On Fox News Sunday today, Dick Cheney laughed when asked about claims that he is afraid of being tried as a war criminal, but here are five reasons why he shouldn’t be laughing.
Here is the video from Think Progress:
Chris Wallace: When [Colin Powell] says ‘these are cheap shots and you’re wrong’…
Dick Cheney: Obviously I disagree with him.
Wallace: Anything you’d want to take back?
Wallace: Powell’s former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson, I don’t know if you know this, has also weighed in. He says you’re worried about being tried as war criminal.
Cheney: Well it’s news to me. I don’t pay a lot of attention to Mr. Wilkerson. I don’t know him. As far as I know I’ve never met the gentleman. I know he speaks out from time to time and that strikes me as a cheap shot.
Wallace: Your heads not going to explode?
Here is a list of things that Dick Cheney finds it humorous that he might ever be tried for via Brainz.org:
1). The Invasion of Iraq – In 2004 UN Secretary General Kofi Annan declared the US invasion of Iraq, “The US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter.” The invasion was also in violation of the Nuremberg Charter.
2). Mass Murder in Iraq – If the war was illegal, then the deaths that resulted from the US invasion were acts of murder.
3). GITMO and Prisoner Abuse- Cheney and Bush contrived the notion of enemy combatants, then illogically claimed that Geneva Convention does not apply to enemy combatants. This opened the door to wide range of abuses of detainees.
4). Torture- This is the easiest charge to prove against Bush administration officials Under US law and the Geneva Conventions torture is a war crime. The Bush administration has not only admitted to torturing people, but they have defended and praised torture as a vital national security tool, even though the evidence suggests that no reliable intelligence was ever acquired through torture.
5). Treason- The outing of Valarie Plame. Dick Cheney was the person who arranged for his loyal deputy Scooter Libby to leak the information that outed Valarie Plame as a CIA agent. To this day, Cheney is still angry at George W. Bush and other members of the administration for not pardoning Libby on their way out the door in 2008.
Cheney should be afraid of being tried as a war criminal. Last year a complaint was filed in International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) against George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condi Rice, and Alberto Gonzales over the practice of extraordinary rendition. The complaint requested an investigation into the above mentioned Bush administration officials.
The reason why the Obama administration won’t prosecute the previous administration for war crimes is that it would be an expansion of executive power that would set a dangerous precedent. If Obama prosecutes Bush, then a future president would also have the power carry out the same kinds of prosecutions against previous administrations.
Even though Bush administration officials deserve prosecution, there would be nothing standing in the way of future presidents carrying out political prosecutions. Prosecuting Bush administration officials could open the door to an undermining of the entire system of government.
If warrants were ever issued for Bush or Cheney and they were arrested, this would present a much more interesting decision for the current administration in power. I suspect whether that administration was Democratic or Republican, they would stand by Bush or Cheney.
Cheney may be laughing now, but let’s see how many flights he takes that fly over ICC member country airspace. Dick Cheney is still the same coward that he always was, so it is a pretty safe bet that he won’t be taking many trips outside the good old USA.