Maddow interviews Duelfer and Windrem

by Jon Mandle on May 15, 2009

On her show last night, Rachel Maddow provided a genuine service. [tip: TPM] She reviewed Bush Administration claims about the link between al-Qaeda and Iraq (with clips) and ran that alongside a time line concerning the use of torture. This took about six minutes. Then she interviewed Charles Duelfer, former head of the Iraq Survey Group, who says that “Washington” suggested using stronger interrogation techniques against an already cooperative Iraqi official, and Robert Windrem, who reports that two sources confirmed to him: 1. the suggestion was to use waterboarding; 2. it came from the Vice President’s office; 3. the purpose was to find a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq.

Duelfer doesn’t exactly say that he was told to find a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq. But that’s the strong suggestion of his comments, and he doesn’t object when Maddow draws that inference. (He does object to the characterization of his being ordered to use more aggressive techniques. It was more of a suggestion – one which was not acted on.)

{ 51 comments }

1

Uncle Kvetch 05.15.09 at 11:11 pm

The saddest part of all is that Cheney could have just gone on TV in 2002 and said “We’re invading Iraq because we feel like it–anybody got a fucking problem with that?” and the end result would have been exactly the same.

2

John Quiggin 05.15.09 at 11:18 pm

I’m puzzled by Obama’s inconsistent and discreditable policy in covering all this up. Partly no doubt its the influence combination of dogmatic centrists like Cass Sunstein, whose view is that, if US politics is divided between pro-torture and anti-torture parties, the correct position must necessarily be to find some definition “harsh measures” that will split the difference.

But I suspect a more Machiavellian decision to put up a resistance to disclosure that is just sufficient to keep the story leaking out over several months, eventually producing an irresistible demand for a Truth Commission. That way, Obama can mollify the CIA and military by saying he has done his best for them, and ensure that the Republicans are tied irrevocably to Dick Cheney by the time the US public becomes generally aware of the facts being presented in shows like that linked here.

3

Righteous Bubba 05.15.09 at 11:31 pm

But I suspect a more Machiavellian decision to put up a resistance to disclosure that is just sufficient to keep the story leaking out over several months, eventually producing an irresistible demand for a Truth Commission.

Doesn’t square with reinstatement of trial by military commission. Seems like waffling and screw-ups to me.

There has to be a phenomenal amount of pressure on him, from intelligence to military to Republican to Democrat to members of his cabinet to foreign leaders who would necessarily be implicated once actual investigations begin. Some of those latter might fear the court at The Hague.

4

bob mcmanus 05.16.09 at 12:26 am

He does object to the characterization of his being ordered to use more aggressive techniques.

Of course. Wilkerson is continuing to protect the Presidency by claiming that Cheney ordered torture, and much of the left blogosphere is running with it.

Cheney couldn’t order breakfast except as a representative of the President, and the waiters would ask to see authorization. I’m serious, “not worth a bucket of warm spit” describes the position and its powers exactly.

It’s about Bush, and Wilkerson is a very bad man to try to deflect away from Bush.

5

bob mcmanus 05.16.09 at 12:30 am

Hey, I think Sejanus had better documented authority than Cheney. Cheney is nothing, just a telephone or memo pad.

You go after torture, you are going after Bush. Obama understands this, sitting in the chair.

6

e julius drivingstorm 05.16.09 at 12:38 am

RB, I don’t think it’s waffling or screwups. I think he’s trying to let justice take its course so either way it comes out he will not have poisoned the water from the bully pulpit. Wasn’t Obama some kind of Constitutional Lawyer from Harvard or something in real life?

7

Fortuna 05.16.09 at 12:55 am

I think Obama may be finding the former administration’s deeds like Pandora’s Box. The ACLU is convinced we should just open it; Obama has peeked in and has grown wary.

Interesting, the last word of this quote from Wiki:

In Greek mythology, Pandora’s box is the large jar (πιθος pithos) carried by Pandora (Πανδώρα) that contained evils to be unleashed on mankind — ills, toils and sickness — and finally hope. [1]

Other’s may think cynically Obama is just trying to do less of what the Bush administration did. I think he actually intended what he said during the campaign in this area.

The Right crowing about Obama being forced to take on some attributes of the Bush policies, because they were correct all along, I view as finding out the mess is bad and tangled and you can’t relieve it all at once.

Does he fully intend to release all the photos. I believe so, just not at this time.

8

giotto 05.16.09 at 1:17 am

Some waffling on this would be understandable; it would probably be a function of trying to stay on top of a situation that could rebound decidedly against the Dems. In 2004 52 million Americans voted for Bush, even though we knew then the war was based on lies, even though we knew the administration had been torturing and defending torture. The spokes-bastards for those 52 million can raise quite a shit-storm over nothing (Grey Poupon? OMG!) and can surely convince some unknown but disturbingly large proportion of the populace that Obama is pursuing a political vendetta, should he actually go after the previous administration’s criminal behavior. It doesn’t take much convincing really, not when the issue is American malfeasance on the world stage. Americans haven’t even come to terms with what we did in the Philippines, and we’ve had a century to digest that. There is very low tolerance for those who would argue that the US is not always and everywhere on the side of angels. I would like to have events prove me wrong about this, but the Dems are on very perilous ground if they insist on doing the right thing and trying to pursue justice against Bush administrations officials. The best precedent is probably Iran-Contra: nothing changed after that, everybody was pardoned, and Oliver North came out of it a hero to those many, many Americans who favor a wild-west foreign policy.

Plus what righteous bubba said, third paragraph at #3.

The best hope is for Spain and every other civilized country the level indictments against everyone in the Bush administrations who was ever in the same room with any of the torture memos.

9

Righteous Bubba 05.16.09 at 2:19 am

RB, I don’t think it’s waffling or screwups.

I hope it’s not and that Quiggin is right, however the public view is of a guy who says A and then says not A on an issue that a lot of people quite rightly see as a test of ideals.

10

JoB 05.16.09 at 8:39 am

RB, the fate of most of us is to say A and then not A on issues that are important. Those that believe they can escape that fate become righteous and moralizing. I’d hope that it is not our fate that Obama will historically be put in the latter category. This problem’s real and whilst his principle is clear, the application of it isn’t to be judged in absolutes.

11

novakant 05.16.09 at 11:33 am

the fate of most of us is to say A and then not A on issues that are important. Those that believe they can escape that fate become righteous and moralizing.

Yeah, let’s just throw the categorical imperative out of the window, supplant it with “nobody is perfect” and denounce everybody who insists on adherence to certain principles as a moralizing zealot.

12

JoB 05.16.09 at 12:02 pm

Or just throw the categorical imperative at every specific situation as if things were as clear as ‘not not p = p’, denounce everybody questioning that as an apologetic for ‘bad stuff’ and continue as a moralizing zealot.

I don’t know whether he should or should not allow to publish this or that. I do know it is clear he has taken firm action to stop the bad practices of the past. I wouldn’t want to be denounced as acting immorally if I were to be put in his shoes, having to look at it in a less-than-categorical-imperative-abstract way.

13

Uncle Kvetch 05.16.09 at 1:23 pm

The spokes-bastards for those 52 million can raise quite a shit-storm over nothing (Grey Poupon? OMG!)

Can’t argue with that. The gist of coverage of the “torture debate” on cable TV news over the last week seems to be that Nancy Pelosi is in a hell of a lot of trouble. It’s not going to be all that difficult to convince those 52 million that responsibility for any wrongdoing by the Bush Administration rests with the Democratic Party, the DFHs, people who eat arugula, and Bill Clinton’s penis.

The other day a commenter on Jim Henley’s blog argued that knowing about torture and not doing anything to stop it is a greater moral offense than actually torturing someone. So the wheels are already in motion.

14

Steve LaBonne 05.16.09 at 2:12 pm

I’m puzzled by Obama’s inconsistent and discreditable policy in covering all this up. Partly no doubt its the influence combination of dogmatic centrists like Cass Sunstein, whose view is that, if US politics is divided between pro-torture and anti-torture parties, the correct position must necessarily be to find some definition “harsh measures” that will split the difference.

I believe you could have stopped there. And what makes you think that Obama himself really any different from Sunstein in this respect? With respect to that peculiar “dogmatic centrist” ideology, they’re two peas in a pod. Sometimes I think Obama’s middle name is really “Splitthedifference” rather than “Hussein”.

15

Henri Vieuxtemps 05.16.09 at 2:36 pm

What about appointing Cheney’s chief assassin to lead the pacification of Afghanistan, and what about resurrecting military commissions? What’s the proper Obama-bot response to these reports?

16

Steve LaBonne 05.16.09 at 2:54 pm

Not to mention (though not quite on the same level of immorality), appointing the corporate environmental counsel for mega-polluter GE to head the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources division.

But hey, priorities! The President has lots of Serious Person asses he needs to to kiss in order to make sure he gets re-elected; you can’t expect him to care what we dirty fucking hippies think.

17

MarkUp 05.16.09 at 3:32 pm

”The President has lots of Serious Person asses he needs to to kiss in order to make sure he gets re-elected;”

Ha! Yous best take that off the table Nancy .. err buster. Or, in other words, he ain’t alone and a “Truth Commission” just may play well in 2010.

The link between AQ and SH was US. When Obama peeked in Pandora’s Lockbox he saw that many with literal and figurative bombs were in hiding there.

18

Righteous Bubba 05.16.09 at 3:32 pm

RB, the fate of most of us is to say A and then not A on issues that are important.

Let us both hope that the police who protect us are not so whimsical.

19

Marc 05.16.09 at 3:39 pm

I think that a lot of the criticism here is of the same nature – and from the same people – as the continuous hostility and hand-wringing which we saw during the campaign. That is largely why I find a significant fraction of the blog community simply unreadable, especially the sites which went nuts during the primaries. Any good the guy does is discounted; they jump at things which might be bad and ignore it when they don’t pan out (example: periodic hysteria on Obama and Social Security); and it therefore can be difficult to take it seriously when they criticize something which actually deserves it.

Obama has, to a pretty remarkable extent, done what he said he would do. He didn’t campaign on a scorched-earth platform via Bush and the republicans, although there is a passionate advocacy for such in the online left (and a decent fraction of the public). He has, by all accounts, banned torture, advocated against it strongly, and so on. Gitmo is closed. He is very strong on science as well. The cleanup with the old regime is a complicated mess, and I can understand why it’s difficult to negotiate. I think we should prosecute clear war crimes, but the country is in a more ambiguous place.

On that note it’s depressing to me to see the Republican party degenerate to the degree which it has – they’d be right at home in the Colosseum.

20

JoB 05.16.09 at 3:42 pm

RB, I rarely think of the police as protecting us. From what? I seldom have the idea I’m being attacked. But I guess that’s not the point. I guess your point is to be snap and one-lining whilst, without argument whatsoever, implying that Obama is whimsical.

I’m not an Obama-bot (I find his appeal to morals ‘let’s all pull our weight – and we’ll get to la-la-land’ kinda nauseating and potentially as dangerous as neocon pre-Bush play) – I do however think that going all booboo on him on the basis of these last controversial decisions is, hmm, rather ‘I’m still pure, man’ or ‘dude, what a sell-out’.

But then I never cared much for hippies. Not even for the more recent clean version.

21

JoB 05.16.09 at 3:44 pm

Clean in a bodily way, I mean. Verbally, let’s see below ;-)

22

Katherine 05.16.09 at 3:44 pm

Some of those latter might fear the court at The Hague.

Not likely, since the US has not signed up to the ICC. Of course, the Security Council can refer situation to the ICC regardless of whether the country in question has signed up (a la Sudan and arfur) but since the US has veto power, that’s hardly going to happen. The US is quite happy to use the ICC, but less happy to be subject to it.

They should be more fearful of the doctrine of universality (ie the doctrine that some crimes are such that they can be prosecuted anywhere by anyone, regardless of whether the alleged criminal would ordinarily fall within their jurisdiction – eg crimes against humanity, torture, etc). There aren’t many countries that have enshrined that legislatively, but I believe the same lot in Spain that went after Pinochet in 1999 are having a go re. some members of the Bush administration.

23

JoB 05.16.09 at 3:50 pm

Katherine, maybe but then Belgium had a universally applicable human rights law that went after Pinochet. Oddly enough – that law was amended when somebody went after a guy called Rumsfeld. The right solution is to press Obama to embrace the ICC as this is not something that should be between countries – & Balthasar Garzón may be Robin Hood of international law, as people following cycling know: the Spanish judiciary can meander in strange ways when put under pressure. It would be a far better world if an Obama could embrace the ICC, even if at the cost of leaving Guantanomo out of it.

24

Righteous Bubba 05.16.09 at 3:52 pm

I guess your point is to be snap and one-lining whilst, without argument whatsoever, implying that Obama is whimsical.

I was identifying your position as whimsical, not Obama’s.

If you want me to expand further, the fate of a nation is not riding on my sticking to A vs. not A. I don’t have teams of advisors to help me out. I am not the moral face of America.

Lucky America I suppose, but let’s not pretend that the most powerful man in the world switching positions in the political arena is the same as me making the same switch.

25

Righteous Bubba 05.16.09 at 3:54 pm

Not likely, since the US has not signed up to the ICC.

Katherine, I was referring to various foreign leaders who kindly let US operatives hide and possibly torture various prisoners on their soil.

26

JoB 05.16.09 at 4:24 pm

That’s easy, RB, easy for you to say righteously – but the fate of the nation is riding on you whimsically qualifying something as ‘switching positions’, when the position is the same but the interpretation of something very specific is, on closer inspection, not the simple straightforward thing you imagined. When Obama says waterboarding is OK, & only then, will he have switched positions.

PS: if you find my position whimsical and then acknowledge it for yourself exempting somebody other then yourseld on rather flimsy evidence, isn’t that a bit boomerangy? Or was it merely a counterfactual claim allowing you to snipe at a line of the response, claiming you never actually said what you implied?

27

Righteous Bubba 05.16.09 at 5:14 pm

That’s easy, RB, easy for you to say righteously

Really, that’s my point. It’s easy for me to vacillate but for Obama it has – at the least – a political cost. That we’re both human and make A/notA determinations may put us on the same moral plane, but so what?

28

Jon Mandle 05.16.09 at 5:38 pm

I don’t have even a guess concerning the release of the photographs. But I do have one on the military commissions – Obama found: that some of the prisoners are likely to be guilty and dangerous; but they were tortured; so a civilian court would promptly dismiss any case against them. This leaves the options: 1. release them; 2. transfer them to another country; 3. keep them locked up indefinitely without any kind of trial; 4. create some kind of non-civilian trial that will examine the evidence against them. Of course, there is a wide range of possibilities under option 4, and although I don’t like it, I reluctantly concede that depending on the details it might be better than the other options.

29

novakant 05.16.09 at 5:42 pm

That was then:

As President, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act, and adhere to the Geneva Conventions.

This is now:

Military commissions have a long tradition in the United States. They are appropriate for trying enemies who violate the laws of war, provided that they are properly structured and administered.

30

Righteous Bubba 05.16.09 at 6:11 pm

This leaves the options: 1. release them; 2. transfer them to another country; 3. keep them locked up indefinitely without any kind of trial; 4. create some kind of non-civilian trial that will examine the evidence against them.

I like 2 if means transferring to the authorities of other countries.

31

Steve LaBonne 05.16.09 at 6:49 pm

I keep trying to imagine what line Obama can’t cross without finally losing his dedicated apologists, but so far I’m not succeeding. The guy is running George Bush’s foreign policy (merely shifting resources from the imperial war in Iraq to the imperial war in Afghanistan); is doing his best to retain the extraordinary Presidential powers which Bush arrogated to himself, including the power to detain alleged terrorists without due process of law, or with sham military “law”; won’t lift a finger to do anything about the shameful campaign the military continues to run against gay service people; and on the economy, has done nothing for Main Street and everything, at colossal expense to the rest of us, for Wall Street. Still to come, a sham “health care reform” with not even a public option, designed in reality to shovel even more of our tax dollars to the health care – industrial complex. Yet his fans continue pretending that there’s somehow something progressive about him.

Tell me, in which of the above respects do people believe he differs significantly (as opposed to cosmetically) from what McCain would have done? McCain might actually have been better on bailouts: I can’t see him bailing out the corporate shell of GM at great taxpayer expense for the benefit of the corporate class (while letting the workers twist in the wind as more and more GM cars are imported from low-wage countries).

32

JoB 05.16.09 at 6:54 pm

Jon, I agree but: 1. those clearly innocent were released , 2. the other countries refuse to accept them, 3. luckily not considered an option & 4. really, the only one that’s real now (whence 29 is just unfair, 27 is doubly flawed & 30 uninformed). The injustice has been done, materially it cannot be remedied – the stories of the innocent released are a testimony to that – so: it ain’t simply a matter of principle.

33

Righteous Bubba 05.16.09 at 7:08 pm

There are particular individuals who may deserve some sort of clemency. This guy was 15 when picked up.

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

34

R.Mutt 05.16.09 at 7:34 pm

…Belgium had a universally applicable human rights law that went after Pinochet.

Spain.

35

Righteous Bubba 05.16.09 at 7:34 pm

2. the other countries refuse to accept them

JoB, this is what diplomacy is for. My guess is the Obama folks are better at it than the last bunch, but only because the last bunch was so so terrible.

36

JoB 05.16.09 at 7:46 pm

@34, no: Belgium … see context of what I was responding to (I’m Belgian by the way, & lived in Spain at that time).

RB, I think they gave up on diplomacy for this after the NATO summit. It’s a no-no for the rest of the world: ‘the US created the problem, the US can solve it’ which is a pity & all that but that’s the way it is. Not that accepting them would have eased the situation, at least not for the prisoners. Imagine being ‘accepted’ in the Turkey prison system.

37

Righteous Bubba 05.16.09 at 7:55 pm

RB, I think they gave up on diplomacy for this after the NATO summit.

NATO countries are not the source of most of the prisoners.

Not that accepting them would have eased the situation, at least not for the prisoners. Imagine being ‘accepted’ in the Turkey prison system.

Yeah, it’d be bad. But if you’re trying to get your own country out of a situation in which you’re relying on the results of torture to keep prisoners, exporting the problem and washing your hands of it might be the political winner. Or not: naturally the Limbaughs would be screeching about the shame of not having these prisoners drawn and quartered by patriotic Americans rather than heathen Afghans.

38

JoB 05.16.09 at 8:03 pm

RB, yes but if NATO countries don’t budge the rest of them won’t ( & non-NATO ctries would be a no-no on humanitarian reasons, for the most part). I agree, by the way, that clemency would be a very good idea to at last reduce the issue. If no credible threat of further mischief exists the punishment will always have been too big for whatever the past crimes were.

39

Barry 05.16.09 at 8:46 pm

“McCain might actually have been better on bailouts: I can’t see him bailing out the corporate shell of GM at great taxpayer expense for the benefit of the corporate class (while letting the workers twist in the wind as more and more GM cars are imported from low-wage countries).”

Why would McCain have been any better? The only way that I can see him being ‘better’ is that he’d have had the GOP position of trillions for the financial elites, but not one damn red cent for the auto companies (because that’d mean subsidies for people who haven’t demonstrated their morality by stealing trillions).

40

windy 05.17.09 at 12:33 am

Jon, I agree but: 1. those clearly innocent were released

Most of the Uighurs are still there. And how would you know who’s innocent and who’s not, anyway?

Although some of them are clearly guilty and dangerous, like this guy:
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Judge_justifies_holding_Taliban_cook_at_0128.html

If you release him, he might cook again.

RB, I think they gave up on diplomacy for this after the NATO summit. It’s a no-no for the rest of the world: ‘the US created the problem, the US can solve it’

Maybe the way you backstab countries that already have taken in their citizens and former residents has something to do with it. (The UK may have secretly asked for the stab, but anyway) What happens when these people speak out about what was done to them and/or seek justice? If the accepting country takes openness and rule of law seriously, their relationship with the US will suffer.

If you are serious about getting Europe to accept former detainees, give the detainees generous settlements and offer to share in the costs of rehabilitating them. Not so much for the money, but as a way to show that you will not simply force them to cover up your messes. (I’m talking about releasing people here, of course we can’t accept them into our “prison system” if you can’t demonstrate that they are guilty.)

Here’s how it’s done. Sweden paid damages for two guys just for participating in their extradition to Egypt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Agiza_and_Muhammad_al-Zery

41

JoB 05.17.09 at 9:33 am

windy, I don’t quite get it. If you accuse me of being sloppy and glossing over details – I plead guilty. My point was merely that oversimplifying Obama’s administration case to clean up the previous administration’s mess is, well, oversimplification. Afaik (and that is not at the level of the details which you provide – for which, thanks!), the people that have been accepted back (in Germany, Bosnia, Australia .. the cases I know) were them for which it was clear no further prosecution was needed.

42

novakant 05.17.09 at 10:57 am

it was clear no further prosecution was needed.

Prosecute what? Prosecute how? Evidence and guilt is not determined by Obama or anybody else having a hunch that the people in question might be bad guys, it is determined in a public trial affording the accused amongst other things habeas corpus protection. If you don’t have evidence or if the evidence is inadmissible, then you cannot prosecute, unless you set up kangaroo courts, which is what military commissions are.

43

JoB 05.17.09 at 11:20 am

novakant, it has to be fun living up there amongst all these Platonic ideals – nonplussed by the problems posed by actual reality. I guess you also believe they should not try to find OBL. After all, did poor little HE get a proper trial establishing his guilt? Or do you really believe that everybody in Gitmo can be released & the world a better place for it (as there is no way that past violations of their rights will not result in their release in a normal civil court)? Disclaimer: I do not know in any detail any of the cases & rely on what’s being published (I’m sure I would release w/o trial most of them but novakant is making a fool of himself because he makes his statements in principle as if the facts did not matter – which is a principle that is wrong in principle)

Would you, by the way, support the US signing the ICC? If so, it may be possible for a more or less straight solution to be designed.

It really is amazing how a post on the viciousness of the previous administration gets in a twist about Obama clearly on a mission to mitigate that viciousness. Maybe he can do better but surely he can’t be prosecuted for human rights violations & accused of gross immorality. Please note that I don’t mean to say the decisions he takes are not open for criticism; personally I think he always had a risk for falling for his own newspeak.

44

windy 05.17.09 at 11:21 am

JoB, I’m sure you mean well, but I wish you’d realize how Kafka/Helleresque this whole argument sounds, to discuss whether someone who cooked for US enemies seven years ago, or a captured child soldier, deserves “further prosecution” while at the same time war criminals on the opposite side are not prosecuted.

Afaik (and that is not at the level of the details which you provide – for which, thanks!), the people that have been accepted back (in Germany, Bosnia, Australia .. the cases I know) were them for which it was clear no further prosecution was needed.

What about the need for prosecution of whoever kidnapped and mistreated them?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khaled_El-Masri

among other things it mentions “a lack of cooperation from US authorities was impeding their investigation into El-Masri’s abduction” and “interventions by US officials and concerns about political fallout”. Do you think this sort of thing encourages other nations to accept detainees that are not even their citizens and are in an even murkier legal situation?

PS. I assumed you were American, and that’s why I used “you” above, but I guess you’re not.

45

JoB 05.17.09 at 11:49 am

windy, no – I’m not American but this is not as such an American problem so I hope to be forgiven for intruding.

I like both Kafka & Heller because they don’t accuse. Insofar as you consider them as satires, they are satires of the system and in many cases rather kind to persons on the wrong side of the system.

But to be clear: my point was not about the cook & it’s not fair for you to construe it as such. I’m not being trialed here, I hope. If I am, I’ll switch moniker to “K.”.

Whether or not there is a need to trial kidnappers will depend on the specifics of it and in any case we should not go for a blanket extra-judicial treatment of them because it’s precisely what was done for the current prisoners and which has led to this issue which is – as is my point here – fundamentally irreversible.

Is US foreign policy questionable? Yes. If I didn’t think that I would not make constant references to the ICC! But non-US countries shouldn’t use that excuse in this case, imo.

46

james 05.19.09 at 4:22 pm

In what way is the ICC a good idea for the United States? I understand why Europe wishes US involvment, but there does not seem to be any upside for the US.

47

Righteous Bubba 05.19.09 at 5:23 pm

In what way is the ICC a good idea for the United States?

Depends on which US you’re talking about. I imagine some citizens would be well pleased if they knew that war crimes would be met with some more impartial form of justice than the sort that whitewashed the involvement of the higher-ups in Abu Ghraib.

The ICC’s not great for power projection though is it?

48

james 05.19.09 at 8:17 pm

The ICC would not cover any War Crimes committed prior to joining (Abu Ghraib, Wounded Knee, etc). It is specifically set up that way to encourage countries with a violent past to join without fear of retribution for past deeds.

The impartiality of the ICC is not something that can be guaranteed. Are there any tangible benefits for the cost associated?

49

Righteous Bubba 05.19.09 at 8:19 pm

Um, yes again with the exact same comment.

50

engels 05.19.09 at 9:03 pm

So James if the ICC _did_ have jurisdiction over Abu Ghraib etc and was completely impartial and couldn’t be leant on by powerful states _then_ you’d want to join, right?

51

JoB 05.20.09 at 7:38 am

‘The impartiality cannot guaranteed’, huh!, why can that be for former Yugoslavia war tribunal in The Hague and not for the US.

Or is James so partial as to think that disagreeing with the US is a sign of impartiality against the US. No, in such a view there is no benefit to the cost. But it’s rather disingenious to make such a length argument if what you want to say is: ‘The US Rulez, Dude!”

Comments on this entry are closed.