Monday, February 26, 2007

Bush's Impeachable Offenses, Part 4 - War Crimes

The following is a chronological account of the actions taken by the U.S. Military under the leadership of George W. Bush as Commander-in-Chief that lead to multiple violations of the Geneva convention and U.S. Military Code.


George W. Bush has conspired to commit the torture of prisoners in violation of the "Federal Torture Act" Title 18 United States Code, Section 113C, the U.N. Torture convention and the Geneva Convention, which under Article VI of the Constitution are part of the "supreme Law of the Land;"

George W. Bush has conspired to deny due process to prisoners of war, indiscriminantly bomb cities, transfer prisoners of war from an occupied territory, and planned, prepared, initiated and waged of a war of aggression in violation of U.S. Military Code section 2441, Geneva convention (I Art 3, II Art 18, Art 19, III Art 13, Art 17, Art 33, Art 34, Art 49, IV Art 3), and the 1945 Nuremberg Principles articles 6(a) and (b);

General Geneva Violations:

The U.S. Military Code specifies that it is a crime to violate the Geneva convention:
"Whoever, ... commits a war crime, ... shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, ... and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death. ... Definition: As used in this section the term 'war crime' means ... a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949 [or acts] prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907 ... " (Section 2441: U.S. Military Code on War Crimes)

1945 Nuremberg Principles:
After WWII, the U.S. led the formation of the ‘Nuremberg Principles,’ which form the United Nations Charter. Every country in the world is bound by that Charter.
Defines as a crime: "Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;"(Nuremberg Principles, 1950)
  1. January 25, 2002
    White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales writes a memo urging President George Bush to declare the war in Afghanistan exempt from the Geneva convention. In the memo, the White House lawyer references a 1996 law passed by Congress, known as the War Crimes Act, that law banned any Americans from committing war crimes - defined in part as "grave breaches" of the Geneva convention. The memo warns that the law applies to "U.S. officials" and that punishments for violators "include the death penalty." [PDF of Gonzales memo] (Newsweek, May 17, 2004)

  2. Subsequent to January 25, 2002
    Secretary Powell writes a memo arguing that Alberto Gonzales’ attempt to declare the war in Afghanistan exempt from the Geneva convention undermines more than a century of U.S. policy and practice.
    "It will reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practice in supporting the Geneva conventions and undermine the protections of the law of war for our troops, both in this specific conflict and in general. ... It may provoke some individual foreign prosecutors to investigate and prosecute our officials and troops. ... We will be challenged in international fora (UN Commission on Human Rights; World Court; etc.)." (Powell memo)

  3. March 19, 2003
    Bush declares pre-emptive war in Iraq which constitutes a "grave breach" of the Geneva convention as Iraq posed no "imminent threat" to the U.S.
    "Law enforcement officials shall not use firearms against persons except in self-defence or defence of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury, to prevent the perpetration of a particularly serious crime involving grave threat to life, to arrest a person presenting such a danger and resisting their authority, or to prevent his or her escape, and only when less extreme means are insufficient to achieve these objectives. In any event, intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life." (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Fall 1990)

Geneva Convention:
"Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission ... causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity."

"No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."

"Prisoners of war shall enjoy complete latitude in the exercise of their religious duties, including attendance at the service of their faith, on condition that they comply with the disciplinary routine prescribed by the military authorities."

"The following acts are and shall remain prohibited ... cruel treatment and torture; ... Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; "

"Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory ... are prohibited, regardless of their motive."
(Geneva Convention, 1949)
  1. October 11 , 2002
    Department of Defense writes a memo which authorizes interrogation tactics for use at Guantanamo including using dogs to induce stress, stripping and shaving prisoners, and stress positions. Also included is a memo with an analysis of how the interrogators at Guantanamo (GTMO) became more willing to conduct extreme interrogation techniques.
    "The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has not adopted specific guidelines regarding interrogation techniques for detainee operations at GTMO."
    "Compounding this problem is the fact that there is no established clear policy for interrogation limits and operations at GTMO, and many interrogators have felt in the past that they could not do anything that could be considered 'controversial.'" Diane Beaver, LTC, USA, Staff Judge Advocate

    Department of Defense approved: "The use of stress positions ... Use of the isolation facility for up to 30 days ... Extensions beyond the initial 30 days must be approved ... Depravation of light and auditory stimuli ... The detainee may also have a hood placed over his head during transportation and questioning. ... The use of 20 hour interrogations. ... Removal of all comfort items (including religious items) ... Removal of clothing. ... Forced grooming (shaving of facial hair etc.) ... Using detainees individual phobias (such as fear of dogs) to induce stress. ... The use of scenarios designed to convince the detainee that death or severely painful consequences are imminent for him and/or his family. ... Exposure to cold weather or water. ... Use of a wet towel and dripping water to induce the misperception of suffocation." (Torture memos)

  2. October 25, 2002
    Memo written by a U.S. Army General in response to the torture memo put out by the Department of Defense.
    "I am particularly troubled by the use of implied expressed threats of death of the detainee or his family." James T. Hill, General, U.S. Army Commander (Torture memos)
(Click here to read the rest...)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bush Leaked on our CIA Agents...

Bush illegally leaked 'cherry picked' information from a classified National Intelligence Estimate. Bush subsequently feigned ignorance of his involvement, keeping the public and the investigators from seeking accountability.

George W. Bush authorized the leaking of classified national secrets in violation of executive order 13292 to further a political agenda, exposing an unknown number of covert U.S. intelligence agents to potential harm and retribution while simultaneously refusing to investigate the matter;

March 25, 2003
President Bush signs an executive order amending (among other things) the legal method for declassifying information. After the administration released classified information, they claimed the release was legal because it had already been disclosed by the media. Ironically, the following quote from the president's own executive order eliminates this defense:

"Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information."

The following quotes from the executive order reveal that the process for declassifying information requires a procedure. Contrary to some people's speculation, a president can not simply declassify information via announcement to the media. One requirement is that they inform the head of the related agency (in this case, the CIA) of the planned disclosure:
"the following [declassification instructions] shall appear on the face of each classified document ... the date or event for declassification, ... the date that is 10 years from the date of original classification, ... [or] the date that is up to 25 years from the date of original classification ..."

"Prior to public release, all declassified records shall be appropriately marked to reflect their declassification"

"In some exceptional cases, however, the need to protect such information may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure of the information ... When such questions arise, they shall be referred to the agency head or the senior agency official. That official will determine, as an exercise of discretion, whether the public interest in disclosure outweighs the damage to the national security that might reasonably be expected from disclosure." (F.A.S.)

Prior to July 6, 2003
President George W. Bush authorizes Lewis Libby (a former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney) to leak information from a classified intelligence report to a New York Times reporter, as revealed in Libby's sworn testimony to a federal grand jury in a 39-page Fitzgerald filing on April 5, 2006.

"Vice President advised defendant that the President specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the NIE." (Fitzgerald filing)


Thursday, February 01, 2007