By: Lyndsey Kelly
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America
WASHINGTON, D.C.,United States of America – In an interview with Democracy Now!, Richard Clarke, the nation’s former top counterterrorism official, stated that he believes former U.S President George W. Bush and former U.S Vice President Dick Cheney are guilty of committing war crimes during their 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Richard Clarke served as the national coordinator for security and counterterrorism for just one year during President Bush’s term in office. Clark resigned in 2003 following the invasion of Iraq. When asked about the decisions made by former U.S President Bush regarding the 2003 invasion, Clarke stated, “I think things that they authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes.”
The United Nations was careful to create an all-encompassing definition of war crimes to ensure the accountability of those who act illegally during a time of war.
War crimes are criminal acts committed during armed conflicts and the term refers to grave breaches of the rules of warfare…Acts such as torture, destruction of property, and the killing of civilians or hostages can be defined as war crimes, as can the wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages, or any devastation not justified by military necessity.
Clarke who previously made headlines for accusing President Bush of ignoring warnings regarding an attack by al-Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001 stated, “It’s clear that things that the Bush administration did – in my mind, at least, it’s clear that some of the things they did were war crimes.”
Clarke’s accusations of misconduct of the Bush administration are not unprecedented. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff, accused former Vice President Cheney of war crimes in 2011.Wilkerson emphasized the former Vice President’s affinity for enhanced interrogation methods. Wilkerson stated, “Waterboarding is a war crime, unwarranted surveillance…all of which are crimes.”
Bush and seven top members of his administration were convicted in absentia of war crimes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2012 for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Current United States President, Barack Obama, has tasked the Department of Justice with a case that seeks immunity for Bush and his administration for any and all war crimes they may have committed.
When President Obama first took office he stated that he would not seek criminal charges against former President Bush or any of his staff. Obama inherited two wars started by Bush, thus he may be worrisome that he may be charged with war crimes by any future President. Based upon the definition of war crimes provided by the United Nations, a closer examination of military decisions in the past century may likely lead to the conclusion that many former president’s are guilty of war crimes.
For further information please see:
Democracy Now! – Former Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke: Bush Committed War Crimes – 9 – June – 2014.
Examiner – Bush and Cheney are War Criminals, Says Former Bush Counterterrorism Official – 9 – June – 2014.
Huffington Post – Former Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke: Bush, Cheney Committed War Crimes – June – 9- 2014.
The Washington Times – Ex- Bush Intel Man: President, Cheney, Rumsfeld Guilty of War Crimes – June- 9 – 2014.