George W. Bush: “War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, ‘I was just following orders.'”

225px-george-w-bushThere is an interesting copy of George W. Bush’s speech to the nation where he gave the position of the United States on the prosecution of war crimes — before Americans were accused of war crimes. Back then, Bush gave a standard that showed that he and his Administration knew that there is no “good faith defense” in committing war crimes. He insisted “War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, “I was just following orders.”

In addition to the speech below, on June 26, 2003 made the following statement on the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture: “[The United States] is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example” by prosecuting torture and other cruel and unusual punishment.” Click here.

Here is the Iraqi speech:

For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all of its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

Since then, the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy. We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq.

Our good faith has not been returned. The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a ploy to gain time and advantage. It has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament.

Over the years, U.N. weapons inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials, electronically bugged and systematically deceived. Peaceful efforts to disarm the Iraq regime have failed again and again because we are not dealing with peaceful men.

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq’s neighbors and against Iraq’s people.

The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends and it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of Al Qaeda. The danger is clear: Using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country or any other.

The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat, but we will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety.

Before the day of horror can come, before it is too late to act, this danger will be removed.

The United States of America has the sovereign authority to use force in assuring its own national security. That duty falls to me as commander of chief by the oath I have sworn, by the oath I will keep. Recognizing the threat to our country, the United States Congress voted overwhelmingly last year to support the use of force against Iraq.

America tried to work with the United Nations to address this threat because we wanted to resolve the issue peacefully. We believe in the mission of the United Nations.

One reason the U.N. was founded after the Second World War was to confront aggressive dictators actively and early, before they can attack the innocent and destroy the peace.

In the case of Iraq, the Security Council did act in the early 1990s. Under Resolutions 678 and 687, both still in effect, the United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. This is not a question of authority, it is a question of will.

Last September, I went to the U.N. General Assembly and urged the nations of the world to unite and bring an end to this danger. On November 8th, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441, finding Iraq in material breach of its obligations and vowing serious consequences if Iraq did not fully and immediately disarm.

Today, no nation can possibly claim that Iraq has disarmed. And it will not disarm so long as Saddam Hussein holds power.

For the last four and a half months, the United States and our allies have worked within the Security Council to enforce that council’s longstanding demands. Yet some permanent members of the Security Council have publicly announced that they will veto any resolution that compels the disarmament of Iraq. These governments share our assessment of the danger, but not our resolve to meet it.

Many nations, however, do have the resolve and fortitude to act against this threat to peace, and a broad coalition is now gathering to enforce the just demands of the world.

The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours. In recent days, some governments in the Middle East have been doing their part. They have delivered public and private messages urging the dictator to leave Iraq so that disarmament can proceed peacefully.

He has thus far refused.

All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing.

For their own safety, all foreign nationals, including journalists and inspectors, should leave Iraq immediately.

Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them: If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you.

As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free.

In free Iraq there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms.

The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near.

It is too late for Saddam Hussein to remain in power. It is not too late for the Iraq military to act with honor and protect your country, by permitting the peaceful entry of coalition forces to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Our forces will give Iraqi military units clear instructions on actions they can take to avoid being attack and destroyed.

I urge every member of the Iraqi military and intelligence services: If war comes, do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your own life.

And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning: In any conflict, your fate will depend on your actions. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, “I was just following orders.” Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war and every measure will be taken to win it.

Americans understand the costs of conflict because we have paid them in the past. War has no certainty except the certainty of sacrifice.

Yet the only way to reduce the harm and duration of war is to apply the full force and might of our military, and we are prepared to do so.

If Saddam Hussein attempts to cling to power, he will remain a deadly foe until the end.

In desperation, he and terrorist groups might try to conduct terrorist operations against the American people and our friends. These attacks are not inevitable. They are, however, possible.

And this very fact underscores the reason we cannot live under the threat of blackmail. The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed. Our government is on heightened watch against these dangers. Just as we are preparing to ensure victory in Iraq, we are taking further actions to protect our homeland.

In recent days, American authorities have expelled from the country certain individuals with ties to Iraqi intelligence services.

Among other measures, I have directed additional security at our airports and increased Coast Guard patrols of major seaports. The Department of Homeland Security is working closely with the nation’s governors to increase armed security at critical facilities across America.

Should enemies strike our country, they would be attempting to shift our attention with panic and weaken our morale with fear. In this, they would fail.

No act of theirs can alter the course or shake the resolve of this country. We are a peaceful people, yet we are not a fragile people. And we will not be intimidated by thugs and killers.

If our enemies dare to strike us, they and all who have aided them will face fearful consequences.

We are now acting because the risks of inaction would be far greater. In one year, or five years, the power of Iraq to inflict harm on all free nations would be multiplied many times over. With these capabilities, Saddam Hussein and his terrorist allies could choose the moment of deadly conflict when they are strongest. We choose to meet that threat now where it arises, before it can appear suddenly in our skies and cities.

The cause of peace requires all free nations to recognize new and undeniable realities. In the 20th century, some chose to appease murderous dictators whose threats were allowed to grow into genocide and global war.

In this century, when evil men plot chemical, biological and nuclear terror, a policy of appeasement could bring destruction of a kind never before seen on this earth. Terrorists and terrorist states do not reveal these threats with fair notice in formal declarations.

And responding to such enemies only after they have struck first is not self defense. It is suicide. The security of the world requires disarming Saddam Hussein now.

As we enforce the just demands of the world, we will also honor the deepest commitments of our country. Unlike Saddam Hussein, we believe the Iraqi people are deserving and capable of human liberty, and when the dictator has departed, they can set an example to all the Middle East of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation.

The United States with other countries will work to advance liberty and peace in that region. Our goal will not be achieved overnight, but it can come over time. The power and appeal of human liberty is felt in every life and every land, and the greatest power of freedom is to overcome hatred and violence, and turn the creative gifts of men and women to the pursuits of peace. That is the future we choose.

Free nations have a duty to defend our people by uniting against the violent, and tonight, as we have done before, America and our allies accept that responsibility.

Good night, and may God continue to bless America.

If you would like to watch it on video and play the line over and over again, click here.

For the story, click here.

32 thoughts on “George W. Bush: “War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, ‘I was just following orders.'”

  1. I was really following Orders. I did what I was supposed to do as a 19 year old. Heck my Sgt was only 21. I did not know the difference.

    The sad twist is this is something conceived out of Nazi Germany. In that the highest to the ones in sufficient ranks were prosecuted for just following orders. Unless you were in one of the diabolic prisons. Then you were prosecuted just as everyone else.

    What I find in amazement is Geo I, put Saddam in power. It is my understanding that we supplied not only Iraq but we supplied Afghanistan with all sorts of lovely weapons. I am sorry, we do not do that sort of thing. It was some rogue operative of the CIA and thye will be punished as soon as we find oout who they were.

  2. After reading this I am re-posting what Richard Perle said about George W Bush:

    “The first time I met Bush 43,I knew he was different.Two things became clear.One,he didn’t know very much.The other was he had confidence to ask questions that revealed he didn’t know very much.Most people are reluctant to say when they don’t know something,a word or a term they haven’t heard before.not him.

  3. eniobob, we should also give Mr. Bush credit for his consistency. When he left office, he still did not know very much about the things he did not know very much about when he assumed the presidency. How many other presidents can we say that about?

  4. Bron98,

    I am not following, “(I) you hate to say it but I (you) think there is some truth to what that guys says.”

    I just need some clarification, Hersch, Rense or Bdaman above?

  5. aNON:

    the link you posted, I read it and I think the guy is probably right. Without any other explanation for going into Iraq. Although, I think they may have done Iraq so they could engage in a 2 front war with Iran. I still think that was Bush’s ultimate goal, but the Iranians arent stupid, so they got us bogged down in Iraq to prevent that. I would like to think that Bush is a diabolical genius rather than a base prick that followed illegal stupid advise from a bunch of clowns. I think you could at least rationalize the war if clearing out the Mullahs was part of the broader strategy.

    My wife thinks he went into Iraq to settle the score with Sadam for trying to off 41 and to upstage daddy. If either one of those is true he should be given a death sentence or at least life in prison.

  6. I really, really want to see how fox news will spin this.
    They may have to start up a rumor that he was drinking and not responsible for his speeches.

    Oops I forgot. Water boarding in not torture, it’s “dunking”.
    Sorry!!

  7. Gnome,
    The Trolls can’t even link to an article that even alleges what they claim is the truth! You weren’t supposed to read that link. It was only put there to make his posting look “official”!

  8. American Grand Jury, can’t believe that you have to have everything spilled out for you. If you don’t think the AG is going to open an investigation, start your own.

  9. rafflaw make what look official, get your head out of your A?$ and shove a troll in it’s place you troll troller. You might be surprised that the air smells much nicer when you stand back up.

  10. Any Congressperson, Senator, Governor, or police officer who violates the constitution can and should be indicted by a Common Law Grand Jury, without the advice, consent, permission, or interference of any government employee.

    This is why America has always been promoted as a land where no man is above the law, including the President.

    However, in 1946, certain people hijacked the role of our Grand Jury and the courtroom jury and, henceforth, embarked on a mission of misinformation, distortions, and blatant lies to convince the American people, and the entire legal community, that it is the government that determines what is right and what is wrong in the actions of the government or of any elected government officials, employees, or agents.

    In an article in the Creighton Law Review, Volume 33, number 4, 1999-2000, Roger Roots, Juris Doctorate, wrote:

    In addition to its traditional role of screening criminal cases for prosecution, common law grand juries had the power to exclude prosecutors from their presence at any time and to investigate public officials without government influence. These fundamental powers allowed grand juries to serve a vital function of oversight upon the government. The function of a grand jury to ferret out government corruption was the primary purpose of the grand jury system in ages past.

    Judges and prosecutors and attorneys began using the phrase “runaway grand jury” to create ridicule and scorn upon a jury that chose to think for themselves, which is the Constitutional Right of any jury. Roger Roots continues:

    A runaway grand jury, loosely defined as a grand jury which resists the accusatory choices of a government prosecutor, has been virtually eliminated by modern criminal procedure. Today’s “runaway” grand jury is in fact, the common law grand jury of the past. Prior to the emergence of governmental prosecution as the standard model for American criminal justice, all grand juries were in fact runaways, according to the definition of modern times. They operated as completely independent, self-directing bodies of inquisitors, with power to pursue unlawful conduct to its very source, including the government itself.

    In 1946, The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure were adopted. In those procedures, they made a rule to punish runaway grand juries. Rule 6(g): “At any time for cause shown, the court may excuse a juror either temporarily or permanently, and in the latter event the court may impanel another person in place of the juror excused.”

    Now judges could throw anyone off a grand jury, or even dis-impanel a grand jury entirely, merely for exercising its own discretion and not doing what the court or prosecutor tells them to do.

    All laws in America–whether federal, state, county, or city–must conform to the framework of the United States Constitution. Laws can be illegal, and many laws are illegal. Rules are not even laws and have no authority if attached to a source that is not in line with the U.S. Constitution. Law, rules, orders, methods of the government that do not conform to the U.S. Constitution are considered “Fruit from the poison tree” and if challenged as such, and proven not to be Constitutional in nature, must be unenforceable.

    Rule 7 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure has an added “Note 4” which directly conflicts with, ignores, and willfully violates the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states clearly: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on the presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury.”

    Note 4 of Rule 7 states: “Presentment is not included as an additional type of formal accusation, since presentments as a method of instituting prosecutions are obsolete, at least as concerns the Federal courts.” They rewrote the U.S. Constitution to suit their own purposes.

  11. here is some interesting info you will not find in the main stream media:

    http://www.rightpundits.com/?p=3790

    and also this from another website:

    Here’s what one web site said on Feb. 16, 2006:

    “Last week, U.S. President George W. Bush revealed in a public speech that U.S. authorities, working in concert with foreign intelligence and security agencies, had disrupted an al Qaeda plot in
    2002 involving an aircraft attack against a skyscraper in Los Angeles. The attack originally had been planned to take place in October 2001, one month after the 9/11 attacks, but was repeatedly delayed for numerous reasons.

    “As outlined by the president, the attack would have unfolded along now-familiar lines: Four al Qaeda operatives were supposed to hijack an airliner, seize the controls and ram the aircraft into the tallest building on the West Coast–the U.S. Bank Tower, formerly known as the Library Tower. The weapons used were to have been explosives the operatives concealed in their shoes, which supposedly would have aided them in blowing off the cockpit doors.”

    The attack was foiled because of information given by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, under interrogation at Gitmo. Whatever “torture” they applied to him saved thousands of lives.”

  12. Be that as it may be a Kangaroo Court it’s about raising a voice so that it can be heard. When that voice is heard, soon you will begin to have other voices join in or dissent. By this time you should have enough voices to organize if it is a worthy and just action. Then give it a home, blah,blah blah.com .org dot gov if you can qualify. Here let me give you an example.

    I was working within my community and heard some voices. I listened to those voices and thought they were just. So I decided there were enough voices and thought I could organize them. Soon it seemed like I could do this coast to coast and I felt like I was Organizing for America. Then I wondered how can I spread the message, internet of course, you know what they say advertise every where to get a wider audience. Put a donate button everywhere and soon you can be raking in the dough.

    sound familiar?

  13. EnhancedInterr…:

    Since you doubled posted your nonsense, I’ll double post my reply from the other thread:

    EnhancedInterr…:

    Here’s a little analysis of your cut and paste that your web site omitted, and you apparently missed:”

    “In a White House press briefing, Bush’s counterterrorism chief, Frances Fragos Townsend, told reporters that the cell leader was arrested in February 2002, and “at that point, the other members of the cell” (later arrested) “believed that the West Coast plot has been canceled, was not going forward” [italics mine]. A subsequent fact sheet released by the Bush White House states, “In 2002, we broke up [italics mine] a plot by KSM to hijack an airplane and fly it into the tallest building on the West Coast.” These two statements make clear that however far the plot to attack the Library Tower ever got—an unnamed senior FBI official would later tell the Los Angeles Times that Bush’s characterization of it as a “disrupted plot” was “ludicrous”—that plot was foiled in 2002. But Sheikh Mohammed wasn’t captured until March 2003.”

    Thus, the L.A. attack, if it was ever even intended to be carried out, was averted in 2002 when Americans apprehended the Asian terrorists charged with the task. Official Bush and Intelligence statements even claim that the attack was thwarted back in 2002.

    So if Sheikh Mohammed was not arrested until 2003, how on Earth could torturing him have thwarted the plan?”

    I guess torture works in the “Through the Looking Glass” world where subsequent events cause preceding events.

  14. EnhancedInterr;
    You seem to fall into this catergory of thought.
    “Once you have made up your mind, facts are but a mere annoyance. – Unknown”

    Kit Bond-(Sen.Missouri) repeated that same nonesense the other day about stopping and attack,but the dates are just not on the side of that argument.

  15. Judge Garzon opening new probe.

    Spanish judge opens investigation into Bush administration over Guantanamo
    By DANIEL WOOLLS , Associated Press

    Last update: April 29, 2009 – 9:52 AM

    http://www.startribune.com/world/43983367.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUl

    Excerpt:

    Spain’s Judge “Garzon is opening a probe into “possible material authors” of torture, accomplices and those who gave torture orders, although he does not name anyone specifically.”

  16. Bman “heard some voices.”

    That does sound familiar.

    There is a technical term for it.

    One cannot possibly make this stuff up.

  17. Can I just say what a comfort to find a person that actually knows what they’re discussing online. You definitely realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people must read this and understand this side of the story. It’s surprising
    you’re not more popular given that you certainly have the gift.

  18. […] Remember too that the Reagan administration was found guilty of crimes against humanity for its covert war against Nicaragua in the 1980′s. The problem is that it was found guilty by the International Court of Justice, and the US is not a member. The US announced that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction; when Nicaragua tried to move the case to the UN, the US used its Security Council veto to block a vote. By the way, key members of the Bush administration (including W himself) were found guilty of crimes against humanity in a show trial conducted by Malaysia. It is clear that W, Cheney and friends do not feel safe traveling overseas, even with the Obama administration protecting them. but it would take an enormous sea change in American public opinion to bring prosecution against Bush & Company here, even though some think such a trial is inevitable. […]

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