21 May 2008

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

As Chris Floyd explains today, American attorney and author Vincent Bugliosi 'calls for George W. Bush to be tried for murder – and, once convicted, to be shown the same kind of "mercy" he bestowed when signing 152 death warrants as governor of Texas.'

Some questions:
Is Bush a threat to U.S. citizens, interests, or national security?
Has Bush been guilty of aiding and abetting international criminal activities?
Is Bush guilty of murder, the murder of 1 million Iraqi civilians, as the author of the 'supreme crime'?
Is Bush a high-profile suspect whose capture is deemed impossible or too great a risk?
Will the US harbour Bush and refuse to extradite him if requested?

For me, the answer to the above questions is YES.

Now I'm with Chris in that "I don't believe in the barbarity of the death penalty either". But if we are to take the neo-con arguments look what we get:

Eben Kaplan, Associate Editor of of CFR.org states: "Targeted killings are used by governments to eliminate individuals they view as a threat. Generally speaking, a nation’s intelligence, security, or military forces identify the individual in question and carry out an operation intended to kill him or her. Though questionable, the practice has been used by defense and intelligence operations by governments around the world and has been viewed with increased legitimacy since the start of the so-called war on terror. Gary Solis, visiting professor of law at West Point, says “targeted killings are no longer novel.”
Typically, targeted killings focus on high-profile suspects whose capture is deemed impossible or too great a risk."

Olivia Albrecht of Fox News, while talking about the The Terrorist Elimination Act, states: "why must we wait until our citizens are attacked on our soil to dispose of imminently dangerous terrorists? ...The legislation would lift the ban on the assassination of terrorist leaders who pose a direct threat to national security, yet who have not committed a direct act of terrorism against the U.S...We must consider discriminating, preemptive, and covert intervention strategies. If we held a serious national debate on the question of assassinations instead of dismissing their use out of hand, many of the innocent lives lost in less discriminate military strikes might be saved.
We all might be a lot safer, too"

Alan Dershowitz Harvard law professor says: "targeted assassination should only be used as a last recourse, when there is no opportunity to arrest or apprehend a murderer, when a terrorist leader is involved in planning or approving on-going murderous activities, and when the assassination can be done without undue risk to innocent bystanders"

Prof. Daniel Statman, moral philosopher at the University of Haifa in Israel states "The moral legitimacy of targeted killing becomes even clearer when compared to the alternative means of fighting terror—that is, the massive invasion of the community that shelters and supports the terrorists in an attempt to catch or kill the terrorists and destroy their infrastructure….Hence, targeted killing is the preferable method not only because, on a utilitarian calculation, it saves lives but also because it is more commensurate with a fundamental condition of justified self defense, namely that those killed are responsible for the threat posed."
Quoted p.56

MAJ Matthew J. Machon, U.S. Army, of the School of Advanced Military Studies, United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas states: "The United States, throughout its history, has frequently resorted to the use of military force beyond the realm of international armed conflict whenever “another nation has failed to discharge its international responsibilities in protecting U.S. citizens from acts of violence originating in or launched from its sovereign territory, or has been culpable in aiding and abetting international criminal activities. Thus, historical precedent exists for the use of military force ... to kill or capture individuals whose actions constitute a direct, credible, and ongoing threat to U.S. citizens, interests, or national security."

According to Fawaz Gerges, a Mideast scholar at Sarah Lawrence College "Now the new thinking in Washington is that the United States under certain conditions and in certain situations should be able to empower the CIA to assassinate terrorists or certain people who represent a threat to the United States"

Robert Turner of the University of Virginia School of Law writes: “Intentionally killing a murderer ... when necessary to prevent the slaughter of additional innocents is not assassination.”

According to Louis Rene Beres, Professor of International Law, Department of Political Science, Purdue University, Indiana: "our world legal order lacks an international criminal court with jurisdiction over individuals. Only the courts of individual countries can provide the judicial context for trials of terrorists. It follows that where nations harbor such criminals and refuse to honor extradition requests, the only decent remedies for justice available to victim societies may lie in unilateral enforcement action. Here, extra-judicial execution may be essential to justice."

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