Bush Seeks Retroactive Laws to Protect Himself from War Crimes Prosecution

When I was a kid, John Wayne war
movies gave us the message that America was the good
guy, the white hat that fought the villain.

Alas, today the US and its last
remaining non-coerced ally, Israel, are almost
universally regarded as the bad guys over whom John
Wayne would triumph. Today the US and Israel are seen
throughout the world as war criminal states.

On August 23 the

BBC reported
that Amnesty International has brought
war crimes charges against Israel for deliberately
targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure as an
"integral part"
of Israel`s strategy in its recent
invasion of Lebanon.

Israel claims that its aggression
was "self-defense" to dislodge Hezbollah from
southern Lebanon. Yet, Israel bombed residential
communities all over Lebanon, even Christian communities
in the north in which no Hezbollah could possibly have
been present.

United Nations spokesman Jean Fabre
reported that Israel`s attack on civilian infrastructure
annihilated Lebanon`s development:

"Fifteen years of work have been wiped out in a month."

Israel maintains that this massive
destruction was unintended "collateral damage."

President Bush maintains that
Israel has

"a right to protect itself"
by destroying

Bush blocked the attempt to stop
Israel`s aggression and is, thereby, equally responsible
for the war crimes. Indeed, a number of reports claim
that Bush instigated the Israeli aggression against

Bush has other war crime problems.
Benjamin Ferenccz, a

chief prosecutor
of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg,

recently said
that President Bush should be tried as
a war criminal side by side with Saddam Hussein for
starting aggressive wars, Hussein for his 1990 invasion
of Kuwait and Bush for his 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Under the Nuremberg standard, Bush
is definitely a war criminal. The US Supreme Court also
exposed Bush to war crime charges under both the US War
Crimes Act of 1996 and the Geneva Conventions when the
Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld [
against the Bush administration`s military tribunals and
inhumane treatment of detainees.

President Bush and his Attorney
General agree that under existing laws and treaties Bush
is a war criminal together with many members of his
government. To make his war crimes legal after the fact,
Bush has instructed the Justice (sic) Department to

draft changes to the War Crimes Act
and to US treaty
obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

One of Bush`s changes would deny
protection of the Geneva Conventions to anyone in any
American court.

Bush`s other change would protect
from prosecution any US government official or military
personnel guilty of violating Article 3 of the Geneva
Conventions. Article 3 prohibits "at any time and in
any place whatsoever outrages upon personal dignity, in
particular, humiliating and degrading treatment."
civil libertarian

Nat Hentoff observes
, this change would also undo
Senator John McCain`s amendment against torture.

Eugene Fidell, president of the
National Institute of Military Justice says that Bush`s

"immunize past crimes."

Under the US Constitution and US
legal tradition, retroactive law is impermissible. What
do Americans think of their President`s attempts to
immunize himself, his government, CIA operatives,
military personnel and civilian contractors from war

Apparently, the self-righteous
morally superior American "Christian" public
could care less. The Republican-controlled House and
Senate, which long ago traded integrity for power, are
working to pass Bush`s changes prior to the mid-term
elections in the event the Republicans fail to steal
three elections in a row and Democrats win control of
the House or Senate.

Meanwhile, the illegal war in Iraq,
based entirely on Bush administration lies, grinds on,
murdering and maiming ever more people. According to the
latest administration estimate, the pointless killing
will go on for another 10-15 years.

Trouble is, there are no US troops
to carry on the war. The lack of cannon fodder forces
the Bush administration to resort to ever more desperate
measures. The latest is the involuntary recall of
thousands of Marines from the inactive reserves to
active duty. Many attentive people regard this desperate
measure as a sign that the

military draft will be reinstated

According to President Bush, the US
will lose the "war on terror" unless the US
succeeds in defeating "the Iraqi terrorists" by
establishing "democracy in Iraq." Of course,
insurgents resisting occupation are not terrorists, and
there were no insurgents or terrorists in Iraq until
Bush invaded.

Bush`s unjustified invasion of Iraq
and his support for Israeli aggression have done more to
create terrorism in the Muslim world than Osama bin
Laden could hope for. The longer Bush occupies Iraq and
the more he tries to extend US/Israeli hegemony in the
Middle East, the more terrorism the world will suffer.

Bush and the Zionist/neoconservative
ideology that holds him captive are the greatest 21st
century threats to peace and stability. The neoconized
Bush regime invented the war on terror, lost it, and now
is bringing terror home to the American people.



Paul Craig Roberts

] was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration.
He is the author of

Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider`s Account of
Policymaking in Washington
and the Soviet Economy

Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy
and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of

The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice
. Click

for Peter
Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts
about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.