The Canadian Star newspaper has an interesting suggestion: charge Bush with war crimes next time he pops up. Jelena Pejic, an advisor in the legal division of the International Red Cross suggests Bush's acts of war certainly justify such claims in this Crimes of War.Org article. Why?
1. Allied tribunals in Nuremburg and Tokyo after 1945 made it illegal for states to invade other countries. The UN also outlawed aggressive acts except those authorized by the UN Security Council.
2. The treatment of POWs at Abu Ghraib contravenes the Geneva Accord. No detainees, including 'unlawful combatants' may be tortured or subjected to 'outrages of personal dignity' and all have the right to a fair trial. Nor may detainees be deported: however apparently the US has taken select prisoners to Jordan and elsewhere outside of Iraq and there tortured them.
3. US forces in Guantanamo also tortured detainees and denied them fair trials.
Of course it's not only the big guns who are liable. Last Monday, the New York Times wrote that
...American soldiers might have committed a war crime on Thursday when they sent fleeing Iraqi civilians back into Falluja... Citing several articles of the Geneva Conventions, the [human rights] experts said recognized laws of war require military forces to protect civilians as refugees and forbid returning them to a combat zone.
James Ross, senior legal adviser to Human Rights Watch, said, "If that's what happened, it would be a war crime." A stream of refugees, about 300 men, women and children, were detained by American soldiers as they left southern Falluja by car and on foot. The women and children were allowed to proceed. The men were tested for any residues left by the handling of explosives. All tested negative, but they were sent back.
...Because the United States has refused to take part in the International Criminal Court, it is unclear whether American troops could be held accountable.
One can only hope however that not *just* soldiers be held accountable. CQ's beloved Human Rights Watch has documented a slew of potential crimes as regards the US in Iraq. Momentarily a Belgian federal prosecutor filed a suit in Belgian court last summer and accused not only Bush and Blair of crimes against humanity, but leveled accusations at Colin Powell, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, John Ashcroft, Condi Rice and Tommy Franks too. Seems the US didn't take kindly to that. Instead, we allegedly pressured Belgium by threatening to move NATO HQ from Brussels. Belgium caved and not only dropped the case, but repealed the law that allowed the case to be filed.
However, here at CQ we champion the idea that slim chances don't mean give up. In fact CQ's appropriated Dallas Cowgirls would alert you to this reason to cheer: Judicial Watch,
the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today [10/29] made available on its Internet site documents related to a multi-billion-dollar contract to restore Iraqi oil production awarded to Halliburton. The contracting process now is the subject of an FBI probe...the FBI is investigating whether procurement regulations were violated in the awarding of the five-year, $8 billion sole-source contract to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Sole-source contracts, which are awarded without a competitive bidding process, are rarely used by the federal government...Another document includes a handwritten note from Bunnatine Greenhouse, the Corps of Engineers’ chief contracting officer, expressing her concerns about the KBR contract...
[CQ reminds you that we earlier referenced Ms. Bunny Greenhouse's objection to the Pentagon's dealings.]
...The Pentagon’s contracting process has been called into question, and documents Judicial Watch obtained show that at least one top Pentagon official was concerned about awarding a contract to Halliburton,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We hope the FBI will get to the bottom of this matter, which affects each and every taxpayer.”