McCain: Bush Administration Violated Geneva Conventions and Convention Against Torture

220px-john_mccain_official_portrait_with_alternative_backgroundOn Face the Nation this morning, Sen. John McCain became the latest figure to publicly state that the Bush Administration violated the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Convention Against Torture. It is not clear how many international and domestic figures will have to publicly acknowledge these crimes before Attorney General Eric Holder will appoint a special prosecutor. I discussed the torture issue last night on this segment of MSNBC Countdown.

During the show, McCain stated “[Torture memo author Jay Bybee] falls into the same category as everybody else, as far as giving very bad advice and misinterpreting fundamentally what the United States is all about, much less things like the Geneva Conventions. Under President Reagan, we signed [the Convention] Against Torture. We were in violation of that.”

Article 7 of the Convention Against Torture states:

Article 7

1. The State Party in territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found, shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.
2. These authorities shall take their decision in the same manner as in the case of any ordinary offence of a serious nature under the law of that State. In the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 2, the standards of evidence required for prosecution and conviction shall in no way be less stringent than those which apply in the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 1.

There is now Republican and Democratic leaders acknowledging the obvious: we violated these treaties and international law. What they are not being asked is how we reconcile our ongoing violation of these laws by not investigating and prosecuting such crimes. Once again, it is important to note that it is not the lawyers but the leaders who are the principle targets of such investigations: Bush, Cheney, Tenet, Gonzales and others. The lawyers may also be investigated but there is a clear effort to focus on the attorneys to avoid dealing with the obvious responsible parties at the top of the chain of command.

100 thoughts on “McCain: Bush Administration Violated Geneva Conventions and Convention Against Torture”

  1. Mike A.

    “but my parents forbade me from marriage at the age of eleven.”
    ______________

    Yeah, a guy just caint help what religion he was ‘borned’ under and in what country.
    ______________

    Mike S.

    I went to YT. Good song and lyrics.

  2. Mespo,

    I actually like “I’ll Never Heil Again” a little better, but figured the first was more historically important.

  3. Loved Spin and Marty. Would have wed Annette Funicello in a minute, but my parents forbade me from marriage at the age of eleven.

  4. FFLEO,
    On the same off thread topic I’ve always been a sucker for Alamo movies, even though the history is not quite accurate. By the way Donovan, of all people has done the definitive Alamo song. Brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.

  5. “Either Obama has made an illegal request for Holder to not prosecute and the AG doesn’t have the integity to resign and report the president or the AG should act as he is charged by enforcing our clear law on war crimes.”

    Jill,
    Context is everything and there’s your context. My comment was addressing that contention.

    FFLEO,
    Loved Froggy and the Rascals, particularly Alfalfa and Darla.
    Loved Roy because of the Science fiction Serial he made, whose name I forget. Didn’t like Mr. Ed, but loved the rest. Audie couldn’t act but you had to love him for his war record. Buster Crabbe also was a favorite. Beside Davy C., I loved the Nine Lives of Elfego Vaca and Spin and Marty on the Disney Show. Always hated Mickey Mouse though because Donald Duck was my favorite. Liked Bugs Bunny better than anything Disney did, except for his great nature movies.

  6. Well, I have to agree with the old hippie, I hated the 3 Stooges.

    Froggy the Gremlin, and the Little Rascals were my heroes, along with Roy, Gene, Hoppy, Davy Crockett, the Beav (Leave it to Beaver), Audie Murphy, and above all, the Famous Mr. Ed.

  7. “Mike Spindell,
    Are you on Linkdn?”

    AY,
    What’s that? Don’t you realize your addressing an old codger here?

  8. Mike S.,

    My statement that an AG needs intergity should not be interpreted as Holder does not have intergrity. It means that that position is so important that the person in it needs to have strong intergrity. If a president askes that person to do something unlawful then that person should resign and report the request. That is true of Holder. It was true of Alberto Gonzales. It was true of Elliot Richardson under Nixon.

  9. Gyges,
    I’ve been a lifelong hater of the comedy of the Three Stooges. One of the worst afternoons of my childhood occurred when my projectionist Uncle took me to his theater and The Three Stooges Go to Mars was playing. I shudder as I think back to having to watch that movie twice and then give him a phony smile and thank him for a nice day. Humbug!

  10. “That’s why s/he needs to have integrity.” re: the AG

    I haven’t seen anything, except for speculation based on word parsing that shows me any proof the AG Holder lacks integrity. If not moving speedily to prosecute means lacking integrity, then special Prosecutor FitzGerald may indeed lack same, only I didn’t see many negative comments about him when he was going after Libby and took 2 1/2 years to do it, ending with nothing and covering up the real culprits. In fact there have been many on this site who have called for his being named Special Prosecutor in these matters.

    I’ve actually worked in government and my last three years working for NYC were as Deputy Director of The Office of Fiscal and Program Integrity of the Human Resources Administration. We actually worked with legal entities to put people in jail, or have them fired for corruption. The expectation that 100 days into an Administration, with a DOJ rife with Bush holdovers, things aren’t moving quickly enough is blindly unrealistic and seems more motivated by a need for instant gratification, than an understanding of how the law works.

    Lest I be mis-characterized in this, please refer to my plethora of comments urging dissent from any suggestions of not prosecuting these crimes and my calls (many literally made to the WH by me)for people, like Jonathan and the ACLU, to keep the pressure on President Obama. The fact that I know from experience how Government works and the slow grind of the “wheels of justice” does not give me X Ray vision into this matter. If instead of the knee jerk reaction of: he’s let me down, he’s a phony, or he’s one of them, perhaps really thinking about process in one’s own mind might get someone to see this is not a matter easily or quickly disposed of.

    Damn, how many years did it take to get Phil Spector’s case tried and how many years between arrest and trial occur in the typical murder case? Humanity has no heroes, only flawed human beings that occasionally rise to a level of greatness.
    My earliest hero Clarence Darrow was a lawyer who did great things, but had many personal flaws as I read up on him. I prefer people who are flawed because as the James Garner line went from the great 70’s anti-war film “The Americanization of Emily”

    “God save us from the idealists of the world…they’re the ones who get everyone else’s back broken.”

    I personally am someone who has lived up to most of my ideals in my life and trust me I’m not ready for canonization. There are many who’ve known me that will attest to this, including my wife. Sometimes the ideal solution turns out to be the horribly wrong one. i.e. Don’t vote for sellout Humphrey, as we elect madman Nixon.

    All I’m asking for is a little patience and a little reality and I’m immune to arguments about how can we go on when people are being tortured. If that’s the case then damn it, nothing should be done until we eliminate genocide in Africa and the debilitation of world poverty, sickness and hunger. One person being tortured is tragic and wrong, billions of humans living the way they do is beyond conception. some people see triage as evil, having been very sick in many ER’s I’m glad they treated me before the person with the compound fracture.

  11. “That’s why s/he needs to have integrity.” re: the AG

    I haven’t seen anything, except for speculation based on word parsing that shows me any proof the AG Holder lacks integrity.
    If not moving speedily to prosecute means lacking integrity, then special Prosecutor FitzGerald may indeed lack same, only I didn’t see many negative comments about him when he was going after Libby and took 2 1/2 years to do it, ending with nothing and covering up the real culprits. In fact there have been many on this site who have called for his being named Special Prosecutor in these matters.

    I’ve actually worked in government and my last three years working for NYC were as Deputy director of The Office of fiscal and Program Integrity of the Human Resources Administration. We actually worked with legal entities to put people in jail, or have them fired for corruption. The expectation that 100 days into an Administration, with a DOJ rife with Bush holdovers, things aren’t moving quickly enough is blindly unrealistic and seems more motivated by a need for instant gratification.

    Lest I be mis-characterized in this, please refer to my plethora of comments urging dissent from any suggestions of not prosecuting these crimes and my calls (many literally made to the WH by me)for people, like Jonathan and the ACLU, to keep the pressure on President Obama. The fact that I know from experience how Government works and the slow grind of the “wheels of justice” does not give me X Ray vision into this matter. If instead of the knee jerk reaction of he’s let me down, he’s a phony, or he’s one of them, perhaps really thinking about process in one’s own mind might get someone to see this is not a matter easily or quickly disposed of.

    Damn, how many years did it take to get Phil Spector’s case tried and how many years between arrest and trial occur in the typical murder case? Humanity has no heroes, only flawed human beings that occasionally rise to a level of greatness.
    My earliest hero Clarence Darrow was a lawyer who did great things, but had many personal flaws as I read up on him. I prefer people who are flawed because as the James Garner line went from the great 70’s anti-war film “The Americanization of Emily”

    “God save us from the idealists of the world…they’re the ones who get everyone else’s back broken.”

    I personally am someone who has lived up to most of my ideals in my life and trust me I’m not ready for canonization. There are many who’ve known me that will attest to this, including my wife. Sometimes the ideal solution turns out to be the horribly wrong one. i.e. Don’t vote for sellout Humphrey, as we elect madman Nixon. All I’m asking for is a little patience and a little reality and I’m immune to arguments about how can we go on when people are being tortured. If that’s the case then dqamn it, nothing should be done until we eliminate genocide in Africa and the debilitation of world poverty, sickness and hunger. One person being tortured is tragic and wrong, billions of humans living the way they do is beyond conception. some people see triage as evil, having been in very sick in many ER’s I’m glad they treated me before the person with the compound fracture.

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