Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Legal Strategy 101 for War Criminals

With the Senate report on CIA torture during the Bush/Cheney years being released today, it's important once again to remember that Administration's intense opposition to United States participation in the International Criminal Court as soon as they came into power in 2001 (long before September 11th of that year). It's almost as if they knew that there might be Americans committing war crimes in the near future.

I couldn't find any lengthy statements from George Bush or Dick Cheney about their principled opposition to a permanent Nuremberg-inspired war crimes court, but I did find an interesting video explanation from the Captain Kangaroo they placed as their recess-appointment ambassador to the United Nations. John Bolton puts the reason the Iraq Warriors objected to the ICC clearly in the following lines delivered about three minutes into this video:
"And yet, the threat of prosecution -- the threat of being accused of being a war criminal -- can have an inhibiting effect. And since there's no accountability for these institutions, it could pose a threat to the United States -- or to the will of American friends and allies -- to take actions that they should undertake for their own self defense." --John Bolton [Emphasis Added]
Isn't that the point of all police and prosecutors and courts? To have an inhibiting effect on potential criminals?

And without American participation in an International Criminal Court, shouldn't even Bolton agree that it's therefore incumbent on American judicial institutions to look into and possibly prosecute the people behind the numerous war crimes listed in the report released today?

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