Posted on March 29, 2014
by WashingtonsBlog


We Can Still Prosecute …

Many argue that the statute of limitations on Bush and Cheney’s crimes of lying us into the Iraq war and torture have all run … so it is too late to prosecute them.

However, the United States War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal statute set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 2441, makes it a federal crime for any U.S. national, whether military or civilian, to violate the Geneva Convention by engaging in murder, torture, or inhuman treatment.

The statute applies not only to those who carry out the acts, but also to those who ORDER IT, know about it, or fail to take steps to stop it. The statute applies to everyone, no matter how high and mighty.

18 U.S.C. § 2441 has no statute of limitations, which means that a war crimes complaint can be filed at any time.

The penalty may be life imprisonment or — if a single prisoner dies due to torture — death. Given that there are numerous, documented cases of prisoners being tortured to death by U.S. soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan, that means that the death penalty would be appropriate for anyone found guilty of carrying out, ordering, or sanctioning such conduct.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 limited the applicability of the War Crimes Act, but still made the following unlawful: torture, cruel or inhumane treatment, murder, mutilation or maiming, intentionally causing serious bodily harm, rape, sexual assault or abuse.

War Crimes By the Bush Administration
Here’s an overview of war crimes by the Bush administration:

  • A widespread torture program specifically aimed at producing false confessions to justify the war
  • Chemical weapons attacks against civilians (which greatly increased the rate of birth defects)
  • The use of depleted uranium, which can cause cancer and birth defects for decades (see this, this, this, this, this and this)
  • The Pentagon sent one of the main US creators of the death squads in El Salvador into Iraq to set up paramilitary death squads and torture centers
  • We’ll go into more detail on torture below

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