Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Douglas Feith Responds To Spanish War Crimes Charges.

There's simply no way to overstate how much of an arsehole Bill O'Reilly really is. Here he reacts to the news that Spain is seeking to bring war crimes charges against several members of the Bush administration by claiming that "Spain is insulting the United States" and he says that "Spain must be held accountable".

It simply never occurs to an ideologue like Bill that the people who should be held accountable are the people who have broken international law. Indeed, Bill has argued in the past that Obama is endangering US lives by insisting that torture is wrong. But the big threat he gives to Spain is that, if they don't drop these charges, then Billo isn't going to travel to Spain. That's enough to make most country's instantly bring similar charges.

And it's simply hysterical to watch O'Reilly - the man who backs the military trials in Guantanamo Bay - deride the Spanish action as "a kangaroo court". Does this bugger have no sense of irony? Does he really believe that reality is simply what he states it to be? He must, because during this interview with Feith, whilst expressing his disgust at the Spanish action, he openly admits that he supports waterboarding and asks whether or not Spain will indict him for expressing such an opinion.

And I simply love Feith's claim that Spain are trying to "exercise a degree of control over US government decisions". Yes, that's exactly what Ronald Reagan agreed to when he signed the anti-torture treaty in 1988. The US agreed that certain actions were unlawful and promised to prosecute any individual who engaged in torture and gave other country's the power to do so should the host nation prove reluctant. This is Reagan's law and, until now, the Republicans have always adored everything Reagan stood for.

The defence being made here appears to be that Feith, Yoo and Gonzales merely "advised" the president and one can't make the giving of advice a crime.

But they actually did far more than that. Yoo, especially, gave advice which many would argue was given in bad faith. He didn't really believe that the law said what he told the president it said, he simply twisted his reading of the law to tell the president what he wanted to hear.

In doing so, he enabled war crimes to be committed. Indeed, this didn't happen as an unforeseen consequence of the advice he gave, this was the very reason for him giving that advice. He twisted the law in order to enable torture, that was his crime.

But O'Reilly is right in one respect; the days of these guys travelling outside of the US is well and truly over. War criminals must stay at home.


Rachel Maddow asks why Spain is bringing these charges instead of the United States itself. And she also points out that the Republicans are blocking Obama's Justice Nominee precisely because prosecutions might follow.


And here's Keith's take regarding the fact that torture simply doesn't work.


nunya said...

'Get a good lawyer,' attorney tells former Bush official
John Byrne
Published: Monday March 30, 2009

...In response, Gonzalo Boye, one of the lawyers filing the complaint, advised Feith to get a "very good lawyer."...

Kel said...

My favourite comment from the lawyer to Feith was, “If he is so sure of what he is saying — then the address of the national court is #22 Genova Street, second floor.”

Let's see if Feith will dare go to Spain to clear his name from these spurious charges.