In an announcement that has many civil libertarians charging hypocrisy, the Obama Administration has gone public with a commitment to hold Moammar Gaddafi accountable for war crimes. This is the same Administration that has been denounced internationally for blocking any prosecution of Bush officials, including Bush himself, for alleged torture and war crimes. This includes the recently disclosed communications with the Spanish government revealing that the Obama Administration pressured Spain to shutdown its own war crimes inquiry.
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley insisted that the Administration would insist on the full investigation and prosecution of Gaddafi and his family. Crowley insisted “[w]e are going to hold him accountable.”
To be sure, the Bush Administration did not commit the wide array of atrocities of the Gaddafi. However, the Administration is claiming the very authority over alleged war crimes that it blocked in Spain. The announcement is likely to increase the view around the world that the United States applies one law to itself and one law to the rest of the world.