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Local Official Caught Imprisoning Children

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Ooops.  Scratch that.  It was not a local official.  No need to get excited.  No need to end the practice or hold the criminal accountable.  No need to mention the scandal in news reports.  It's actually President George W. Bush.  There's nothing to see here.  Move along.  Shop.  Eat. Vote. Sleep.  Perish.  

Or take seriously the following article of impeachment introduced on Monday evening by Congressman Dennis Kucinich:

Article XX

In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution  "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed", has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, authorized or permitted the arrest and detention of at least 2500 children under the age of 18 as "enemy combatants" in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relating to the treatment of "protected persons" and the Optional Protocol to the Geneva Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, signed by the US in 2002 . To wit:

In May 2008, the US government reported to the United Nations that it has been holding upwards of 2,500 children under the age of 18 as "enemy combatants" at detention centers in Iraq, Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay (where there was a special center, Camp Iguana, established just for holding children). The length of these detentions has frequently exceeded a year, and in some cases has stretched to five years. Some of these detainees have reached adulthood in detention and are now not being reported as child detainees because they are no longer children.

In addition to detaining children as "enemy combatants," it has been widely reported in media reports that the US military in Iraq has, based upon Pentagon rules of engagement, been treating boys as young as 14 years of age as "potential combatants," subject to arrest and even to being killed. In Fallujah, in the days ahead of the November 2004 all-out assault, Marines ringing the city were reported to be turning back into the city men and boys "of combat age" who were trying to flee the impending scene of battle -- an act which in itself is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, which require combatants to permit anyone, combatants as well as civilians, to surrender, and to leave the scene of battle.

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which the United States has been a signatory since 1949, children under the age of 15 captured in conflicts, even if they have been fighting, are to be considered victims, not prisoners. In 2002, the United States signed the Optional Protocol to the Geneva Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of children in Armed Conflict, which raised this age for this category of "protected person" to under 18.

The continued detention of such children, some as young as 10, by the US military is a violation of both convention and protocol, and as such constitutes a war crime for which the president, as commander in chief, bears full responsibility.

In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and Commander in Chief, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.
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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online (more...)
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