UNDER U.S. AND WORLD LAW, LEGAL SCHOLAR SAYS
By Sherwood Ross
If anyone knows anything about international law it's Dr. Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and he's more than a little ticked off at the moment at President Bush. Dr. Boyle's credentials are little short of amazing.
He was the expert who drafted the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 --- approved unanimously by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.
He has written eight books including "Destroying World Order"(Clarity Press) and "Defending Civil Resistance Under International Law."
Now he's written an article with a ring of urgency, saying the House of Representatives "must impeach President Bush for war, lying about war, and threatening more wars."
The Bush Administration "demonstrates little if any respect for fundamental considerations of international law, international organizations, and human rights, let alone appreciation of the requirements for maintaining international peace and security," Boyle asserts.
"What the world has watched instead is a comprehensive and malicious assault upon the integrity of the international legal order by a group of men and women who are thoroughly Machiavellian in their perception of international relations and in their conduct of both foreign policy and domestic affairs," Boyle wrote in "The Long Term View: a Journal of Informed Opinion" published by the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover.
Claiming President Bush's policies "represent a gross deviation from those basic rules of international deportment and civilized behavior" the U.S. once stood for, Boyle said America's foreign policies today "constitute ongoing criminal activity under well-recognized principles of both international law and U.S. domestic law, and in particular the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment, and the Nuremberg Principles."
Boyle termed it a "great irony" in that six decades ago the U.S. participated in the prosecution of Nazi officials "for committing some of the same types of heinous international crimes that members of the Bush Jr. administration currently inflict upon people all around the world."
Boyle also charged the Administration with "grave breaches of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the 1907 Hague Regulations on land warfare, torture, disappearances, and assassinations."
The international legal authority pointed out that Article VI of the U.S. Constitution provides that treaties "shall be the supreme Law of the Land" and that this "Supremacy Clause" applies to international executive agreements by the President such as the 1945 Nuremberg Charter.
As an example, Professor Boyle noted that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales when White House Counsel authorized the CIA to transfer detainees out of Iraq for interrogation, "a practice that contravenes the Geneva Conventions---and subsequently led to widespread abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib."
The torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Boyle goes on to write, makes President Bush accountable under U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 as he is Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The alternative to impeachment of President Bush and his accomplices, Boyle writes, "is likely to be an American Empire abroad, a U.S. police state at home, and continuing wars of aggression to sustain both --- along the lines of George Orwell's classic novel 1984."
(Sherwood Ross is a reporter who covers military history and political issues. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org)