Larry Kerschner Writes


War Criminal

Editor, The Chronicle,

         United State's President George W. Bush should be tried as a war criminal along with Saddam Hussein for the same crime of invading another country that was no threat.  Saddam invaded Kuwait and George Bush invaded Iraq .  This is the opinion of Benjamin Ferenccz, who secured the conviction of 22 Nazi officers at Nuremberg after the Second World War.  The trials at Nuremberg established that the supreme international crime is an aggressive war against another country that is not an immediate threat.

       Bush is arguably also a capital-crime felon under U.S. criminal law.  On February 7, 2002, Bush signed a memorandum authorizing torture in contravention of both the Geneva Accords and 18 U.S. Code 2441.   The War Crimes Act, which the Republican Congress passed, specifically incorporates the Geneva provisions against torture into Federal law.  

     While Bush likes to mouth the law and order platitudes he clearly believes he is above the law.  He likes to believe that somehow since he is designated the Commander in Chief of the Army and the Navy he has been granted the power to blatantly disregard any portions of the Bill of Rights that he finds problematic.  To show his disdain for law, Bush on May 6, 2002 withdrew the U.S. signature from the agreement supporting the International Criminal Court.  He then had Congress pass a law officially prohibiting cooperation with the ICC going so far as including a provision which would authorize the President to invade the Netherlands to free any U.S. personnel who might be being tried in The Hague .

       The Supreme Court on June 29, 2006 showed that the emperor had no clothes after all.  In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld the highest court in the land rejected the kingly powers claimed by Bush.  Unitary executive power used to justify torture, indefinite detention without judicial process, and warrantless eavesdropping was found to be without foundation in United States law.  The Supreme Court declared once again that we are a nation of laws and not a nation at the whim of any current leaders.  Bush must have finally seen the risk to himself as he is now pressuring Congress to pass a law which would retroactively give him immunity from the consequences of his decisions.

       In another court decision Justice Anna Diggs Taylor of the U.S. District Court in Michigan ruled that the government warrantless eavesdropping approved by Bush was a violation of the First and Fourth Amendments and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  In her ruling she noted that the framers of the Constitution never intended the President to have totally unfettered power as they developed checks and balances between the branches.  She further noted, I'm sure to the President's chagrin, that there are no hereditary Kings in America and there is no power of law in this country that does not derive from the Constitution.  Will America be ruled by fear, whim and propaganda or will we be ruled by law?  Maybe the next election will tell.

 

Larry Kerschner POB 397 Pe Ell WA 98572  (W) 360-291-3232