15 February 2010

War Criminals

Former vice-president Dick Cheney, to ABC's Jonathan Karl yesterday on "This Week":
I was a big supporter of waterboarding.
Let's be clear: United States law, British law, and international law - at the very least - define waterboarding as torture and punishable by death or life in prison. The former vice-president of the United States just admitted publicly and on international television that he is a war criminal.

Andrew Sullivan:
The question is therefore not if, but when, he is convicted as a war criminal - in his lifetime or posthumously.

In fact, the attorney general of the United States is legally obliged to prosecute someone who has openly admitted such a war crime or be in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the UN Convention on Torture. For Eric Holder to ignore this duty subjects him too to prosecution. If the US government fails to enforce the provision against torture, the UN or a foreign court can initiate an investigation and prosecution.

These are not my opinions and they are not hyperbole. They are legal facts. Either this country is governed by the rule of law or it isn't.
Every last Republican who bitched and moaned about the "rule of law" when President Clinton lied under oath about a blow job really ought to think twice before dismissing that argument here. If we fail to prosecute Cheney and anyone else in the Bush administration for these war crimes (including the former president, who, I would hazard a highly educated guess, was deeply involved in this), America and the world as we know it will cease to exist. Failure to prosecute these war criminals will serve as legal precedent, thus making it open season on prisoners of war, military or civilian, everywhere.

Sullivan is right. Eric Holder needs to step up to the plate and prosecute Cheney, et. al., and if he can't do it, then he needs to step down and let someone in there who can.

Say it with me. Bush/Cheney: War criminals.