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Saturday, March 29, 2014

It's NOT Too Late to Try Bush, Cheney and Obama for War Crimes

We Can Still Prosecute …

Many argue that the statute of limitations on Bush and Cheney’s crimes of lying us into the Iraq war and torture have all run … so it is too late to prosecute them.

However, the United States War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal statute set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 2441, makes it a federal crime for any U.S. national, whether military or civilian, to violate the Geneva Convention by engaging in murder, torture, or inhuman treatment.

The statute applies not only to those who carry out the acts, but also to those who ORDER IT, know about it, or fail to take steps to stop it. The statute applies to everyone, no matter how high and mighty.

18 U.S.C. § 2441 has no statute of limitations, which means that a war crimes complaint can be filed at any time.

The penalty may be life imprisonment or — if a single prisoner dies due to torture — death. Given that there are numerous, documented cases of prisoners being tortured to death by U.S. soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan, that means that the death penalty would be appropriate for anyone found guilty of carrying out, ordering, or sanctioning such conduct.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 limited the applicability of the War Crimes Act, but still made the following unlawful:  torture, cruel or inhumane treatment, murder, mutilation or maiming, intentionally causing serious bodily harm, rape, sexual assault or abuse.

War Crimes By the Bush Administration

Here’s an overview of war crimes by the Bush administration:
  • The use of depleted uranium, which can cause cancer and birth defects for decades (see this, this, this, this, this and this)
We’ll go into more detail on torture below.

Yes, It Was Torture

Yes, Waterboarding IS Torture
  • Everyone claiming waterboarding is not torture has changed their tune as soon as they were exposed to even a small dose of it themselves. See this, this and this
Not Just Waterboarding
Children, Too
People Died While Being Tortured

Spiegel reported in 2009:

At least two men died during imprisonment. One of them, a 22-year-old taxi driver named Dilawar, was suspended by his hands from the ceiling for four days, during which US military personnel repeatedly beat his legs. Dilawar died on Dec. 10, 2002. In the autopsy report, a military doctor wrote that the tissue on his legs had basically been “pulpified.” As it happens, his interrogators had already known — and later testified — that there was no evidence against Dilawar…
And see this.

Should We Prosecute?

But should we prosecute?  Yes:
U.S. Officials Launched a Systematic Program of Torture Using Specialized Techniques Which Produce False Confessions … to Justify the Iraq War

Let’s dig in a little deeper on the question of torture …

Not only did Bush, Cheney and other top government officials lie about us into the Iraq war by making a false linkage between Iraq and 9/11, but they carried out a systematic program of torture in order to intentionally create false evidence of that allegation.

Indeed, the entire purpose behind the U.S. torture program was to obtain false confessions.

Senator Levin, in commenting on a Senate Armed Services Committee report on torture in 2009, dropped the following bombshell:
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