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Bush Article of Impeachment XX


Article XX
IMPRISONING CHILDREN

In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed", has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, authorized or permitted the arrest and detention of at least 2500 children under the age of 18 as "enemy combatants" in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relating to the treatment of "protected persons" and the Optional Protocol to the Geneva Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, signed by the US in 2002 . To wit:

In May 2008, the US government reported to the United Nations that it has been holding upwards of 2,500 children under the age of 18 as "enemy combatants" at detention centers in Iraq, Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay (where there was a special center, Camp Iguana, established just for holding children). The length of these detentions has frequently exceeded a year, and in some cases has stretched to five years. Some of these detainees have reached adulthood in detention and are now not being reported as child detainees because they are no longer children.

In addition to detaining children as "enemy combatants," it has been widely reported in media reports that the US military in Iraq has, based upon Pentagon rules of engagement, been treating boys as young as 14 years of age as "potential combatants," subject to arrest and even to being killed. In Fallujah, in the days ahead of the November 2004 all-out assault, Marines ringing the city were reported to be turning back into the city men and boys "of combat age" who were trying to flee the impending scene of battle -- an act which in itself is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, which require combatants to permit anyone, combatants as well as civilians, to surrender, and to leave the scene of battle.

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which the United States has been a signatory since 1949, children under the age of 15 captured in conflicts, even if they have been fighting, are to be considered victims, not prisoners. In 2002, the United States signed the Optional Protocol to the Geneva Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of children in Armed Conflict, which raised this age for this category of "protected person" to under 18.

The continued detention of such children, some as young as 10, by the US military is a violation of both convention and protocol, and as such constitutes a war crime for which the president, as commander in chief, bears full responsibility.

In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and Commander in Chief, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

Documentation:

Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Adopted on 12 August 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War, held in Geneva, from 21 April to 12 August, 1949, entry into force 21 October 1950.

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution, A/RES/54/263 of 25 May 2000, entered into force on 12 February 2002.

Severin Carrell, The Independent, May 28, 2006, The children of Guantanamo Bay: The 'IoS' reveals today that more than 60 of the detainees of the US camp were under 18 at the time of their capture, some as young as 14.

Amnesty International, November 20, 2006, Guant√°namo: pain and distress for thousands of children.

Human Rights Watch, April 24, 2003, U.S.: Guantanamo Kids at Risk.

The Guardian, April 23, 2003, US detains children at Guantanamo Bay

Human Rights Watch, January 29, 2004, U.S.: Despite Releases, Children Still Held at Guantanamo: Release of Three Children a Welcome Step, But Others Still Held.

Clive Stafford Smith, June 15, 2005, The Kids of Guantanamo Bay.

William Glaberson, New York Times, June 3, 2007, A Legal Debate in Guant√°namo on Boy Fighters.

Associated Press, June 7, 2008, "UN decries war crimes charges against Gitmo minors."

Michelle Shephard, Toronto Star, June 7, 2008, UN committee criticizes U.S. over trials TheStar.com - World - UN committee criticizes U.S. over trials: Prosecution and detention of child soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan 'should be prevented,' report says.

Commentary:

Local Official Caught Imprisoning Children, by David Swanson.

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