Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » CIA vs Bush Administration (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   
Author Topic: CIA vs Bush Administration
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.msnbc.com/hardball/watch/fmr-cia-deputy-director-grilled-on-iraq-war-447888451643

Can anyone give a good reason why a statement such as this from a senior CIA briefer to the President, however begrudging, should not be grounds for an immediate international war crimes tribunal?

The only one I can think of is that when the Bush administration mentioned obtaining information from intelligence sources they were speaking of sources other than the official intelligence agencies, i.e. secret contacts or relationships that could not be disclosed. However even this charitable suggestion seems to be shut down by the fact that since the reasons given were false it doesn't stand to reason that covert and highly informed private sources would have said these things.

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rafi
Member
Member # 6930

 - posted      Profile for Rafi   Email Rafi       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
MSNBC reviving the anti-Bush memes? Hillary must have called for campaign help or Obama wanted some distraction from one of his debacles - my guess is today's economic report about the expected contraction but could be the nuclear arms race he's set in motion in the ME, the setback on immigration or something worse.
Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
MSNBC reviving the anti-Bush memes? Hillary must have called for campaign help or Obama wanted some distraction from one of his debacles - my guess is today's economic report about the expected contraction but could be the nuclear arms race he's set in motion in the ME, the setback on immigration or something worse.

So your answer is that there's no good reason?
Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Seriati
Member
Member # 2266

 - posted      Profile for Seriati         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Can you summarize the claim that you want to make?

And be specific about what "international war crime" you think was committed.

Posts: 2309 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
Can you summarize the claim that you want to make?

And be specific about what "international war crime" you think was committed.

Waging a war of aggression on a nation for which the reason for war was a deliberate a fabrication? If the intelligence officers providing the intel claim they did not provide the information that the administration stated they did, it means that the administration unilaterally caused an unjustified war. Even if there were other excuses to have gone to war with Iraq, these were not the reasons chiefly used to convince the Congress to declare war, and not the reasons provided to the population whom they represent.

However there is also the issue of various acts committed during that war, including the known use of forbidden substances and weapons, as well as the use of torture, which were part of the execution of that war.

Here's the Wiki page on the legality of the Iraq War:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_the_Iraq_War

I do note that even if the war was illegal that would not necessarily imply war crimes were also committed. Previously we've been told that the reasons for the war turned out to be wrong but that the administration didn't know this at the time and acted based on what they knew. If we now find out that they really did know all along it wasn't true then we're talking serious business.

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
D.W.
Member
Member # 4370

 - posted      Profile for D.W.   Email D.W.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
War is pretty much business at its most serious. [Razz]
Posts: 4308 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
War is pretty much business at its most serious. [Razz]

Yes, everyone knows that. But that's different from what can be proved. A statement from the CIA professional on the scene is as valid a piece of evidence as a photograph or document, providing he was willing to testify to the facts he stated in offhand manner.

It's one thing to say "everyone's corrupt, what else is new," and another thing to be able to nail them for it. And a statement like this from this kind of guy should serve to convince various doubting Thomases who try to give the Bush admin the benefit of the doubt.

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
D.W.
Member
Member # 4370

 - posted      Profile for D.W.   Email D.W.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To what end though? We get some in congress to publicly condemn a past administration for going to war for economic reasons (bad) rather than "protecting us or that region from WMD." (good)

We get their commitment that they will hold future presidents (particularly those of the opposing party) to higher scrutiny / accountability and it won't happen again? (hehe)

We want to be comfortable, have a strong economy and believe we are the "good guys" of the world. If our leaders take action which make us do "bad things" at least spin us a tale in which we can hide from that fact or justify it as "less bad than our enemies".

All this nation building and stabilizing regions isn't working out for us. This proxy imperialism seems to backfire as of late.

In the end though it's still likely more favorable than saying, "Hey, Mr. Head of State! Act more favorably towards us or we can have you replaced." The rest of the world tends to frown on such aggressive acts even though they ignore more bloody and disruptive endeavors which amount to the same thing.

So ya, maybe a statement from this CIA professional is the smoking gun political opponents, isolationists and anti-war groups have been looking for. Now what?

Posts: 4308 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonaldD
Member
Member # 1052

 - posted      Profile for DonaldD   Email DonaldD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think having the Obama administration attempt to hold a prior Republican administration's feet to the fire, in the current political landscape, would be a recipe for complete governmental disfunction in the future.

The only benefit that might come out of it would be that maybe nobody would ever again want to run for office or be employed by elected federal officials.

Posts: 10751 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It sounds like both of you are saying that high-level politicians should be considered as being immune to prosecution and therefore above the law, the reason being that it's too much political trouble for one party to prosecute the other (and since no party will prosecute itself).

Why does it have to be "the Obama administration" prosecuting the previous administration? Is President Obama the only person in charge of determining that possible criminals should be pursued? And if he doesn't see fit to do so then it shouldn't be done?

Let's say a sitting President outright called a hit on a political opponent (Russian style). And now say this was proven years later. You would suggest this should be let to pass because "it's in the past" and "it would be too messy politically"?

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 6161

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not "should be" but, in practice, "are". It would set a frightening (for them) precedent.
Posts: 2635 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonaldD
Member
Member # 1052

 - posted      Profile for DonaldD   Email DonaldD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Right. There's no "should be" involved. But unless the Republicans were the ones initiating actions against Cheney or Bush, the country would almost certainly, politically, tear itself apart.

Don't get me wrong; I'm all for blind justice - I just don't see it as a remote possibility.

Posts: 10751 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you're saying that politicians cannot be expected to prosecute each other (either they cannot, will not, or must not for some reason) then obviously you believe there is a major hole in the American legal system, since taking on political life isn't supposed to make one immune to criminal laws (legally or effectively).

If you believe there is such a hole, then what would you propose to seal it? A privately funded investigative committee that reports directly to the judiciary? Obviously one would fear this kind of committee could be partisan or bought. Then what?

To answer Donald's comment specifically, let's say this kind of act was prosecuted and the country did, in fact, tear itself apart, politically or otherwise. Is that unacceptable compared to tearing other countries apart? Obviously it is to politicians, but unless they are monarchs their opinion shouldn't count about whether or not they should be held to the law.

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Seriati
Member
Member # 2266

 - posted      Profile for Seriati         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
Can you summarize the claim that you want to make?

And be specific about what "international war crime" you think was committed.

Waging a war of aggression on a nation for which the reason for war was a deliberate a fabrication?
I don't usually agree to watch video content to try and construct someone's argument for them. What I saw from this interview was mostly just Chris Matthews putting words in the mouth of the interviewee. I don't find Chris Matthew's questions persuasive or usefull as anything but sound bites.

So what is your argument?

The interviewee made it clear that the intelligence community believed and expressed to the President that Iraq had chemical weapons; possibly biological and was actively seeking nuclear and in process of attempting to reconstitute their program. Pretty absolutely crushes your "lie" theory.

Which appears to be the premise for your international war crimes claim. Of course, that doesn't appear in any where in any treatise on international war crimes.

Nor by the way does restarting hostilities during a cease fire require any specific fact pattern other than breaches of the cease fire - which were present in overwhelming numbers.

So again, what's the specific basis for an accusation of war crimes (other than Bush is a bad guy and you really really want to assert them)?
quote:
If the intelligence officers providing the intel claim they did not provide the information that the administration stated they did, it means that the administration unilaterally caused an unjustified war.
If I had to watch that absurd video, you could at least do me the curtesy of not misstating what came of it. Chris Matthews made the claim and badgered the interviewee into not providing the explanation he wanted to make. Argue in good faith or not at all.
quote:
Even if there were other excuses to have gone to war with Iraq, these were not the reasons chiefly used to convince the Congress to declare war, and not the reasons provided to the population whom they represent.
How does that weigh into your war crimes charge? Answer, it makes it fail completely. It's not a war crime to go to war where you are legally permitted to do so, even if you tell lies on top of it.
quote:
However there is also the issue of various acts committed during that war, including the known use of forbidden substances and weapons, as well as the use of torture, which were part of the execution of that war.
Known use of forbidden substances? What were those specifically?

Wiki pages aren't worth the time they take to read on political issues. If you want to make an argument make your own.

I seriously don't know what to make of your argument on this. Are you serious here? You think Chris Matthews putting words in someone's mouth somehow acts as conclusive evidence, notwithstanding the same person gave evidence to the contrary, that the administration knowingly lied? And somehow this magically vaults over a bar to an international war crime?

No. Just no. You guys don't get to make something into a lie just cause you really really want it to be.

Posts: 2309 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The interviewee made it clear that the intelligence community believed and expressed to the President that Iraq had chemical weapons; possibly biological and was actively seeking nuclear and in process of attempting to reconstitute their program.
Well, no. Parsing that more closely, he made it clear that that's what the intelligence community told the President -- not that they themselves believed it.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Seriati,

You seem to be mainly disputing the facts in question, i.e. that lies were told. But let's bypass that objection for the moment and enter a hypothetical so I can hear your thoughts on the matter. Let's suppose that evidence was produced that the Bush admin had, in fact, blatantly lied about the reasons for going to war. Or even better, just imagine some unspecific administration had done so. Let us suppose also, to answer your other point, that not only were the official reasons given lies, but that there were not also already acceptable reasons to go to war, i.e. the only pertinent reasons given were the lies.

What would you say should be done then, over 10 years after the fact when evidence of this is presented? Do you agree with Donald and D.W. that it's too messy to try to prosecute and that it would be better left alone?

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonaldD
Member
Member # 1052

 - posted      Profile for DonaldD   Email DonaldD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Fearing, that's not what I said. I even didn't say that a second time. Reading isn't that hard.
Posts: 10751 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Fearing, that's not what I said. I even didn't say that a second time. Reading isn't that hard.

You said that if an administration from one party were to try to prosecute members of an administration from another party it would most likely tear the country (politically) apart. I infer from this that you find this to be an undesirable goal. The alternative is that you do find this an acceptable result but assume that the parties don't and so it won't happen. And yet latter option fails to answer what you would like to see happen, notwithstanding what you predict will happen.

If I've made a mistake please let me know what it is. Are you saying high level politicians should or should not be prosecuted for crimes, if it was up to you?

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rafi
Member
Member # 6930

 - posted      Profile for Rafi   Email Rafi       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
MSNBC reviving the anti-Bush memes? Hillary must have called for campaign help or Obama wanted some distraction from one of his debacles - my guess is today's economic report about the expected contraction but could be the nuclear arms race he's set in motion in the ME, the setback on immigration or something worse.

So your answer is that there's no good reason?
Are you under the misimpression that only a few people in he Bush administration were pushing this war? That's the revisionist goal from the left, don't fall for it.

The real question is why MSNBC feels compelled to revive it now.

Posts: 793 | Registered: Jul 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
Are you under the misimpression that only a few people in he Bush administration were pushing this war? That's the revisionist goal from the left, don't fall for it.

Obviously many people can contribute to a program. But whomever holds final responsibility for a program can surely be held to account for it, even if others share responsibility in some measure. The one doesn't need to have anything to do with the other. "We don't have a complete list of who was involved" doesn't require the conclusion of "therefore we can't prosecute anyone at all." If the CEO of a business commits a crime it's not relevant to his guilt to point out that his accountant egged him on and his VP told him he should really do it. It might mitigate his level of responsibility, but it wouldn't remove it.

But perhaps you are alluding to the fact that a person 'in charge' can be a figurehead and not really the one who made events transpire as they did. I'm sure this is true, however even the guy who did nothing but say "go" is still responsible for that. He could have said "no" instead. If such a person, in his own defence, wanted to make the case that he was coerced with threats then he could go ahead and make that case; if he feels he didn't actually do the thing it looks like he did, but others made it look like it was him, then he can make that case too. But we don't have to make it for him.

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonaldD
Member
Member # 1052

 - posted      Profile for DonaldD   Email DonaldD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Fenring, that's not what I said. I even didn't say that a second time. Reading isn't that hard.

You said that if an administration from one party were to try to prosecute members of an administration from another party it would most likely tear the country (politically) apart.
No, this is also a misrepresentation of what I said, just a brand new one. I was very specific about the context.

quote:
I infer from this that you find this to be an undesirable goal.
Yes, this is an inference of yours, not something I said, and so not something that someone could agree with me about.

Whether bringing to a head the current political malaise in your country is a net benefit, and whether or not that should override due process, had nothing to do with my point, which was simply that those invested in the stability of their own post-political lives are unlikely to start a figurative civil war that will in all likelihood put themselves at risk. Heck, they might even value the current system, broken as it is, over whatever would come next, regardless of their own welfare.

Posts: 10751 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 6161

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Powerful people won't prosecute other powerful people because, once that line is crossed, they wouldn't be safe either.
Posts: 2635 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Seneca
Member
Member # 6790

 - posted      Profile for Seneca   Email Seneca       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So let's just write off ever stopping government corruption again. Now where was that attitude during Scooter Libbey's trial?
Posts: 6017 | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 6161

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am describing, not endorsing. And Scooter Libby was not the president. Even so, his powerful friends kept him out of jail.

[ May 31, 2015, 12:14 AM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

Posts: 2635 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Donald, how is this

quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
quote:

[...]unless the Republicans were the ones initiating actions against Cheney or Bush, the country would almost certainly, politically, tear itself apart.


significantly different than this:

quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:

if an administration from one party were to try to prosecute members of an administration from another party it would most likely tear the country (politically) apart.


Since the case that would not tear the country apart, according to your statement, would be the Republicans themselves prosecuting Bush and Cheney, you therefore must mean that if the Democrats were the ones prosecuting them then it would tear the country apart. Is the issue you have with what I attributed to you specifically that you think this would only be true in the case of Democrats prosecuting Republicans, but that Republicans trying to prosecute Democrats would specifically not tear the country apart? Or is the issue that I generalized to "party" when you specified only with regards to Bush and Cheney but not to some unspecified Republican administration? Either way I honestly don't know why you nitpicked my paraphrase of what you said, since the meat of it seems to be that one party prosecuting another would turn into a political fiasco. If I'm wrong then please tell me exactly what point I'm missing.

Regarding my 'inference' about whether or not you think the country tearing itself apart is desirable, I already understood you were making a claim about what the parties would want to do or not do. But this was not the question I posed in my OP. I didn't bring up what people predict will happen or what the parties would like to happen. My original question, rephrased, is what would you like to see happen? I asked for one good reason not to prosecute, which as far as I meant it means what legal, ethical, or 'for the good of the future' reason might there be not to prosecute? Corrupt people not wanting the corruption to end doesn't count as a valid reason as far as I'm concerned, since unless they are monarchs their say shouldn't count for much.

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NobleHunter
Member
Member # 2450

 - posted      Profile for NobleHunter   Email NobleHunter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not sufficiently convinced of the good intentions of the American political class to think prosecuting previous administrations is a good idea (at least not in matters relating to public policy). Even if its a valid investigation this time, it probably won't be the next time. There's a reason the Athenians stopped ostracizing people.
Posts: 2581 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Seneca
Member
Member # 6790

 - posted      Profile for Seneca   Email Seneca       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Presidents can do whatever they want? Any attempt to lawfully prosecute them or their underlings is just "political."

I don't accept that. The constant cycles of corruption have to end sometime. Why not begin now? Do we have to wait to have law and order until Hillary has gotten her "turn" ?

[ May 31, 2015, 12:19 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

Posts: 6017 | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One thing that I'm also concerned about is not merely 'doing the right thing' but also trying to heal wounds opened in other parts of the world. If one of the Presidential candidates opposed to aggressive foreign policy was elected then that would help too, however sadly that probably won't happen. I just don't know what could be more important that taking steps to stop the killing of foreign people for private financial gain.
Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NobleHunter
Member
Member # 2450

 - posted      Profile for NobleHunter   Email NobleHunter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Who would do the prosecuting? Rather, who could do the prosecuting and have it been seen as a legitimate use of power? It's not like you can set up a royal commission or similar to isolate it from current politics. Who can be trusted to distinguish between the dubious exercise of power and personal aggrandizement?

I suppose it's the political equivalent of "too big to fail".

Posts: 2581 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Seneca
Member
Member # 6790

 - posted      Profile for Seneca   Email Seneca       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So for fear of looking partisan we cease all law and order for politicians.

As I said, I am curious as to whether those arguing this absurd logic did so during the Bush administration years.

[ May 31, 2015, 02:05 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

Posts: 6017 | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It sounds like one good answer to my initial question of "what's a good reason not to prosecute" might be that there is no apparatus in place to prosecute high-level political officials. If this is true then it would mean that there's a serious hole in the judicial system, and it seems like it would be rather important to adopt measures to rectify it.

Rather than say "there's no established way to do this, so just forget about it" wouldn't it be healthier for the country's future to devise a way to deal with this sort of situation? It's not as if criminal misconduct was just invented, but if we ever want to be able to say that America has done anything but devolve since it's founding I think at the very least ending high-level crime would be a good place to start. On the street level we can say life is better now for the most part due to gangs and the mafia not running neighborhoods at the point of a gun. Perhaps the gangs and mafia in private offices should be next.

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Seneca
Member
Member # 6790

 - posted      Profile for Seneca   Email Seneca       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There is a way to deal with it. We did it with former administrations. The current administration's defenders may want to pretend it's impossible or unworkable because of some select few previous failures but that would be false.
Posts: 6017 | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 6161

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not all politicians. Governors can certainly go to jail. 😉 But presidents for foreign policy? Not likely.
Posts: 2635 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NobleHunter
Member
Member # 2450

 - posted      Profile for NobleHunter   Email NobleHunter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Seneca, you are aware we're talking about this in the context of charging Bush, right? If Obama has crossed a line, it's up to Congress to deal with it. For that matter, impeaching a president is less dangerous to the political process than prosecuting a former one.
Posts: 2581 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"
Can anyone give a good reason why a statement such as this from a senior CIA briefer to the President, however begrudging, should not be grounds for an immediate international war crimes tribunal"

Absence of any applicable war crime.

Lying about casus beli aint a war crime when (1) the war isx already started, or (2) other valid casus beli exists.

Invading Iraq was stupid. It was not, otoh, agression.

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
"
Can anyone give a good reason why a statement such as this from a senior CIA briefer to the President, however begrudging, should not be grounds for an immediate international war crimes tribunal"

Absence of any applicable war crime.

Lying about casus beli aint a war crime when (1) the war isx already started, or (2) other valid casus beli exists.

Invading Iraq was stupid. It was not, otoh, agression.

Ok Pete, so how about war crimes that resulted from the supposedly illegal war (most countries considered it an illegal war, and even by American legal standards it probably was too) even if those began after the war was already initiated?

I can get into the specifics if you and Seriati really care, but let's say it involves use of forbidden weapons, torture, and other breaches of the Geneva Convention. Would the commander in chief of the forces using these methods be responsible for the behavior of his officers and soldiers?

Regarding your other point, that there were already causes for war even aside from the lies, these were not the points that sold the war. This matters because war was declared by the Congress, and if they only did so because of the lies and would not have done so for "those other reasons" then the administration tricking the Congress would be guilty of starting an illegal war. Is my reasoning here accurate?

[ June 01, 2015, 01:26 AM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Seriati
Member
Member # 2266

 - posted      Profile for Seriati         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Seriati,

You seem to be mainly disputing the facts in question, i.e. that lies were told.

I do in fact dispute that, but that's not what I'm "mainly" doing. What I was "mainly" doing was pointing out that you have not stated a case for an international war crime. You haven't even stated a case for an activity that would be illegal under the laws of this nation.
quote:
But let's bypass that objection for the moment and enter a hypothetical so I can hear your thoughts on the matter.
Let's bypass the underling fault of your premise and answer it anyway?
quote:
Let's suppose that evidence was produced that the Bush admin had, in fact, blatantly lied about the reasons for going to war. Or even better, just imagine some unspecific administration had done so. Let us suppose also, to answer your other point, that not only were the official reasons given lies, but that there were not also already acceptable reasons to go to war, i.e. the only pertinent reasons given were the lies.
Are you also presuming that we were not already in a state of war, that was subject to a cease fire agreement that had been violated?

In essence you want us to consider, de novo, whether going to war, from a state of peace, would have been a crime if we were deliberately lied to cause us to go to war? For what ridiculous purpose? Why not, go the other way, and ask if Saddam's government had engaged in a nuclear attack, would we have been justified in responding?
quote:
What would you say should be done then, over 10 years after the fact when evidence of this is presented?
It would depend wouldn't it. What you are trying to imply is that a legally authorized war of the US (which requires executive and legislative approval, and should not be undertaken lightly), should be deemed illegal? There's no provision for that in US law. There's barely a provision for such a thing in international law, and there's no such international law provision that would be materially enforceable against the US.

I might be able to make a case for treason, though you'd need more facts to prove it, and I've no doubt such a person would have tripped up other federal statutes and/or be able to be held accountable by the legislature.
quote:
Do you agree with Donald and D.W. that it's too messy to try to prosecute and that it would be better left alone?
It's never too late to prosecute. I do agree with them on the point that this would be nothing more than a political prosecution. In fact, I'd probably state it more strongly than they would, as you don't actually seem to be tieing your charges into any actual articulable criminal act.
Posts: 2309 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
In essence you want us to consider, de novo, whether going to war, from a state of peace, would have been a crime if we were deliberately lied to cause us to go to war?

Yes, that is what I want you to consider. One can talk about "being in a state of war" with Iraq already, which is a joke, since that state of war was initiated by the U.S. anyhow and the terms were dictated by the U.S. as well. And even if Iraq was breaking the terms of that ceasefire in some way it certainly was not in any way that had to do with U.S. national security, since they posed no threat to the U.S. or its interests as they were in 2001.

But even bypassing this point which I doubt you'll agree with anyhow, yes, what I'm asking is what consequence there is for an unspecified administration to tell lies to the Congress in order to have them vote to initiate a war of aggression. Let me create a short script of how this would look:

Pres: There is lots of oil in XYZ, I want to invade the hell out of them and just take it.

VP: Alright but the Congress won't go for that.

Pres: Intelligence tells us they are no threat to us, but we can tell the people something else. They do have some old weapons we sold to them, after all, that we can claim makes them a threat.

VP: What if intelligence goes public that this isn't true?

Pres: We will say it came from confidential intelligence sources. That will stonewall the discussion about what our agents know.

VP: Perfect, let's brief the Congress.

Pres (to Congress): Intelligence tells us that nation XYZ has gas weapons, maybe nerve agents, they have delivery vehicles for it, and they can pose a threat to us here. Further, they also have a nuclear program which may or may not be complete.

Congress: Are we sure they are a threat to us?

Pres: We are sure, this is an imminent threat and action must be taken. Also the safety of the world is at stake from the nuclear threat. For the good of the nation, and the world!

Congress: Why has this just only come to our attention now?

Pres: Did I mention? Because XYZ is also behind a terrorist attack here.

VP (to Pres): Really?

Pres (to VP): No. Go along with it.

VP: It's true, they attacked us first and must be stopped.

Congress: That's enough for us. TO WAR!


This is the hypothetical scenario I am addressing, which is proven to be the case 10 years down the road. What consequence is there for an administration doing this? You suggested maybe treason. Is that the only crime? What about the deaths of foreign people, how is that prosecuted? What about any atrocities that tend to go along with war and breach the Geneva Convention?

Let's dispense for the moment with whether this is what really happened and talk about what would happen if this was the case. One discussion at a time. Parsing facts to determine if this really was the case is less interesting to me right now compared to the question of what the proper course of action is when this kind of outrage is discovered.

quote:
For what ridiculous purpose? Why not, go the other way, and ask if Saddam's government had engaged in a nuclear attack, would we have been justified in responding?

I don't think there's any way to parse the facts of the last 15 years to assess Iraq 2.0 as anything other than a war of aggression, even with the proviso that it might or might not have been a justified one. Saddam didn't do something that suddenly triggered a need for the U.S. to attack, and we know that for certain. Bush said he'd attack Iraq years before the fact, before he was even elected; his mind was already made up about that and it's in the public record. But again I'd like to bypass this particular debate in favor of my question above.
Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Seriati
Member
Member # 2266

 - posted      Profile for Seriati         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
In essence you want us to consider, de novo, whether going to war, from a state of peace, would have been a crime if we were deliberately lied to cause us to go to war?

Yes, that is what I want you to consider.
To what end? Honestly, if you really want to know my thoughts I have enough history to figure it out. I never supported the pre-emptive war doctrine. Yet, I've made the Real Politick case for why Iraq had to happen on several occasions.

In any event, it's nonsensical. Noone in this country, including Congress would have supported a war for the possibility of a threat. It only was possible in the context of a failed peace. Doesn't magically transform anything into a war crime.
quote:
One can talk about "being in a state of war" with Iraq already, which is a joke, since that state of war was initiated by the U.S. anyhow and the terms were dictated by the U.S. as well.
And we have left reality. Seriously.
quote:
And even if Iraq was breaking the terms of that ceasefire in some way it certainly was not in any way that had to do with U.S. national security, since they posed no threat to the U.S. or its interests as they were in 2001.
Explain why that would be relevant? I mean seriously, explain why if you sign an agreement with a foreign power, that provided they refrain from X, you will not destroy their country, and they do X it should mean you're not in fact justified destroying their country?

Then, after you explain it. Go read up on the law of war and delete everything you wrote and try again.
quote:
But even bypassing this point...
you don't have a point, you sortof have an ideal...
quote:
which I doubt you'll agree with anyhow, yes, what I'm asking is what consequence there is for an unspecified administration to tell lies to the Congress in order to have them vote to initiate a war of aggression.
As I said, at best you'd have a charge of treason (which by the way, less you mis-cite me again, is NOT what we have here).
quote:
Let me create a short script of how this would look:
Seriously a play?
quote:
Pres: There is lots of oil in XYZ, I want to invade the hell out of them and just take it.
You've lost me already, who is getting this "oil"? Seriously, where are the contracts for exploitation?
quote:
VP: Alright but the Congress won't go for that.
Lol, seriously? Why would a "president" go for it buy a "congress" not? Aren't they all bought and paid for politicians?
quote:
Pres: Intelligence tells us they are no threat to us, but we can tell the people something else. They do have some old weapons we sold to them, after all, that we can claim makes them a threat.[quote]Let's continue the side track.
[quote]VP: What if intelligence goes public that this isn't true?

Which part "wasn't true"? Based on what you said that would be that they are no threat or that they have weapons we sold them right?
quote:
Pres: We will say it came from confidential intelligence sources. That will stonewall the discussion about what our agents know.
Lol. We know for a fact that certain individuals with a interest in the fall of the Iraqi regime deliberately fed false information into the system. Are you imputing that this was a scam of some sort?

I can't keep going. What's the point of this cartoon? The "answer" end of day, is that the kids mom should ground them for lieing to their playmates in your scenario. Of course with the 10 year add in, they would have had to have been under 6 when they did it for that solution.
quote:
I don't think there's any way to parse the facts of the last 15 years to assess Iraq 2.0 as anything other than a war of aggression, even with the proviso that it might or might not have been a justified one.
And here's why I don't take you seriously. You claim to want to talk about an incredibly limited and nonsensical hypo, and then you turn around and try to extrapolate to Iraq in general.

Your facts are off, and your request that we play a propaganda game to satisfy your need for a sound bite is a bit much.

Posts: 2309 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fenring
Member
Member # 6953

 - posted      Profile for Fenring   Email Fenring       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Seriati, I invented the "script" so that we could momentarily forget about the facts in the real world case and discuss a hypothetical. My question for now is just what crime, if any, would the Pres and VP in the story be guilty of. You said perhaps treason, so all right. That sounds like a reasonable suggestion in terms of the breach of the laws of the nation conducting the war. But what about international law? Do other nations have the right to try the "Pres" of my cartoon as well for the crimes as they see it? Treason may be betraying the laws or safety of one's own country, but surely to the aggrieved party the offense would not be treason but something else. Perhaps murder? That is part of my question also, and so I'm not only interested in the nature of the crime locally.

As for the facts in question they can't be off because at the moment I am interested simply in how we are going to define the scenario I presented. I made the proceedings as blatantly obvious and simple as possible to avoid confusion about the motives of the Pres and VP. I simply declared in the cartoon that the two of them wanted to literally plunder the wealth of another nation for personal gain; no more nuance than that. Once we can agree on what the Pres and VP are guilty of (if treason, then ok), then we could begin to discuss how closely, if at all, my story matches actual reality. Even if you think it matches not at all that shouldn't stop us inspecting the hypothetical.

I initiated this sidebar because I think there are two areas of disagreement in the matter of record in Iraq 2.0, which are what actually happened, as well as what the implications would be depending on what actually happened. Since discussing both simultaneously seems to lead to a debate quagmire (one finds oneself alternatively dismissing the facts from one column or the other, and 'the topic at hand' becomes very slippery) I think it's a good idea to separate the discussion into two and so I chose to only discuss at the moment what the implications of certain executive actions would be. If we can find agreement to some extent on this I'll be more than happy to discuss how close or far real events are from my cartoon. I'm not taking some idealistic moral stance, I'm asking in plain terms what the legal ramifications are for doing certain things.

Posts: 1636 | Registered: Oct 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1