Worse than the chief?

Letters to the Boston editor: April 21, 2006
By EDITORIAL  |  April 19, 2006

Your April 7 editorial (“Justice DeLayed”), describing the delightful fall of “The Hammer,” was very well written. As a former Texan, I knew what a loser W was, but the Hammer was in many ways worse. He richly deserves whatever punishment will follow, and I hope he spends his sentence in touch with men who know what a horror he has been. Hooray! This is such great news!

Bill
via thePhoenix.com

War criminal in chief
The Nazis, sitting in the dock, heard US Chief of Counsel Robert H. Jackson’s charges against them when he addressed the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, on November 21, 1945:

“We have also accused as criminal organizations the High Command and the General Staff of the German Armed Forces. We recognize that to plan warfare is the business of professional soldiers in all countries. But it is one thing to plan strategic moves in the event war comes, and it is another thing to plot and intrigue to bring on that war. We will prove the leaders of the German General Staff and of the High Command to have been guilty of just that. Military men are not before you because they served their country ... They are not here because they lost the war, but because they started it.”

The outlawing of aggressive warfare was codified in the Nuremberg Accords and incorporated into the Charter of the United Nations, becoming part of our Constitution under Article VI. How, then, can we not apply this same charge to Commander in Chief George W. Bush and his cabinet, since they, too, saw fit “to plot and intrigue to bring on” a war? Is not the war on Iraq one that they started?

Bush tried to get legal cover for his attack by lying about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction. This tactic backfired, but he went ahead anyway. It is not for his lies, therefore, that Bush should be indicted, but for the war itself. All the other charges that can be — and should be — leveled at Bush pale in comparison to this most heinous of crimes.

Why isn’t this charge on anyone’s list? A recent symposium on impeachment convened on C-Span by Harper’s magazine is a case in point. The symposium brought together five prominent people well suited to the task of discussing impeachment, yet not one — not one! — even mentioned this horrendous violation of law by Bush and his administration.

Is there a tacit agreement among our leaders that it would be too painful for Americans to own up to the fact that a US president is a war criminal?

Mary L. Wentworth
Amherst

Chief among our problems
Barry Crimmins’s assessment of President BushCheney’s accomplishments during the first quarter of 2006 should be required reading for serious students of political science and American history for years to come (see “Schmucks Unlimited,” April 7). Never have I read a description of this political farce that is so dead-on accurate and comprehensive. The author also deserves accolades for his clarity and brevity.

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