebuke, declaring in Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld that military commissions for trying terrorist suspects violate both U.S. military law and the Geneva Convention.

It's hard to contest an article that starts out with such a fallacy. The Court actually found that military tribunals are not authorized in this case, claiming that such tribunals are incorrect to use to try terrorists such as those held in Guantanamo. In fact, US military law, as well as the Geneva Conventions, do not recognize plain-clothes terrorists as fighters under their protection. The Supreme Court actually overruled the President's authorization for tribunals and the Congress' will that the Supreme Court not hear such cases. This first paragraph could not be further from the truth.

Rosa goes on to claim:

Perhaps most troubling, [the adminstration's opinion that terrorists were not "prisoners of war"] allowed the administration to claim that detained terrorism suspects could be subjected to interrogation techniques that constitute torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under international law, such as "waterboarding," placing prisoners in painful physical positions, sexual humiliation and extreme sleep deprivation.

Honestly, waterboarding and sleep deprivation don't really bother me as interrogation techniques on known terrorists. The fact that Rosa tosses in "sexual humiliation" without any proof or reference, means she is simply trying to make the interrogations sound worse than they are. No one ever seems to cite Christina Aguilera.

...the court's declaration that Common Article 3 applies to the war on terror is of enormous significance. Ultimately, it could pave the way for war crimes prosecutions of those responsible for abusing detainees.

Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions states that cruel treatment shall not be exercised on prisoners of war, and federal law says that anyone who violates section 3 is guilty of "war crimes" and can be imprisoned or executed.

So what Rosa is really saying is that if the Supreme Court upholds that the terrorists in Guantanamo are actually "prisoners of war," and if the interrogation techniques preformed on them could be considered "cruel," and if an explicit command directly from George Bush can be found that authorized that interrogation, then Bush is a war criminal. (Which also means that the Supreme Court ignored the Geneva Conventions in defining prisoners of war, but a federal court would have to use the aforementioned Conventions when abhorring torture.)

What she should be worried about, instead of trying to brand the commander in chief of war crimes, is that head-chopping terrorists in Guantanamo may be eligible to all the protections of US citizens in civilian courts, assuming the Congress does not act, and assuming that the Supreme Court doesn't choose to overrule them again.

1 comment:

Cale Kassel said...

It seems as though the left is looking for any way to contort any Bush policy to make him look even worse. Progress is near impossible with their red tape and idiocracy at home. A little forward thinking wouldn't hurt anybody in this situation.