In Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, George W Bush was convicted of war crimes in absentia last May. Funny it didn’t receive much official press, though some progressive websites reported it. I found out about it because CNN has a feature called “I report” and someone had posted it there. Perhaps the rest of the news media thought the wire report was a prank sent too late for April Fool’s Day. Or maybe the Kardashians were busy?
Though the judges of the tribunal were Malaysian, the prosecution team included Professor Francis Boyle, an expert on international law who has testified at the Plowshares trials about the legality of nuclear weapons under the rulings of the World Court. The court also found many others in the Bush cabinet guilty, including: Vice President Richard Cheney; former US Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld; Alberto Gonzales; David Addington; former General Counsel to the Defense Secretary, William Haynes II; Jay Bybee and John Yoo. This trial was about violations of the UN’s anti-torture statute. An earlier trial (also not publicized also found Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair guilty of war crimes for fomenting the aggressive war against Iraq.
By the way, for those keeping score, this makes W the SECOND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT convicted of war crimes. In 1986, the International Court of Justice ruled that Ronald Reagan had violated international law by mining their harbors and otherwise supporting the proxy war of the Contras against the government of Nicaragua. The US declared that the ICJ had no jurisdiction and then used their Security Council veto to block any attempt to introduce the charges at the United Nations.
And yes–we do have an Extradition treaty with Malaysia. Professor Boyle told reporters he was hopeful that Bush would face similar charges in other countries as a result of the conviction.
Would have been a good question for the Foreign Policy debate on Monday–“Former President Bush has been convicted of war crimes. Would you support his extradition?” <crickets>