Indict Bush, Cheney, and Condoleezza, Too
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“The Bush Gang, says Prof. Boyle, should answer for the crime of rendition.”
President Obama doesn’t want George Bush and his war criminals to face the bar of justice. Rather, by continuing the Bush policies of rendition, of military tribunals, of detention without trial, and all the other police state methods that have made a mockery of U.S. pretensions to decency, Obama has elevated Bush’s crimes to bipartisan policy.
The United States Congress doesn’t want any Americans to face international justice, no matter how many crimes they commit against the planetary public. Back in 2002, just as the International Criminal Court was being formed in the Dutch city of The Hague, the U.S. Congress passed a law that would authorize Washington to send troops into Holland to free Americans who might be held for war crimes. It’s been derisively dubbed the “Invasion of the Hague Act,” but it’s no joke. The law shows how resistant U.S. politicians are to the very idea of international law – when it is applied to the United States.
The U.S. refuses to sign the treaty that would bring it under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, which handles war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. This has created the farce in which the United States is by far the loudest voice charging other nations and individuals with high crimes against international law, but balks at leaving itself open to prosecution. From its superpower perch of impunity, the U.S. arrogantly orders the Court to go after America's designated villains – all of whom have turned out to be Africans – but, like a mother vulture, spreads her protective wings over the Israelis that committed war crimes against Gaza, only a year ago.
“President Obama could wind up under international prosecution.”
One of the Davids in the struggle to make Goliath accountable to international law, is Francis Boyle, professor at Illinois College of Law, who has filed a complaint with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to bring a select group of outlaws to justice. The Rogue's Gallery is as follows: George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales. The Bush Gang, says Prof. Boyle, should answer for the crime of rendition – the kidnapping and disappearance of about one hundred human beings. Boyle maintains these acts of rendition constitute crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court, and further, that these individuals can be prosecuted despite the fact that the United States is not a party to the Rome Statue.
Prof. Boyle, a recognized expert on international law, maintains that the criminal court's jurisdiction is activated when U.S. crimes are committed within the territory of other nations that have signed the Statute. The U.S. has practiced renditions in a number of such countries, in Europe and elsewhere. And Boyle says, if President Obama does not, himself, cease committing crimes begun by the Bush administration, he too could wind up under international prosecution for “extraordinary rendition.” And that would be extraordinary, indeed.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected]