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Author Topic: Rummy a war criminal?  (Read 6936 times)

jeffjoe

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Rummy a war criminal?
« on: November 30, 2004, 02:04:56 PM »
Rumsfeld, other US officials facing war crimes charges in Germany   
Bernard Hibbitts at 10:19 AM

[JURIST] The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights and four Iraqi citizens will file a criminal complaint in Germany Tuesday against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and seven other high-ranking US officials, seeking to hold the officials accountable for acts of torture allegedly carried out at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. German courts recognize the doctrine of universal jurisdiction, allowing prosecution of suspected criminals no matter where they are located, for crimes defined in the International Criminal Court's Rome Statute [PDF], including war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. The four Iraqis say they were victims of severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation, hooding and sexual abuse. CCR has background on the case and Reuters has more. Der Spiegel has local coverage (in German). More details are expected later Tuesday.

Praying for peace in Iraq  +
Praying for the tsunami victims   +

11,5sep

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Rape of Iraqi Women
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2005, 04:49:10 PM »

swordfish

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Re: Rummy a war criminal?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2005, 04:26:19 PM »
I don't know if he's a war criminal, but I'm pretty sure he's the devil.

whostheguy

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Re: Rummy a war criminal?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2005, 04:04:02 PM »
A farce, Rummy is the man
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keith

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When War Criminals Retire
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2006, 10:00:13 PM »
George Bush just celebrated his 60th birthday, and in his rare free moments, it would be natural for him to begin to consider how--and where--he'll spend his time after leaving office. He seems to enjoy the ranch in Texas, and will of course be involved in setting up his presidential library, and work on behalf of his favorite charities.

As a former president, there will of course be many invitations to travel and speak on a wide variety of subjectsand that is where my advice comes in. Bush should bag the foreign travel.

In 1998, Chilean general and former president Augusto Pinochet, who was in London seeking medical treatment, was indicted for his involvement in torture and extra-judicial killings in Latin America in the 1970's. In June of 2001, former Secretary of State Kissinger was forced to flee his hotel in Paris, and take a hasty flight back to America, to avoid a court summons to answer questions on his involvement with Pinochet's reign of terror. The following month, a Belgian court ordered Prime Minister Sharon of Israel to appear before a Brussels court to answer charges stemming from the massacre of some 2000 Palestinian refugees in 1982 during Lebanon War.

England, France and Belgium are all signatories of the Geneva Conventions, and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Both of these treaties have articles covering "grave breaches" or "grievous violations" under which signatory states have a solemn, affirmative obligation to bring violators into their own court systems for prosecution, or to turn them over to an international court, as when Slobodan Milosevic was sent by Serbia to The International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague in 2001.

Standing in court is accorded to family members of those who have been tortured, summarily executed, "disappeared", etc. "Violators" include both those who actually perpetrated the torture/assassination, etc. and those who ordered or, by their action or inaction, are deemed responsible for the violation. Heads of State and senior government officials are immune from prosecution, until, that is, they have left office. This process has become known as "the principle of universal jurisdiction".

For a very long time -- decades in the case of the Geneva Conventions -- it was in practice the government of a country directly involved in a conflict which brought individual violators to justice, or tried to do so. In 1999, for example, the Clinton Administration urged Austria to arrest Izzat Ibrahim Al Douri, Sadam Hussein's second in command, so he could be tried for his role in the poison gas attack which killed thousands of Kurds in Halabja in 1988. Austria didn't move in time, and Al Douri fled back to his own country, as Kissinger would do in Paris in 2001.

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson may have best described the concept of universal jurisdiction when she wrote, in 2001:

Quote
"The principle of universal jurisdiction is based on the notion that certain crimes are so harmful to internal interests that states are entitled--and even obliged--to bring proceedings against the perpetrator, regardless of the location of the crimeor the nationality of the perpetrator or the victim."

Former President George W. Bush will be invited by wealthy friends to enjoy the pomp and circumstance in Britain; the glories of Paris, Rome and Madrid; the charm of Swiss mountains; horse rides on beautiful haciendas in Argentina, Chile and Mexico. These were the perks of people like Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton who have left the Office before him.

But he will not know where and in which of these places charges may have been filed ... by family members of people who were flown on un-marked dull, grey-painted planes to remote airports to be tortured or "disappeared"..or family of men, women and children who were summarily executed by soldiers in places like Haditha, Bakuba or Mahmoudia..or relatives of civilians whose bodies were lost in the flattened rubble of downtown Falluja.

Indeed, some of the questions which French judges wanted to ask of Henry Kissinger in Paris in 2001 had involved the secret, high-altitude carpet bombings of Cambodian towns and villages during the Vietnam War.

No, former President Bush would be wise to stay home in Texas in his retirement. It is highly unlikely that he would face imprisonment in his own country, as did General Pinochet. George Bush should enjoy the barbeque, and ride his horses through the mesquite. Maybe invite former Vice-President Cheney down to the ranch for some hunting.

Stephen Green, author and former guest editorialist of the Christian Science Monitor, is already retired, from the UN, lives in Berlin, and is a member of the Vermont House of Representatives.

Inis

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Re:
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2007, 03:41:28 PM »
Rumsfeld, other US officials facing war crimes charges in Germany   
Bernard Hibbitts at 10:19 AM

[JURIST] The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights and four Iraqi citizens will file a criminal complaint in Germany Tuesday against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and seven other high-ranking US officials, seeking to hold the officials accountable for acts of torture allegedly carried out at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. German courts recognize the doctrine of universal jurisdiction, allowing prosecution of suspected criminals no matter where they are located, for crimes defined in the International Criminal Court's Rome Statute [PDF], including war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. The four Iraqis say they were victims of severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation, hooding and sexual abuse. CCR has background on the case and Reuters has more. Der Spiegel has local coverage (in German). More details are expected later Tuesday.


It is really a shame that 41 countries have not yet ratified the treaty. Not to mention that in 2002 the U.S. began to undertake measures to shield U.S. nationals from prosecution by the ICC. The Congress passed the American Service Members' Protection Act, which included a prohibition on the United States providing military aid to countries which had ratified the treaty establishing the court; however, there were a number of exceptions to this, including NATO members, major non-NATO allies, and countries which entered into an agreement with the United States not to hand over U.S. nationals to the Court.

Enter Article 98. As part of the U.S. campaign to exclude its citizens and military personnel from extradition by the ICC, the U.S. Bush administration has been approaching countries around the world seeking to conclude Bilateral Immunity Agreements, or "Article 98" agreements. The U.S. has a law requiring the suspension of military assistance and U.S. Economic Support Fund (ESF) aid to those States Parties which do not sign these agreements. The granting of such special favors is of course always subject to diplomacy. ESF funding entails a wide range of governance programs including international counter-terrorism efforts, peace process programs, anti-drug trafficking initiatives, truth and reconciliation commissions, wheelchair distribution and HIV/AIDS education, among others. In 2003, the United States stopped military aid for 35 countries (among them 9 European countries). U.S. law requires the cessation of such aid payments if a state is unwilling to sign the bilateral agreement (there are exceptions for NATO-members and allies such as Israel, Egypt, Australia and South Korea). In March of 2006, Condy admitted that the United States' position on Article 98 agreements was "sort of the same as shooting ourselves in the foot."

Amnesty International and the European Commission Legal Service, along with several other groups supporting the ICC, have claimed that these agreements the United States is attempting to negotiate are not valid under Article 98. They argue that the language in Article 98 is normally used in international law to refer to Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA), mission agreements and extradition treaties; hence they claim that Article 98 can only be used for these purposes, and not to create a general exclusion for other states' nationals from being handed over to the ICC. Romania was one of the first countries to sign an Article 98 agreement with the United States. In response to Romania's action, the European Union requested that candidate countries not sign Article 98 agreements with the United States until the EU ministers had met to agree upon a common position. In October 2002, the Council of the European Union adopted a common position, permitting member states to enter into Article 98 agreements with the United States, but only concerning U.S. military personnel, U.S. diplomatic or consular officials, and persons extradited, sent to their territories by the U.S. with their permission -- not the general protection of U.S. nationals that the United States sought; furthermore the common position provided that any person protected from ICC prosecution by such agreements would have to be prosecuted by the United States. This was in agreement with the original position of the EU, that Article 98 agreements were allowed to cover these restricted classes of persons but could not cover all the citizens of a state. The U.S. has cut aid and development funding for many countries in retaliation for not signing bilateral Article 98 agreements. Countries who have so declined aid include Barbados, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, and several other Caribbean, Latin American and African countries.
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