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Thread: Spain may open torture probe of six Bush officials

  1. #61
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    Re: Spain may open torture probe of six Bush officials

    I think what's most telling about these folks determined to press for charges against the former administration is that they've waited till now to start doing anything more than yapping...

    Democrats in Congress could have held a 'Truth Committee' any time during the past few years. They could have pushed for impeachment, if they saw fit.

    But they didn't.

    If any foreign court felt it was warranted to prosecute U.S. government officials for their actions, they could and should have done so before January 20, 2009. They could have formed a 'coalition of the willing' and demanded that George Bush leave office... or else.

    But they didn't.

    It strikes me as more than a bit cowardly to wait until your opponent is out of office before pursuing investigations and witch hunts. I suppose if they believe it's that important, they might begin by trying Ronald Reagan posthumously for crimes against humanity. That is, after all, what this is all about... politics.


  2. #62
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    Re: Spain may open torture probe of six Bush officials

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Guess there was a choice after all.
    No there was not.

    The accusers brought it in front of the judge who then agreed to forward it to the justice department for investigation and merit. That is "they got no choice". Under the law the judge had no reason not to forward it, but it is still up to the justice department to peruse the case if it has merit. In this case they choose not to.
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    Re: Spain may open torture probe of six Bush officials

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    How is "universal jurisdiction" not simply a form of imperialism?

    Granted, there are some things which by custom are triable in the courts of any nation -- such as piracy -- but those are pretty much all things which happen outside the jurisdiction of any state.

    Claiming for your own country's courts the ability to try anyone, anywhere, for "crimes" of your choosing committed nowhere near your own jurisdiction but within the jurisdiction of another state . . . well, that's just "legal" conquest.

    (Cue all the usual suspects screeching about "hypocrisy" here.)
    Universal jurisdiction has been used by many nations including the US. It does have some merit in certain situations like piracy, genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    What these men tried to do was to use the "war crimes" principle to go after the Bush administration people. They failed.. for now. I would wager that if they could get some names of the men who carried out the torture it self, then they might try again.

    As for Universal jurisdiction being a form of "imperialism via the law". It is some what, especially when countries use the principle in situations outside those mentioned. The classic misuse is Eichmann trial. Israel kidnapped him from another country, put him on trial and executed him. While I dont disagree with the execution part, I do disagree with the kidnapping and trial. Israel was not even around when the crimes were committed so how can they put someone on trial for said crimes? But there have been other misuses by countries over time, including France and the US.
    PeteEU

  4. #64
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    Re: Spain may open torture probe of six Bush officials

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    No there was not.

    The accusers brought it in front of the judge who then agreed to forward it to the justice department for investigation and merit. That is "they got no choice". Under the law the judge had no reason not to forward it, but it is still up to the justice department to peruse the case if it has merit. In this case they choose not to.
    My reference to the Belgium example was simply noting that Universal Jurisdiction is always significantly limited by political considerations. While the judge may have been legally required to pass it along, the fact that the justice department was going to sink this was a foregone conclusion.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

  5. #65
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    Re: Spain may open torture probe of six Bush officials

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Universal jurisdiction has been used by many nations including the US. It does have some merit in certain situations like piracy, genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
    Yup. I said that.

    What these men tried to do was to use the "war crimes" principle to go after the Bush administration people. They failed.. for now. I would wager that if they could get some names of the men who carried out the torture it self, then they might try again.

    As for Universal jurisdiction being a form of "imperialism via the law". It is some what, especially when countries use the principle in situations outside those mentioned. The classic misuse is Eichmann trial. Israel kidnapped him from another country, put him on trial and executed him. While I dont disagree with the execution part, I do disagree with the kidnapping and trial. Israel was not even around when the crimes were committed so how can they put someone on trial for said crimes? But there have been other misuses by countries over time, including France and the US.
    Then we generally agree. How about that?
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

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