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Friday, July 28, 2006

War Crimes

Meet the 1996 War Crimes Act. It was passed with little debate by a Republican controlled Congress. It creates a criminal penalty for anyone who commits a war crime by violating provisions of various international agreements and treaties, including the Geneva Convention.

This Act has the Bush Administration scared. It leaves open the possibility of criminal sanctions against Administration and military officials for violations of the Geneva Convention in the treatment of detainees in the war on terror.

So now, instead of further attempting to punish those who have committed such crimes, the Administration is attempting to weaken the 1996 Act by exempting law suits involving detainees in the war on terror.

The only reason they would be attempting to do this is that they know they have violated the 1996 Act. This Act is a good tool to ensure compliance with the Geneva Convention by US Military personnel and nations, especially when we refuse to join the International Criminal Court. This is just another step in the direction of the US losing international credibility; "You have to follow these rules, but we do not. Why? Just because."

We can't continue to preach human rights while we are trying to get around them.