A political scientist named Michael Haas has just published a book titled George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration's Liability for 269 War Crimes:
Based on information supplied in autobiographical and press sources, the book matches events in Afghanistan, Guantánamo, Iraq , and various secret places of detention with provisions in the Geneva Conventions and other international agreements on war crimes. His compilation is the first to cite a comprehensive list of specific war crimes in four categories-illegality of the decision to go to war, misconduct during war, mistreatment of prisoners of war, and misgovernment in the American occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Haas accuses President Bush of conduct bordering on treason because he reenacted several complaints stated in the Declaration of Independence against England, ignored the Constitution and federal laws, trampled on the American tradition of developing international law to bring order to world politics, and in effect made a Faustian pact with Osama Bin Laden that the intelligence community blames for an increase in world terrorism. Osama Bin Laden remains alive, he reports, because Bush preferred to go after oil-rich Iraq rather than tracking down Al Qaeda leaders, whose uncaptured presence was useful to him in justifying a "war on terror" pursued on a military rather than a criminal basis without restraint from constitutional checks and balances.
The worst war crime cited is the murder of at least 45 prisoners, some but not all by torture. Other heinous crimes include the brutal treatment of thousands of children, some 64 of whom have been detained at Guantánamo. Sources document the use of illegal weapons in the war from cluster bombs to daisy cutters, napalm, white phosphorus, and depleted uranium weapons, some of which have injured and killed American soldiers as well as thousands of innocent civilians. Children playing in areas of Iraq where depleted uranium weapons have been used, but not reported on request from the World Health Organization, have developed leukemia and other serious diseases.
"Bush's violations of the Constitution as well as domestic and international law have besmirched the reputation of the United States," Haas writes. "In so doing, they have accomplished a goal of which the Al Qaeda terrorists only dreamed-to transform the United States into a rogue nation feared by the rest of the world and loved by almost none."
I'll be reading this to assess how accurate it all is, but I frankly won't need a lot of convincing. After all, I was calling for an investigation of Bush on these grounds even before we invaded Iraq. The problem, obviously, has only mounted exponentially in the intervening months and years.
Haas also has a blog in support of the book that's worth checking out.
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