Hosni Mubrak has resigned as President of Egypt, now there is talk of whether or not he will be tried for “Crimes Against Humanity.” The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum states, Crimes Against Humanity “are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. Murder, extermination, torture, rape, political, racial, or religious persecution and other inhumane acts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity only if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice. Isolated inhumane acts of this nature may constitute grave infringements of human rights, or depending on the circumstances, war crimes, but may fall short of falling into the category of crimes under discussion.”(emphasis added)
The Huffington Post reports, “(a)ccording to Nathan Brown, an expert on Middle Eastern politics, prosecution inside Egypt is unlikely since there’s no real precedent for legal action against former political leaders. And despite the military’s stellar reputation, its own complicity in past human rights violations might make any justice scheme aimed at former government officials a nonstarter. On the other hand… a prosecution could provide the military with a golden opportunity to pin the blame squarely on Mubarak.
Then there’s the U.S. role. A Mubarak trial could be highly embarrassing for the American government. At the very least, the spectacle of a longtime U.S. ally being tried for crimes against his own people would make for disastrous PR.”
Not only would a Mubarak trial look bad for the government of the United States of America for supporting his regime for the past 30 years, such action would likely embolden those who support war crimes trials for George W. Bush & Dick Cheney. Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines war crimes as: “willful killing, torture, inhuman treatment, biological experiments, willfully causing great suffering, serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer, unlawful confinement, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, willfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention and/or taking of hostages.”(emphasis added) On several occasions people have tried to perform a “citizens arrest” on the former VP, and he was recently heckled to shouts of “war criminal” at CPAC. In December 2008 and again in February 2010 Dick Cheney even and has yet to be held accountable for his crimes. According to the U.S. Army’s Law of Land Warfare (Field Manual 27-10) both Cheney & Bush should be held trial for war crimes. “Any person, whether a member of the armed forces or a civilian, who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment. Such offenses in connection with war comprise:
- a. Crimes against peace.
b. Crimes against humanity.
c. War crimes.
…The term ‘war crime’ is the technical expression for a violation of the law of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. Every violation of the law of war is a war crime.”(emphasis added)
Cheney insists that no torture took place in Iraq, claiming waterboarding to be simply an “enhanced interrogation technique.” I am inclined to ask, “Mr. Cheney, if waterboarding is not torture, can I waterboard you?” Of course, I do not expect an answer from the former Vice President. He will neither submit to this “technique” nor will he admit it to be torture, which would cause him to incriminate himself. Neither Dick Cheney nor George W. Bush will likely ever be held accountable in a court for their crimes, though both men should. In addition to Bush & Cheney, every president & Vice President that has authorized military action without a Congressional Declaration of war and authorized the use of “torture”and/or indefinite detention without charges should be charged with War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity & Crimes Against Peace. Instead of holding these men accountable, there will likely be a show trial for a puppet dictator that was only able to retain power with the help of the government of the United States of America.