Sunday, June 22, 2008

If you are going to have laws, let them stand for something: Conference on Bush Administration's War Crimes

Bush war crimes trial?


Historians will long ponder the legacy of President Bush's prosecution of the war in Iraq and, more broadly, the war on terrorism.

The dean of one left-wing law school doesn't want to wait that long.

Lawrence Velvel, who has battled the American Bar Assn. over its accreditation practices, is calling for a conference at his unaccredited Massachusetts School of Law at Andover Sept. 13-14 to plan a war crimes trial against key administration officials. The news was broken by Wednesday by ABA Journal.

"We must insist on appropriate punishments including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top German and Japanese war criminals in the 1940s," he said in a news release to be issued Monday, provided to the Times today.

Targeting President Bush, Vice President Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Justice Department official John Yoo, prosecutors should examine the administration's record on war, torture, detention of innocents, electronic spying and "use of executive branch lawyers to write professionally incompetent secret memoranda giving clearance to awful policies," he said.

The conference is not about the charges, he said. "Library stacks and Internet servers already are fairly bulging with books, journal articles, Internet essays, legal complaints, newspaper articles and other materials showing that horrendous crimes have been committed," he writes in the news release. Instead, attendees will discuss "organizational structures ... to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and to the ends of the earth in order to bring them before the bar of justice ... so that in future there may be no more Viet Nams, no more Iraqs."

Conference charge is $125 for the two-day session, which includes meals.

-- Johanna Neuman and David G. Savage

Original article posted here.

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