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Friday, June 10, 2005

Amnesty's Interesting Perspective

I noticed several interesting tidbits Amnesty International's latest Annual Report:
We have documented that the use of torture and ill treatment is widespread and that the US government is a leading purveyor and practitioner of this odious human rights violation. [...]

Amnesty International calls on foreign governments to uphold their obligations under international law by investigating all senior US officials involved in the torture scandal. And if those investigations support prosecution, the governments should arrest any official who enters their territory and begin legal proceedings against them. The apparent high-level architects of torture should think twice before planning their next vacation to places like Acapulco or the French Riviera because they may find themselves under arrest as Augusto Pinochet famously did in London in 1998. [...]

Foreign governments that are party to the Geneva Conventions and/or the Convention against Torture - and that is some 190 countries - and countries that have national legislation that authorizes prosecution - and that is at least 125 countries - have a legally binding obligation to exercise what is known as universal jurisdiction over people accused of grave breaches of the Conventions. Governments are required to investigate suspects and, if warranted, to prosecute them or to extradite them to a country that will. Crimes such as torture are so serious that they amount to an offense against all of humanity and require governments to investigate and prosecute people responsible for those crimes - no matter where the crime was committed.
Who might those senior officials be? Amnesty International explicitly names George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Alberto Gonzales, and many others.

Let's imagine that Bush goes to Europe to visit Chirac in France. And while they're doing the wine and cheese thing, a bunch of French policemen attempt to overpower Bush's secret service contingent and arrest Bush. Given that they're French, they probably wouldn't succeed, but let's say that they did and were able to take Bush into custody. Hmmmm. Let's choose from the following list what might happen:
  1. Nothing much, nobody likes Bush anyway.
  2. We grovel at the feet of the French, begging for our President back.
  3. We sever all ties with France (and perhaps Europe) and expel all French (and perhaps European) people from the United States precipitating a global political and economic crisis.
  4. We immediately declare war on France.
  5. We immediately nuke France and turn it into boiling sea of red wine and molten cheese.
I think that the probability of (1) and (2) are zero. We may not like Bush, but we like the French even less. I'm not sure what would happen, but it's hard to believe that whatever it was, that it would further Amnesty International's agenda. What are they thinking?

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