Some Legal Opinion: Congress Doing War Crimes?

Saturday, September 16, 2006 at 07:05 AM

If I read this right, we may see some congresspersons going to the pokey....

Okay, lessee...

When considering legislation for military commissions, members of Congress should be careful not to open themselves to personal war crimes liability by denying the due process requirements incorporated in common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

What? Liability? Uh-oh!

Members of Congress are thus on notice that minimum due process guarantees under customary international law must not be denied when Congress attempts to articulate what forms of procedure a military commission should adopt. If members participate in a plan to do so or are complicit in the deprivation of minimum due process guarantees under customary international law incorporated by reference in common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions or any other rights or protections under common Article 3 (e.g., concerning the right to humane treatment even at the hands of CIA interrogators), they would be participating in the denial of rights, protections, and duties under Geneva law. Such denials are war crimes.

In other words, congresspersons could be hit for "aiding and abetting". Wait, they're already doing that, aren't they?

Small problem, oh, legal persons: Apparently you don't get the punch line to this joke.

See, the only way we're going to get Shrub, Chainsaw, Rummy and the members of congress into "the old bailey"....well, remember how World War Two worked?

Fact: The only way we put Japanese officals and German officials on trial was because they lost. The winners get to hold trials, the losers play Final Jeopardy.

And so far? There exists no "alternate reality Allied Powers", now, does there?

Even if we do manage to sweep Rethugs from power, it's highly doubtful...shy of a full-blown revolt...that trials for "war crimes" would ever take place. Even if we're lucky enough to get a Dem president, and a full Dem congress, no, that's very unlikely.

Oh, well, we can dream, can't we?