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Last week, I examined “Genocide” charges levied against Sudans’ President Bashir that also appeared to apply to the Bush Administration, including President Bush himself. Though because of the International legal definition of “genocide” as well as the charter of the International Criminal Court, George Bush is unlikely to ever be dragged in front of The Hague and charged with “Genocide” (specifically). But there can be no doubt whatsoever that many of the war crimes charges levied against others obviously apply to members of the Bush Administration today. (Since then, another war criminal has been brought to justice, former Bosnian leader Radovan Karazdic, likewise accused of Genocide, ordering the execution of thousands of Bosnian Muslims between 1992 and 1995.) Between Bashir executing Sudanese Muslims, Karadzic executing Bosnian Muslims, and George Bush declaring war on Iraq (and possibly Iran), it’s enough to make one wonder just who the real homicidal maniacs really are in this world?

Anyways…

Immediately following the end of World War II in 1945, captured Nazi war criminals were put on trial for war crimes by an International Military Tribunal comprised of the United States, France, the UK and the Soviet Union. This Tribunal later evolved into the “International Criminal Court” that we know today.

Following the surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945, top Nazi officials were arrested and put on trial for war crimes in a quickly constructed military court in Nuremberg, Germany, roughly 250 miles SSW of Berlin on August 8, 1945. The four charges were as follows:

  • Count One: Conspiracy to Wage Aggressive War
    Addresses crimes committed before the war began, showing a plan to commit crimes during the war.
  • Count Two: Waging Aggressive War, or “Crimes Against Peace”
    Including “the planning, preparation, initiation, and waging of wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances.”
  • Count Three: War Crimes
    These were the more “traditional” violations of the law of war including treatment of prisoners of war, slave labor, and use of outlawed weapons.
  • Count Four: Crimes Against Humanity
    This count involved the actions in concentration camps and other death rampages.

Over the next three weeks, I will examine each of the four changes and provide instances that support (or show otherwise) whether war crimes charges the United States charged German officers with in 1945 also apply to members of the Bush Administration today.

Charge #1: Conspiracy to Wage A War of Aggression: evidence of waging a “war of choice” vs “a war of necessity”. Evidence of a plan to commit crimes during the war.

One of the earliest excuses given by the Bush Administration for invading Iraq and overthrowing the regime of Saddam Hussein was, “everything changed after 9/11.” The argument was that America could no longer sit back and wait to be struck, then respond only after the fact. A doctrine of “preemption” was adopted, stating that the U.S. had the legal right to go out and confront “growing threats” to our security BEFORE they struck us rather than respond only after the fact. A case was built over the course of a year and a half (between the attacks of 9/11/2001 and the invasion of Iraq on 3/19/2003).

Why focus specifically on Iraq? Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991, the United States Air Force patrolled two “No Fly Zones” to protect Kuwait in the South and the Kurds in the North. During that time, the Iraqi government fired upon U.S. planes patrolling that air-space, violating the terms of their 1991 surrender, circumvented the “Oil-for-Food” Program as well as played frequent games of “cat & mouse” with UN weapons inspectors. The Bush Administration took all of this as evidence of a regime hostile to the United States that sought to do us harm.

As I detailed one year ago this month while outlining “the case against Scooter Libby“, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, eager to get in good with the newly elected American President with whom he agreed with in implicating Saddam Hussein in 9/11, had his newly appointed Director of Military Intelligence, Nicolo Pollari produce a report on the Iraqi President attempting to purchase raw uranium (“yellowcake”) from the government of Niger. The report was based upon third-hand rumors, shaky evidence, suspect sources, and in some cases, 20-year old intel. The report was simultaneously turned over to both the CIA and the British equivalent: MI-6 (source). The CIA “confirmed” the intel against British intelligence, neither realizing that Italian Intelligence was the source for both. Unable to find any other outside sources to confirm the Italian report, the CIA refused to sign off on it, pronouncing the claim “highly dubious” in the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate. Despite that (or perhaps because of it), President Bush instead chose to cite “British Intelligence” when declaring his infamous “thirteen words” during his January 2003 State of the Union address where he accused Saddam Hussein of seeking “uranium from Africa”… a claim the CIA had already struck from three earlier speeches given by President Bush, inserted by Bush speech-writers to bolster his case for war against Iraq.

If this were a court of law, the argument for the defense might be that “after 9/11, it was better to err on the side of caution… or in other words, assume the evidence to be true and act upon it now rather than do nothing only to find out too late that it in fact was. The problem in this regard is that the evidentiary bar is significantly raised when you are seeking to justify an unprovoked attack against another sovereign nation. But not only did the Bush Administration fail to “go the extra mile” to verify any evidence it claimed to have, but it went out of its way to lax the level of certainty, accept questionable evidence from even more questionable sources (“Curveball” and “Ahmed Chalabi”), and willfully ignore evidence that contradicted their predetermined conclusions.

I introduce the following facts into evidence:

In his 1999 autobiography, “A Charge to Keep”, Governor George W. Bush told his ghost-writer, Houston reporter Mickey Herskowitz:

“One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief. My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade… if I have that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.”

 
Of course, he does not actually mention invading “Iraq” specifically in this quote, but six months later, at the very beginning of his presidential campaign, he made his feelings about Saddam Hussein a bit more clear:
 

Bush was on Iraq/WMD warpath LONG before 9/11.

Evidence is mounting that well before September 11, 2001, George Bush already had designs on invading Iraq and “taking out” Saddam Hussein without any evidence of being an “imminent threat” to the United States.

Following the invasion of Iraq, several “memos” surfaced, detailing how the Bush Administration was willing to twist the facts and even fabricate evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq. The most famous of these was “The Downing Street Memo”, minutes of a meeting between President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair that stated:

“Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

A lesser known, yet even more incriminating document, often referred to as “The Bush/Blair Memo” or “The White House Memo” revealed that President Bush and PM Blair discussed painting an American U2 Spyplane in UN colors and flying it over Iraq, in hopes of luring Saddam Hussein into firing upon it and justifying an American-led invasion.

As former LA prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi wrote in his best selling book “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”, he points out the obvious… that President Bush was trying to create a pretext for war. After telling the American people (and The World for that matter) what a grave threat Saddam was:

“[Iraq has in its possession] over 25,000 liters of anthrax, materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent […] upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents, several mobile biological weapons labs.”

…why on Earth would he risk provoking Saddam into possibly using the very weapons he claimed he had, against the United States? Either he did not truly believe Saddam had the weapons, or he didn’t care. Either way, it is clear President Bush was actively seeking a conflict with Iraq, desperately trying to provoke Saddam into “making the first move” to justify the confrontation he so desperately wanted.

Before “9/11 changed everything”, President Bush’s National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and his Secretary of State Colin Powell were reassuring foreign correspondents, concerned that the younger Bush might try to pick up where his father left off, possibly waging war against Saddam Hussein in Iraq and destabilize the entire Middle East:

POWELL: “He [Saddam] has not developed any significant capability with respect towards weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. – February 2001″

RICE: “We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.” – July, 2001

The second part of Charge #1… evidence of an intent to commit crimes during the invasion… are manifold, though many from dubious sources. One recently discovered report, entitled “Strategic Policy Challenges for the 21st Century,” was prepared by the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy in April of 2001, which suggests Oil Industry Executives urged the Bush Administration to seek “military intervention” against Iraq on the grounds that Saddam Hussein might use the supply of oil as a weapon against the United States (the argument being that Saddam might withhold oil from the market, causing gas prices to skyrocket and hurt the U.S. economy.)

On the January 9, 2004 edition of CBS’s “60 Minutes”, investigative author Ron Suskind revealed a March, 2001 Pentagon document with map of Iraq entitled: “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts”.

We do not know if these documents were included in Vice President Cheney’s Secret “Energy Task Force” meetings with oil industry executives in early 2001 devising the Bush Administrations “Energy Policy” because President Bush has since sealed those documents, citing “Executive Privilege”.

Also in 2004, Bush’s former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill revealed in his book, “The Price of Loyalty”, that George Bush was “determined to invade Iraq from day one” upon entering office.
 
Only 8 of the 21 Nazi officers charged under the first count were actually found guilty of the crime of “waging a war of aggression”. One of those convicted under the first count was Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of Staff of the High Command of the Armed Forces under Hitler. He attended all conferences that discussed plans for war. Although he testified he was opposed to the invasion of the U.S.S.R., he ultimately helped plan the invasion. Evidence also showed Keitel was aware of the plans to rid Poland of Jewish people and issued orders to kill Communists.

Keitel was to Hitler what Karl Rove was to George Bush during the invasion of Iraq.
 
Hermann Goering was Hitler’s second in command. Goering’s most memorable quote was:

“[I]t’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.

Vice President Dick Cheney, George Bush’s second in command, said of Iraq war critics that inaction was tantamount to appeasement. See if these comments sound familiar:

“Whatever action is required, whenever action is necessary, we will defend the freedom and the security of the American people. … [Confronting the] “outlaw” [regime in Iraq is] “not a distraction from the war on terror, it is absolutely crucial to winning the war on terror,” Cheney said. “We will not permit a brutal dictator with ties to terrorists and a record of reckless aggression to dominate the Middle East and to threaten the United States of America.”

 
In conclusion, it appears that there is more than sufficient evidence to find George W. Bush and several of members of his administration, guilty of “launching a war of aggression” against Iraq, which is a war crime. On Count 1 of “launching a war of aggression” vs “a war of necessity”, you should find the defendant Guilty.

Next week, Count #2: “Crimes Against Peace”.

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