- The National Post, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun reported on the event, - – a “MOCK tribunal” reaching a “ “PURELY SYMBOLIC” decision.
- On Nov 26th I searched the Globe & Mail and the CBC: I found no references whatsoever to the story in either.
CONCERNING the VANCOUVER SUN – I was particularly curious: there were protests in Vancouver in October over Bush’s attendance there. How did they report the finding of the Malaysian tribunal? … “The verdict is purely symbolic as the tribunal has no enforcement powers.” (The link to the article is no longer valid - Bush, Blair guilty in Malaysia ‘war crimes trial’)
IMPORTANT: This is a misleading statement – an obvious attempt to discredit the “guilty” verdict. The Law of Complementarity is international law; it is as valid in Malaysia as in Canada and most other countries, I would think. See 2009-10-13 Addendum sent to Attorney General: you DO have responsibility to arrest Bush, the Law of Complementarity.
Are the AMERICANS better informed? No – they also use words to discredit, to keep the population ignorant.
- The Washington Post says “at a symbolic trial . . . . It plans to hear symbolic war crimes charges against them later.”
- The New York Times? A search on “Bush Blair Guilty” brings up: Times Topics: War Crimes, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity - … Malaysian tribunal finds George Bush and Tony Blair guilty of war crimes … Activists in Malaysia plan symbolic ‘war crime’ trial of Bush, Blair … I clicked on the link. HOWEVER, the news report does not actually appear in the list of articles. I checked it out on two different days.
NORTH AMERICAN PARTICIPANTS IN THE KUALA LUMPUR TRIALS:
- Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, graduate of Harvard University, etc. is a participant in the proceedings in Kuala Lumpur that found Bush and Blair guilty. We have followed his efforts. He also played an active role in the recent efforts to get Bush arrested in Vancouver.
Bush and Blair found guilty: REPORTS FROM INTERNATIONAL MEDIA, LINKS & TEXT
(1) Click on this Press TV video report from Kuala Lumpur: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/211548.html
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found the former heads of state guilty after a four-day hearing. A seven-member panel chaired by former Malaysian Federal Court judge Abdul Kadir Sulaiman presided over the trial.
The five panel tribunal unanimously decided that the former US and British leaders had committed crimes against peace and humanity, and also violated international law when they ordered the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
The prosecutors at the hearing ruled that the invasion of Iraq was a flagrant abuse of law, and act of aggression which amounted to a mass murder of the Iraqi people.
“Bush and Blair are found guilty under the same law that applied to the Nazis after the end of the World War II. So, they are international (war) criminals guilty of Nuremberg crimes against peace; and they should be prosecuted by any state in the world that gets a hold of them. We will continue our efforts to bring Bush and Blair to justice and put them in jail,” Francis Boyle, an international law expert and prosecutor, told Press TV.
The judges in the verdict said that that the United States, under the leadership of Bush, forged documents to claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
Bush and Blair were tried in absentia by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal at the end of the hearing. The participants also demanded that the findings of the tribunal be made available to members of the Rome Statute and that the names of the two former officials be entered in the register of war criminals.
“There is also a recommendation that this (the findings) be circulated to the states because all states have universal jurisdiction. Therefore, whenever Bush or Blair appear within their shores there is an obligation on the international law to commit these international war criminals through the justice system,” Gurdial Singh Nijar, a prosecutor, told Press TV.
Lawyers and human rights activists in Malaysia have described the verdict issued by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal against Bush and Blair as “a landmark decision.”
They say that they would lobby the International Criminal Court to charge the pair for war crimes.
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is scheduled to hold a separate hearing next year on charges of torture linked to the Iraq war against former US officials including ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld and ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
A tribunal in Malaysia applies the Nuremberg Principles to brand the two leaders as war criminals
A tribunal in Malaysia, spearheaded by that nation’s former Prime Minister, yesterday found George Bush and Tony Blair guilty of “crimes against peace” and other war crimes for their 2003 aggressive attack on Iraq, as well as fabricating pretexts used to justify the attack. The seven-member Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal — which featured an American law professor as one of its chief prosecutors — has no formal enforcement power, but was modeled after a 1967 tribunal in Sweden and Denmark that found the U.S. guilty of a war of aggression in Vietnam, and, even more so, after the U.S.-led Nuremberg Tribunal held after World War II. Just as the U.S. steadfastly ignored the 1967 tribunal on Vietnam, Bush and Blair both ignored the summons sent to them and thus were tried in absentia.
The tribunal ruled that Bush and Blair’s name should be entered in a register of war criminals, urged that they be recognized as such under the Rome Statute, and will also petition the International Criminal Court to proceed with binding charges. Such efforts are likely to be futile, but one Malaysian lawyer explained the motives of the tribunal to The Associated Press: “For these people who have been immune from prosecution, we want to put them on trial in this forum to prove that they committed war crimes.” In other words, because their own nations refuse to hold them accountable and can use their power to prevent international bodies from doing so, the tribunal wanted at least formal legal recognition of these war crimes to be recorded and the evidence of their guilt assembled. That’s the same reason a separate panel of this tribunal will hold hearings later this year on charges of torture against Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others.
Here’s what I find striking about this. Virtually every Serious political and media elite in America, by definition, would scoff at this tribunal; few things are considered more fringe or ludicrous than the notion that George Bush and Tony Blair should be punished as war criminals just because they aggressively attacked another nation and caused the deaths of at least 150,000 innocent people and the displacement of millions more. But the only thing this Malaysian tribunal is doing is applying the clear principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal as enunciated by lead prosecutor and former U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson in his Opening and Closing Statements at Nuremberg:
The central crime in this pattern of crimes, the kingpin which holds them all together, is the plot for aggressive wars. The chief reason for international cognizance of these crimes lies in this fact. . . .
What makes this inquest significant is that these prisoners represent sinister influences that will lurk in the world long after their bodies have returned to dust. . . . . And let me make clear that while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment.
The “kingpin” crime of the German defendants was not genocide or ethnic cleansing, but rather “the plot for aggressive war,” and the only way that the Nuremberg Tribunal will “serve a useful purpose” is if it applies equally in the future to “aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment.” Who do you think history will (and should) look more favorably upon? Those in this Kuala Lumpur tribunal who objected to the heinous war crime that is the attack on Iraq and attempted to hold the responsible leaders accountable under the Nuremberg principles, or those in America and Britain who mocked those efforts (when they weren’t ignoring them) and demanded that they and their leaders be fully exempted from the principles they imposed and decreed as universal after World War II?
UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan, who yesterday expressed angry bafflement over the fact that many liberals do not swoon for President Obama the way Jon Chait does, today noted that the U.S. under Obama imposes even less accountability for abuse of power and war crimes than does Bahrain:
Bahrain’s Sunni government promised “no immunity” for anyone suspected of abuses and said it would propose creating a permanent human rights watchdog commission. “All those who have broken the law or ignored lawful orders and instructions will be held accountable,” said a government statement, which says the report acknowledges that the “systematic practice of mistreatment” ended shortly after martial law was repealed on June 1.
As Andrew put it: “So a Middle East dictatorship has more democratic accountability for abuse of power, including torture, than the US under Obama.” Beyond things like this and the facts set forth in the last paragraph here, perhaps Andrew could use today’s post of his to help clear up the towering mystery he raised yesterday of liberal disenchantment with Obama. That American war criminals are being aggressively shielded from any and all accountability is not an ancillary matter but one of enduring historical significance.
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Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal
Read Extempore Judgment of the KL War Crimes Tribunal (PDF), click on Download Extempore Judgment of the KL War Crimes Tribunal
(4) NATIONAL POST (CANADA) George W. Bush, Tony Blair found guilty of war crimes … in Malaysia
National Post (blog) - (INSERT: The National Post uses the phrases “mock tribunal” reaching a “purely symbolic” decision.)
KUALA LUMPUR — Former US President George W. Bush and British ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair have been found guilty at a mock tribunal in Malaysia for committing “crimes against peace” during the Iraq war. The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, …
(5) Agence Ffrance-Presse November 22, 2011
U.S. President George W. Bush (L) shares a laugh with British Prime Minister Tony Blair
KUALA LUMPUR – Former US president George W Bush and British ex-prime minister Tony Blair were Tuesday found guilty at a mock tribunal in Malaysia for committing “crimes against peace” during the Iraq war.
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, part of an initiative by former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad – a fierce critic of the Iraq war – found the former leaders guilty after a four-day hearing.
“The Tribunal deliberated over the case and decided unanimously that the first accused George Bush and second accused Blair have been found guilty of crimes against peace,” the tribunal said in a statement.
“Unlawful use of force threatens the world to return to a state of lawlessness. The acts of the accused were unlawful.”
Mahathir, who stepped down in 2003 after 22 years in power, unveiled plans for the tribunal in 2007 just before he condemned Bush and Blair as “child killers” and “war criminals” at the launch of an annual anti-war conference.
A seven-member panel chaired by former Malaysian Federal Court judge Abdul Kadir Sulaiman presided over the trial, which began last Saturday, and both Bush and Blair were tried in absentia.
“The evidence showed that the drums of wars were being beaten long before the invasion. The accused in their own memoirs have admitted their own intention to invade Iraq regardless of international law,” it said.
The verdict is purely symbolic as the tribunal has no enforcement powers.
The tribunal is also expected to later hear torture and war crimes charges against seven others, including former US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld and former vice president Dick Cheney.
© Copyright (c) AFP(6) Bush, Blair found guilty of war crimes in Malaysia tribunal (link no longer valid)
(6) Press TV
Former US president George Bush and his former counterpart Tony Blair were found guilty of war crimes by the The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal which held a four day hearing in the Malaysia. The five panel tribunal unanimously decided that Bush and …
(7) Tony Blair and George W Bush found guilty of ‘crimes against peace’
The Economic Voice (link no longer valid)
“The Tribunal deliberated over the case and decided unanimously that the first accused George Bush and second accused Blair have been found guilty of crimes against peace.” said a tribunal statement. The pair were tried in absentia by a panel chaired …
(8) MONTREAL GAZETTE Bush, Blair guilty in Malaysia ‘war crimes trial’
(link no longer valid)
(INSERT: The Montreal gazette uses the same phrases as the (Canadian) National Post – - “mock tribunal” reaching a “purely symbolic” decision.)
US President George W. Bush (L) shares a laugh with British Prime Minister Tony Blair KUALA LUMPUR – Former US president George W Bush and British ex-prime minister Tony Blair were Tuesday found guilty at a mock tribunal in Malaysia for committing …
Well, it looks like George W. Bush and Tony Blair won’t be getting to enjoy cosmopolitan Kuala Lampur or the sandy beaches of Redang any time soon, as a tribunal in Malaysia has found both former heads of state to be guilty of committing war crimes. …
(10) Symbolic Malaysian trial finds Bush, Blair guilty of ‘crimes against peace …
Washington Post (Link no longer valid)
Malaysia’s outspoken former leader Mahathir Mohamad founded a peace organization that set up the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal specifically for trying Bush and Blair. Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz Mahathir, said international judges and lawyers convicted …
eNews Park Forest
KUALA LUMPUR—(ENEWSPF)–22 November 2011 – The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (Tribunal) has found George Bush and Tony Blair guilty of committing “crimes against peace” during the Iraq war. eNews Park Forest is an independently owned and operated …
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CHARGE #1 AGAINST BUSH & BLAIR, KUALA LUMPUR:
- 2011-11-28 (Charge #1) Legal Weight of Bush & Blair Guilty decision, by Princeton University Professor (Al Jazeera)
- 2011-11-23 (Charge #1) Bush and Blair found guilty of war crimes for Iraq attack
CHARGE #2 AGAINST BUSH & BLAIR, KUALA LUMPUR:
- 2012-04-12 (Charge #2) Bush & Associates, Kuala Lumpur
- 2012-05-11 Historic judgment: (Charge #2) Bush & Associates found Guilty of torture, Kuala Lumpur.
For the complete file of the international work to have Bush and his colleagues arrested and tried for war crimes, click on Arrest George Bush. Rule of Law essential to democracy.