Friday, August 08, 2008

Col. Joe Abodeely calls for Bush War Crimes Trial.

Joe Abodeely is a a former JAG lawyer, guest on the Veterans for Peace "About Face" show on KPHX.
Yannone: Joe Abodeely joins ranks with Vincent Bugliosi

Colonel Joe Abodeely told his worldwide radio audience on Saturday exactly how and why he expects George W. Bush to be prosecuted for the war crimes he committed as president of the United States. Drawing on his considerable expertise in criminal law and his accomplished military career, Colonel Joe helped those of us who want the Bush crime family held accountable to see the distinct possibility on the horizon.
It's stunning to listen to the listen to the list of precisely defined war crimes outlined in the audio clip. Here's why and how Abodeely thinks Bush should be prosecuted.

George W. Bush wanted to be a “war President”, and he liked playing “Commander in Chief”, so he must accept the responsibility. Relating to war crimes prosecutions is the concept of “command responsibility.” “Command responsibility” is also called the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard. It is the doctrine of hierarchical accountability in cases of war crimes. The doctrine of “command responsibility” was established by the Hague Conventions IV (1907) and X (1907) and applied for the first time by the German Supreme Court in Leipzig after World War I, in the trial of Emil Muller.

The "Yamashita standard" is based upon the precedent set by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita who was prosecuted, in a still controversial trial, for atrocities committed by troops under his command in the Philippines. Yamashita was charged with "unlawfully disregarding and failing to discharge his duty as a commander to control the acts of members of his command by permitting them to commit war crimes." That is what Bush and his commanders did.

The "Medina standard" is based upon the prosecution of U.S. Army Captain Ernest Medina in connection with the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War. Medina was the company commander of Lieutenant William “Rusty” Calley. The principle is that a commanding officer, being aware of a human rights violation or a war crime, will be held criminally liable when he does not take action. (Medina was, however, acquitted of all charges). Bush, his administration, and generals could be prosecuted under the doctrine of hierarchical accountability. Bush had “command responsibility” for the war crimes.

Vincent Bugliosi, famed prosecutor of Charles Manson and author of #1 New York Times bestseller Helter Skelter, writes in his new book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, that Bush should be tried for murder in American courts. He writes that the best venue would be the federal court in the District of Columbia. He thinks the U.S. Attorney should be the prosecutor. I agree, but I understand politics. The Attorney General of the United States is appointed by the President, so you see why I was talking about Obama and McCain earlier. Bugliosi believes that state prosecutors can try Bush for murder of the soldiers from each state. I don’t think most state prosecutors in America have the intellectual acuity or courage to prosecute Bush. There is too much politics involved. I can just see some mediocre state’s attorney trying to make a name for himself, starting the case, screwing it up, and setting a bad precedent for others down the road. I do think Bush must be prosecuted by a guy like Bugliosi, but very carefully.

Under the Geneva Conventions, signatory states have a duty to prosecute or extradite persons alleged to have committed violations of the law of war, regardless of whether the state was involved in the underlying conflict. The law of war recognizes prosecution by third-party countries under the principle of universal jurisdiction; therefore, a country other than the U.S. or Iraq can prosecute Bush for war crimes. A special court can be convened to prosecute or some other coalition of nations can take action against the United States and Britain for actions in Operation Iraqi Freedom for violations of international law. Russia and China are not our friends, and we have alienated “old Europe” to such an extent that rogue “political and military leaders”, including those from the U.S., can be brought before other countries’ war crimes courts. Consider the Rwanda and Yugoslavia courts. The international political climate has changed.

The International Criminal Court gives the Court jurisdiction over the crime of genocide; crimes against humanity; war crimes; and the “crime of aggression”, which has yet to be defined. The U.N. Security Council can refer a matter to the ICC if the U.S. courts fail to take action. The massive bombardment (remember Shock and Awe?) of non-military targets, the indiscriminate killing of hundreds or thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens, torture, and the occupation are war crimes requiring G.W. Bush’s accountability.

The United States is not a State which is a Party subject to the jurisdiction of the Court, but the ICC can try an American national for a war crime without the consent of the American Government where a crime committed by an American national was committed in a State other than the United States and that other State is either a State Party of the ICC Statute or has agreed on an ad hoc basis to the exercise of jurisdiction by the ICC in that particular case. An independent Iraq could consent to ICC jurisdiction to prosecute Bush and his accomplices for war crimes and genocide.

Change demands accountability by Bush for his actions. If McCain wins, it’s more of the same. If Obama wins, for there to be true change, he and the Democrat Congress are going to have to do more than just redistribute wealth. They must let the Courts and the U.N. Security Council do what they must. They must not let these criminals go free.

Joe is not some usual suspect from Huffpo or DU; here's what he says about himself:

You should also know that I am a registered Republican and have been since 1968; I voted for George W. Bush the first time; I am a fiscal conservative and a social moderate; I own guns and am a member of the NRA; I was a combat infantry unit commander during Tet 1968 in Viet Nam; I retired from the Army Reserve as a JAG officer with the rank of colonel with my last assignment at the Pentagon; and I have been a criminal law attorney since 1971 (15 years as a state prosecuting attorney). [Emphasis Added] I am not a left-wing, commie-pinko, ultra-liberal, anti-military, un-American nutcase. I love this country, and that is why I must declare that George W. Bush and his co-conspirators must be held accountable for their crimes in either a U.S. tribunal or an international tribunal or both.

I'm passing this on to all the contacts I have; ye who stumble upon this, please do likewise.

UPDATE: From Think Progress and Seymore Hirch - Yet MORE reasons!

Speaking at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, Seymour Hersh — a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New Yorker — revealed that Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran.

In Hersh’s most recent article, he reports that this meeting occurred in the wake of the overblown incident in the Strait of Hormuz, when a U.S. carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats. The “meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. ‘The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,’” according to one of Hersh’s sources.

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