Bush Aims to Kill War Crimes Act
Bush Aims to Kill War Crimes Act:
As David Cole of the Georgetown University Law Center pointed out in the August 10 issue of The New York Review of Books, the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v. Rusmfeld 'suggests that President Bush has already committed a war crime, simply by establishing the [Guantanamo] military tribunals and subjecting detainees to them' because 'the Court found that the tribunals violate Common Article 3--and under the War Crimes Act, any violation of Common Article 3 is a war crime.' A similar argument would indicate that top US officials have also committed war crimes by justifying interrogation methods that, according to the testimony of US military lawyers, also violate Common Article 3.
Lo and behold, the legislation the Administration has circulated on Capitol Hill would decriminalize such acts retroactively. Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, told the Associated Press on August 10, 'I think what this bill can do is in effect immunize past crimes. That's why it's so dangerous.' Human rights attorney Scott Horton told Democracy Now! on August 16 that one of the purposes of the proposed legislation is 'to grant immunity or impunity to certain individuals. And these are mostly decision-makers within the government.'