Kissing the Duke of Exeter's Daughter, or De Laudibus Legum Angliae...
links for 2008-04-14

Jim Henley on Bush Appointees' Travel Plans

He writes:

: The safest vacations for Bush Administration officials may be domestic ones.... Philippe Sands... reports that the military commissions act of 2006 may increase the likelihood of a future foreign war-crimes prosecution for those in the torture chain-of-command. Sands glosses a European prosecutor saying that "it would make it much easier for investigators outside the U.S. to argue that possible war crimes would never be addressed in their home country."

Which is true enough! Time was, I could mutter darkly about the arrogance of universal human rights violations and "rule from Brussels" and all of that. Now I say, bring it on. My own country has asserted its own universal jurisdiction, but a much more grandiose and damaging version of it. You don't see Belgian judges conquering entire countries in the name of "freedom" or "benevolent hegemony." Given a choice between grabbing the odd retired official from an airport, jailing him in comfort and allowing him access to counsel and a public trial, and triggering the killing of tens to hundreds of thousands and the displacement of millions, while shoving hundreds of prisoners into legal black holes for abuse, the lesser evil kind of jumps out at me.

What the Raw Story gloss on the article doesn't go into is whether the Military Commissions Act itself might constitute a criminal conspiracy under international law.