Monday, June 14, 2004

President Bush Immune from International Law

(This is taking a serious chuck of time out of my value production!)

As posted by Michael B. Haupt...

This is a quote from Reuters:

“‘President Bush, as Commander in Chief, is not restricted by US and international laws barring torture’ - Bush administration lawyers stated in a March 2003 memorandum. The 56-page memo cited the president’s - ‘complete authority over the conduct of war’ overriding international treaties - such as a global treaty banning torture, the Geneva Conventions and a US Federal law against torture.

“‘In order to respect the President’s inherent Constitutional authority to manage a military campaign’ (the prohibition against torture) ‘must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his commander-in-chief authority.’”
(Emphasis added).

The memo, prepared for Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, went on to claim that if national security was at stake, US government agents who tortured or even killed prisoners on the President’s authority were immune from prosecution. So far, President Bush has chosen not to say anything! Current US law and the UN’s Convention Against Torture (CAT), which was ratified by the United States back in 1994, states very clearly that:

"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture."

The world, as well as Americans, must by now be awaiting an answer from Mr Bush. For Americans, the specific question must be this: If the President can set aside international law and treaties, can he also set aside the Constitution?

Since the memo was disclosed on June 7, the US Congress has openly called for getting it and other memos into its own hands in order to examine them. This has been strenuously resisted (by Attorney General Ashcroft), but that resistance has stopped short of claiming Executive Privilege. To do so would have opened the road for Congress to go straight to the US Supreme Court. The Bush White House clearly wants to avoid this. If it goes to the Supreme Court, it will have to give reasons as to why the President can, on his own, override the Senate’s treaty making powers, an action which is clearly UNConstitutional. The White House has already chosen a fall-back position to the effect that the President might not even have seen this memo. That claim just opens a wider door as to precisely what legal (and that was the content of the memo) grounds the President DOES see himself empowered to direct personnel of the Executive Branch to engage in torture.

End of article.

Scheeze! They have set the BAR at an all new low. Guess the BAR has to go along with the FRB, and all the rest of supposed three letter agencies of the Federal Government. After the hoax implodes on itself, I wonder if there will be enough honest individuals left standing to pick up the pieces?

Ron Robinson
A Majority of One

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