Under the Nuremberg standard, Bush is definitely a war criminal. The U.S. Supreme Court also exposed Bush to war crimes charges under both the U.S. War Crimes Act of 1996 and the Geneva Conventions when the Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld against the Bush administration’s military tribunals and inhumane treatment of detainees.President Bush and his attorney general agree that under existing laws and treaties Bush is a war criminal together with many members of his government. To make his war crimes legal after the fact, Bush has instructed the Justice (sic) Department to draft changes to the War Crimes Act and to U.S. treaty obligations under the Geneva Conventions.One of Bush’s changes would deny protection of the Geneva Conventions to anyone in any American court.Bush’s other change would protect from prosecution any U.S. government official or military personnel guilty of violating Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Article 3 prohibits “at any time and in any place whatsoever outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment.” As civil libertarian Nat Hentoff observes, this change would also undo Sen. John McCain’s amendment against torture.Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, says that Bush’s changes “immunize past crimes.”Under the U.S. Constitution and U.S. legal tradition, retroactive law is impermissible. What do Americans think of their president’s attempts to immunize himself, his government, CIA operatives, military personnel, and civilian contractors from war crimes?
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