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The necessity for a war crimes investigation of Bush is critical...


Is Bush a War Criminal?
Posted May 7, 2003 thepeoplesvoice.org

By Dave Chandler, Publisher of www.earthside.com
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If American citizens who were opposed to the invasion of Iraq had been wrong, if the French, German, and Russian governments had been wrong, if the United Nations Security Council had been wrong -- this is what FOX News would have eagerly reported during the first few hours and days of the attack:

  • "Special operations teams of the U.S. military have secured a secret Iraqi base where thousands of liters of liquid anthrax were being loaded into artillery shells for use against British forces attacking Um Qasar."
  • "In a mad dash into the Iraqi desert, units of U.S. Marines have overrun an Iraq facility where botulinum toxin was found in tanks on Iraqi unmanned drones preparing for flights to release the poison over Kuwait City."
  • "Green Berets parachuted just hours ago into an Iraqi laboratory where uranium enrichment equipment for producing material for nuclear bombs was being stored. The soldiers destroyed aluminum tubes they found that were being used for the processing of uranium. Secretary of State Powell had revealed the existence of the equipment at the U.N. in February."
  • "Using data obtained from spy satellites, an Iraqi cache of illegal Scud missiles near Baghdad was destroyed last night by stealth bombers. The Bush and Blair administrations have said for months that they knew that Iraq had not disarmed itself of these weapons and that intelligence had confirmed their existence."
  • "Just minutes away from launch, sarin-armed Al Samoud missiles were shelled and destroyed by advancing British military forces. "They could have been in the air in minutes," said Sergeant Smith. "But we knew they had these weapons of mass destruction and we got to them in time." Prime Minister Blair said the action proved his contention that Saddam's banned weapons were just 45 minutes away from when he gave the order for their use to deployment on the battlefield."
  • "Based on information provided by Iraqi defectors, agents of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency moved today into Iraqi government bunkers in Karbala and took possession of two suitcase-size nuclear devices, proving the Bush administration's contention that Saddam Hussein posed a direct threat to the United States."

Of course, those news reports were never given. Because it was Bush and Blair, Powell and Straw, Cheney, Rice, Wolfowitz, and Perle that were completely wrong about the destructive capabilities of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi military; completely wrong about the cause belli for attacking Iraq.

With U.S. military and civilian forces now in Iraq for over a month, the banned weapons that were the preeminent basis for the attack and invasion have yet to appear. The spin from the Administration is now all about "liberation," because it is simply too embarrassing, indeed potentially criminal, for Bush and his cronies to fess-up to their deceit.

So, like a cat in the litter box, US and British officials are covering up the odor slowly rising from what they had to have known were lies and deceptions about the Iraqi threat.

"The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," is the way Secretary of 'War' Donald Rumsfeld marginalized the efforts of the U.N. inspection teams when they did not confirm the existence of banned weapons Iraq said it had already destroyed. Yet, today 'evidence of absence' condemns the Bush and Blair administrations because the reason they gave for abandoning the United Nation's process was that the threat was so immediate and their knowledge so absolute that attack had become the only option.

The gravity of this problem is monumental. Without the existence of a real threat, even using the flawed notion of "anticipatory self-defense," the attack on and invasion of another sovereign nation puts Bush in the same category as Hitler in 1938 or Saddam Hussein in 1991 -- the perpetrator of an unprovoked, aggressive war.

Lacking an actual conventional or unconventional attack on the United States by Iraq, lacking possession of deliverable weapons of mass destruction targeted at the U.S. or its allies, or direct tangible evidence of Iraqi involvement with other organizations or nations plotting to attack the United States, there is simply no case for a defensive war. Consequently, that leaves one to speculate -- did Bush ordered a war of aggression against Iraq? If so, that would be a crime.

Since World War Two, the standard for war crimes has been the trials at Nuremberg in 1945 prosecuted by the United States and its allies against the Third Reich. The first two counts of the Nuremberg trial indictments of the Nazis and German government after World War Two make this clear.

They are concisely summarized by Court TV's Casefiles web site.

Count one of the indictment was "Conspiracy to Wage Aggressive War." The Casefiles says: The "common plan or conspiracy" charge was designed to get around the problem of how to deal with crimes committed before the war. The defendants charged under Count One were accused of agreeing to commit crimes.

And count two was "Waging Aggressive War, or Crimes Against Peace." From Casefiles: This evidence was presented by the British prosecutors and was defined in the indictment as "the planning, preparation, initiation, and waging of wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances."

The conclusion one is forced to now draw from the facts that have been demonstrated, is that there is certainly reasonable doubt that there was a solid foundation for the attack on Iraq. A war crimes investigation is therefore necessary to ascertain whether or not the Bush administration conspired to ignore evidence that Hussein's weapons of mass destruction were indeed already destroyed or did not pose a threat. Furthermore, an investigation is required to judge whether or not the Bush administration premeditatedly planned to violate the U.N. charter (and thereby Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution) and wage a war of aggression against Iraq.
Put plainly -- because an imminent threat from Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction has clearly not been demonstrated by the discoveries, or lack of discoveries, resulting from the prosecution of the war, it is entirely reasonable to examine if Bush lied and deceived for the purpose of starting a war.

An analysis of the actual events and facts demonstrate the peril in which Bush finds himself.

Besides the fact that the fictitious news quips above are indeed just that -- fictions, there are three other circumstantial facts that expose the potential venality of Bush's unprovoked attack.

First, it is a matter of fact that in his hour of maximum peril -- even after he was personally targeted by the multiple cruise missiles that started the war -- Saddam Hussein did not use weapons of mass destruction to defend himself or his regime. What other conclusion can one draw? Either he did not have those weapons, could not access those weapons if he had them, or chose not to use them if he had them. In any case, this is prima facia evidence that Iraq was not an imminent threat to American troops inside Iraq, let alone to the continental United States.

Second, US actions inside Iraq demonstrate that the U.N. weapons inspection process was working just as it was intended.

Currently in occupation of the entire country, the U.S. is saying that it has over one thousand suspect weapons of mass destruction sites to investigate and that it may take many months, maybe two years, to complete the task. Now that the pre-war "cheat and retreat" accusation aimed at Iraq is gone, one wonders why, therefore, the occupation forces are having such a hard time finding the vast quantities of banned weapons Bush and Blair swore they knew Iraq possessed.

Yet, Bush could barely tolerate the five months that the United Nations inspection team headed by Dr. Blix was on the ground in Iraq. Moreover, in announcing that he was abandoning the proceedings of the United Nations Security Council and taking the course of war, Bush 'premeditatively' forced the Blix inspection effort to cease its work. The justification for war because the U.N. could not verify the "absence of evidence" now becomes an indictment of Bush. Without clear-cut evidence that Iraq had and was ready to use those weapons means that Bush ordered an attack contrary to the findings of impartial analysis. In other words, Bush ordered the ultimate international death sentence without independent verification that a crime had been committed.

Third, Bush made much of the "relevance" of the United Nations in regards to the enforcement of its Iraq resolutions. Through its orderly and legal process, the U.N. put into effect an investigation to verify Iraq's claim that it had complied with disarmament resolutions. That was the Blix headed UNMOVIC weapons inspections team. In his last report before the attack, Blix informed the Security Council that real disarmament of the Al Samoud missile was taking place (in spite of Iraq's contention that the missile's range was not in violation of U.N. requirements), and that no banned weapons had been discovered.

Nevertheless, Bush wantonly disregarded this legally constituted authority, under which the United States had agreed to abide through the UN Charter, and Article Six, Paragraph Two of the U.S. Constitution, and ordered American military personnel to attack Iraq. While Bush accepted the U.N. process with the resolution creating the UNMOVIC inspectors, he gave up in March 2003 when it appeared that he was not going to get the outcome he wanted, ie., a second resolution approving war. The rule of law has little value if Bush, or anyone else, can capricioulsy disregard the means to obtain the desired ends.

Bush acted as would the worst characters in an old cowboy movie: convinced of the alleged rustler's guilt and too impatient to wait for the sheriff to get all the facts, he and his gang strung-up the prisoner from the branch of the old cottonwood tree. Unfortunately for Bush, fans of old westerns know how the truth played out in most of those movies. In this case, even if a stockpile of banned weapons is someday discovered, Bush has acted as judge, jury and executioner in contravention of the 'Code of the West' and everything American tradition stands for.

In summary, simple logic and a recognition of the actual facts means that a war crimes investigation of Bush is obligatory based on these three conclusions:

One, Iraq did not use weapons of mass destruction, nor was there any proven threat or hostile action taken against the US by Iraq requiring a violent defensive response.

Two, as the ongoing U.N. inspections process was finding, there was not evidence of banned weapons at the time the attack was ordered, in other words, no evidence of a crime.

Third, Bush's order to start the war interrupted and obstructed a legal and peaceful process in violation of U.N. jurisdiction, a system accepted by the United States, and violated accepted reasons for war as described in the Nuremberg indictments.

The necessity for a war crimes investigation of Bush is critical to reminding Americans and the world, that the euphoria of US victory must not obscure how serious deception and deceit are to the future of freedom and global peace.
Dave Chandler lives in Arvada, Colorado.
He is publisher of the environmental and political web site: earthside.com

Comments to: earthside1@aol.com

Copyright 2003 All rights reserved by Dave Chandler 



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