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Forum LockedCould Bush be prosecuted?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 11:24
Interesting question but it has a wide scope. Obviously the Nuremberg trials were an instance of it.
 
Certainly the Spanish punished foreign combatants as criminals in the caribbean, but they may not be what you consider 'leaders'.
 
The idea of war crimes - i.e. there are limits to what one can do in waging war - goes back to the middle ages and the rules laid down by the church. The trial and burning of Joan of Arc would be an example from that period, but again maybe you would not call her a 'leader'. Same would be true of William Wallace.
 
Mary Queen of Scots is the only sovereign figure I can offhand think of tried and executed by a foreign country, but longer thinking would I'm sure come up with more.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 15:53

The fates of St. Joan, William Wallace and Mary were political executions.

Wallace committed no treason against his King because Longshanks was not his king.
 
Joan of Arc committed no crime other than being a soldier.  Short term, eliminating a charasmatic figure can have tactical value in war.
 
The crime there (not de jure it is true) was the King of France exerting no effort at ransom, etc.  He used the maid for what he could get, and could not be seen to defend her once accusations of witchery were intimated.  Perhaps not least in his thinking was that she was a charasmatic figure and might at some time be a rallying point for rivals for the throne.
 
Mary was an unfortunate, and impolitic, figure.  Elizabeth had protected her more than once, and Mary was susceptible to intrigue and manipulation.  The Babington and Throckmorton types were the criminals, not so much Mary.
 
  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 16:14
I didn't say they were guilty. I just said they were put on trial and could be considered 'foreigh leaders'.
 
Jefferson Davis was charged, but not tried. Was he 'foreign' at the time or not?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 19:00
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I didn't say they were guilty. I just said they were put on trial and could be considered 'foreigh leaders'.
 
Jefferson Davis was charged, but not tried. Was he 'foreign' at the time or not?
 
Regardless of all the charges of "treason" and so on made by Radical Republicans, the view of Davis was really little different than that of Lee and other military leaders.  Most of them (including Davis) were West Point alums, and so were the most popular figures in the Union - the successful leaders of the army.
 
Was he a foreign leader?  No.  He was "in rebellion" as was most of the South, excluding all the Union men in many of the commercial cities and in more mountainous areas.  Once the South surrendered, it was no longer in rebellion.  They were all still Americans.  Some lost voting rights; many lost personal estates, but there were no firing squads and no exile for the leadership of the Confederacy.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yugoslav Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 20:42
Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

There were crimes against humanity occurring in Kosovo on the orders of Milosevic to "tone" down the riots and dissent if you will. The KLA did also commit some crimes, but not to the level of Serbian forces. Genocide would apply in Bosnia, but not in Kosovo though.

Just to make some things clear - there is very little connection from what happened in Kosovo to that which happened in Bosnia, as explained by the observes themselves. First of all, the Bosnian war was a horrifying civil war with tens of thousands of deaths everywhere, in which ethnic cleansing was practically a dayly phenomenon, even more often than maintaining fronts. By the time of the NATO intervention in BH, aimed specifically against the Serb Republic, countless atrocities had already occured, the Serb forces had committed a brutal massacre to the level of genocide of Bosnian Muslims (aka Bosniacs) in the east. In Kosovo, it was a conflict between on one side the governmental forces which fought against separatism and tried to solve the Kosovo problem by force, and on the other hand rebel insurgents who resorted to terrorism to achieve their goals.

The NATO intervention in BH helped end the war, stop a genocidal policy and help the region in itself. The casualties were solely military ones and were minimal. However, although popular thought, as exposed even on this thread is reversed than the actual reality. This is because there are many young people and out of political reasons (e.g. promoting Kosovo's independence), the truth is distorted. Contrary to the Bosnian war, the Americans did not contribute, on the short run, to the peace, but to the destabilization of the region and escalation of conflict. I remember one Serb peasent going to serve as soldier back from 1999, who said "by the time they stop throwing bomb on us, there'll no more be Albanians in Kosovo". As rightfully pointed out by the British opposition, the intervention had much more helped the escalation of the Kosovo war itself.

Over 90% of all atrocities against the Albanian population by the Yugoslavian/Serbian troops were committed during the NATO bombing campaign. Now I am of course not trying to note that the Kosovo war is NATO's fault, or to hypothesize "there would've been no ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians if there was no bombing", which would be misuse of historical facts, but to speak neutrally and openly, in essence, the bombing helped stop what occurred under it, and not before it.

The deciding moment to bomb FRY was in the beginning of 1999 the Racak incident. This in precise. This is also the earliest specific grave atrocity committed by the Serb forces. However, there is still a lot of controversy about this event. Serbs see it as a misuse of USA to justify its agression agaisnt them, while Albanians as a horrifying atrocity. It was, in effect, the beginning of the ethnic cleansing campaign, which was met with harsh international criticism. However, today we know several facts:

1. The Western watchers (under the leadership of a controversial American diplomat, himself under various accusations of connections with death squads in Latin America) have served as beacons, appointing ordinary citizens later, to guide NATO bombers; they also forced the autopsy analysts to lie about their findings with the open effort to find an excuse for a military intervention against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

2. The ICTY excluded Racak from the list of war crimes, noting that it wasn't proven

3. The chief organizer of the Yugoslavian forces' mission in Racak was awarded by the very same NATO a medal, and the very same NATO studies the Racak offensive of the Yugoslavian forces for its special anti-terrorist units as a sample of a good mission

Still remaining a mistery today, there is no doubt that the incident was overpopularized and overpropagated as an excuse to bomb FRY - yes, Bill Clinton and other officials of the United States did not resort to use open lies, such as that the Yugo-Serb forces expelled more than a million Albanians from Kosovo, or that 250,000 Albanians were gathered and executed in piles. In reality the United Nations, the Central Intelligence Agency and the United States of America State Department have, among other significant factors, all consider the Kosovo Liberation Army a terrorist organization until that turning point in 1998. In my personal opinion there was no conspiracy of course against FRY, but all the mistakes were expected, because the Clinton administration was quite scandalous, its scandals also including innocent deaths. Unlike the NATO intervention in B-H, 4,500 people were killed by NATO bombs in FRY and the results of the collateral damage, careless bombing and use of banned weaponry was absolutely devastating. I am not saying there were no grave violations of human rights before 1999, there were, there were numerous arrests, etcetera, but even the British parliament's investigation had shown that most of the specific incidents (minding the general oppression which was undoubtedly there) were not caused by Belgrade's forces but by the KLA.

One other significant thing is that the NATO approved the bombing of FRY already in 1998 - before deciding to implement it due to the Racak massacre. So in effect, the Serbs themselves mostly believe that the fate of their country was predecided then, and then all the following months were spent on searching (if it did not accept all the ultimatums) an incident in an effort to justify that which was already pre-defined, and such thing was found in January of 1999. It has to be said, admittedly, that there was also a - justified or unjustified - fear of the Serbs as a people in general (in Serbia they describe this as "Western Serbophobia"), so taking to granted what members of that same people did in a naighboring country (Bosnia and Herzegovina), you can already see the general doubt. So to say lastly, there was indeed no connection of the Kosovo war with the Bosnian war. As the French watchers of the war themselves stated, there were grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, horrible atrocities, but were incomparable to the French in Algiers or the US in Iraq.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 20:46
Bush violated the 4th, 6th and 8th amendments, among other things. So you can theoretically build a case against him. Also, the government subsidizes chaplains in the army, and this is a breach of the first amendment.
 
But realistically, he'll never get prosecuted. Lets say for the sake of argument that the current administration lets him get prosecuted, then they will also be guilty of continuing many of Bush's crimes and we would have to prosecute Obama as well. Won't happen.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 22:31
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

Bush violated the 4th, 6th and 8th amendments, among other things. So you can theoretically build a case against him. Also, the government subsidizes chaplains in the army, and this is a breach of the first amendment.
The government subsidy of chaplains in the army doesn't breach the first amendment because it doesn't establish a state religion.  The government pays all religious personnel staffing armed forces religious posts, that includes but is not limited to Catholic and Protestant churches as well as Jewish and Muslim temples and mosques.  Because the government funds all of these they do not violate the 1st amendment.  In order to violate the first amendment the government would need to establish a state religion by law and by funding (in the case of the armed forces), since this has not been done there is no violation of the first amendment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 23:06
Originally posted by King John King John wrote:

The government subsidy of chaplains in the army doesn't breach the first amendment because it doesn't establish a state religion.  The government pays all religious personnel staffing armed forces religious posts, that includes but is not limited to Catholic and Protestant churches as well as Jewish and Muslim temples and mosques.  Because the government funds all of these they do not violate the 1st amendment.  In order to violate the first amendment the government would need to establish a state religion by law and by funding (in the case of the armed forces), since this has not been done there is no violation of the first amendment.
 
 
I'm sorry but you're wrong. The first amendment is very simple and straightforward:
 
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
 
 
Government subsidizing the activity of any religious institution is clearly a violation of the first amendment. The first amendment says nothing of state religion, and it does not say government can support all religions equally. It says government cannot support any religion, period.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 23:50
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

Originally posted by King John King John wrote:

The government subsidy of chaplains in the army doesn't breach the first amendment because it doesn't establish a state religion.  The government pays all religious personnel staffing armed forces religious posts, that includes but is not limited to Catholic and Protestant churches as well as Jewish and Muslim temples and mosques.  Because the government funds all of these they do not violate the 1st amendment.  In order to violate the first amendment the government would need to establish a state religion by law and by funding (in the case of the armed forces), since this has not been done there is no violation of the first amendment.
 
 
I'm sorry but you're wrong. The first amendment is very simple and straightforward:
 
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
No it's not because no religion is established as official.  You might also want to embolden the part after the comma and before the semi-colon, which states "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."  By funding chaplains that are representative of all the major religions the government is not violating the 1st Amendment.  You should also reread what I wrote (specifically the part made bold by you).  When you do you will see that I said "In order to violate the 1st Amendment the government would need to establish a state religion by law[...]."  Now let's compare what I wrote with what the Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."  Notice the similarities in what I wrote and what the 1st Amendment says?  The first amendment states that any law by Congress that establishes a religion–that is makes a religion the official religion of the nation–is unconstitutional.
Quote Government subsidizing the activity of any religious institution is clearly a violation of the first amendment. The first amendment says nothing of state religion, and it does not say government can support all religions equally. It says government cannot support any religion, period.
It says that the government can't establish a religion.  The 1st amendment doesn't say anything about supporting organized religion financially as a service for its employees in the armed forces (and civilians).  

The 1st Amendment says nothing about funding all it says is that "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion..."  How do you read the phrase "establishment of religion"?  How you interpret this phrase will heavily impact your reading of the 1st Amendment.  Chief Justice William Renquist see this phrase as meaning that no law shall be enacted that establishes a "single national church."  

By the way if government subsidy of chaplains was unconstitutional it would have been stopped.  In fact it would be a violation of a soldier's rights to not provide him with religious services, since all soldiers are afforded the rights of all citizens not in the military, including the first amendment.  


Edited by King John - 20-Apr-2009 at 23:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 00:45
When it says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excercise thereof", it runs counter to the concept of subsidizing chaplains. Having chaplains come in for free, or having a 3rd party pay for them, would be consistent with the first amendment, because you are neither supporting (paying) nor prohibiting the free excercise of religion. But when government uses part of its budget to pay religious institutions to provide services, the state is "respecting" or "supporting" these religious institutions, which is very clearly against the first amendment.
 
Having the state refuse to pay for chaplains is not the same as prohibiting anyone from practicing a religion. I don't see how you can come to that conclusion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 04:00
Respecting and supporting chaplains is not the same as establishing a religion.  You are also misreading the word "respecting" here, in this case the word is a preposition that Merriam-Webster defines as 1. in view of: considering and 2. with respect to: concerning.  If you read this amendment again replacing "respecting" with either considering or concerning you will see that having a state subsidized chaplain is not a violation of this amendment.  The amendment would read as follows "The Congress shall make no law concerning/considering an establishment of religion..."  Under this reading you can see that the office of military chaplain is not a violation since it does neither establish a religion nor does it prohibit anybody from practicing their religion.  If neither of these clauses are violated there is no violation of the 1st amendment.

It should also be noted that the government isn't paying religious institutions to provide services, they are paying individuals to administer services to those who want them.  They are not paying specific Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, and other Houses of Worship for their space nor are they paying them for their services.  The government also does not pay people to provide services to only one religious group but instead they pay for services to be provided to all religious groups.

If you really want to talk about violations of the 1st Amendment by the Government why not look at the Chaplains of the Senate and House of Reps.  I cede the point that the Government has violated the 1st Amendment with the Chaplains of the Senate and House of Representatives. 

This discussion is off topic and I don't think we should take over this thread by continuing this discussion I would suggest opening a new thread in which we can further this discussion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 16:23
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

Bush violated the 4th, 6th and 8th amendments, among other things. So you can theoretically build a case against him. Also, the government subsidizes chaplains in the army, and this is a breach of the first amendment.
I don't see it's a breach of the first amendment, any more than having a Congressional chaplain is. It hinges on whether the US had military chaplains before the amendment was passed: if so then Congress is not allowed to change the situation. It also depends on whether the number of religions that can have chaplains is limited.
 
The problem with the other amendments, where I agree with you, is that he did it while President, and arguably should therefore have been impeached at the time. Since he wasn't it's consitutionally vague whether he can still be prosecuted.
Quote
But realistically, he'll never get prosecuted. Lets say for the sake of argument that the current administration lets him get prosecuted, then they will also be guilty of continuing many of Bush's crimes and we would have to prosecute Obama as well. Won't happen.
Agreed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 16:29
On the establishment point, the founders obviously had the establishment of the Church of England in mind. In English then and indeed now, 'establishmentarianism' is the belief that there should be a single state church, as there is in England where the CoE is 'established by law'.
 
The amendment is terribly clear as to whether there could be two established religions. What is quite clear is that it only refers to Congress. I am sure that the founders intended that states and/or smaller localities had the right to establish a local church in their community.
 
PS: an 'by law established' church is subject to the sovereign, not the other way around.


Edited by gcle2003 - 21-Apr-2009 at 16:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 21:14

What part of the 4th, 6th and 8th amendments did Bush violate? Could please enlighten us AS.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 09:04
A rough explanation from my perspective: 
 
4th amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
 
The Patriot Act basically made this obsolete, and gave the government wide powers to spy on its citizens through the telecommunications companies and other means. There are also military checkpoints set up in many places where there is a military presence, searching people's cars at random--- this is also a violation of Posse Comitatus, which prohibits the military from policing on American soil. We must remember the government announced there are going to be around 20,000 active troops on American soil by 2011, so while this is a relatively new and isolated phenomenon (which still doesn't justify its existence), it has the potential to grow significantly.
 
 
6th amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
 
The Patriot Act overrides this amendment if the person is deemed an "enemy combatant" or a "terrorist". You can be arrested without charge and held indefinitely.
 
 
8th amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
 
Cruel and unusual punishments have been ordered in many secret prisons and detention centers. I think we can all recall some notable examples.
 
 
Bush also went to war without a declaration of war being passed in Congress by a 2/3 majority. This is unconstitutional and this fact by itself can open up a pandora's box of other charges you can level against Bush. Cheney can also be prosecuted when we realize his authority in the administration overstepped the framework for the powers vested in the office of Vice President.
 
This is all theoretical of course. They won't actually be prosecuted--- even the current administration has an interest to prevent this from happening because they are continuing many of the crimes listed. Obama even supported reauthorization of the Patriot Act before he became president, which gives us an idea about Obama's attitudes concerning constitutional rights.
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