139 countries have signed the ICC's - International Criminal Court's - 1998 Rome Statute treaty. 97 countries, including the European Union, have ratified it. The US rather joined Iraq,
Libya, Yemen, Qatar, China and Israel in a 1998 vote against the document. In May 2002, Bush 'unsigned' the ICC treaty in a bid to protect his cabinet from the first international judicial
body capable of trying people for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Not a mystery why, when so much of late has contravened international law. 1945 Allied tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo made it illegal for states to invade other countries. The
United Nations outlaws aggressive acts except authorized by
its Security Council. The Geneva Conventions illegalize torture of both detainees and 'unlawful combatants'.
Neither can be abused, deported or suffer 'outrages of personal
have the right to a fair trial. Yet not two weeks after September 11th, Bush Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzalez wrote a memo to the president that poo-poo'd the Geneva Conventions as 'quaint'. He might have added inconvenient too the description: they outlaw torture of all Prisoners Of War whether in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo or Afghanistan. Gonzalez is notorious for a number of memos though, some dating back to his tenure in Texas where he oversaw a goodly number of then Governor Bush's 152 executions.
The Bush Administration seems to be pressuring signatores to sign an 'impunity agreement' called the Article 98 Agreements, to exempt the US from ICC law. In December, Bush crippled humanitarian, agricultural and democratic programs in 50 of the 139 countries that support ICC by withholding aid. Yet CQ finds reason to cheer: Abu Ghraib's Charles Graner just landed 10 years in military prison.
1/19/05 @ 6:30 pm
Fordham Law School
140 W 62nd Street, NYC
r e a s o n to cheer
Wed Jan 19 2005
HRW Young Advocates