Saturday, November 11, 2006

An open letter to the Centre for Constitutional Rights

The Centre for Constitutional Rights has requested indictments against US Officials for supposed "war crimes" committed by the United States in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. I have expressed my concerns about this action to my representatives and the Administration. I have also sent the following inquiry to the Centre for Constitutional Rights. I will post any response that I receive.

"With Respect,

I am curious as to whether your organization has considered
the possible consequences of seeking an indictment of US leaders.

In particular, I wonder whether attaching such dire
consequences as "war crimes" to public service will have a
chilling effect on the nominee search for future Administrations.

The European view of what constitutes War Crimes and Torture
is different than that which Americans have articulated.
While there are core definitions that are generally accepted,
it is not so clear that practices such as isolation, sleep
deprivation, threats of violence, or deception constitute
mistreatment of prisoners. Certainly there is considerable
dispute as to whether they constitute "war crimes."

By availing yourselves of a German court that claims
"universal jurisdiction," a claim to breadth of jurisdiction
that is breathtaking in scope, don't you run the risk of
opening the perverbial "Pandora's box?" Do you believe that
the acknowledgment of such authority can be confined to what
you view as a particular set of incidents?

I am also concerned that future nominees for high office in
subsequent administrations will be of a low caliber precisely
because those with sense will recognize the tremendous
liability that they take on by stepping up to a leadership role.

I do not intend to be disputive, but I am curious about the
process by which your organization has reached the conclusion
that these steps are prudent, reasonable, and necessary.



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