By Dave Lindorff
Most Americans, their minds focused at the moment on the tragic slaughter of 20 young children aged 5-10, along with five teachers and a school principal in Connecticut by a heavily-armed psychotic 21-year-old, are blissfully unaware that their last president, George W. Bush, along with five key members of his administration, were convicted in absentia of war crimes earlier this month at a tribunal in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
They are unaware because the US corporate media have ignored the story, just as that same corporate media have failed to note that the crimes of which Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and five White House lawyers, were convicted all could apply equally well to current President Barack Obama and his administration.
Bush, Cheney, White House counsel (and later Attorney General) Alberto Gonzalez and others were found guilty earlier this month of war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to the executive orders that launched the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as of authorizing and failing to punish torture and other war crimes by US forces, including the military and the CIA.
But as international law expert Francis Boyle, a professor of law at the University of Illinois, notes, under the Geneva Convention, failing to take action to prosecute those guilty of war crimes such as the “Crime against Peace” (invading a country that does not pose an imminent threat to the attacker), and torture, are war crimes in and of themselves.
Speaking last week at a Summit Conference on Human Rights held at the University of the Sacred Heart in the US island colony of Puerto Rico, Boyle said US authorities, including President Obama, are engaged in an “ongoing criminal conspiracy under international law” both to cover up and protect criminals like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, and to continue the commission of war crimes by the US government.
Support for both the Malaysian Tribunal’s judgement against Bush, Cheney et al, and for Boyle’s charges against Obama and his administration, comes, interestingly, from President Bush’s own White House counsel Gonzalez. As I noted in my book The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin’s Press, 2006), about Bush’s and Cheney’s war crimes and impeachable offenses, Gonzalez, writing in a Jan. 25, 2002 memo in support of torture of captured terrorist suspects, warned President Bush that “it is difficult to predict the motives of prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges based upon” the Geneva Conventions and the War Crimes Act. He went on to caution that in the event that the president were some day so prosecuted and convicted of war crimes, the potential penalty could “include the death penalty.”...
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1477